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R&D MultimediaFormer Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman will release a new prog-rock album titled The Red Planet on April 3.

The record features eight new musical pieces, and, according to a press release, “harks back to Wakeman’s critically acclaimed [1973 solo] debut album The Six Wives of Henry VIII.” That release showcased heavy keyboards and focused on a central theme.

The 70-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer recorded the album with a collective of musicians dubbed The English Rock Ensemble, which features guitarist Dave Colquhoun, bassist Lee Pomeroy and drummer Ash Soan.

Pomeroy also has been a touring member of Yes Featuring Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman and Jeff Lynne’s ELO, while Soan has played drums with Squeeze, Del Amitri and many other artists.

The Red Planet will be available as a two-LP set and a CD. The first 1,000 units of the vinyl version will be signed and numbered, and will feature 180-gram red-vinyl discs, as well as a “pop-up” album cover.

The first 2,000 units of the CD edition also will be signed and numbered and will feature a similar “pop-up” cover.

Wakeman and The English Rock Ensemble will be headlining U.K. magazine HRH’s Prog IX concerts on March 28 in London and March 29 in Sheffield, U.K. Rick then will host an intimate playback event for The Red Planet on April 4 at the National Space Centre in Leicester, U.K.; for full details, visit

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