The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table

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The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Studio album by Rick Wakeman
Released April 1975
Recorded 16 October 1974 – 10 January 1975
Morgan Studios
(London, England)
Genre Progressive rock
Length 44:57
Label A&M Records
Producer Rick Wakeman
Rick Wakeman chronology
Journey to the Centre of the Earth
(1974)
Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
(1975)
Lisztomania
(1975)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is the second studio album from the English keyboardist and composer Rick Wakeman. Released in April 1975 on A&M Records, it is a concept album based on the legends of King Arthur and the Round Table.

Recording[edit]

Much of the album was written while Wakeman, at 25 years old, recovered from his first of three minor heart attacks at Wexham Park Hospital. After a specialist advised him to stop playing and retire, he ignored it, and wrote "The Last Battle" on the same night.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

Upon its release in April 1975, the album peaked at number 2 on the UK Albums Chart and number 21 on the Billboard 200 in the United States. King Arthur became Wakeman's third consecutive gold album to be certified by the Recording Industry Association of America, and was also certified gold in Brazil, Japan and Australia.[3] The album has sold 12 million copies in total.[4]

King Arthur on Ice[edit]

The tour in support of the album included King Arthur on Ice, three sold out theatrical performances on ice at Wembley Arena in London.[4] Despite sources claiming Wakeman went bankrupt following the shows, he never did, though he did lose money.[5] The event came in at No. 79 on "100 Greatest Shocking Moments in Rock and Roll" by VH1.[6]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks and lyrics were written by Wakeman.

Side A
  1. "Arthur" – 7:26
  2. "Lady of the Lake" – 0:45
  3. "Guinevere" – 6:45
  4. "Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight" – 5:20
Side B
  1. "Merlin the Magician" – 8:51
  2. "Sir Galahad" – 5:51
  3. "The Last Battle" – 9:41

In popular culture[edit]

  • The theme of "Arthur" has been used by the BBC since 1979 (except 2001 and 2010) for its election night coverage.[7]
  • The theme of "Arthur" was used by the Cuban TV channel 6 for years, without crediting or paying royalties.[8]

Personnel[edit]

Musicians
  • Rick Wakeman – synthesisers, keyboards, grand piano
  • Gary Pickford-Hopkins – lead vocals
  • Ashley Holt – lead vocals
  • Geoff Crampton – lead and acoustic guitars
  • Roger Newell – bass guitar
  • Barney James – drums
  • John Hodgson – percussion
  • The English Chamber Choir
Production
  • Terry Taplin – narrator
  • Guy Protheroe – choirmaster
  • Paul Tregurtha – engineer
  • Jeremy Stenham – assistant engineer
  • David Katz – orchestral co-ordination
  • Wil Malone – orchestral arrangement
  • David Measham – conductor

References[edit]