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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Love Beach CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer

Symphonic Prog

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5 stars People love to say "Love Beach" is a shame to ELP. That's such a crap. Throw the cover away and hear the "B-side". You'll find ELP at the best. Of course, the homonymous track of the records is terrible, but even the "A-side" is worthwhile.
Report this review (#14528)
Posted Monday, December 29, 2003 | Review Permalink
2 stars This is a mediane ELP record with a great song: The memoirs of an officer and a gentleman, with great arrangements, and beautiful and melodic beggining.The other tunes are a mix of pop and rock, with horrible lyrics. The cover is ridicolous with the trio looking like the Disco Kings.Only for collectors!
Report this review (#14531)
Posted Saturday, January 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
1 stars As for the insults about this album I shall let other people exercise their talents. This album was recorded as to fill out the rest of a contract and does this ever show. They did try to be honest and write in their typical manner , but originality and inspiration are completely absent from these tracks. Even the sidelong suite Officer and gentleman is completely listless and without much interest.

Avoid this stuff if you are interested in discovering them and start chronologically! Even the artwork sleeve is awfull as they look like a bad honkey version of Pablo Cruise. Often reffered to as Love Bitch , this album should only of interest to ELP completist.

Report this review (#14534)
Posted Thursday, February 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Love belch!

This is where it all went pear shaped. The magic suddenly evaporated, leaving an uninspired album. Many of the right ingredients still seemed to be here, the side-long suite, the Greg Lake ballad, the Keith Emerson driven keyboard instrumental etc., but the spark was completely missing.

The sleeve gave the first hints that something was amiss, with the three band members appearing in a photo straight from a boy band album, a million miles from Brain Salad Surgery's innovative and striking presentation. To be fair, since the album was recorded in the Bahamas, the beach scene simply reflects their location at the time. Was it really necessary though to pose like disco era Bees Gees?

The actual music is the real disappointment though. All three band members come across as completely bored: they seem to be churning out second-rate clones of their previous works, without any real effort or inspiration. Were they perhaps saving their better pieces for solo albums?

Greg Lake pretty much dominates side one of the album, although Pete Sinfield is also culpable for many of the inane, double entendre lyrics. ".someone get me a ladder." sounds like Shakespearean prose compared to some of the drivel here. Emerson and Palmer provide only secondary noodling on five of the six short (but not short enough) tracks on side 1. Lake's vocal style really does not suit the superficial pop of these songs, a point which is only exacerbated by the weakness of the songs themselves. The final track on this side, "Canario (From Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre) ". is the only chink of light, being a quick outing by Emerson. The piece is hardly challenging for him, but sounds so much better after what has gone before.

Side 2 is made up of the suite, "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman ". The fact that it is a long suite made up of a number of sections is where any similarities with "Karn evil 9", "Endless enigma" or indeed "Tarkus" ends. The piece is simply an extended version of the lightweight pop based songs which dominated side 1. You can almost hear the band members asking "how much longer do we need to keep this going to fill the side?".

There really is nothing to recommend this album, to either fans or those wishing to explore the work of the band. Avoid!

Report this review (#14535)
Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars OK, I´m a Huge ELP fan, but i don´t want to bash this record like everybody likes to do.. There were some good moments on it. I really like the suite Memoirs of an officer and a gentleman in the Bside. Almost everything on the B-side, together with Canario, are very fine ELP tunes. Forget all the crap on the A-side, specially the title track, and the rest is not offensive at all, in fact it is very good prog rock music. Even better than the majority of the material from some very praised 70-80´s Prog rock groups, that dont mean anything to me (Pendragon, Styx, Saga, and others)..
Report this review (#14515)
Posted Thursday, March 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Very accessible, but not addictive. The songs have full of decent instruments who are well played. The keyboards are honest, the drums do the job, LAKE sings properly. It's just that the progressive complex patterns are no more present. It's more a complex pop album. "Canario" is a very good symphonic complex song.

This record is not bad.

Report this review (#14517)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars I give this five stars only for the performance of side two. As with Pirates, the blend of lyric and music are unsurpassed on this record. Officer and a gentleman is one of the cleverest pieces of music I have ever heard.
Report this review (#14518)
Posted Friday, April 9, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Okay, so the wannabeegees cover and title fuels the suspicion that "Love Beach" is no more than a musical morass, but conceptually ELP wasn't stuck for an encore. The trouble with this album isn't the ideas or the inspiration, but the execution. Simply put, the production value is thin, erasing the pomp factor so critical to ELP's success. (In fact, my elpee doesn't list any production credits, which might explain why the album feels so underproduced.) Keith Emerson's keyboards especially lack the thunder of old, a problem that likewise plagued Rick Wakeman on the similarly disappointing "Tormato" (in their defense, the late '70s did produce a weak generation of electronic keyboards like the Birotron).

"Love Beach" is essentially split into two sides, with Greg Lake and Emerson engaging the full-time services of Peter Sinfield. The first side of music (or the Lake-side part) features the usual assortment of ballads and stories, pale shadows of earlier successes; "All I Want Is You" for example is no more than a warmed-over version of "Nobody Loves You Like I Do". Some of the old darkness creeps in on "Taste of My Love,",while "Canario" isn't so far removed from their classic instrumental workouts, but none of this ranks as top-shelf stuff. Better in thought and execution is the side-long "Memoirs of An Officer and A Gentleman," which is a rare song cycle from Emerson and Sinfield that hits the occasional high point. "The Education of a Gentleman" in particular finds the band hitting their stride, and "Letters From The Front" is centered around an interesting melody.

