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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Welcome Back CD (album) cover

WELCOME BACK

Emerson Lake & Palmer

Symphonic Prog


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progaeopteryx
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This is a documentary celebrating ELP's "Black Moon" comeback tour of 1992-93. It's a haphazard mix of footage from throughout the band's career, including scenes from the band's concert in Verona, Italy in 1992, as well as others including several excerpts from their famous concert in Montreal in 1977 featuring a 67-piece orchestra and their appearance at the 1970 Isle of Wight rock festival. There are many interview segments with the band, fans, and other people associated with the band, plus scenes of the group in everyday life (like Carl Palmer jogging!) and the setting up of their stage.

Although I found this video interesting, I was disappointed that many of the live scenes were often interrupted by interviews and scenes of members of the band doing things that seemed completely unrelated to the music (like Keith Emerson flying a plane or choosing an eating utensil or Carl Palmer driving a Rolls Royce). Further, many of the live scenes, although annoyingly interrupted, are often just excerpts. Still, a couple of the performances I found entertaining, including Pirates from their 1977 concert in Montreal, Emerson's performance of Creole Dance, footage of him playing the grand piano while it was spinning in the air, and his destruction of an organ near the end of the video (although it looks childish for a man of his age to be doing this). There is an interesting clip of Robert Moog describing the early Moog synthesizers and his surprise of ELP using it on stage, which because of its size and complexity made it a stage crew's nightmare. Carl Palmer briefly describes the construction of his stainless steel drum set and how they had to cancel a show because the stage collapsed under its weight and also about Ringo Starr eventually purchasing it.

Although interesting, the video clearly lacks direction. I would have felt more comfortable if this documentary had been more historical and moved with a forward motion of time instead of jumping around all over the place. Also, the music video of Black Moon was just embarrassing and a big cheesefest. The mundane footage of everyday activities I guess was to make us understand that ELP and their stage crew are also Earthlings. Anybody can film crap like that. I'm wondering where the footage of Emerson eating a chalkboard eraser, Lake picking his nose, and Palmer taking his shoes off after he realized he put them on the wrong feet is? For collectors and fans only, thus two stars.

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Send comments to progaeopteryx (BETA) | Report this review (#69981)
Posted Sunday, February 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
Guillermo
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars When I saw the cover of this DVD it was a bit confusing, because it lists a lot of very good songs but it also says that the video is a "Biography" of the band. I didn`t know what to think, because like the "Yesyears" video from YES (which also lists the songs) and Supertramp`s video "The Story ...So Far" (which also lists some songs and it also says it is a "Biography") I didn`t know what to expect. I was waiting to see a format similar to Supertramp`s video (which is more a oncert video than a Biography, in my opinion), but no. This ELP`s video is more similar to "Yesyears" because the songs played live are interrumpted by interviews or commentaries of the band, but also it is not a real "Biography", because the focus of the video is more in telling how the band reunited in 1992. It also has some commentaries from the band about their history, but not in a chronological way or in a detailed way. They also talk about how the use of new technology in the nineties help them to update their sound.

The most interesting parts of this video are the live performances, some shown in an almost complete form, but with some commentaries about them. There are very good performances of songs played on tours in the seventies, particularly some recorded during their "Works Tour" in 1977, with and without the orchestra. Seeing "Tiger in a Spotlight" live in this video confirmed for me the information that I found in the web of how this version (recorded in Memphis) was the same included in their "In Concert" album which was mostly recorded live in Montreal`s Olympic Stadium. From this Montreal concert (played with an orchestra) there are some very good scenes of the band playing "Pirates", "C`est La Vie", Watching Over You", etc. Also they included some songs from their "Black Moon" tour recorded mainly in the Royal Albert Hall in London (and which also seem to be the same versions which were included included in their "Live at the Royal Albert Hall" album).

There are some funny moments in their commentaries and the video is not boring at all. They seem to be enjoying their reunion very much.

I have to say that I don`t like Carl Palmer`s "late eighties-early nineties sound" of his drum kit in this video. It sounds like being played on electric drum pads, not on an acoustic drum kit, as it can be seen in the video. I really never liked this kind of drum kits, which I also played sometimes, because they don`t sound "natural" and the drummers can`t play them with different intensities, like when they play a "normal" drum kit. Palmer was doing the same as Bill Bruford in those years, I think. But Bruford`s drums sounded better, in my opinion.Now in Asia`s Reunion Tour, Palmer`s drum kit sounds better, more "normal" again.

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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#139651)
Posted Friday, September 21, 2007 | Review Permalink

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