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Rick Wakeman ‎– Tribute To The Beatles (1997)

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Rick Wakeman ‎– Tribute To The Beatles (1997)

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1- Norwegian Wood - 5:48
2- You've Got To Hide Your Love Away - 7:19
3- The Fool On The Hill - 5:13
4- Eleanor Rigby - 7:58
5- Come Together - 4:12
6- While My Guitar Gently Weeps - 6:01
7- We Can Work It Out - 3:52
8- The Help Trilogy - 4:43
9- Things We Said Today - 3:51
10- Blackbird - 2:15
11- She's Leaving Home 5:12

- Rick Wakeman - keyboards, arranger & producer
+
- Fraser Thorneycroft-Smith - guitar
- Phil Laughlin - bass
- Stuart Swaney - percussion programming, mixing

 

Prog-rock legends Yes had covered Beatles songs in the past, but TRIBUTE represents Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman's full-blown homage to the Fab Four. It contains his instrumental, keyboard-dominated versions of 11 Beatles classics. Instead of slathering these tunes with prog-rock grandeur, though, Wakeman keeps things relatively close to the bone. Rather than resorting to displays of technical flash, the keyboard king focuses on expressivity when interpreting the carefully wrought melodies of such Beatles tunes as "Norwegian Wood" and "She's Leaving Home." ---Jim Allen, AllMusic Review

 

Released in 1998, "Tribute" finds Rick Wakeman putting together a collection of cover versions of Beatles songs. According to his official website, the album was commissioned by a private company on the back of his version of "Eleanor Rigby" (a version which he himself is not entirely happy with).

The eleven songs selected are among the better known of the Beatles album tracks, although relatively few were singles. The interpretations are usually soft offering pleasant but undemanding variations on familiar melodies. Sometimes, such as with "We can work it out", the rendition is too phonetic, each syllable being represented individually. Things work better when a symphonic aspect is added, like on the slowed down interpretation of "Help". It is probably fair to say that this adaptation was inspired by John Farnham's fine version of that song.

Although entirely understandable, it does seem a bit odd to hear the main theme of "While my guitar gently weeps" played out on keyboards. There is actually guitar on the track, Wakeman having put together a small band for these recordings.

Overall, a good album to have on when entertaining guests and not a bad album to listen to at other times. ---Easy Livin, progarchives.com

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