Rick Wakeman’s 1984

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After releasing as a solo artist such rock-literary adaptations as 1974’s Journey to the Center of the Earth and the following year’s The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Wakeman turned Orwell’s classic into a rock opera. The 1981 production is an extravaganza of musical excess, with lyrics and vocals by Tim Rice, riveting performances by Chaka Khan…and Wakeman’s former Yes bandmate Jon Anderson, and eclectic orchestral instrumentation woven in with Wakeman’s battery of keyboards and synthesizers. The record has become a fan favorite and Allmusic describes it as one of Wakeman’s “most well-rounded albums.” Click through for more, including video.

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