Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Rick Wakeman The Other Side of Rick Wakeman|
Actor: Rick Wakeman
Director: Robert Garofalo
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Educational
This DVD features Rick Wakeman in an up-close and uproarious stand-up performance filmed live in front of a studio audience. The Grumpy rock legend, composer and raconteur exposes a host of hilarious anecdotes and unknown... more »
Glad to help invest in the Wakeman Retirement Fund
S. Crawford | Bellingham, WA | 09/01/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, Rick's showing his frumpy side here, but I think he's just trying to be real. And earn some income, where he can put together a quick little concert, and generate some additional royalties to keep him comfy as he approaches the "big six-oh". Yes, he does mention the need to support 3 ex-wives on this DVD.
Just acoustic piano, a very nicely miked Yamaha grand. Somewhat disappointingly, the 5.1 mix seems to be just an enhanced (read: Reverb-ed) mix of the stereo mix... it's not like there's audience noises or anything in the rear speakers. There is decent resonance of the entire keyboard range here, and the audio overall has a very warm presence. The video quality is so-so for a new production.
Regarding Wakeman's between-track commentaries, described on the cover notes with adjectives like "uproarious" and "hilarious":
Little "gems" of Yes-isms and Strawbs-isms, mixed in with a lot of toilet humor and a touch of bedroom humor. Naturally, very British, and the Brit audience seems thrilled - although they throw in a few shots of some people in the small studio crowd who appear COMPLETELY bored. I suspect these few malcontents in the audience have no recognition of what Wakeman is performing, and past the halfway mark of the program are definitely ready to go home. Quite a contrast with the others who seem to hinge on Wakeman's every word. It would be nice to hear what Wakeman has to say just the first time you view the DVD, and then to be able to re-play this DVD without his inane little comments, but sorry, you can't do that. The DVD menu does allow you to go either to a "Chapter" - Wakeman's verbal intro, or to a "Track" - the performance of the piece itself. But when you select a "Track", you get to hear the music, then afterward you're launched back into the Wakeman anecdotes preceding the next "Track".
OK, most importantly, the musical performance:
If you want to hear beautiful piano renditions of some great 70's prog-rock music, there are moments of audio ecstasy here. I agree with the previous reviewer, who comments on "And You And I"... the extra chord in the anthem portion adds a lot, and is almost needed on this solo-piano rendition. Wakeman also throws in an odd few measures of a dissonant bridge during the Preacher/Teacher verses. Interestingly, Yes always gave Anderson, Bruford, Howe & Squire credit for the composition of And You And I, but on this DVD Rick is glad to take the honors here of the thematic development of the piece. "And You And I", played here on acoustic piano by Wakeman, is revealed in near-perfection, and differently than you've heard it before. Buy the DVD for this alone, if you can appreciate this.
I also particularly enjoyed the combining of "Wondrous Stories" and "The Meeting". But it gets bumpy when it seems like he misses a beat or two in "The Meeting", and then moves the misstep forward in a strange little syncopation as if it were intentional. Perhaps it's legit, but I can't help but feel Wakeman is just trying to recover from a little blunder. Otherwise, the piece is performed with some sense of rapture, and that's the way it should be played, so it's satisfying.
One other little "criticism" here, and that's an over-abundance of the sustain pedal that gives us a sense of a somewhat mushy Yamaha piano.
The packaging of the DVD is low-budget, with photo images of Wakeman from a more slender and less disheveled era. No liner notes, or anything like that. What you see on the DVD is what you get.
OK, I'm being pretty tough on Wakeman, because he's one of the best in the rock-keyboard realm, so he deserves a discerning review of the details. Overall, "The Other Side of Rick Wakeman" is to be appreciated and enjoyed by any Yes fan who acknowledges the fundamental role Wakeman played throughout the progressive development of a group who "changed the rules" of rock performance. Here and now you see a musician who chooses to not join in on the past decade's Yes concert-performance and tour grind - which, by the way, has turned out some pretty great stuff. Instead, he is satisfying some personal performance-connectivity, and perhaps some checkbook-padding, through smaller projects like this.
I'm the kind of music fan that can watch a good performance or concert DVD repeatedly, over time, as I re-discover little nuances, as well as defining high points. I know I'll be watching this one quite a few times. At a most basic level, it is pianistic showmanship, sometimes a little overblown (after all, what DO you expect from Rick Wakeman?), but always performed with a degree of simple enjoyment that Wakeman will gladly let you share."
