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Rick Wakeman - In The Nick of Time - Live In 2003 CD (album) cover


Rick Wakeman


Symphonic Prog

4.25 | 15 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars The truth is out there

The studio album Out There, released in 2003, is in my opinion one of the very best albums that Rick Wakeman has ever created (outside of Yes). The present live album was recorded on the tour in support of that excellent album. The title In The Nick Of Time refers to the fact that Damian Wilson--who sang lead vocals on the Out There album--decided to leave the band just before the tour was about to commence and thus had to be replaced at the last minute. Thankfully Ashley Holt was able to step in "in the nick of time".

Holt is, of course, a long time associate of Wakeman, having sung on many classic Wakeman albums. Though I do like Holt, I strongly prefer Wilson. The latter singer, perhaps best known from Prog Metal band Threshold and Neo-Prog band Landmarq, is indeed one of my favourite vocalists and he was part of what made Out There such a great album. Here Holt gives his best shot at singing the two best songs from that album (the title track and Cathedral Of The Sky), but when hearing the result it becomes very clear that these songs were in fact written with Wilson's very different voice in mind. Holt is capable and his performance is not bad, but slightly strained.

Sadly there are no recordings of Wilson singing songs from the Out There album live as he left before the tour began, but there are live recordings of him singing for Wakeman on earlier occasions (one example is the brilliant live CD Out Of The Blue which I rated with the full five stars). Nonetheless, it is interesting to hear how Holt was able to tackle the Out There material. Cathedral Of The Sky was included also on the Made In Cuba live DVD, also with Holt on lead vocals, but as far as I know the present album features the only officially released live version of the title track from Out There. Other interesting tracks are Dance Of A Thousand Lights from The Return To The Centre Of The Earth album and White Rock.

We who are fans of Rick Wakeman are really blessed with lots of material, including many fine live albums and videos. When this live album was released 2012 I didn't bother to get it since I was somewhat saturated with Wakeman live releases at that moment. In The Nick Of Time features a similar line-up and a somewhat similar set list to the Made In Cuba live DVD which I already had, so even if I really liked that one I thought that I didn't need this one as well. Well, now some years later I was ready for more Wakeman live and gave this album a spin. And though I would say that it does fall behind the aforementioned Out Of The Blue, it is a very worthy live release in its own right. Personally I would recommend to start with that live CD as well as the Out There studio album, but if you still want more after that then In The Nick Of Time is an excellent addition to your collection.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |


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