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Emerson Lake & Palmer - From The Beginning (5CD+DVD) CD (album) cover

FROM THE BEGINNING (5CD+DVD)

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.32 | 25 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
4 stars "FIRST REVIEW OF THIS ALBUM "

"A complete waste of time, talent and electricity"! (BBC Radio dj John Peel about ELP, after their 1970 Isle Of Wight festival gig)

CD 1-4 : A career spanning selection of their songs between 1970 and 1994, including original album tracks, first mixes, early versions, single versions, B-sides and live versions, plus the Emerson, Lake & Powell track Mars - Bringer Of War.

The first 3 tracks on CD-1 are an introduction of each ELP member from their previous band: Greg Lake his warm and distinctive voice in Epitaph from King Crimson, Carl Palmer his powerful drumming in Decline And Fall from Atomic Rooster and Keith Emerson his awesome skills on the Hammond organ in Fantasia: Intermezzo Karelia Suite from The Nice. Then we can follow ELP chronologically, from their eponymous debut album (1970) until their final effort In The Hot Seat (1994). We can enjoy their best work (I only miss Nutrocker) featuring outstanding interplay, but of course the focus is on Keith Emerson his jawdropping skills on an array of keyboards. Especially in the longer and epic compositions Tarkus (great work on the Modular Moog synthesizer), Trilogy (sensational blend of sparkling Grand piano and Moog flights), Karn Evil 9 (Hammond and Moog, along some fiery electric guitar by Greg Lake) and Fanfare For The Common Man and Peter Gunn Theme (both featuring sensational work on the super Yamaha GX-1 synthesizer). And in Honky Tonk Train Blues the virtuosic Keith Emerson plays the honky tonk piano very swinging, accompanied by a big band, yes, ELP was always scouting the borders of prog.

But there is also the mellow side of ELP, with Greg Lake his warm vocals and acoustic guitar, in Lucky Man (including the legendary Moog solo), Oh My Father (subtle wah-wah guitar and Grand piano), Still You Turn Me On (wonderful romantic climate), the varied C'Est La Vie (orchestra, harmonica) and From The Beginning (delicate Moog solo).

Included are also a serie of previously unreleased good sounding live tracks: The Barbarian, Knife Edge and Rondo (London 1970), Hoedown (Italy 1973), Pirates (New York, 1978), Romeo And Juliet (London 1993) and Touch And Go (Poland 1997, including the Yamaha GX-1).

CD-5 : Live At The Mar Y Sol Festival, Puerto Rico, 4th January 1972.

According to many ELP fans on the Internet this is the best early ELP live sound. But Keith Emerson had problems with his Moog, it didn't work during the intro of Hoedown and Emerson played only a short Moog solo during Lucky Man. And the drum solo on the extended Rondo is way too long. But for the rest this is an excellent registration, ELP at its peak, here you can listen to one of the best progressive rock bands of first part of the Seventies.

The 60 page booklet : liner notes, interviews with all 3 members of the band, full discography and rare photos.

A nicely put together story with lots of interesting facts, like Carl Palmer was only 14 years old when he became professional, Steve Howe was close to becoming a The Nice member, Keith Emerson wanted Chris Squire for his new trio after The Nice and the 67-piece orchestra during The Works live costed 200.000 US $ a week!

The bonus DVD : the Manticore Years, a documentary.

This was broadcasted by the BBC in 1998, including interviews with the band and many images from their 1973 world tour (focussed on Italy, the first country that embraced ELP) and their luxury homes and extravagant hobbies.

Although I am not very much into Karn Evil 9 (lack of structure) and the albums Love Beach, Black Moon and In The Hot Seat, I highly recommend this box, you can't beg for more, this is ELP extravaganza!

TenYearsAfter | 4/5 |

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