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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Beyond The Beginning CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 74 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cactus Choir
4 stars First off, if you're an ELP fan then you have to get this DVD. Along with the unofficial Belgian concert disc and the Lyceum Pictures at an Exhibition DVD it contains much of the best extant live footage of the band.

Good points: Film from the Isle of Wight performance that established the band almost instantly as superstars. Great versions of Hoedown from Milan '73, Rondo from Belgium '71, Pirates from Montreal '77, 44 minutes of the California Jam from '74 complete with revolving piano and a full Karn Evil 9 3rd Impression. Fascinating footage from the Brain Salad Surgery rehearsals that shows the mighty KE9 taking shape. The full Fanfare for the Common Man video complete with Keith's freaky Yamaha GX-1 improvisations (I know they're only miming but it's still great). The video of Greg's Christmas hit single and Keith giving a performance of Honky Tonk Train Blues with Oscar Peterson. The second disc features some very frank and revealing interviews with the band.

Bad points: Why no version of The Barbarian, one of the group's signature tunes? At least two excellent live versions exist and the one from the Pictures Lyceum concert DVD is particularly brilliant. An inferior version of Knife Edge is used (Greg gets some of the lyrics wrong and the wonderful use of Bach's French Suites is omitted) - the version from the German TV performance from 1970 (from which Take a Pebble is featured on this disc) is way better. The Milan '73 footage of a powerhouse version of Pictures at An Exhibition is not featured at all.

Overall: As with much of the recycling of ELP's back catalogue you're left thinking that with a bit more thought and attention this could have been the definitive document of the band it presumably aspires to be. However, you can't fault the amount of interesting material that has been crammed in and you do get a strong impression of the sheer power of their performances, and why ELP at their peak were up there with Zeppelin, the Who and the Stones as the one of the highest grossing live bands in the world. Three stars for the curious and five for ELP fans, so that averages out at four.

Cactus Choir | 4/5 |


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