"Love Beach" never does build up the momentum needed to leave the Earth, but anyone who found merit in "Tormato" will find some here as well. It is the least essential of ELP's studio albums from the '70s, though the new music alone makes it more interesting than the subsequent concert album and greatest hits compilation. Looking back, a lyric sheet would have been a nice touch as well. Since the vinyl version sounds pretty weak, I'd recommend splurging for the compact disc on this one.

Report this review (#14522)
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
1 stars I must confess that when I first saw the cover of this album was almost sure I would hate it, I wasn't wrong. "Love Beach" is not such a terrible album as most fans believe, I'm sure Genesis released worst albums in the 80's and 90's but nothing this bad in the 70's, and at least everybody could expect a tragic album without Gabriel and Hackett, but ELP was complete, so there's no excuse.

The main problem with "Love Beach"? There are many, it's a bad record (not terrible) has a wrong title for a prog album, wrong cover (it's an aberration), released for the wrong reasons and in a wrong moment (with so many wrongs in the same sentence it can't be good).

The band had a contract with Atlantic records and still owed a studio and a live release, so they decided paid their debt with "Love Beach" when their minds was on their solo projects (the live album was "In Concert" 1978 and they disbanded in 1979).

Side A presents more of the same weak ballads you can find in Works II, so there's no need for further comment, and side B is a pompous and self indulgent "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman", I believe they tried to do something of a concept similar to Gilbert & Sullivan's "HMS Pinaforte" (even though the music has no relation), but without any success, this multi part epic is absolutely boring and lasts forever, I almost clapped my hands when it ended.

The only track I really enjoy is "Canario", a short song based in Joaquin Rodrigo's Concert for Guitar and Orchestra "Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre", which is played with absolute talent and strength by the band, a beautiful song that deserves to be surrounded by better tracks.

If this album would have been released by another band in the 90's, probably would be considered acceptable, but by ELP in the 70's is unacceptable. One star for Canario, the rest of the album is not terrible but pretty forgettable.

Don't buy it unless you're an ELP die hard fan and you need this album to complete your collection.

Report this review (#14521)
Posted Saturday, May 15, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars I may be pushing the boat out bit by giving this 2 stars but actually it does have relevance to prog rock with the excellent suite 'Memoirs Of An Officer And Gentleman' from side 2 (Vinyl wise).Here Greg Lake gives his finest performance in ELP and the lyrics have an almost refreshing emotional approach.This is not bad,honest! Side one on the other hand...well it does have 'Canario' which is a good reworking of a Rodrigo peice.The rest is naff basically.
Report this review (#14536)
Posted Tuesday, May 18, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars Love Beach. The title says it all..

When did ELP ever become a band that wrote about love? Sure, a couple of Greg Lake love songs appeared on a few albums, but that is it. The main problem with this album is that ELP is trying to be another group. They are not masters of pop music. They are masters of prog! This album lacks many prog elements.

Greg Lake dominates the first side of the album. Again, ELP is not a band that is good at writing 3 minute ditties (and that is why I like them). The lyrics and music on first side are embarrassing and not worth mentioning. The exception is Canario. Canario ends the first side and is a nice introduction to the second side of the album. The piece is not a bad adaptation, but it's not ELP at their finest. Most people do like this piece and it's probably because it is a huge departure from the rest of the first side. Taken on its own merits, it's just OK.

The second side is made up of the Officer and a Gentleman suite. Personally, I really like this side a lot. Some of the music is dated a bit awkward, but the lyrics (courtesy of Peter Sinfield) are a huge improvement from Lake's efforts on the first side. Emerson piano playing is wonderful throughout this piece.

The group at this point of their career was failing apart and that is very apparent in this album. There is no sense of urgency or purpose in their performance. I remember reading that once recording was completed, Lake and Palmer left Emerson in Bahamas (where he lived at the time) to finish up the album.

Unfortunately, this album is a precursor for the next few studio albums ELP would make in the years to come. Never again would ELP attempt pretentious, bombastic pieces of music that we all came to love and expect from them. Instead, they would to be a prog/pop band. Too bad they just never realized that this is not what their fan base wanted or expected of them.

This is only for the serious collector who can't sleep without their collection being complete.

Report this review (#14539)
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars "Is this album as futuristic as 'Brain Salad Surgery?" I hear you ask. "Is it [%*!#]", comes the swift reply. But seriously, 'Love Beach, for the most part, is an embarrassing collection of songs designed to curry favour with the A&R men of the time, and show that ELP had "commercial/chart Potential". HA! I mean, look at the cover; when did ELP turn into the Bee Gees???!!!!!

