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Crimes of Passion (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

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Album Review

For the score to Ken Russell's 1984 erotic thriller Crimes of Passion, Rick Wakeman enlisted a couple of his usual co-conspirators in Strawbs members Tony Fernandez (drums) and Charles Conk (bass). Guitarist Mike Fenn (Mike Oldfield, 10CC) and session saxophonist B***o Acock are also given a fair amount of work. Incorporating Dvorak's 9th symphony throughout — rather misleadingly, neither the sleeve notes nor writing credits do anything to indicate this — the score to Crimes of Passion is generally upbeat synth rock without a great deal of flashy showmanship from the composer. The main selling point for non-Wakeman fanatics is "It's a Lovely Life," a driving hard rock song featuring Scottish belter Maggie Bell. She's also featured on the closing "Dangerous Woman," a relatively contemporary pop song with surprisingly little of Wakeman's imprint. As with most synth-based scores to '80s films, the disc doesn't translate very well outside of the context of the film. The only track that doesn't sound completely weighed down by '80s production values is "Stax," a slow-motion instrumental with overt indebtedness to the label of the same name. If you can picture some of those wildly surrealistic (and occasionally silly) scenes while merely listening to the score, you're all the better for it.


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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Crimes of Passion (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture), Rick Wakeman
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