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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Best of the Bootlegs CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

2.40 | 21 ratings

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2 stars The best of the bootlegs from the Manticore vaults? Me thinks they should have been left there!

As a rule I am not a fan of bootlegs. One reason is the 'theft' to the artist's work; the second because of the often poor quality of the sound. Against my better judgment I bought "Best Of The Bootlegs" over the internet because it was an official Sanctuary / Castle release of recordings from the Manticore vaults, ELP's own record label. With that kind of record label pedigree you would have to think the recordings would be in the 'not too bad' ballpark, especially with that 'Best Of' tag applied. This is not the case, and further reinforces my wont to avoid bootlegs in the future.

To give a little perspective: On the first run-through I had to turn off the CD during "Tarkus"; I couldn't stand listening to this iconic ELP track because the recording quality was so poor - awful even. And the sound quality issues did not start or stop there. Poor sound quality plagues much of this two-CD set to the point that I struggle to recommend to anyone. That is not to say there are not a few quality moments of ELP brilliance captured in these recordings; they are just few and far between and not really worth the aural assault to get to them. What "The Best Of The Bootlegs" did do was encourage me to get out my copy of "Welcome Back My Friends." that I had not listened to in years to remind me of how powerful ELP could be in the live setting in their heyday.

For "Best Of The Bootlegs" I am somewhat torn between giving two stars and the dreaded one star. I will err on the side of two because there is a little good stuff scattered amongst the very ordinary (sound quality-wise). A lowly 2/5 rating from the Dinosaur.

T.Rox | 2/5 |


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