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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Nolan/Wakeman - 2002 Hound Of The Baskervilles
Nolan/Wakeman - 2002 Hound Of The Baskervilles

ARTIST: Nolan/Wakeman
ALBUM: Hound Of The Baskervilles
LABEL: Verglas
YEAR: 2002


LINEUP: CAST: Robert Powell - Dr John Watson * Bob Catley - Sir Henry Baskerville * Ashley Holt - Dr James Mortimer * Tracy Hitchings - Beryl Stapleton * Paul Allison - Stapleton * Michelle Young - Laura Lyons * Ian 'Moon' Gould - Seldon the Convict

MUSICIANS: Keyboards - Clive Nolan, Oliver Wakeman * Guitars - Karl Groom, Arjen Lucassen, Peter Banks * Bass - Peter Gee, John Jowitt * Drums - Tony Fernandez * Flute - Eva Abeling * Violin - Jo Greenland

TRACK LISTING: 01 Overture * 02 The Curse Of The Baskervilles * 03 Three Broken Threads * 04 Shadows Of Fate * 05 At Home In The Mire * 06 Run For Your Life * 07 Picture Of A Lady * 08 The Argument * 09 Second Light * 10 Seldon * 11 Death On The Moor * 12 By Your Side * 13 Waiting * 14 Chasing The Hound

Following 1999's musical version of 'Jabberwocky' comes 'Hound Of The Baskervilles' another epic offering from Nolan and Wakeman. It's a very ambitious project featuring an all-star cast. Our journey begins with a keyboard and string based instrumental overture which sets the mood perfectly as it's quite huge but not too bombastic.

The Songs
All of the vocalists here are in fine form, especially Bob Catley, putting in one of best performances in quite a while, so that should please a lot of you. His voice is fantastic on all of his featured performances, but especially so during 'Shadows of Fate' which begins with a rolling piano intro before the guitar-work from Karl Groom kicks in with an 'eastern' riff, reminiscent of Led Zeppelin's classic 'Kashmir'. 'Shadow Of A Lady' sees Bob in a rare duet with Strangers On A Train vocalist Tracy Hitchings. A more than commendable performance also from Paul Allison, about whom, I admit, I know nothing, but after this, I'll be keeping an eye for him in the future. Perhaps the only performer here who seems just a little out of place here is Glass Hammer's Michelle Young. Her performance, though heart-felt, does not have the 'rock' edge of the other voices present. In the past, she has been favourably compared to Kate Bush - when you hear her voice, this will not come as a surprise. This release is musically strong throughout, with many of the musicians - most of whom are from the Verglas stable - turning in first-rate performances. The guitar playing from the three featured guitarists is extremely solid and some (on 'Shadows of Fate' especially) is rather chunky. This comes as quite surprise seeing as how the album, as a whole, was written (obviously based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 100 year old story) and arranged by two master keyboard players, so you'd be forgiven if you have pre-conceived ideas about this being full of classical style keyboards. The album's icing on the cake comes in the form of narration throughout by the actor Robert Powell. Though he does not quite have the huge presence of Richard Burton on Jeff Wayne's musical version of 'The War of the Worlds', his narration is read brilliantly and really helps to give the piece focus.

In Summary
Before hearing 'The Hound of the Baskervilles', I had pre-conceptions. I saw the words 'musical version' and 'Wakeman' on the sleeve and immediately thought of Rick's 'Six Wives of Henry VIII', which was a little unfair, because as far as these kind of things go, 'Baskervilles' is not that pretentious. Granted, it is huge and there are no three minute songs with singalong choruses, but a lot of you will enjoy it, especially those of you who enjoy the dramatic works of the afore-mentioned Jeff Wayne and those you which are fans of Clive Nolan and all featured here. Overall, this has a lot to offer. You don't really need me to tell you whether or not you'll like it - you will have all made up your own minds by now!

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