Reviews by Ron Grech

Reviews by Ron Grech

Review of Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record submitted on 27th August 2002

I heard this album for the first time today. I literally had tears in my eyes listening to Birdman of Alcatraz. What a wonderful collection of music. This album is as good, maybe even better than Six Wives of Henry VIII.

Review of Wakeman & Cousins - Hummingbird submitted on 28th October 2009

With the exception of the slightly more aggressive opening track, I would describe the music on this album as predominantly understated. That is consistent with the music Dave Cousins and the Strawbs have released in recent years. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It just means those seeking bombast won't find it here. I like the fact Cousins and Wakeman each take turns contributing a track - sometimes a Cousins piece followed by an instrumental - which ensures an element of variety throughout this album. One of the highlights for me is "Higher Germanie" which is a traditional tune the Strawbs performed live in their early days but the song never appeared on any of those early albums.

Review of The Heritage Suite submitted on 26th December 2009

Surely this is the antidote for those who are wary of wandering through a minefield of Wakeman’s lesser-known works – particularly for listeners who have had issues with certain vocalists or cheesy-sounding keyboards. In this instance, Rick performs alone on piano, all instrumental, all original works. Rest assured, this is not sleepy music. The tempo is varied. The playing at times beautiful and restrained, other times deft and aggressive – providing the full range one expects to hear on a good Rick Wakeman album. This is an album that should be spoken of in the same breath as Six Wives of Henry VIII, Journey To The Centre of the Earth and Criminal Record – ranking among his best.