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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the best ingredients
As with some other reviewers, I think this was Ricks best release of the 70s, and probably ever. Reasons? The things which I think let most of his subsequent releases down were one of the following: Dodgy vocalists, a limited range of instruments, or possibly in some cases an excess of instruments. Here, there are no embarrassing vocal performances, there are no...
Published on 9 May 2009 by ChrisP

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3.0 out of 5 stars sounds similar
not the original!
Published 8 days ago by Roy Vincent


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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the best ingredients, 9 May 2009
By 
This review is from: Six Wives Of Henry VIII (Audio CD)
As with some other reviewers, I think this was Ricks best release of the 70s, and probably ever. Reasons? The things which I think let most of his subsequent releases down were one of the following: Dodgy vocalists, a limited range of instruments, or possibly in some cases an excess of instruments. Here, there are no embarrassing vocal performances, there are no unnecessary orchestras and choirs that age badly, yet it has the fullness of sound and instrumentation that is lacking on his synth only releases.

Highlights? The acid jazzy Ann of Cleves, with great drumming from Alan White (how many of Rick's tracks can be said to have great drumming?) and a Santana-like feel in places - unique among Rick's pieces. Also the gloriously baroque Jane Seymour - I remember playing this to my mother (a totally classically influenced piano teacher and organist) and watching her face as the strictly orthodox yet complex organ is suddenly augmented by one of the most in-your-face moog interruptions ever. Stunning. And finally, by Anne Boleyn - just the most perfect balance of classical and rock instrumentation - the closing section of the Day thou gavest... is just incomparable.

All in all, utterly 70s, yet utterly timeless, always fulfilling and never embarrasing. The question for me is ... why the heck couldn't Rick seem to tick all the boxes ever again?
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock meets the classics at its best!, 25 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Six Wives Of Henry VIII (Audio CD)
This was Wakeman's first solo recording and still is his best. Its interesting that Amazon does not have a sound sample of Catherine Parr, the best and most well known track on the album. If more people heard it Amazon would be deluged with orders.
Wakeman showed at the time that someone who was trained and the Royal Academy of Music could play and compose 'rock' music.
His keyboard technique has to be seen and heard to be believed, and having done so, you understand that this album shows off all those skills. Nothing he has recorded since comes close to the quality of all his massive abilities.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 30 years on it's lasted better than me, 2 Mar 2005
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This review is from: Six Wives Of Henry VIII (Audio CD)
I first heard this on a hissing vinyl on a mono record player. It sounded great all the same. Having purchased the CD recently to replace my worn out vinyl, I listened to it again and again. Sadly short in length (about 35 mins), but the power of Wakeman's keyboards are finally reproduced on the CD without the buzz and distortion of the old needle on vinyl. A classic at a bargain price from a keyboard master. If you're looking for a first Wakeman CD to buy, you could do worse, try Myths and Legends or, if you can get hold of it, Criminal Record. Sounds good, doesn't seemed to have aged (but Wakeman has updated it), and it still sounds good 30 years on.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They say never go back ....., 10 Jun 2011
By 
NOTiFY (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Six Wives Of Henry VIII (Audio CD)
Bought this album as a 15 year old in 1973 as my concession to "classical" music. Haven't owned a record player since 1985 and everytime I saw it, usually when moving house, I wanted to play it.

After seeing him play it live at Hampton Court in 2009 was keen to buy the original, rather than a live recording.

Found it as good as when I first heard it 38 years ago and personally didn't find it 'crass' or 'dated'.

They say good music stands the test of time, this certainly has.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ASTOUNDING...!!, 9 Mar 2006
By 
This review is from: Six Wives Of Henry VIII (Audio CD)
An EXCELLENT album - the sound quality is astounding! the cd is a big improvement in sound quality compared to vinyl (for a change!). My favourite track, ANNE OF CLEVES, is a masterpiece. Crystal clear recording, Rick's keyboards and Alan White's drums come literally crashing out of the speakers, definitely one to get you moving! In fact this whole album would rank alongside any Yes album. Very highly recommended, an essential addition for any Yes/Classical/Prog Rock fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rick Wakeman at his Brilliant Best, 16 April 2012
By 
What more can you say about this Album,
Rick was a bit sidelined from YES on Tales from Topographic Oceans which was well overlong and tedious
so Rick decides to release his own solo project in the meantime and WOW!!!What an Album
The Interchanges and Sweeps of the Keyboard Maestro are absolutely Amazing and could listen to this Album all Day
Check out the Excellent "Catherine Parr".
Every Track is spellbinding and this Album has to rate as an All Time Classic.
Rick Wakeman a British Rock Keyboard Legend at his Brilliant Best
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The ghost of prog walks abroad ..., 1 Mar 2012
By 
os - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I remember hearing this album around at a friends house years ago when a school boy whose ears were relatively untouched by the world of rock. I was impressed by the album then, but subsequently as times changed I sadly forgot Rick and his Wives. A little while ago this album re-entered my life and although it is a flawed period piece, it is still quite fun to listen to from time to time.

For those who don't know, this is a collection of mainly keyboard pieces with occasional support from band and vocals. Stylistically this album is all over the map- incorporating elements of rock,Baroque,ragtime,English pastoral and more ,it is remains entertaining- if only because of the verve and fairly awesome playing and arranging abilities that Wakeman demonstrates throughout. Yes it is a little bombastic and silly in places-not to say dated - but name me a prog rock band who couldn't be accused of committing similar sins. Yet,at least Rick has written a few catchy tunes (the brilliant 'Catherine Howard' is a good example),the playing is inventive without being boringly overbearing and none of the segments outstay their welcome.

I am by no means a prog fan - but even I can say, this is a good listen and well worth considering for your music collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow Wow Wow, 27 Aug 2010
Yes we all have the album a bit scratched by now and you try to convert it to an MP3 track. Dont waste your time. Get a new crisp copy on CD and enjoy the time you would have wasted and been disapointed listening to pure quality, time after time.

My favorite track 5 Rick. Your a genious if only I could spell it..

Live long

Ian Lowther
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cutting Edge, 18 Jan 2003
By 
Steven Moses - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Six Wives Of Henry VIII (Audio CD)
This is a terrific album from a man who set the trend for rock keyboard playing and concept albums. It's a blend of beautiful piano and alien sythesiser playing that compliment one another impeccably. Produced relatively quickly while recording with Yes it is an excellent introduction to a brilliant and progressive musician who was at his peak and unfortunately fell into mediocrity in the 90s.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still Fresh, 6 Jan 2014
By 
Stephen (Glasgow Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Six Wives Of Henry VIII (Audio CD)
I first heard Six Wives about 40 years ago. It was a very grand piece back in those days. I've listened to a lot of music in the meantime, so, although I was looking forward to re-visiting it, I felt that it might have lost some of its flourish. I needn't have worried. It sounded as fresh as ever - bold, melodic, charming and expressive.
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