The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
|The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table|
|Studio album by Rick Wakeman|
|Recorded||16 October 1974 – 10 January 1975
|Rick Wakeman chronology|
The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is the third 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.
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.
Release and reception
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. The album has sold 12 million copies in total.
King Arthur on Ice
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. The production was ranked No. 79 on "100 Greatest Shocking Moments in Rock and Roll" by VH1.
All tracks and lyrics were written by Wakeman.
- Side A
- "Arthur" – 7:26
- "Lady of the Lake" – 0:45
- "Guinevere" – 6:45
- "Sir Lancelot and the Black Knight" – 5:20
- Side B
- "Merlin the Magician" – 8:51
- "Sir Galahad" – 5:51
- "The Last Battle" – 9:41
In popular culture
- The theme of "Arthur" was used by the BBC for its election night coverage from 1979 to 1997, and again in 2005.
- The theme of "Arthur" was used by the Cuban TV channel 6 for years, without crediting or paying royalties.
- 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
- Allmusic review
- publisher= Rick Wakeman's Communications Centre "The Myths & Legends of King Arthur & The Knights of the Round Table (1975)". Retrieved 2 March 2010.
- Live on the Test (1994) liner notes.
- John Bungey (20 December 2008). "Prog Rock Britannia celebrates the men in loon pants". The Times. Retrieved 2 March 2011.
- Jeb Wright (2009). "Henry at the Hampton: An Exclusive Interview with Rick Wakeman". Classic Rock Revisited. Retrieved 17 December 2009.[dead link]
- "100 Most Shocking Moments in Rock & Roll". Retrieved 17 December 2009. Missing or empty
- "WORKING TITLES: TV Cream's guide to the best (and worst) TV opening sequences". TV Cream. Retrieved 17 December 2009.