is the third studio album from the English keyboardist and composer The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table 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 in the United States. Billboard 200 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. The album has sold 12 million copies in total. [3 ] [4 ]
King Arthur on Ice [ edit ]
The tour in support of the album included a theatrical production of
King Arthur on Ice, which sold out three performances at Wembley Arena in London, but ultimately lost money. [4 ] The production was ranked No. 79 on "100 Greatest Shocking Moments in Rock and Roll" by [5 ] VH1. [6 ]
Track listing [ edit ]
All tracks and lyrics were written by Wakeman.
Arthur" – 7:26 "
Lady of the Lake" – 0:45 "
Guinevere" – 6:45 "
Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight" – 5:20
Merlin the Magician" – 8:51 "
Sir Galahad" – 5:51 "
The Last Battle" – 9:41
In popular culture [ edit ]
The theme of "Arthur" was used by the
BBC for its election night coverage from 1979 to 1997, and again in 2005. [7 ] The theme of "Arthur" was used by the Cuban TV channel 6 for years, without crediting or paying royalties.
Personnel [ edit ]
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
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 ]