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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Beyond The Beginning CD (album) cover

BEYOND THE BEGINNING

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.79 | 58 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Roll up, roll up, see the show

This lavishly presented double DVD set gathers together some excellent footage of the band from their earliest days (their first real gig at the Isle of Wight festival) through to the trio's final appearance together in 1997.

The track selections are, presumably through necessity, a bit of a mixed bag. We have for example two selections called "Tarkus", but neither is a complete rendition of the suite. Likewise, the pre ELP "Rondo" features twice, but the "Trilogy" album is all but ignored.

Disc 1 comes across as rather fragmented, with favourites such as "Tank" and "Pictures at an exhibition" being ruthlessly edited. On the other hand, the opening "Take a pebble" seems to last for an eternity as the band wander off on a number of tangents. A full version of "Pirates" from the Montreal leg of the orchestra tour is interesting, if only because it demonstrates all too clearly how the band had dropped the ball.

Elsewhere, "Tiger in a spotlight" features a tethered tiger on stage with the band(!), while "Honky Tonk train blues" sees Emerson dueting with the legendary Oscar Peterson creating one of the highlights of the DVD.

Disc 2 features the band's performance at the 1974 "California jam", the audio from which has been previously available for some time on releases such as "Now and then". This set is the more satisfying of the discs, as it effectively offers an ELP gig as it would have been live. The performance includes the now infamous spinning piano sequence.

The presentation is completed by a number of extras, including early rehearsal footage, an interview with synthesiser pioneer Bob Moog, a lengthy documentary on the band and brief footage of the three members previous bands.

The accompanying booklet offers useful commentaries on the origins of the recordings, although it appears to have been compiled before the track listing had been finalised.

In all, a fine audio/visual experience for fans of the band. The quality and availability of material can be a tad frustrating, but that is a minor grumble given the unique nature of much of what is on offer here.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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