Rick Wakeman

An archetypal champion of 1970s prog-rock, Rick Wakeman is instantly identifiable by his flowing blonde hair, banks of keyboards and grandiose classical-jazz-rock fusions. He started playing electric keyboards at the age of 12 and studied piano, clarinet and orchestration at the Royal College of Music, going on to become a session musician. He played Mellotron on David Bowie's A Space Oddity and piano on several other Bowie and Cat Stevens hits before becoming a regular member of the Strawbs in 1970. The following year he joined Yes, working on three of their biggest-selling albums before launching his solo career in flamboyant style with the instrumental concept album The Six Wives Of Henry VIII. It broke into the UK Top 10 album charts and has gone on to sell over 15 million copies. Wakeman continued the thematic theatrical style with Journey To The Centre Of The Earth (1974) and The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table (1975), which was also the subject of an extraordinary concert performed live at London's Empire Pool on ice. He then rejoined Yes and in 1989 linked up with several other ex-Yes members to form Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, Howe, continuing to appear with Yes on and off through the 1990s and 2000s.

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Stations Featuring Rick Wakeman

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