The short songs are bad; very bad. The production is awful; extremely awful. The haircuts are tragic, magnificently tragic. As for the lyrics. . .I know ELP 's lyrics have never been great , but on this album they plum new depth of awfulness. "I want to dynamite your mind. . ." sings Greg Lake as he pleads for 'A taste of your love'. Someone should have dynamited Greg Lake for coming up with such a crap song. To compliment the awful short songs and lyrics, there's an awful arrangement of Rodrigo's Canario (From Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre. If you haven't heard Rodrigo's arrangement, then do yourself a favour and go track it down. You won't be disappointed.). ELP's version features the cheesiest guitar synth sound known to mankind. Unfortunately Greg Lake insists on playing the damn thing on just about every track on the album --as if the songs aren't bad enough. The extended track 'Memoirs of an officer and a Gentleman' actually contains some excellent music, but the cheesiness of the sounds, and the slapdash nature of the arrangement and production, make it hard to listen to. Having said that, the opening piano playing is rather beautiful, indeed. But lyrics such as ". . .and thought that central heating was for just old peoples homes. . ." makes it kind of hard to concentrate on the playing for laughing. The second section, 'Love at first sight' once again features some lovely piano playing and some cringe worthy lyrics. The third section, 'Letters from the front" is rather poor and woefully underdeveloped. However, the last track, 'Honourable Company (A March)' is the highlight of the album: a rousing military march with much layered keyboard and military drumming --sort of like a mini 'Abadon's Bolero'. If only it were longer. All in all a very poor album that reflects the stupidity and fickle nature of the music business at the time (see cover) as much as it does ELP's creative bankruptcy.

Report this review (#14540)
Posted Thursday, August 12, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Beware !! It's not so bad as they told you ! To be honest, the only horrible thing here is the awful cover... Nasty. The only thing about this record is ELP tried avoiding their long suites and approaching to a more straight rock. So we get a batch of short songs, but I can still find most of ELp hooks on them. Only the long solos are missing. There's even the classical adaptation ("Canario"), wich isn't bad at all. Overall, a very nice album, though not the best place to start with ELP.
Report this review (#14543)
Posted Monday, September 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars What a hardship it must have been for Emerson, Lake and Palmer to be "forced" (so the story goes) to decamp to Compass Point Studios in the sun-kissed Bahamas to record this album. Actually I believe they moved there for tax reasons. Still, it would have been worth it had the sun and sea helped to produce some decent music, but the result was this execrable album.

Some say the music on this album was written either tongue-in-cheek or without heart because the band begrudgingly had to fulfil a contractual obligation to Atlantic Records. Others say that Atlantic Records insisted the band produce shorter, more commercial tracks. So what does that make the LP side-long 'Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman' then: a sop to existing fans, or a compromise with Atlantic? The excuses would still mean that the band abrogated their responsibility to their fans. Any self-respecting artist would not prostitute himself in such a way and, in any case, it is still possible to produce good music within a 3 or 4-minute straightjacket, as other Progressive Rock bands have shown. No, I believe the dearth of quality has a simpler explanation: the band members were bankrupt creatively and suffering from over-inflated egos. You only have to listen to "Works Volume 1" to realise that all was not well long before "Love Beach" was even conceived. Fame, fortune and overblown, tiring concert tours had taken their toll, and the quality of the music nose-dived after "Brain Salad Surgery." The band's flamboyance was tolerable while they were producing albums of the quality of the first five, but not after la dolce vita arrived and creative burnout occurred. I believe that the musical output would have been the same even if the band had taken another break (and remember that there had already been a lengthy hiatus between "Brain Salad Surgery" and "Works Volume 1"). The band was a spent force, irrespective of the advent of punk rock. According to lyricist Sinfield the band were behaving like "spoilt brats" and hardly talking to each other, so I think the apologists are basically wrong.

The album title alludes to a well-known beach of that name in the Bahamas. I assume that the band members were already living on or near Love Beach. Perhaps it was one of the reasons for choosing to record in the Bahamas in the first place. Anyway, according to the sleeve notes of the Sanctuary Records CD, Emerson was incensed at the choice of title - I do hope that is true.

The cringe-making album title and 'Bee Gees' cover photo were a surprise when I bought the album in 1978 - a surprise that turned to disappointment upon hearing the music. I thought it would improve with repeated listening, but it didn't. Sinfield's lyrics are part of the problem: "I want to love you like nobody loved you, Get on my stallion and we'll ride"; "I'm gonna love you like nobody loved you, Climb on my rocket and we'll fly"; "We loved so hard we shook the stars above." Yuck! Sinfield later declared that, with the possible exception of 'An Officer And A Gentleman', he didn't think much of his lyrics either. And I disagree with his opinion of 'An Officer And A Gentleman': parts of that track are dire too (the forced rhyming in places, for example). It's no exaggeration to say that some of the lyrics on this album make me cringe.

All the songs on the first side of the LP are slight pop: elevator music. 'All I Want Is You' (the single) and 'Love Beach' have simplistic, pleasant-enough tunes, but 'Taste Of My Love', 'The Gambler' and 'For You' have naff tunes and lousy synthesizers. 'Canario', the only decent track on the album, is an instrumental: the band's interpretation of Rodrigo's 'Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre'. 'Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentlemen' is 20 minutes of mediocre music dressed up in pretentious lyrics.

