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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.57 | 33 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This DVD has two things:

The "WORKS ORCHESTRAL TOUR", recorded live at the Olympic Stadium, in Montreal, in 26-August-1977. Parts from a concert from their "Works Tour" in 1977, with an orchestra and a choir. Audio recordings from this same concert were released first in their "In Concert" album in 1979, and in 1993 they were re-issued with bonus tracks as a 2 CD set titled "Works Live".

The quality of the images and of the sound in this DVD are not very good. The camera angles are good, but the sound mixing sometimes let the sound of the audience "bury" the music being played by the band and the orchestra. Anyway, it still is a good document of a very good concert. But I think that it is better to listen to the "Works Live " 2 CD set which sounds better and has more songs played at that concert, with a better sound mixing.

Despite the fact that their "Works " Vols. 1 and 2 studio albums were not very well received by some fans of the band, this tour was done by ELP with an orchestra in only some dates because it was very expensive for them to take the orchestra with them at all tour dates. And I think that they sound very well rehearsed with the orchestra and the choir. In fact, "Pictures at an Exhibition", while it is a shorter version in comparison to the other live recording which was released in the live album of the same title in 1971, sounds played much better with the orchestra and the choir, particularly in "The Great Gates of Kiev". "C`est La Vie" also sounds very well played with the help of the orchestra and the choir. But I like more the version of "The Enemy God" which was released in the albums "In concert" and "Works Live", because it doesn`t include the orchestra, and it makes me think that it was taken from another concert or was mixed without the orchestra. "Pictures at an Exhibition" was also edited a bit for the video, being at least two minutes shorter that the version which was released in the "In Concert" and "Works Live" albums, So I prefer the version which was included in those albums. But in the video I also could see that among the members of the orchestra there were a bassist and an electric guitarist playing along with the band in some parts. Carl Palmer also appears playing some percussion instruments (a xylophone, a timpani and a tambourine) during Emerson`s "Piano Concerto". The band also did not take themselves very seriously, with them playing some songs with some humour. For example, during Carl Palmer`s impressive drums and percussion solo during "Tank", they used a rotating plattform for his drum kit, and with him also throwing the drum sticks to the air and catching them without losing a beat. Keith Emerson also did his antics with the Hammond Organ, "wrestling" with the instrument on the stage`s floor during the improvised section in "Fanfare for the Common Man", and with him also "playing" some noises with his Moog Synthesiser. So, the video version of this Montreal concert is very good, showing the band playing very well with and without the orchestra and the choir. Godfrey Salmon was the conductor of the orchestra, with him being a former member of the ESPERANTO band (he played violin with that band).

Also I could see some of the musical instruments they used then. Emerson was mainly playing a Hammond organ, and a Yamaha GX-1 polyphonic synthesiser (which included four keyboards put together in the same instrument) and a modular Moog synthesiser which he tended then to use less time than before. For his "wrestling" routine he used another Hammond Organ (which obviously looked with some "scars" due to the "wrestling). Lake used a 8 string bass guitar which had a very characteristic "metalic" and "percussive" sound being played by him using a plectrum. He also played an acoustic 12 string guitar and a bit of electric guitar. And Palmer`s drum kit looked very expensive with the metalic drum shells (maybe he was using a Slingerland drum kit then, a fine instument, but I really don`t know), and he also used some other percussion instruments (two timpanis, a xylophone, a triangle, a tambourine, tubular bells, etc.)

The "MANTICORE SPECIAL" is a documentary recorded during one of their 1973 tours, and it shows the band and the tour crew working hard during that tour. It also shows the members of the band rehearsing and also being interviewed out of the stage and also in their respective homes. There are also some humorous moments showing the members of the band and the tour crew having some fun before and after the concerts. This documentary also shows some of the problems they had, like when they had to cancel some tour dates because Greg Lake became ill for some days and he could not play and sing with the band. Anyway, it is a good documentary which maybe could be more interesting for the most dedicated fans of the band.

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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