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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Works Vol. 1 CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

2.90 | 692 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Snow Dog
Special Collaborator
Errors & Omissions Team
3 stars After Brain Salad Surgery and an extensive world tour ELP felt the need to rest and concentrate on solo projects. When they found that they were all working with an orchestra it was decided that they would unite all their solo work, plus new ELP stuff, under one banner, namely Works Vol1. I will take each contribution individually.

KEITH EMERSON occupied Side 1 of the album with his first Piano Concerto. Now I am by no means an expert on Classical, but I do enjoy this piece, there is some great piano here. The third Movement was written after his house burned down and you can really feel the frustration and anger! Funnily, on the CD version, all 3 Movements are one track! Not something that you'd find on a Classical CD!

GREG LAKE came next on Side 2. Some good songs here, but I've heard better with ELP, personally. I wouldn't call it bad, but is for me the least interesting section. "Lend Your Love To Me Tonight" and "Closer To Believing" are particular stand out tracks.

CARL PALMER's side is my favourite of the solos and it's a real mix! "Food For Your Soul" is a stormer, with a fantastic, typical drum solo. Great stuff! He also indulges in some Classical with "The Enemy God" and the Bach piece, where Palmer plays vibraphone.

ELP together finish of the album and this is what we've been waiting for after a 4 year break. First up its Copeland's "Fanfare For The Common Man". Starting of with the main theme and repeating it for 3 minutes (which in itself became a hit single) we come to the second part, where Keith really gives his brand new Yamaha GX-1 a workout! Full of dissonant chords and big, brassy wailing flourishes, it is magnificent stuff, accompanied by the swinging groove of Lake and Palmer.

"Pirates" is last. It is based on music that Emerson wrote to be the soundtrack for the film "Dogs Of War". The film didn't happen (at the time) so he used the music for this. It's an epic tale of swashbuckling filled with great ELP moments and full orchestra. This was ELP's last great epic and I love it, although it's a bit wordy and the drums seem rather low in the mix!

On reflection was it a good idea to combine their solo efforts on one ELP album? I doubt it somehow, so this remains I think an album for ELP fans only. Anyone new to the band should look elsewhere and only get this if you really love their stuff

Snow Dog | 3/5 |


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