Surprisingly it's still easy to buy this album. Ironically, prevalent sniggering about the album over the years has probably resulted in some sales: people want to hear for themselves what the fuss is all about. Several earlier reviews posted on this Web site are evidence that the album has not disappointed universally; taste, after all, is a very individual thing. However it seems the majority share my disdain for the album, so don't say you haven't been warned!

The Sanctuary Records CD has three bonus tracks to prolong the misery: rehearsals for 'Canario', 'Taste Of My Love' and 'Letters From The Front'. What a complete waste of time.

How the mighty have fallen. I'm tempted to give this album a zero-star rating (Bad. Do not buy!), but a completist and diehard ELP fan would still be able to listen to it so I'll go with one star (Poor. Only for completists.)

Report this review (#14544)
Posted Friday, December 10, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars Haven't listened to this for a while, but I was shocked when I saw the cover. Still remember how I fell to the floor laughing about three prog musicians on a beach. Prog musicians should never be on a beach....The music itself is boring and repetitious, and has nothing to do with their classic period from 1970-74. If you start your ELP collection with this CD, it will be a very small collection, because you won't buy any more.
Report this review (#14545)
Posted Thursday, December 16, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars It was one of my first ELP records, but even now I consider that the B-side is impressive. The A-side is, maybe more pop-ish, but still has it's good parts. At least worth hearing. Any way I rated it with 4* beacause of the B-side.
Report this review (#14547)
Posted Wednesday, December 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars Like somebody already said here before this album isn´t that bad! Considering that they had to do an extra album for contratual obligations and were at the same time exausted after a long and troubled tour, we have a satisfatory album, if not a truly progressive one. I just find here one truly bad song, the album title track. All the others are nice; then the version of the classic Canario is good, and finally I dare to say that the longer track Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman is great!!! Overal, a good album, but non-essential. There were worser albuns before,during and after this one. For instance comes to my mind Triumvirat´s (a band in the ELP vein that made great albuns in the mid-seventies) Russian Roulette. Love Beach compared tothis one is a masterpiece of progressive rock.
Report this review (#14548)
Posted Wednesday, January 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars A disaster!!! Avoid this stuff. Almost entirely pure rubbish and pop. I confess - I am a convict completionist and my intention was to complete my ELP collection. ELP was one of my favorites, but honestly... this album is terrible. The only regular composition is "Canario". I got the cd one day and sell it the next one! It is a shame to excellent musicians like ELP. J. C. Motta, Brazil
Report this review (#14553)
Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not an essential recorning by any means, but you cannot just dismiss it as mere pop. Side one is not very good, true, except perhaps The Gambler that has echoes of the old ELP, but sode two is superb - the 20 minute suite is as good as ELP ever written (if one can overlook the cheesy romantic lyrics), and Canario is classic ELP. A must for 'real' ELP fan. Just skip side one and enjoy side two - it's pretty delectable.
Report this review (#14554)
Posted Wednesday, April 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars I quite like this album. There, I've said it, although I still can't admit to my liking for George Bush and small boys (the latter is a joke in case anyone was wondering). Obviously LB is a pale shadow of the intensity and brilliance of prime period ELP (BSS, Trilogy etc) but there are still pleasures to be had. Love Beach the track has some great snappy drumming from Carl Palmer and a jangly Beatles-style guitar riff, Canario is one of their best classical adaptations and For You is quite atmospheric and affecting in a cheesy, nightclub way. The opening of Officer and a Gentleman is quite beautiful and it's always a pleasure to hear Keith stretching out on the grand piano as he does on this side-long piece. Also, no-one mentions the unintentional humour to be derived from this album. Who can look at Greg Lake on the cover without smiling? He has just delivered what many considered to be a turd of an album that has flushed his career down the toilet and yet he bears the self-satisfied beam of a toddler on a pot. And for a cheap laugh check out the lyrics to Taste Of My Love, which even Motley Crue might have rejected as too crass. Mmm "taste it, taste it, taste it" indeed. I'll give it three and a half stars.
Report this review (#14556)
Posted Friday, May 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars First of all, I apologize to any fans of ELP or fans of this album (if they actually exist.) My father gave me his vinyl collection when I was a thirteen year old music junkie. I was at that time into Jetrhro tull, rush, sonic youth, pink floyd... When I put "love beach" on the turntable for the first time, I was suddenly aware of a hideous odor filling the room. The nasty funk fillling the room was "Love Beach." Now, I've heard BAD albums before, and have come to appreciate many of them. 13 years have passed since I first heard "Love Beach," and though every once a year I'll dig it out to give it a fair, honest try, and put it back while holding my nose. This album completely put me off from attempting other, lesser known prog acts for many years. I blame "Love Beach" for my only recently stumbling onto the much better and glorious acts of progressive rock such as gong, gentle giant, grobschnitt, and the like. I have given other ELP albums a fair try as well, and I do like the self-titled release, along with Tarkus and Trilogy. In short, there are "Good" bad albums (fans of yoko ono or Jandek know what I mean) and then there are BAD bad albums. And love beach is a BAD BAD album!!!!!! If you want good ELP, check out "Tarkus" "trilogy" the self titled debut, or Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends. If you want an album that is guaranteed to clear the room in under five minutes, get love beach.
Report this review (#14557)
Posted Friday, May 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Well, I believe we all understand that this production is not such as other for what we appreciate ELP. I agree with the sad arguments that you state for this album. As a matter of fact, I happen to agree, but there is something I want to tell you: it just dont mean a thing, since" For You", Still Turns Me On. Yes, indeed, even the album cover seems stinky and stuff, but the song above stated deserves, at least 3 stars. Its not an Emerson classical movement, but its a movement sent to us by the sensitive emotion of 3 artists. Just because so, it has merit (I refer to the song FOR YOU, not for the album as a concept or a unity). It was love as close as can ever come... Yes. FOR YOU ... :)
Report this review (#14558)
Posted Monday, May 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars The whole concept is terrible, far too commerical.. I really feel for Emerson and Palmer when I saw the front cover, I suppose Lake thought it was a great idea.

