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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 74 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars A visual treat, as good as it gets, capturing all that is great about ELP.

I have many ELP DVDs but they do not get better than this. Most of the best material and footage of the band is here, and a few rarities for completists. It is great to see excellent quality recordings of the best performances from TV shows such as Take A Pebble from The Beat Club TV show, and Toccata from the Aquarius TV show. It in interesting how the compilation DVD doubles up by having sections from California jam, yet the full concert is here on the bonus disc. The Rondo / Pictures At An Exhibition montage from Isle of Wight performance is a great addition, though the full concert is still worth tracking down. There are many concerts represented here such as Milan, Montreal, Budapest and Memphis.

The lowlights are taken from the Works phase such as the appalling I Believe In Father Christmas, and Tiger In The Spotlight, though that is worth a look just to see the terrified tiger lurking in the foreground.

Highlights include the early footage plus the extended promo for Fanfare For The Common Man from 1977, I had only seen the edited single version on TV. A recent Tarkus performance from 1992, at the Royal Albert Hall concert is an excellent tour de force from the group, and it was great to see Touch And Go live from 1997.

The promo videos are a nice addition especially America by The Nice from 1968 Beat Club TV show and the insane Fire by TCWOAB. I was looking forward to seeing the early King Crimson with 21st Century Schizoid Man but the whole clip is heavily edited and the entire instrumental section is omitted which is a major disappointment.

There are some great bonus features such as ELP kanoodling in rehearsals during 1973 and the wonderful "The story of the album covers" documentary, which is great because it exposes the albums and how the band feels about them. Love Beach is mentioned as a massive flop, and we all knew that. ELP at Brands Hatch 1973 is a waste that I won't bother watching again as it is just a doco on some car race track really. The Interview with Bob Moog is OK but a bit boring just hearing the old guy ratlle on about keyboards.

The second disk is a revelation featuring the full California Jam in 1974, the 44-minute performance. Highlights of the performance are Toccata, Take A Pebble, Karn Evil 9, 1st impression part 2, Karn Evil 9, 3rd impression and it even includes rare footage of Emerson's Spinning Piano. This concert is worth the price alone as it captures the dynamic energy of the group in their heyday.

The "Beyond the beginning" documentary is the icing on the cake, a 1 hour look inside what makes these three guys tick, and much is revealed in the one hour. Overall this compilation is a must for ELP fans, and spans the entire music career of one of the most innovative prog bands in music history... the awesome irreplaceable ELP!

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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