Tribute to the Beatles CD
Consisting of 11 Beatles covers, this album found Rick leading a small ensemble (guitar, bass, drum programming) through a magical mystery tour of his own, from a fleet-fingered rendition of Norwegian Wood to a haunting take on The Fool On The Hill.
A baroque rearrangement of Eleanor Rigby is where the whole project began: stuck in soundcheck hell in Buxton Opera House in 1988, Wakeman was forced to play indefinitely while technicians fixed a problem with the venue’s PA system. Ad hoc renditions of everything from Laurel & Hardy cues to the Monty Python’s Flying Circus theme tune filled the time, and then Wakeman settled on Eleanor Rigby.
After playing it once through, Wakeman returned to the song again and again – now in the style of George Gershwin, now as a Mozart piece, now a Sex Pistols rant. When he reimagined it in the style of Prokofiev, his sound engineer told him, “Tidy that up and put it in the set tonight, and it’ll bring the house down.” It did, launching a much-loved tradition of Wakeman’s live shows – and, eventually, bringing the world this tribute to the Fab Four.
NORWEGIAN WOOD | YOU’VE GOT TO HIDE YOUR LOVE AWAY | THE FOOL ON THE HILL | ELEANOR RIGBY | COME TOGETHER | WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS | WE CAN WORK IT OUT | THE HELP TRILOGY: QUARTET/HELP/QUARTET – REPRISE | THINGS WE SAID TODAY | BLACKBIRD | SHE’S LEAVING HOME