SP-4660 Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record
Produced by Rick Wakeman
Released on November 1977
UK CHART POSITION #25 . . . US CHART POSITION #128
Find it at GEMM
SP-4660 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

L ast episode I lichen’d this to the ennervated arrangements of Going for the One. That’s right; I not only used the word incorrectly, I spelled it wrong. So if you’re still sticking around to read this, you’ve only got yourself to blame. I keep coming back to this album because of its interesting chambers. The brooding “Judas Iscariot” complete with pipe organ and chorus, has all the heady manner of a major opus (like, say, the opening to the Phantom of the Opera musical, ahem). The furious “Statue of Liberty,” with its mad genius multitracking and complex counterpoint from Chris Squire, has all the earmarks of inspiration. The musical rollercoaster ride, “Chamber of Horrors,” too. Those three tracks, plus the participation of Squire and Alan White, render a favorable verdict for Rick Wakeman’s Criminal Record. (Man, that is so lame.) Yes fans are bound to take note, but comparing this to a Going For The One or Tormato isn’t helpful. Wakeman indulged his classical fantasies on his own records, something he was reigned in from doing with Yes. True, he trotted out the church organ on “Parallels” and “Awaken,” both he didn’t write those songs. To date, Wakeman’s records provided a consistent, different experience than Yes: quasi-classical interpretations of historical or literary themes, full of fustian steam and despite occasional lapses of judgment (“The Breathalyser”) oftentimes very effective. Wakeman was merely a member of Yes, but he is the sun, moon and stars of his own works. Fans will probably move in chronological order through his catalog: wives, journey, myths, connection, criminal (lisztomania and white rock are usually asterisked as commissioned works). All five are worth hearing, worth owning, worth admiring if only for their creator’s unwillingness to blanch at his own excess, a true sign of the progressive spirit if ever there was. Fortunately, Wakeman has the chops and the vision to meet his creations midway, providing much entertaining music in the bargain.

SP-4660 back cover
SP-4660 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. STATUE OF JUSTICE    6:20
  2. CRIME OF PASSION    5:46
  3. CHAMBER OF HORRORS    6:40
  4. BIRDMAN OF ALCATRAZ    4:12
  5. THE BREATHALYSER    3:51
  6. JUDAS ISCARIOT    12:15

    All selections written by Rick Wakeman

CREDITS

RICK WAKEMAN -- piano, mini-moog, polymoog, Hammond C3 organ, Birotron, Mander pipe organ, RMI computer keyboard, harpsichord, Fender Rhodes, Hohner clavinet, Baldwin electric harpsichord, church organ
FRANK RICOTTI -- percussion
CHRIS SQUIRE -- bass
ALAN WHITE -- drums
Ars Laeta of Lausanne, Switzerland -- choir (6)
Robert Mernoud -- conductor (6)
Bill Oddie -- vocals (5)
Dave Richards -- engineer
John Timperley -- engineer, mixing
Roland Young -- art direction
Chuck Beeson -- visual concept & design
Jim McCrary -- photography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/NET November 1977 A&M LP/CS LK/CKM 64660 lyric sleeve
US November 1977 A&M LP/8T SP/8T-4660 lyric sleeve
ARG   A&M LP 8550  
JPN 1977 A&M LPPRO GP-2060 lyric insert
YUG   RTB LP LP-5746  
JPN 2003 A&M CD UICY-9301  

 

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