Essentially I would class side A as a Lake solo effort, and side B as a one of the worst epic tracks I have ever heard.

Sorry, I do love ELP, but this album was a very bitter pill to swallow. This album caters more for the USA than UK, and it shows.

Report this review (#40006)
Posted Friday, July 22, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The album is lousy, but "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" is truly a hidden gem within it! I would still suggest you to get it from some compilation, like "Return of The Manticore" boxed set for example. The album covers are so terrible, that at least I couldn't contaminate my bookshelf with such. But perhaps I'm too serious about this subject, and lack sense for sick humor!
Report this review (#41368)
Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars More contractual obligation. This manages to be even WORSE than WORKS VOL. 2, thanks to the nagging little fact that the music here was specifically written for this album, reportedly in the space of two days. I can believe it.

If the music were merely mediocre, I could forgive it, but the whole disc is just jaw-droppingly appalling at any moment. Not in an amusing, "point and laugh" sort of way. More in a "shocked and appalled" sort of way, sort of like the reaction to seeing a latter-day minstrel show. Sure, there were lame moments on previous albums, but I'm shocked and appalled that they produced something THIS bad.

Many of the band's fanboys will tell you that there are saving graces to this album. I disagree. "Canario" is more sub-Tomita kitsch, a tasteless synthed-up rendition of a classical guitar piece. And "Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman" is one of the most half-assed epics in prog history. It sounds like Emerson dusted off some half-finished motival ideas from his piano concerto, stuck them together with some wheezy synth passages and VOILÀ! Another epic is born.

Needless to say, the rest of the album is a nightmare of screeching synthesizer, bad lyrics and facile pop melodies. "Taste Of My Love" is the very definition of the word "execrable".

In short: this album is every bit as bad as you've heard. Stay away, far away, if you value your sanity.

Report this review (#45497)
Posted Sunday, September 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars "Love Beach" is one of the most underrated albums. Group confess that recording this one was the hard experience, and no one of the ELP members really wants it. Yes, for sure, it is always a bad situation, when the record label is enforcing the artists to make something new, if they haven't got an inspiration, BUT in my opinion the effects of their work isn't so bad, as usualy people think. The first side contains five Greg's songs, which lyrics are rather simply, but melodies are kind, and sounds much better (especially "Taste of my love", and "For You") than the compositions, which he will be singing in the near future with Gary Moore. Also Emerson's/Lake"s "The Gambler" is typical light ELP song, very comparable to "Benny the bouncer", "The Sheriff", or "Jeremy Bender" from the previous LP's. "Canario" and Keith's/Sinfield's long one "Memories of an officer and gentleman" are interesting propositions for any ELP fan. Why the "Love beach" is so hated LP? First of all: It was realesed after the weak Works vol II, which includes many outtakes. For the second, it is a true, that this album isn't so good, as the legendary older ones. Moreover, in the late seventies there was a change (I think for the worst) in the musical styles, and ELP, was recognized as a dinosaur. For the last: the terrible cover and pop beginning leaves for long a bad impression (also on me "some time ago"). Few words about members: Carl Palmer is disappointment. His drumming is getting worst on the studio albums from this one. He - from "Love beach" - will play more economically and will sound too loud. Keith Emerson is playing quite good, but his keys was greatest on the "ELP", "Tarkus" and "Brain Salad Surgery" albums. Greg's voice is fantastic here! He is one of the greatest vocalists, but "Love Beach" shows his highest form. To sum up: don't be afraid to put your headphones on. All the best from Gdansk, Poland.
Report this review (#58556)
Posted Tuesday, November 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars made because of a contract and not because of inspiration

i've heard from Greg Lake himself (not personally, in the "beyond the beggining" DVD) that they were forced to do LB, and of course you can hear that through the album! i completeylu agree with a reviewer who said that it is the picture (as with tormato or A or many others) of a band struggling to adapt. and adaptation can e hard if that means to turn from 29 minute epics to 3 minute radio-friendly songs! a bunch of uninteresting songs that cannot be compared with their previous work (any of them), but i must accept that canario is an exception, is a good song that one. whiuy 2 stars if it only has 1 good song? because I'm 17 years old and when i started collecting ELP, i did it cronologically and i learned about the history of prog thanks to elp: starting in the 70, pinnacle on 73, then downhill until here (love beach). so it has some historical value.

*PD* and i reall, really dislike those comments stating that Lake was the commercial side of ELP!

