Taken from a particularly good album ("Rick Wakeman's Criminal Record"), this 12 minute instrumental track is the quintessential Wakeman's sound. Choir, pipe organ and assorted keys provide the bombastic side of Rick, while the piano and some lighter arrangements represent his ironic and intimate side. Four different themes follow one another and build up a real cathedral of music, rising its spires up to the sky and sounding out loud its bells.
The "Criminal Record" includes Judas Iscariot
and songs for other famous rogues.
In particular, the first theme - kind of a keyboards riff, similar to a Pink Floyd's bass line from "Echoes", then reproduced in perfect Wakeman's style by Andrew Lloyd Webber - is strong and suggestive and so is the cantato performed by the choir in the middle of the song. But I'm in love with the sweet melody dominating the second half of this "Judas Iscariot" and adding milder feelings to such a classical architecture. When I listen to this song and to many other ones from Rick's abundant catalogue, I know I'll never be in the (alas) large number of his detractors.