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

WORKS VOL. 1

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

2.82 | 488 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
1 stars A tedious, bloated concoction, the double-album 'Works' would prove to be the moment when ELP's collective ego went into serious overdrive. Once a genuinely innovative outfit, the trio of Keith Emerson(keyboards, vocals), Greg Lake(guitar, bass, Vocals) and Carl Palmer(drums) would prove to be their own worst enemies thanks to an inflated sense of self-importance that rendered them public enemy number one when the punk revolution finally came calling. Featuring an ill-advised classical opening in the shape of Emerson's near twenty-minute long 'Piano Concerto No.1' and the gruesomely-synthesized epic 'Pirates' amongst it's fourteen tracks, it's easy to see why groups such as The Sex Pistols and The Damned decided to attack the progressive rock genre with such vitriol. A real slog, 'Works' showed just how far removed ELP had become from their own audience - let alone the rest of the record-buying public - the group's condescending high-brow approach eschewing the very principles that made their initial, early-seventies output so exciting. Unsurprisingly then, 'Works' would prove to be the beginning of the end, this despite featuring the group's popular rendition of Aaron Copeland's 'Fanfare For The Common Man', an otherwise drearily-realised composition seen by many as the trio's signature piece. The group's once massively-popular live shows would start to become financial liabilities(ELP had, at one point during the mid-seventies, rivalled Led Zeppelin for global ticket sales and revenues) Greg Lake's simple-but-effective pop-nous that had been such a large part of their appeal would dry-up, and follow-up efforts's 'Works Vol.2' - an album of re-heated leftovers culled from the 'Works' sessions - and the hideous, pop-styled 'Love Beach' would ultimately tank, both commercially-and-critically, leading to the threesome's eventual split in 1978. Featuring the very worst excesses of progressive rock, 'Works' is as dull and dis-jointed as it gets. In a word: awful.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

stefro | 1/5 |

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