Report this review (#78276)
Posted Monday, May 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Here Emerson Lake and Palmer do a cheeky send up of prog. Starting with the beegees style cover and an album title that has nothing to do with the album the lads cheekily play through six short tracks each one making you think the album might turn the corner. Then comes the epic with cringeworthy lyrics but at least a redeemable first part. Then it totally runs out of gas. Along with Invisible Touch this is the most nauseating album I have but at least IT was 1986 when rock had gone to the dogs.This album then is a few years ahead of it's time.
Report this review (#79469)
Posted Friday, May 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Ah, the obligatory Contractual Obligation Album. For a band on the brink of making it, such albums are often a precursor of things to come - however, at this time, ELP were on the verge of splitting up and, as "Love Beach" proves, their hearts were just not in it.

Greg Lake's short ditties on Side 1 are, with the exception of "For You", complete throwaway garbage. After all, with a solo career looming, who in their right mind would submit their A-grade material to their band's swan-song? Pete Sinfield's lyrics are also somewhat inane and lacking the abstract poetic imagery he usually delivered by the bucketload. Other reviewers here seem to have picked up on "Canario" as being Side 1's only standout track - I do agree but, for a keyboard player of Emerson's calibre, it's little more than a practice piece, especially considering that 15 years later, he'd perform the piano-hands-a-blur "Creole Dance" live in concert.

"Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman" is Keith's attempt at a side-long closing epic. While Emerson's music itself isn't bad, Sinfield's lyrics are so ill-fitting, it's almost unbearable. For example, the bit where the officer learns of his new wife's death comes across as hammy and unemotional so you get the impression the titular character is thinking "Well, my wife's dead but I'm an officer and therefore have more important things to think about"!

Considering the prog classics that are out of print, it's a mystery why the label is still wasting perfectly good polycarbonate plastic and super-purity aluminium on this turkey but, considering some of the positive reviews it's received here, it must have aged better than expected. It really is for completists only.

... and don't even get me started on the cover! :)

Report this review (#82155)
Posted Wednesday, June 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Do not understand why this album is so banned.

Ok, it´s not very progressive. Ok, it´s sometimes boring. Ok, it sounds like restaurant- music.

And it doesn´t shows very ingenious art...

But if you need some background- music "Love Beach" is perfect. If beeing serious, half of the songs are really nice! That´s what I think...

"All I want is you" is very nice - but the synth are horrible... Love Beach is instrumentaly not so primitive like "Taste for my love". "The Gambler" is country- like and I find it pretty cool (like "Benny the Bouncer") "For you" is really boring... "Canario" have Latin-influences (or something else) and calms down.

"Memories of an officer and gentleman" is - on the one hand- a very interesting interpretation and - on the other hand- maybe the most boring song by ELP. I think the good and the bad moments of this song are mixed in those 20 minutes. You maybe can´t stand it...

It´s maybe non-essential but it isn´t so horrible like the albums of some OTHER bands at this time were (I think of Gentle Giant and King Crimson). Interesting music, indeed.

Report this review (#94076)
Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars This album isn't the catastrophe it's made out to be. Yes classic ELP is AWESOME. Yes, this album in comparison isn't even close, but it's still an interesting listen, Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman is quite good and catchy but it takes about 3 listens for you to enjoy it. Canario isn't too bad, its no "Hoedown" but its not terrible. The other 5 kinda suck but not too badly, they still are listenable. Stop complaining ELP fans, there were worse late 70's prog albums made. It's no brain salad surgery but its still decent.
Report this review (#94384)
Posted Friday, October 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars That cover...why ?? With a picture like that to put one off its as if this record is saying don't buy me, I am crap. Its a shame that inside the music is really not as good as even the cover suggests...terrible record mostly. The only saving grace is the Officer and Gentleman suit which has a few (just a few) moments. Why Emerson abandoned his moog modular in favour of crappy instruments is also a mystery but perhaps he was being paid to demonstrate the weak keyboards of the period. Sad ! Sinfeilds lyrics are total rubbish most of the time and here is no exception. A dreadful record that says contractual obligation with almost every breath. Sadly they should have split up before this record or better still have insisted on releasing a best of or another live set to get the agony over. never has a band deteriorated from such highs to such lows as ELP did. Don't buy this record I am certain if you ask nicely someone will give you a near mint copy if you must own this dross.
Report this review (#96445)
Posted Wednesday, November 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Let me start off by saying that this album will make you doubt the existence of a benevolent deity. Love Beach, ELP's fifth album, came on the heels of four masterpieces that helped to create prog rock as we know it. Then, came Works Volumes 1 and 2. That showed the band slipping. Then, label pressures and a desire to achieve commercial success resulted in Love Beach, a now legendary failure.

I came across this album after my friend lent me The Best of ELP to put on my iPod and after I acquired the excellent Brain Salad Surgery. I was blown away by tracks like Tarkus and Karn Evil, ELP were rapidly becoming one of favorite prog bands alongside Dream Theater, King Crimson, and Yes. Then I got this album. After giving it a few listens (one really must for prog albums), I concluded that ELP was dead to me. It was a full year and a half before I could even listen to a good ELP album.

Normally, I provide a track by track synopsis of each album, but if I even began to think about the individual tracks, my nose would bleed. I'm already typing with one hand so I can cup my nose if necessary. Now, I'm not one to condemn a band for selling out just because it becomes popular, but I do cry foul if a band comprises its vision to do so.

