Cost of Living (1983)

Cost of Living

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#Track TitleLength
3Gone But Not Forgotten03:43
4One For The Road04:44
5Bedtime Stories04:23
6Happening Man03:35
7Shakespeare Run03:27
8Monkey Nuts03:26
9Elegy (Grays)08:24
Artist Name Instrument Track (where known)
Rick WakemanKeyboardsAll
Hereward KayeVocalsAll
Jackie McAuleyGuitarAll
John GustafsonBassAll
Robert PowellNarratorAll
Tim RiceLyricsAll
Tony FernandezDrums & PercussionAll
Type Cat No. Label Country Other Title
CassetteCHCMC 63CharismaUK
Vinyl LP205731-320CharismaGermany
Equipment Studio Engineering
  • No info
  • No info
    • Ken Thomas
    • Mark Stent (Asst)
Rick's Perspective
Another nearly album. It has too much variation within the music for me to be really happy about it and again I ended up in a studio that I really didn't like that was picked by the record company at the time and so I couldn't change. There's a mixture of great playing and some very poor playing as well. Most disappointing is the piano sound as the piano in the studio was cheap and nasty. There are a couple of classic tracks on the album though such as Happening Man which I would love to re-record one day.
Wakey's Verdict
If you don't mind skipping a few tracks there are some hidden classics on board this release.
Little Known Trivia
The voice at the beginning of the track Bedtime Stories is that of my son Benjamin who was just 3 at the time! I think he would now like me to remove it!!!!

Robert Nancarrow on 24th July 2014 [Other reviews]

Not one of Rick's better known albums and yet worth the effort of investigation. This is an album that demonstrates his ability to successfully capture a diverse range of sounds and styles in one session. Where else could you experience the sublime beauty of Thomas Gray's opus next to the hilariously funny Monkey Nuts ! One of the more reflective moments is found with Gone But Not Forgotten, a track inspired by the Falklands conflict. The album marked the end of his short lived association with Charisma records and perhaps has failed to secure the recognition it truly deserves. Try it - if you like Rick you won't regret it!

Marcelo Vieira da Silva on 16th July 2004 [Other reviews]

Some of Wakeman´s albums are worth buying just for some of the tracks that are on them. Although some tracks are not really appealing to me, just having the pleasure of listening to "Gone but not forgotten" and "Twijj" is enough for buying this CD. I believe they are masterpieces and great examples of what Rick Wakeman is capable of (and famous for). True pieces of keyboard poetry!

Alan Morgan on 23rd May 2004 [Other reviews]

The high speed start of track one on this album is a bit of a surprise, and when it slows down, it is a bit of a releif. Rick himself is the first to admit that the piano used was a turkey, but my father (who is a fan of all things Wakeman orientated) thinks that this simply fits in very nicely with the concept of the title. There are a couple of real gems on this album, including "Gone but not Forgotten", which is really beautiful, and the closing track with Robert Powell narrating, but overall the consistency is not as good as with other albums. Buy it anyway, because it's a lot better than some stuff you'll hear elsewhere.

Solomon Eagle on 8th January 2003 [Other reviews]

Something of a curio, this. Parts of it are excellent - 'Elegy' (a true 'must-have' for any RW fan), 'Gone But Not Forgotten' and even 'Twij'. The rest is really disposable - Rick in his 'rockin' mode which, to be honest, sounds rather flabby and tired. Certainly, during the 1980s, Rick went through a bit of a tired-old-rocker phase, which alienated a lot of fans; what they liked about his work was his amazing keyboard work and his willingness to produce albums which, although not fashionable, were nevertheless interesting and distinctive. 'Elegy', 'Gone But Not Forgotten' and 'Twij' fall into this category; the rest is rather disposable. For me, this album represents my 'buying a RW LP just for the odd good track' phase; I was willing to do it, but thank God for CDs which mean you can skip the bad stuff (a footnote: we played 'Elegy' at my Father's funeral: I can't think of a more appropriate track for that occasion, nor a better reason to recommend this LP despite its faults).

Bjorn Olaf Syvertsen on 14th October 1999 [Other reviews]

This album could have been "1984 II". Tim Rice has written the lyrics, and the two albums are very similar. If you like one of them, you'll probably also like the other. "Cost of living" also reminds me of "Silent nights". The album is quite good (not quite so good as "1984" but better than "Silent nights") and contains one of Rick's all time classics: "Gone but not forgotten".

Julian Simpson on 23rd July 1999 [Other reviews]

Cost Of Living was the last vinyl album of Rick's that I bought (except for buying Arthur and Voyage on CD) until "Return" was released earlier this year. My dislike for this album was a significant factor in not buying another. However I recently found a copy of CoL on CD and decided to purchase it - surprising due to what I said at the start of this review! My only good memory of Cost Of Living was Elegy (a beautiful musical setting to Thomas Gray's poem of that name) - I don't even remember liking "Gone But Not Forgotten" at that time! I was very pleasantly surprised when I played this album again - first time since buying it all those years ago! Sure there are some weaker tracks - but I really like the majority. It will certainly get played more than once every 16 years in future!

Jon Hinchliffe on 15th September 1997 [Other reviews]

I own nearly all of Rick albums on CD and this is the only one I find tortuous to listen to (well maybe Rhapsodies as well). Rick completely missed my wave length on this. Every other track is an awful vocal one. The gentler tracks are more listenable but what was he doing on Bedtime Stories?. The one redeeming feature of the album is Gone But not Forgotten. Fortunately I prefer the recorded version on Greatest Hits. I suspect a lot of people will like Elegy though.