White Rock (1977)
|In many ways another album ahead of its time, mainly due to the tremendous foresight of the late Michael Samuelson who produced the film of the Winter Olympics in 1976 and decided that he was fed up with hearing orchestral music or brass band music on sports films and that it was time for rock and roll to make an entry. By telling me this was what he wanted he gave me the opportunity to pave the way for all sports films from that day on, and all television sport, to look at music differently.
|The percussion on this album is outstanding. Remember there were no boxes of tricks in those days. What you hear is what was played. All credit to Tony Fernandez.
|Little Known Trivia
|Throughout many of the sessions sat a young very beautiful 16 year old girl who was the daughter of Michael Samuelson and who wanted to be ballet dancer. She ended up going into films and television and is best known for her role as Fallon in Dynasty. Her name, Emma Samms.
Criag on 1st June 2017 [Other reviews]
Definitely worth having in the collection - some truly mesmerizing moments. I saw the film in the theatre when it was released, mainly so I could enjoy the soundtrack, which does go great with the images.
Steve Phelan on 18th October 2008 [Other reviews]
The more I listen to this album, the more I realize how far ahead of his time he was back in the 70's. Solid from top to bottom White Rock to Ice Run, this I think, was the most underrated album Rick released on the A & M label. Who would have thought back in 1976 that Rick would grow into being a Grumpy Old Rock Star?
Fernando Lantery on 13th August 2005 [Other reviews]
For me, this album is great, it’s not in all albums of Wakeman that we find cool music like Montezuma's Revenge, White rock and The Shoot. They are very good, but Montezuma’s is terrific, it should be replayed, because Rick has never played something so simple and nice, White Rock is a big amazingly fast Moog solo, very funny at all, and The Shoot, its a very different music with incredible basses (synth basses) and a strong melody interpreted with a lot of different sounds, I think it should be replayed too! After the Ball is beautiful. Apart from that, I don't know what a piece like Lax'x is doing in this album, it’s very strange. The first eight albums made by Wakeman are incredible (except for Piano Vibrations that was not made by him, only interpreted, but it is good too) and this is one of them, everybody should listen to it!
Adriano Beltrami on 4th May 2003 [Other reviews]
White Rock was my first Rick’s album and in spite having got it nearly twenty-five years ago, it’s listening still arises powerful emotions. Luckily enough recently I’ve laid my hands on a CD version (Thanks Mr. Bartosik)because the original Album was completely worn-out. The main theme is a never-ending solo, played full steam ahead and it’s a perfect example of Rick’s dazzling dexterity with the Moogs. Searching for Gold is pure and delicate whilst The Loser and After the Ball blend together Steinway Grand Piano and electronic keyboards with a result which is beyond words. The Shoot is energetic and Lax’x surprises with all its variations of sounds and directions. Ice Run closes the album, and starts in an introspective mood that towards the end changes to a rocky organ. Needless to say, here and there on Side One, there are some fine touches of Choir, just for a good measure. According to Rick’s words on his autobiography (Say Yes), the album was a blend of synthesized rock and acoustic melodies and it got excellent reviews at the time. The success wasn’t by chance though. In spite of not being a super-production like the epics Journey to The Center of The Earth and King Arthur, White Rock has an atmosphere and textures of sounds and melodies that are unique and thus wonderful.
Tim Boudewijn van der Wart on 30th March 2002 [Other reviews]
Yet another great masterpiece from the maestro. The Loser is the one of the most beautiful Wakeman tracks ever, and White Rock is the song the mini-moog was probably invented for! Lax’x is a very abstract and complex composition, very good though. Searching for gold is also very good, it has a catchy chorus; the entire album can be called brilliant if you ask me. There is lots of piano and organ use, also is there a good choir. Among the fast rock pieces there are very beautiful piano compositions enhanced with synths Rick does so amazingly well. In my list the album ranks probably at number two. A pity it was never released on cd, such a masterpiece must be possible to play always, and not to be worn out till here are no copies left anymore.
Lee Lucas on 3rd March 2001 [Other reviews]
How anyone can claim the title track to be the bad I will never know. It is one of Rick's finest Moog presentations. The whole album is solid, there is not a bad track on the album. And yes, tracks like Lax'x do sound like Toppographic Oceans by Yes, cause Rick is using the same keyboard. This album is amongst the finest Rick as ever done and the following album Criminal Records is probably the last desent album Rick ever made of studio work. After which is writing went to pot. The best album after this was a live album, which is Live At Hammersmith.
Tony Elvers on 25th November 2000 [Other reviews]
What can one say about an album that truly captures the "essence" of the winter olympics. When one hears this album, one is transported to the crystal clear mountains of Austria and flies down the slopes with the competitors. White Rock is the "white" stuff!!
Max Hult on 29th February 2000 [Other reviews]
Not so great, but containing a few goodies... the song "White Rock" is one of the worst Wakeman songs I've heard... White Rock needs to be re-released on CD, so as to allow some of the tracks to be programmed out... I believe you should see the movie along with the music, to get the point, though i can't find it anywhere...
Ken Pomarico on 14th December 1999 [Other reviews]
Aons ago, I performed 'White Rock' in a H.S. talent show with the music lab's ARP Odyssey, going nuts with the sample/hold generator half way through the song and flailing it about in a psychotic freny. The crowd went nuts. A great memory! Thanks, Rick!
Tree on 17th September 1999 [Other reviews]
This still remains as a big hole in my collection after going CD only 15 years ago. It is very sad that this hasn't been repackaged. They should have made a double CD album out of it with White Rock II. Ranks right up with Rhapsodies as all time favorite Wakeman albums.
Dug on 14th January 1999 [Other reviews]
Being under the influence of Yes and Strawbs, I searched high and low for this album. I found it years later in a basement discount rack. This was probably my first attempt at listening to serious classical instramental music. Close you eyes, you can feel the luge.
Bjorn Olaf Syvertsen on 4th December 1997 [Other reviews]
This album contains some good pieces, but I can't ever begin to understand why on earth the title track "White Rock" is one of the most popular songs on this site! I think this is one of the weakest parts on this album! "Searching for Gold" is good, though, and "After the Ball", which reminds me very much of "Liebestraume" (see Lisztomania). Except for the first track, the b-side is good all the way through. This "sports album" is definitely better than the next one, "G'ole".
Melvin H. Wilson, Jr. on 15th July 1997 [Other reviews]
Although it is the sound track from the movie of the Winter Olympics, "White Rock" is much more than just a sound track album. It is an emotional trip thru feelings of triumph and defeat. The title track, "White Rock", is a busy romp with Rick playing wonderful leads accompanied by grooving percussion. "Searching For Gold" is a very beautiful, haunting piece that brings on the feeling of hope and achievment. "After the Ball" a classical movement with touches of sadness and perhapes loneliness; and "Ice Run" that sounds very similar to a "Yes" song. This album is definitely a BUY IT, but it nearly impossible to find for only 1000 copies exist on compact disc.