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

WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS TO THE SHOW THAT NEVER ENDS

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.19 | 397 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

crimson87
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974 , it's a scientifical fact.

Homer Jay Simpson

Well I don't have the slightiest idea if Homer was an ELP freak but he was damm right with this statement. From this moment on it became hell for prog groups , we all know the story.

Based on the Brain Salad Surgery album , this ELP live release is known as one of the best live recordings of all time outside the prog world sharing legendary status with records as Live in Leeds Made in Japan , The song remains the same , Frampton comes alive or Yessongs. Issued as a triple LP in the 70's , now a double CD Welcome Back shows three musicians at the peak of their powers during more than an hour and a half. As a disgression I would like to add that this is the album that got me into ELP getting me used to Keith's keyboards sounds and classical piano.

An uptempo version of Hoedown starts the show , besides the speed there is nothing new to this song. In this review I will focus in the songs that are different from the studio versions. The higlights in this record are said to be the longer versions of both Tarkus and Karn Evil 9. The first one features a break in the middle in which Lake sings a verse of King Crimson Epitaph , that moment I thought: It can't get any better that this. Luckily for me , it did get better since the Aquatarkus section is longer and more complex than the studio version. Karn Evil 9 it's LONG , probably too long for the newcomers to ELP clocking at 35 minutes it features Carl Palmer with a drum solo in the first impression and Keith delivers some extra keyboard work during the third Impression.

Personally , I think that despite those two epics are the greatest songs ELP ever did and they are delivered in full regalia , the higlight in the album comes in between those numbers with Keith's classic piano in Take a pebble and Piano Improvisations.Certanly this 25 minute break was a wise choice concerning the track selection.

Suming up , if you are a newcomer to ELP and are short of money getting Welcome Back is the best you can do since it features their most known numbers and shows the band in an exellent performance. However this record has two minor flaws you´ll have to bear with:

1- Like almost every live release from the 70's it sounds a little bit raw and muddy. This is a matter of taste.

2- It does end.

crimson87 | 5/5 |

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