I wrote about Tudormania and made a Rick Wakeman reference last Saturday. I guess using The Six Wives of Henry VIII in this feature was written or some such shit.
In a fit of 20th Century Tudormania, Wakeman was inspired in part by the BBC mini-series about the psychopathic Monarch that aired in 1970. He also spent his first tour with Yes plowing through four books about Henry and his crazy court. The result was this 1973 prog-rock instrumental opus, which was commercially successful in both the U.S. and U.K. The critics didn’t care for it, but they felt obligated to deride prog-rock, especially Jann Wenner’s minions at Rolling Stone.
The cover features the prog-rock Liberace strolling past Henry and his doomed spouses. It was designed by Mike Doud who was a prolific rock art director in the 1970’s:
The back cover featured portraits of the Six Wives with capsule biographies. It’s rather hard to read them on this scan:
Below are two variations on the gatefold. The original has track and musician listings and is harder to read than the back cover. Hence these substitutes. These pictures should make the gear obsessed out there-yo, Tommy T-quite happy:
Time for the whole darn LP. I hadn’t heard it in years and it *is* bombastic and somewhat pretentious. Having said that, I still quite like it. I may even have to don a sparkly cape.