I took into consideration that their label was pushing them in their usual fashion to bleed their artists dry, but it astounds me that the boys down at A&R would release this. The only song that retains even a semblance to past glory is Officer and a Gentleman, but even that is horrible. Why did Keith abandon the polyphonic ensemble, an instrument created for him to discover new sonic territory? Why?! Instead he muddles about with lesser instruments. Greg and Carl's contributions also retain none of their old power and proficiency. If I didn't know better, I'd think the kids they use for those moronic "Kids Bop" CDs might have crafted this mess.

Some of you who are like me will be curious to check out this album to see if it lives up to its infamy. Instead, you should take out your wallet, extract however much you need to purchase Love Beach, burn it with a lit cigarette, then put out the cigarette in your eye. Trust me, it'll hurt at first, but you'll look better with an eye patch on your face than you will with Love Beach on your CD player.

Grade: F

Report this review (#100879)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars People tend to forget one very important thing about Love Beach when they bash it. By the time this album was released, ELP was history. The album was only made because of contractual obligations, after the band had decided they no longer had the creative energy necessary to go on. They no longer had any desire to work with each other, so little effort was put into making Love Beach yet another revolutionary album. The result however, is far more enjoyable than most people think. Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman is a beautiful and touching tragedy, and Canario is as much as classical rocker as Hoedown was on Trilogy. The first five songs contain some great progressive pop singles, including For You and Love Beach, which I can sit down and enjoy anyday of the week. Love Beach is, in a way, the de-evolution of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, but it is also a testament to the band's versatility.
Report this review (#100881)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
3 stars O.K. - not the worlds greatest album, but a cut above most of the mainstream drek at the time. I do have time for this release on the odd occasion, and the album contains some well written rock songs that could get the average listener interested and willing for further investigation of this wonderful band. Not all is lost here - the trio have still given us the intense ballad, 'For You', and another classical interpretation - a complex rendition of a Rodrigo composition, 'Canario'. This one is very proggy but too short. The side-long suite (actually 4 seperate parts which are only held together in concept) have their moments for sure. Keith has ditched his Hammond and stuck with mainly pianos (some beautiful Grand Piano parts are present), synths (Yamaha, Korg and Moog) and a clavinet, Greg Lake actually turns in some fine vocals but his bass playing takes more of a back-seat while he concentrates on guitar, and, in all honesty, Carl Palmer does a really good job with his Percussive work throughout. Still, lyricist Pete Sinfield writes some cheezy lines, and overall, this album, whilst I prefer it to the Works Volumes, is really one for the completist - not bad, but not grandiose either. I've decided to up this record to 3 stars because Carl Palmer is actually outstanding and really brings this music to life.
Report this review (#101353)
Posted Friday, December 1, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars By the time I had finished listening to this album for the first time I knew the music world was in trouble. What were the band thinking. I know if their defence the record company was demanding an album from them and they weren't really ready to do this. First of all delete the first five worthless pieces of music. It isn't so much that they are simpler songs or anything like that it is just that they are bad. I like simpler stuff sometimes but these are terrible! Canario ends the first side and it is a pretty good adaptation and one we come to expect form ELP Good energy and good playing. Unfortunately it does not spill over into the epic on the other side. The whole Officer suite reminds me of a stretched out Take a Pebble(if that is possible) with a story behind it. There are probably 5 minutes of good music here and the March at the end of the suite is just ok. On top of it all is that cover! Yechh!

There is nothing here except Canario worth listening too so I give this two stars.

Report this review (#119259)
Posted Saturday, April 21, 2007 | Review Permalink

Both their awful and disgusting "Works I and II" are behind but will ELP delivers something better with this release ? It is obvious that the best is behind. The poppish attempts "All I Want Is You" and "Taste Of My Love" are not too bad after all. Great keys (but is this to be mentioned ?). Unfortunately, the title track is a very weak number. I do like like pop/prog as I call it, but this song is really hard to cope with. Press next.

But the next button will, inevitably lead you to "The Gambler". The same button is the best option and will lead you to "For You" a Lake ballad meant to repeat "Lucky Man", "Still..." or "C'Est La Vie". Well at this time of this difficult review, I must say that it is not the worse track so far..."Canario" starts really awful but features a not too bad ELP at the end.

So, the only hopes are based on the epic track. Another "Tarkus" maybe (or half a "Karn Evil" or double a "Take A Pebble") ? Well, let's put things into perspective and be happy that "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" is not as poor as the rest. There are of course lots of weak sections (the best one being the introducory part featuring Lake on the vocals). After that, the band will play a lenghtly and dispensible instrumental part.

Unfortunately, "Tarkus" won't be repeated... I am of course not a musician but how comes that such a great band will produce such miserable music ? When I am not in great shape, my business partner tells me : he, what happens with you! Go out there, get inspired and come back with good projects !

Is there no one in their close relationships or management to tell them the same (this is also valid for other great bands of course) ?

1978 was of course not the proggiest one, but who could be interested in such a release ? I couldn't at that time. There were lots of funnier bands to listen to than this boring ELP. I will be generous and give them two stars for this "work".

