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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 75 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars Mixed feelings about this DVD as to the running order of the tracks, the choice of contents and the rockumentary on the second disc. I rented this DVD, because I had a feeling that the acquisition of it would be rather useless for someone that knows a lot about the band (furthermore having read Emerson's book Picture Of An Exhibitionist last year). So I did rent it out and was rather pleased to see some of the footage that had been selected, but do not understand why the full Belgian TV special was not included and can only remark that there is still a footage when they filmed KE9 in a TV studio, that I have yet to see released on DVD (I do not think it was ever also on VCR, either), but on the whole there are some delightful moments. Especially enjoying were some (all too short) footage of their first groups, TCWOAB, KC and The Nice (in a great version of America with O'List on guitar) as a foreplay.

The second disc is divided in a rather good but not excellent quality film of the California Jam 74 , when they topped the bill of a rather convincing performance. More of interest is the rockumentary , which traces back their career until their first demise after the awful Love Beach, which all admit it was a poor album, but also offered at Ahmed Ertegun's Atlantic label as a fulfilment of the contract they had. No mention of the next year's Live album and the rest of the career (after they reformed in 86) is kept silent and the only time you see something about those albums is a concert footage of EL & Powell 's Touch And Go on the first disc. Rather puzzling when you consider the DVD's title.

One of the things not kept under silent is the constant air of turmoil, rivalries and Lake's superstar attitude, but frustration of the musical choice ( Emerson's revenge on the choice of Lucky Man as the lead off single as Tarkus etc..) makes you wonder on how these guys managed to stand each other for so long , that you realize that if the album were not quite that successful in terms of sales, they probably would have not lasted past the third album. Emerson's showmanship and exhibitionist's nature and apparent complete lack of business sense of the music scene (the other two still remind him of the famous orchestra on tour) and Palmer's sort of useless role of arbitrating or refereeing bouts between the other two (but on his own admission he got ignored and was somewhat of a punching ball for standing in between the two) , this complete a rather not- so-illustrious portrait of a band. Yet as in Emerson's book, there is a real openness of talking about those inside quirkiness but displaying a certain lack of humility and shame, but also a great pride in their achievements. And on their whole career's achievements, who could possibly blame them for that?

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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