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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Live At The Royal Albert Hall CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

2.95 | 166 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Live ELP at the Royal Albert Hall show the band still had something special to offer to the fans.

As an ELP addict who has everything they committed to studio, I found this irresistible as its been quite some time since I have heard anything new from the band, even live material. So it was with great eagerness and a real sense of adventure that I placed this CD on my player to be blown away by the kings of pompous prog. I had been suffering from withdrawal symptoms from a total abstinence of new ELP so I was delighted to hear this great live album rereleased in 1996.

It begins with the incredible 'Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression - Part 2)' which only runs for a pitiful 1:45 duration sadly. Oh well onto the epic. Oh thankyou ELP for listening to your fans! Yes we all love to take the Tarkus test and so to hear a new live version is a mindblowing experience. It only runs for 9:33 but any Tarkus is good Tarkus. The band sound awesome and clearly the crowd are going nuts during this. Emerson is a genius as usual and I love Lake's vocal treatment here with Palmer's killer drum metrical patterns. I felt better after my Tarkus fix.

Onto 'Knife Edge', a bonafide classic in any century. Those massive staccato stabs on the organ are pure bliss. The new 'Paper Blood' is pleasant and this is followed by 'Romeo & Juliet {Prokofiev, arranged by Emerson}' not a track I am overly familiar with, but the newer stuff is still great to listen to. 'Creole Dance {Emerson, based on Alberto Ginastera's Suite de Danzes Cirallas}' follows which is a showcase for Emerson's keyboard prowess. This is followed by the customary Lake Ballads 'Still... You Turn Me On' and the quintessential 'Lucky Man' that I have heard too may times for my health. I loved the 'Black Moon' live treatment and this was followed by a surprise rendition of 'Pirates'; a 13:23 epic that is perhaps better than the 'Works' Version; at least it is heavier and more passionate.

Having ignored as a strategic move the albums "Love Beach" and "In The Hot Seat", that both stunk like yesterday's diapers, the band prepare to embark on the finale.

The 'Finale (Medley)' clocking in at 14:41 ends the concert beautifully with a medley of 'Fanfare For The Common Man', the Aaron Copland classic that introduced me to ELP, and 'America', the Leonard Berstein treasure that was covered brilliantly by The Nice. Finally The Nice's 'Rondo' written by Brubeck is blasted out. Overall I finished this album knowing I had once again encountered the untouchable masters of Symphonic pomp prog, and that can never be a bad thing. Grab this simply to relive the greatness of the super trio that transformed music.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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