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Softsword: King John and the Magna Charter

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Album Review

Based on music Wakeman wrote for the finale of a Dickens Festival in Rochester-upon-Medway, England, this is an unclassifiable melange of an album, stylistically similar to Phantom Power or Time Machine. If the songs fit into a storyline, this is not explained in the liner notes. There are songs based on historical topics (but with lyrics grounded in modern idiom), sad and pleading love songs, and several instrumentals, a couple of which feature some good keyboard playing.


Born: 18 May 1949 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the premier rock keyboardists of the progressive era, Rick Wakeman was born in Perivale, Middlesex, England, in 1949. His interest in music manifested itself very early, and from the age of seven he studied classical piano. At the age of 14, he joined a local band, Atlantic Blues, the same year he left school to enroll in the Royal College of Music. He had his eye on a career as a concert pianist, but Wakeman was dismissed from the college after it became clear that he preferred playing in...
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