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Rick Wakeman


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London, United Kingdom (18 May 1949 – present)

Richard Christopher Wakeman (born 18 May 1949 in Perivale, London) is an English keyboard player best known as the keyboardist for progressive rock group Yes. Originally a classically trained pianist, he was a pioneer in the use of electronic keyboards and in the use of a rock band in combination with orchestra and choir. He purchased his first electronic keyboard, a Minimoog, from the actor Jack Wild. Wakeman was able to buy it for half the regular selling price because Wild thought it did not work as it only played one note at a time. He hosts a regular radio show on Planet Rock.

Wakeman attended Drayton Manor Grammar School. He initially studied piano, clarinet, orchestration and modern music at the Royal College of Music, but he left of his own accord after a year and a half in favour of work as a session musician.

In 1970, Wakeman played with Strawbs and was an active studio musician, playing with such artists as David Bowie, Cat Stevens and Al Stewart, notably playing piano on both Bowie’s Life on Mars? and Morning Has Broken by Cat Stevens He joined Yes in 1971, after keyboardist Tony Kaye was asked to leave the band because of his refusal to play anything more than the organ. His first album with the band was Fragile released 1971 in the UK and 1972 in the US, and very nearly his last was Tales from Topographic Oceans, released in 1973. He also played on the studio album Close to the Edge (his favourite Yes album) and his live performances with the group were released as Yessongs. He left the band following the Tales from Topographic Oceans tour.


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  • OG-Gurda

    first album is super sick.

    18 Jun 4:15pm Reply
  • Damian808

    REVIEW: Rick Wakeman - Journey To The Centre of The Earth (30 April, 2014) 30 April, 2014 - Forty years after recording Journey To The Centre of The Earth, Rick Wakeman and his band(s) are performing the prog-rock classic on tour.

    2 May 10:02am Reply
  • felanor


    23 Feb 12:46pm Reply
  • onthewall2983 Please vote this up.

    27 Jun 2013 Reply
  • songfactslastfm

    "I believe you make music for the beauty of your soul, your realization of life, and the joy of making music." - Jon Anderson of Yes talks about the spiritual inspirations behind the likes of "And You And I," "Long Distance Runaround" and "Starship Troopers," which Anderson thinks of as his "search for truth and search for an understanding of what God truly is." Anderson also speaks of his return to the band in the 1980s, when Yes became unlikely MTV stars, all thanks to "Owner Of A Lonely Heart":

    21 Jun 2013 Reply
  • appletree19

    without Rick, YES music is lacking in a gorgeous mood. He is so talented player.

    14 Apr 2013 Reply
  • mfried055

    Long-time favorites from a modern day keyboard whiz.

    20 Mar 2013 Reply
  • dawoodb

    keyboard God.

    11 Mar 2013 Reply
  • kattastroff

    bought the vinyl of Journey yesterday at an used records store for about US$5... best 5 dollars ever spent in my life

    8 Mar 2013 Reply
  • crownanchor

    He's better solo than with the band....

    2 Feb 2013 Reply
  • kevlarthian

    Me at 15: "Oh Rick Wakeman looks like an elf!" Friend: "Yes, but not so much as that guy from Yes." Me: "No, Rick Wakeman is more elvish." Friend:"No way, the guy from Yes is more. I forgot his name..."

    15 Dec 2012 Reply
  • cgovier280

    I have all those albums + more.. Excellent..>>

    27 Nov 2012 Reply
  • wendell3

    Henry VIII and Criminal Record, definitely FTW.

    28 Sep 2012 Reply
  • Muldwych

    Rick *is* the Prog God - and long may he continue to prove it!

    7 Sep 2012 Reply
  • osmark

    v yeah

    7 Sep 2012 Reply
  • AmiRoses

    Prog God Award at the 2012 Progressive Rock Music Awards

    7 Sep 2012 Reply
  • ProgShine

    his new live album 'In The Nick Of Time', recorded during Out There tour is simply great!!!

    31 Jul 2012 Reply
  • doomwaves

    Bought "Myths & Legends..." at a used record store for a buck this weekend... Sweet score...

    20 Jun 2012 Reply
  • tuo_

    Rick played in Black Sabbath's Sabbath Bloody Sabbath -album and it sounds great indeed. Nowdays his son Adam plays in Sabbath's background band.

    23 May 2012 Reply
  • lter__Impius

    I never really got into Yes but I'm enjoying "Journey to the Centre of the Earth", "The Myths And Legends Of King Arthur And The Knights Of The Round Table" and "Return to the Centre of the Earth". Hooray!

    14 May 2012 Reply
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