PRNewsFoto/UMeFormer Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman will release a new solo album titled Piano Portraits in early 2017 that features covers of a variety of well-known rock and pop songs, including some tunes on which he originally performed.

The record boasts solo piano versions of Yes’ “Wonderous Stories,” The Beatles‘ “Help!” and “Eleanor Rigby,” David Bowie‘s “Life on Mars” and “Space Oddity,” Led Zeppelin‘s “Stairway to Heaven,” Cat Stevens‘ “Morning Has Broken” and 10cc‘s “I’m Not in Love,” as well as classical pieces by Debussy and Tchaikovsky. The virtuoso musician says he was inspired in part to make Piano Portraits in response to the positive reaction to his tribute performance of “Life on Mars” on BBC radio earlier this year after Bowie’s death.

“I’ve been wanting to do a piano album for years and I spent quite a bit of time looking at everything from straight classical pieces to stuff that I’d played on in the past like ‘Morning Has Broken’ and ‘Life on Mars’,” Wakeman explains. “Plus pieces of music that I thought would work really well like ‘Stairway to Heaven’ and classics like ‘Clair de Lune.’ Nearly all of the tracks have a memory for me somewhere down the line and it just seemed to work.”

In addition to “Life on Mars” and “Morning Has Broken,” Rick also contributed his talents to the original versions of “Wonderous Stories” and “Space Oddity.”

Piano Portraits will be released on CD and as a digital download on January 13, and as a two-LP vinyl set on February 3.

You can check out videos of Wakeman’s solo performances of “Help!” and Debussy’s “Clair de Lune” at

Here is the full track list of Piano Portraits:

“Stairway to Heaven”
“Life on Mars”
“I’m Not in Love”
“Wonderous Stories”
“Amazing Grace”
“Swan Lake”
“Morning Has Broken”
“Space Oddity”
“Dance of the Damselflies”
“Clair de Lune”
“I Vow to Thee My Country”
“Eleanor Rigby”

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