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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Live In Poland CD (album) cover

LIVE IN POLAND

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.25 | 32 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Songs from the beginning

The recordings used for this album date from 1997, and thus come well after ELP's final studio album 1994's "In the hot seat". By this time, the three were effectively embarked on separate journeys, getting back together to tour as Emerson, Lake and Palmer for perhaps the final time. The set list, of which this is presumably just an extract, is best described as "safe", focusing on the band's heydays in the early 1970's. Indeed no fewer than three tracks are taken from the first album, although not perhaps the three most might predict.

We open of course with "Karn evil 9, 1st impression, part 2" in order to secure the traditional "Welcome back my friends" opening lyric. Lake's voice is of the deeper tones which came with later albums, immediately confirming the 90's timestamp on this gig. "Touch and go" which follows is the most recent song on the album, dating from 1985's "Emerson Lake and Powell". The version here is interesting, as it slows the song down slightly, while making it darker and moodier.

The sole contribution from the superb "Trilogy" album is Lake's acoustic spot singing "From the beginning". "Bitches crystal" and "Knife edge" sound closest to their original counterparts, the deeper vocals more closely matching those on the studio albums.

Several songs appear in abbreviated or medley form, giving the effect of a sort of self tribute. "Take a pebble" falls into this category, the lengthy core of the song being suppressed into a 3-4 minute instrumental. "Tarkus" is faithfully reproduced for about the first 10 minutes before bizarrely mutating into the closing section of "Pictures at an exhibition". "Fanfare for the common man" and The Nice's interpretation of "Rondo" are more successfully combined for the closing suite.

The rendition of "Lucky man" is one of the album's highlights, as it includes some fine Hammond organ work by Keith plus a faithful if slightly shortened refrain of the distinctive moog solo to finish.

In all, an enjoyable excursion for the ELP faithful, but an otherwise superfluous entry in the band's discography.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |

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