Rick Wakeman – Christmas Variations Re-issue: Album Review

Rick  Wakeman sheds his glossy wizard cloak for the organist’s cassock. This Deluxe reissue of  The Christmas  Variations adds much-needed festive spirit to your seasonal celebrations.

Release date:  Available now!

Label: Cleopatra Records

Format: digital, digipak CD and a glorious 2LP vinyl

What a delightful album. If you thought that you’d heard every version of our traditional carols possible, break out the scented cinnamon candles and relax to these splendid warm-hearted variations.

The album, re-issued after 20 years, comes with new artwork and includes 2 bonus tracks: Silent Prayer and although not in my book a seasonal carol (more ‘for all seasons’) Amazing Grace. Nevertheless, the inclusion of this stirring live recording is poignant.

All these interpretations are loyal to the original melody but the revitalised instrumentation provides a refreshing, pleasant, seasonal soundtrack to the festivities. Christian Awake Salute The Happy Morn, the only non-traditional track blends in so succinctly you’d be convinced it was. 

The tracklist might read like a typical carol service hymn sheet but Rick Wakeman adds warmth and colour to all of them with his intricate keyboard variations. There’s some refashioning in tempo and intros, increasing grandeur and interest with his synth and multi keyboard expertise.

So whether you are wrapping presents, writing out cards or burning the turkey, warm yourself with these festive favourites. These variations will complement your festive preparations and celebrations.

Rick Wakeman online: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Youtube / buy on Bandcamp

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