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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Works Vol. 1 CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

2.93 | 730 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Works Vol. 1 was a highly anticipated release as ELP had not released a new studio album in four years since Brain Salad Surgery in 1973. As expected, the reaction to the album in 1977 was mixed. Nowadays many find it a haphazard mess. Much of the reason for this was the constant disagreements between the band members concerning which direction ELP should go. In the end, Works Vol. 1 was released as a two-LP set, with each member taking a full LP side, leaving the fourth side featuring the entire band together. In some regards, this is just like Pink Floyd's Ummagumma, but that was a far better album than this one.

Side one features Keith Emerson. And Keith treats us to a piano concerto in three movements. Clearly quite boring if you were expecting synthesizer-laced prog rock. It probably should have been released as a solo effort. Nicely done, but mostly a snoozefest for me. Side two features Greg Lake and his never ending series of cheesy acoustic ballads. C'est la Vie is fairly nice, but again I can see a cloud of z's forming over my head.

Side three is where things start to pick up. This time it is drummer Carl Palmer. It includes a remake of Tank and two arrangements of classical pieces. This is the closest any of the members came to traditional ELP prog. And it figures it would be from the drummer!

Side four is where everyone in the band contributes together. The most famous of the songs on here is Fanfare for the Common Man, a rock arrangement of Aaron Copland's work. The 13+ minute Pirates is mediocre at best.

Quite unimpressive and a real downer for fans at the time. Two stars.

progaardvark | 2/5 |


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