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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 521 ratings

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5 stars I challenge you all to call me a fanboy - I can't see any collabs/reviewers five star rating for this beast. Fine. Let me be first.

First of all, the full title of this issue is "Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends; Ladies And Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake And Palmer"! Let it be shown in all of it's pompousness!

It's a pompous, lengthy record, and great one at that.

Okay. If the best genre of music is progressive rock, and ELP are the best band within the genre and if we cherry-pick some of the band's best songs in a greatest live version from the band's catalogue, how would you rate it?

Don't spare the superlatives! Obviously, I'm a fanboy. But childish defense aside, ELP were the core of the symphonic progressive rock movement. They had egos bigger than galaxies, alright, but they verified that quite successfully with their records.

Maybe I should start describing song by song, otherwise I will never stop saying how this thing great is.

The songs are SAVAGE, yet controlled. I admit, it's possible to trace Keith's sloppier keyboard playing here and there. That had the same reaction on me as cold shower; not because I was convinced that Mr. Emerson is imperfect (well..ehm, I was) but because that reminded me that I'm actually listening to something made by humans, from this planet. Which is not so easy to believe.

The sound is great. I'm not about perfect, 64-bit digitally remastered, hissless digital wizardry here, I'm talking about raw but clear, furious but defined sound. Greg's guitars and bass sound warmer, more vivid and colorful then on studio recordings. Drums are beyond description. That electronic steel drums (or whatever they are) on Karn Evil 9 sound shocking - I was shocked indeed when I heard them for the first time. Keith keyboards are great too, Hammond is furious as it should be, Moog is apocalyptic. Keith is adding an extra touch of melody or long and slow glides, taking the role of bass when necessary (when Lake is playing guitar). It's hard to believe that all the time only three individuals are playing all that! Greg's voice is angelic when necessary, raw when necessary. He went out of tune for a moment or two though, in a same way (and quantity) as Keith's playing went sloppy.

That is the sound, the atmosphere,the performances, my impressions in general. What about the substances?

I won't repeat myself. Please check my reviews of other ELP records. They're all justifying each other, including this one.

clarke2001 | 5/5 |


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