Imperial Wizard

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Thompson
Ignoring the fiery breath of punk that laid waste so many of his glam rocking peers, David Essex moved into the late '70s on a wave of musical confidence, readjusting his own early teen appeal for a more adult approach, but without ever falling into the prevalent trap of full-on AOR. Imperial Wizard was released in the wake of his biggest hit in three years, "Oh What a Circus" -- performed in Essex's role of Che Guevara in the stage musical Evita. A number three hit in summer 1978, it succeeded a bunch of 45s that had struggled to make the Top 30, but the album proves that its success was not a fluke. Pre-empting the warm, sax-driven moodiness that would soon bring great ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Dave Thompson
Ignoring the fiery breath of punk that laid waste so many of his glam rocking peers, David Essex moved into the late '70s on a wave of musical confidence, readjusting his own early teen appeal for a more adult approach, but without ever falling into the prevalent trap of full-on AOR. Imperial Wizard was released in the wake of his biggest hit in three years, "Oh What a Circus" -- performed in Essex's role of Che Guevara in the stage musical Evita. A number three hit in summer 1978, it succeeded a bunch of 45s that had struggled to make the Top 30, but the album proves that its success was not a fluke. Pre-empting the warm, sax-driven moodiness that would soon bring great reward to Gerry Rafferty, Imperial Wizard opens with the smooth "Let It Flow" before drifting into a menacing art-funk vibe "Call On Me" and the super-rousing title track that helps dominate the remainder of the album. Elsewhere, Essex even takes on medieval folk song, to firmly establish his all-round musical qualities -- an asset that was to prove of immense importance as the 1980s hove into view. Arguably, the best of his next decade's worth of albums was originally blueprinted here. There are a handful of missteps that prevent Imperial Wizard from truly ascending to the ranks of great Essex albums. But the overall sensation is of a performer who was truly aiming for the long haul, fame and fashion be damned.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/1/2011
  • Label: Glam / 7t's
  • EAN: 5013929051522
  • Catalog Number: 2905152
  • Sales rank: 177,870

Album Credits

Performance Credits
David Essex Primary Artist, Keyboards
Chris Spedding Guitar
Herbie Flowers Bass
Francis Monkman Keyboards
Ray Cooper Percussion
John Fiddy Bass
Ken Freeman Synthesizer
London Philharmonic Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Paul Maguire Keyboards
Trevor Morais Drums
Phil Palmer Guitar
Alan Wakeman Saxophone
Kenney Jones Drums
Barry De Souza Drums
Technical Credits
A. L. Webber Composer
David Essex Composer, Producer, Concept
Mike Batt Arranger, Producer
David Cullen String Arrangements
Laurence Diana Engineer
Paul Hardiman Engineer
Christopher Neil Producer
Alan Wakeman Brass Arrangment
Tim Rice Composer
The Whistlebinkies Contributor
Brian Aris Back Cover Photo
Tony Wright Cover Illustration
Robert Butterworth Engineer
Tim Turan Mastering
Phil Hendriks Liner Notes
Steve Colyer Composer
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