SP-4614 White Rock
Produced by Rick Wakeman
Released on January 1977
UK CHART POSITION #14 . . . US CHART POSITION #126
Find it at GEMM
SP-4614 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

S now easy feat to write engaging program music for a sports event, but if Wakeman could dispatch six wives, a king and the Earth’s core, how much trouble could a movie and some moguls give him? White Rock was conceived as a marriage of video and music to celebrate the 1976 Winter Olympics at Innsbruck, a forerunner of the “natural” videos that Tangerine Dream and others would release in later years. The instrumental compositions from Wakeman are purportedly inspired by film footage of various events (“Ice Run,” “The Shoot”), which always struck me as a lame source of inspiration. But he doesn’t take the challenge at face value, instead writing the same sort of keyboard compositions that turned up on Six Wives and Criminal Record. The music isn’t as complex as those works, as Wakeman doesn’t have the English Rock Ensemble to support him. So he multitracks piano, Moog, mellotron, pipe organ (and more) into a modest tapestry of moods while Tony Fernandez provides percussion. The result is surprisingly solid, at various times sounding like the work of Keith Emerson (the opening “White Rock”), Yes (“The Shoot”), Camel (“Searching For Gold”) and of course Rick Wakeman. I couldn’t make a case for this record over the acknowledged masterworks (Wives, Journey, Myths), but White Rock belongs to Wakeman’s most fertile creative period and should not be shunned as incidental music to a film nobody remembers. In fact, best not to look at this as a soundtrack at all, since it functions very well as instrumental music independent of the film. Tellingly, Wakeman has revisited some of these compositions over the years, and fans should give White Rock the same warm reception when approaching his catalog.

SP-4614 back cover
SP-4614 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. WHITE ROCK    3:10
  2. SEARCHING FOR GOLD    4:20
  3. THE LOSER    5:30
  4. THE SHOOT    3:59
  5. LAX'X    4:53
  6. AFTER THE BALL    3:09
  7. MONTEZUMA'S REVENGE    3:56
  8. ICE RUN    6:11

    All tracks written, composed and arranged by Rick Wakeman

CREDITS

RICK WAKEMAN -- Moog synthesizer, Steinway grand piano, mellotron, Mander pipe organ, RMI computer piano, marindas, RMI Roxichord, Hohner clavinet, Fender Rhodes piano, Hammond C3 organ, harpsichord
TONY FERNANDEZ -- percussion
St. Paul's Cathedral Choir -- choir
Paul Hardiman -- engineer
Richard Lewzey -- engineer

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK January 1977 A&M LP AMLH64614  
US January 1977 A&M LP SP-4614  
ARG 1977 A&M LP 8385  
BRA 1977 A&M LP 4965  
FRA 1977 A&M LP 985 053  
JPN 1977 A&M LP GP-2026  
NET 1977 A&M LP 28333XOT  
NZ 1977 A&M LP L36030  
JPN 2003 A&M CD UICY-9296 24-bit remaster

 

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