Rick Wakeman to release brand-new album based on the planet Mars

19 June 2020
By Ellie Palmer
‘The Red Planet’ will be available in September 2020

Piano legend Rick Wakeman is gearing up to release a new album later this year – a progressive rock album.

It’s been a while since the piano legend last released an album of this kind, and fans certainly won’t be disappointed with ‘The Red Planet’.

The new album is inspired, of course, by the planet Mars. Composed over the past three years in Wakeman’s traditional way of working, namely by sitting at the piano every day to work on ideas for new music and to hone ideas for future live performances, it was during these sessions that Wakeman was inspired to write the rich material for ‘The Red Planet’.

He was further spurred on to record the album, having noted that during his 2019 ‘Grumpy Old Rockstar’ tour in the USA, request after request would come in asking for keyboard orientated prog rock numbers.

The album theme grew out of Wakeman’s long time fascination with all things connected to space and space exploration. He is proud to count many astronauts as friends and has a long-standing association with NASA and also the STARMUS events that happen biannually.

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Rick Wakeman has already recorded a few albums with space connections, the most recent being ‘Out There’ and previous to that, ‘2000AD into the Future’ and ‘No Earthly Connection’. Both ‘Out There’ and ‘2000AD into the Future’ have been sent up in space on NASA missions. That’s not to mention his legendary collaboration with David Bowie on ‘Life on Mars’.

‘The Red Planet’ is an album of which Wakeman is immensely proud. He notes: “It has achieved everything I set out to achieve plus so much more”.

Rick appeared on the cover of issue 95 of Pianist.

Main image: © Rick Wakeman