Wonderful evening of entertainment
Jeffrey Fields | Dallas, GA United States | 08/28/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you are a Rick Wakeman fan, you will love this DVD. Rick is in front of a small live audience with a Yamaha grand piano. Rick introduces each song with an amusing story relating to the piece. The story may be about what was going on in his life when he first performed the song or about something that happened in the studio. Each piece of music is mesmerizing and a joy to listen to. The "original" version of "And You and I" with the "lost chords" is just wonderful. Rick is still quite the showman and his skills are impeccible.
The only negative would be his apprearance and his language. He looks like he woke up after sleeping in his old clothes and then decided to drive down to the studio to film this DVD. But the clothes do not bother me nearly as much as his language. During his ancedotes, Rick occasionally drops a four letter word or a vulgar term for a female body part. I am definitely now allowing my children watch this."
This is Wakeman in the Raw
David Carlin | Philadelphia, PA USA | 02/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was fortunate to see this tour on it's American side at a place called the Keswick Theater in Glenside PA. Rick was late and he apologized and gave a great show. This DVD is mostly the same exact show I seen. Rick normally prepares the show with his jokes and stories and does leave room for a bit of improvisation with the audience so I believe it worked extreemly well.
One of the main highlights for me was the alternate chord rendition of the Yes song, "And You and I". It was absolutely haunting, but the bandmembers didn't agree to this rendition. Also, during this tour, Rick did not travel with a Piano, but rented them at each show or used the venue's standard piano. At the Keswick Theater, he actually played the old Classic Organ and and it was brilliant. He had did a similar thing at Radio City Music Hall in NYC during Yes's show.
Rick is still detatched from Yes. He never has been trully integrated with them for long period of times because of his side projects and probably just the need to recharge his creative outlet. At the time of making this video, Rick had mentioned he no longer wishes to travel extensively anymore and wants to limit himself to 20-25 performances per year, so who knows if this means a final end with Yes who are gearing up for a world tour later in 2008. There are still questions if he will tour with them.
I recommend this DVD highly. It is definitly Rick in the Raw. Just himself, a Microphone and a Piano. He has enormous wit, musicianship, and always a pleasure to see him perform.
Tasteless humor, but fabulous piano work
Rykre | Carson City, Nevada | 11/06/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
What a crotchety old fart Wakeman has become over the years. Here, you see and hear a man whose found God and has made a few religious albums, but yet he still plays various non-religious and the standards of various classical music. Although he probably has about a hundred albums by now, however, he still knows that the majority of his audience really only recognizes his album works from the 1970's from the A&M years.
In this, almost 2 hour solo performance, he plays mostly his most recognized recordings. He mentions many of the other bands and musicians that he has worked with many years ago (again sticking mostly to his early years), he plays his take on his role with The Strawbs, David Bowie, Cat Stevens, Yes, and his own favored solo works. And wow, check out that potbelly of his. If this video was in 3-D, I'd be afraid I'd be knocked over by his big gut as he turns towards me. He looks like your average everyday street bum, but nobody can defy their age. Rick is up there in his years, as is most all my favorite artists from the 1970's. Many have even died.
The camera work was great while watching his perform. I'm glad the shiny foreboard in front of his keys on his Yamaha Grand Piano acts as a mirror to his piano playing. You see his hands playing very well. In 1975, on his video recording of "Journey to The Centre of the Earth", the camera work sucked. You seldom ever got to see him actually playing. You just see his face with his eyes shut, leaning back as he semi-meditates as he performs.
Anyway, this DVD of "The Other Side of Rick Wakeman" has him intermittently talking a lot, telling a lot of jokes, (mostly bathroom and poo-poo jokes) and telling about some incidences of pre-show events of his past. He says "this is a true story" on many of his jokes but I've heard the "monkey joke" before so I know this wasn't true. Well anyway...
By the way, this DVD was released with a flaw. At 52:41, the DVD will freeze with a buzzing noise (just after he performs "Gone But Not Forgotten"). It's not just your DVD. This happened on both the one that I rented and the one that I bought. So, I would imagine every DVD of this show has this flaw. Anyway...
Rick Wakeman is still my favorite keyboardist, next to Keith Emerson. I finally have all his A&M albums on CD. "White Rock" and "No Earthly Connection" were the ones I've waited the longest for. I got "Lisztomania", "Criminal Record", and "Rhapsodies" as expensive Japanese imports about 20 years ago. I've check out that same expensive CD import store every week for years, hoping that "White Rock" and "No Earthly Connection" will be available on CD someday too. It never came to be until this year. 1981's "The Burning", and 1983's "Gole" finally came out on CD too this year. So, my desired Rick Wakeman collection is finally complete.