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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Love Beach CD (album) cover

LOVE BEACH

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

2.06 | 461 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Vibrationbaby
3 stars By 1978 Emerson Lake & Palmer had taken pretty much everything over the top from spinning pianos to having full orchestras and choirs backing them up in live concerts. At the " suggestion " of the president of Atlantic Records they rationalized their music into several radio friendly rock ballads ( which was nothing new ), a watered down epic and an instrumental piece based on Rodrigo`s Fantasia Para Va Gentlehombre.

If their 1974 Brain Salad Surgery album was the zenith of ELPs creative faculties then Love Beach sent out a message of resolve stating that it was indeed time to apply the brakes. Collectively they had only managed to produce a handful of solid compositions since that album amidst a heavy touring schedule. While the fertile days for progressive rock of the early seventies were long passed they still managed to produce a respectable record when compared with other progrock bands who were also feeling the scourge of disco, punk and shifts in musical tastes in the late 70s. While Love Beach was cooly recieved by the media it still managed to make it into the top 100 on both sides of the Atlantic and contained music that was still true to the ELP praxis. The Greg Lake ballads were certainly not of the calibre of C`est La Vie or Lucky Man with the more upbeat The Gambler echoing Benny The Bouncer and Are You Ready Eddie?. Also, the almost compulsory 20 minute epic presented in the form of Memiors Of An Officer And A Gentleman, a romantic and tragic elucidation of the life of a soldier during wartime, was certainly not a Karn Evil 9, but was refreshing nonetheless with the band sounding much more relaxed throughout the whole album which was recorded in a state-of-the-art studio in the Bahamas.

Indeed, the cover and title that the band themselves detested, were reminicient of a Beach Boys record or a Surfaris comeback album, but one has to understand that the ball was not completely in the band`s court. They had a commitment to the record company and had to bow at least somewhat to Atlantic`s whims and wishes and this included the album cover and title. So, having had to say, " very well then we`ll do that " to the record company they managed to pull off a record which could have been a lot worse under the circumstances as evidenced by other contemporary material from other progrock bands who fell victim to the times.

While I`ll stand by a three star rating I would also advise someone to at least familiarize themselves with some of ELPs earlier material before getting into this odd one. Definitely not wholly representitive of their true form but nonetheless has redeemable moments, cheesy title and cover notwithstanding. If you can get over this then it`s certainly not the tomato as it has been made out to be.

Vibrationbaby | 3/5 |

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