42. Rick Wakeman – The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (1975)

OK, at this point I think I need to accept that I have fallen too far behind to catch up, and that my grand project of posting 100 songs in 100 days is just not going to fly. But I figure that I can still hit 75 songs (or so) before January 5, and then maybe finish off the remainder of the list when you guys are here. No big deal.

Come to think of it, this might be a good opportunity to reiterate one of the key points that students studying abroad should always keep in mind: when you’re traveling, things often don’t go exactly as planned; but things usually work out reasonably well anyways. In London, we’ll undoubtedly face a number of situations where things go wrong — trains will be late, or guest speakers will cancel, or tickets will sell out. Yesterday, for example, nearly two million public workers in the UK went on strike for the day, and everyone had to adjust their plans accordingly. When things like this happen, we can either get pissed off and grumpy, or else we can accept it and move on. I vote for the latter.

And this brings us to today’s song. When I think of big ideas going horribly, horribly wrong, Rick Wakeman is one of the first name that springs to mind. Now, I’ve said before that prog rock was pretty nerdy, but the nerdiest prog band of all was Yes, and the nerdiest member of Yes was keyboardist Rick Wakeman. This is a guy, after all, who in 1973 put out a concept album of six keyboard suites inspired by the six wives of Henry VIII.

But that was nothing compared to what he did in 1975, when he wrote The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table — a rock opera which he performed at Wembley Stadium not only with a full orchestra and choir, but with the full cast ON ICE.

I am not making this up.

Why did punk happen? Because something had to make this stop.

Rick Wakeman

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One thought on “42. Rick Wakeman – The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (1975)

  1. annagreenwood says:

    Noooo! Don’t give up! Just throw us a couple week of youtube clips, no explanation. You can DO it!

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