Rick Wakeman -
Fields Of Green

(CD 1996/2014, 63:36, Esoteric RecordingsECLEC2461)

The tracks:
  1- Election 97/Arthur(3:05)
  2- Starship Trooper/Wurm(12:21)
  3- The Promise Of Love(6:15)
  4- The Spanish Wizard(6:32)
  5- The Never Ending Road(8:57)
  6- The Fighter(5:28)
  7- Tell Me Why(5:11)
  8- The Rope Trick(3:38)
  9- The Nice Man(8:24)
10- Fields Of Green(3:41)

Website      Esoteric Recordings

Initially Fields Of Green was released in 1996; it's one of Wakeman's less known recordings. So, the question is: does the prog world need a remastered version of this album? Well, I have mixed feelings about it, because there are some tracks I really love, for instance the two instrumental pieces The Spanish Wizard and The Rope Trick featuring great Hammond work by the master himself and excellent guitar work by Fraser Thorneycroft-Smith. The opening track Election 97/Arthur is an instrumental song as well with lots of orchestral passages and of course the brilliant melody of King Arthur.

However, The Promise Of Love, The Never Ending Road, Tell Me Why and the title track are all too pop-like and sweet mainly due to Chrissie Hammond's distinctive vocals, which are actually a kind of horror to me! Last but not least is the reissue of the Yes classic Starship Trooper, which in my view is an absolute failure, again because of Hammond's vocals. So, are five out of ten good songs enough for you as a listener? Please, judge for yourselves!

**+ Martien Koolen (edited by Peter Willemsen)

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