Oliver Wakeman (YES, Strawbs) reunites with Clive Nolan (Pendragon, Arena) after 20 years to issue a 3CD Box Set – Tales By Gaslight featuring remastered versions of their ‘future prog classics’ Jabberwocky and The Hound Of The Baskervilles along with a new disc Dark Fables.
A lyric video for the new track, Why Do You Hate Me? from Dark Fables, is available to view below. The track is based around the confrontation between Frankenstein’s monster and his maker, Dr Frankenstein who is disowning him. Oliver says: Why Do You Hate Me? is a powerful song with an overarching theme of needing to be wanted and loved. Essentially a song for the disadvantaged and marginalised, a theme many people will be able to relate to”. Why Do You Hate Me? features Oliver and Clive in their tradition keyboard roles, they are joined by Paul Manzi (The Sweet) on vocals and David Mark Pearce (Monroe’s Thunder) on Guitar.
Jabberwocky, released in 1999, was based on the famous Lewis Carroll poem. It was followed by The Hound of The Baskervilles (2002), inspired by the Sherlock Holmes novel penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The project was always intended to be a trilogy of musical interpretations of literary classics, but an album inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was shelved because of a lack of record company funding. This box set package also includes a third disc, featuring previously unreleased pieces that were intended to complete the trilogy. This third disc, Dark Fables, contains over 30 minutes of music conceived for the abandoned Frankenstein album.
Unusually for the time, the first two albums featured a host of guest performances, including narration by Wakeman’s father Rick and actor Robert Powell. Former YES guitarist, the late Peter Banks, Magnum vocalist Bob Catley and singer Tracy Hitchings appeared on both albums. Ayreon mastermind Arjen Lucassen lent his talent to The Hound of the Baskervilles along with members from the bands IQ and Threshold. The unique artwork was created by Rodney Matthews for the original Jabberwocky release. Peter Pracownik was the creativity behind The Hound of The Baskervilles artwork 20 years ago and has returned to this trilogy by lending his talents to the new Dark Fables artwork.
In keeping with the spirit of the two previous albums, the new recordings feature the talents of, amongst others, Gordon Giltrap, Paul Manzi (Arena, Oliver Wakeman Band, Sweet) Andy Sears (Twelfth Night) and David Mark Pearce (Oliver Wakeman Band). Also included is an original reading of the Jabberwocky poem by Rick Wakeman.
The Tales By Gaslight box set contains 3 CDs each with 16-page booklets including lyrics, previously unseen art work and many stories behind the creativity from both Wakeman and Nolan. The first 250 box sets will also include a limited edition numbered art print of the box set cover signed by Clive Nolan and Oliver Wakeman. Tales By Gaslight will be released by Burning Shed on 23rd April. Pre-order Tales By Gaslight
About Oliver Wakeman
Eldest son of prog legend Rick, Wakeman filled the keyboard role, once held by his father, with YES from 2008 to 2011. His work with YES includes the triple live album In The Present – Live From Lyon, Fly From Here and the From A Page box set featuring recordings from his time in the band and released in 2019. During his tenure with YES, Wakeman also toured and recorded as a member of The Strawbs.
Wakeman’s debut album (1997) Heaven’s Isle was inspired by the island of Lundy, and he has since released a number of solo and Oliver Wakeman Band albums. He has also released several collaborations with renowned musicians, including Steve Howe, band mate to both Oliver and his father in YES for The Three Ages of Magick album, as well as uniting with another guitar legend Gordon Giltrap for the award-winning Ravens & Lullabies album, both of which are set to be part of an upcoming box set.
About Clive Nolan
Aged just sixteen, multi-instrumentalist Nolan became the youngest musician (at that time) to gain an A.L.C.M. composition diploma from the London College of Music. At university he studied composition, orchestration, musical arrangement and conducting, gaining a BMus and MMus. He has played a prominent role in the development of progressive music, as a member of Pendragon since 1986 and as a member of Shadowland (1992 – present), Strangers on A Train (1993 – 1994) and by forming his own band Arena in 1995.
Nolan’s interest in rock opera extends beyond his collaborations with Wakeman. In 2008 he wrote She, based upon the novel by Sir H Rider Haggard, and two musicals Alchemy and King’s Ransom. This year will also see the release of a new ‘Viking Inspired’ album Song of the Wildlands, as well as the new Arena album The Theory of Molecular Inheritance.