It is rather surprising that two reviewers have given the masterpiece status to this album. Did I miss something ?

Report this review (#124412)
Posted Saturday, June 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
1 stars In all honesty, this album makes me ashamed to call myself an ELP fan. It's uninspired and lacking the "oomph" and the rich sound found in their previous albums. The songs feel very "shallow" and besides parts of "Canario," everything here is very BORING. Love Beach didn't end up being very lovely, and is worth neither your time nor money. Even the "fans" can stay away from this one, or if they must, listen to it once and say that they "finally got it over with."
Report this review (#146637)
Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars Confusion will be my epitaph... As Lake sang many years before ! And this is the epitaph of ELP-prog. Only Black Moon will save ELP fans from the total disaster. One of the worst album of the seventies prog. I bought it on lp format in 1978 because ELP was my favourite group. I've listen it only 2 o 3 times and then I've put it on the dusty-shelf. Only for collectors and fans. Brain Salad Surgery seems to be composed in another world by another band. Ridicolous cover! Keith, Greg and Carl seems like Bee Gees clones in Saturday Night Fever era.
Report this review (#158649)
Posted Tuesday, January 15, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars Love Beach, one of the most dreaded albums in the history of prog... or non-prog. Here, ELP has completely abandoned any signs of musicianship or progression, I mean just look at that hideous cover. Are they going to try and look like a much of disco guys now?

Well, to the actual music. The first five tracks are all hideous, it is pure pop and drags down the album ALOT. The rest isn't all bad but still doesn't have much Emerson, Lake & Palmerish feel to it.

Overall this is an embarassing album... If you haven't heard this, keep it that way. A person with functioning ears will most likely dismiss this album, especially a proger who appreciates ELP's earlier work.

Report this review (#159389)
Posted Monday, January 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Interesting, when I was reviewing their discography, I stopped at their inconsistent Works II. How could I forget their much maligned crapbeach?

To tell you the truth, I don't really find this album an abomination at all. Sure, the first side have them playing classic rock/pop with Greg Lake sounds like a lounge singer instead of the guy who sang in Epitaph and the second side is an uninspired (for them) epic. However, do not blame the members so much (who even themselves have a strong dislike for this album). Love Beach was recorded quickly (I think I heard that it was recorded in two days) and as an obligation to a label. I also read that the guys were already tired and wanted to call it a day, and they had this burden to record an album quickly. So, you wouldn't expect these guys to record something great. On a positive note, the sound quality is crystal clear, the short songs usually are not boring and many melodies are acceptable if you are willing to forgive the horrible lyrics.

Emerson ruins All I want is You with his goofy synths. The composition is not that bad, despite the band sounding like it is going through the motions. The album starts on a bad note. 3/10

Love Beach has more memorable melodies but the Greg sometimes sounds like a bad imitation of Robert Plant and the song's mood and the lyrics I'm gonna make love to you in love beach perfectly capture the album cover, which looks like a playgirl magazine april fool's day cover. 4/10

The silly Taste of My Love sounds like the main theme of a pornographic movie. Once again, it is a song dominated by Greg's embarrasing lyrics and guitar lines. Palmer again seems uninspired and Emerson plays his silly synths. The following lyric is so bad it's funny: I'm gonna love you like nobody ever loved you, climb on my rocket and we'll fly. 4/10

The Gambler is a supposedly groovy blues tune that doesn't sound at all like ELP. Emerson himself plays a goofy solo and then there's an abominable call and response performance between Lake and a girl going ohhhh ahaaa. 2.5/10

For You starts with an odd-sounding electric guitar intro that appears to me like a weak imitation of Yes-Roundabout. Luckily a well-arranged romantic mood not only redeems the intro but makes it the clear highlight of the album for me. The melodies and instrumental arrangements are more thought-out and inspired and Emerson finally uses the right synthesizer sounds and plays nice motifs with them. The electric guitar tone is great as well. 7/10

While most reviewers call Canario the highlight, it starts with a pathetic groove and the synthesizer tone are pretty irritating. This classical adaptation is very weak and reminds me of Wakeman's silliest songs in Rhapsodies, except that it has a very messy climax. 3.5/10

Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman is the slightly dull epic, though luckily is not as mediocre as you might think. It begins with acoustic piano and vocals, continues with pleasant and inoffensive balladry. Piano and vocals return with pleasant yet forgettable music. A more rock section later with a neat electric-harpsichord motif that reminds me of Gentle Giant. When vocals return, the music is probably the most inspired in this epic and turns a bit jazzy. I like the vocal deliveries and the Gentle-Giant style electric piano motifs. The song ends with a military rhythm and a positive synthesizer motif. In summary, the song is never irritating, maybe a bit dull in some moments. 5/10

C'mon, the album is not the worst prog album of all times. I do not think it is even a bad album. Just a band being forced to do something quickly when they just wanted to rest.

Report this review (#168110)
Posted Saturday, April 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Young, Gifted and Red-faced (In Their Pyjamas in the Bahamas)

Tanning lotion? (check)

Silly hat? (check)

Medallion? (check)

Sunglasses? (check)

Miss Spain? (check..hey baby)

Compositions you will ever want to hear more than once?

(Erm...Keith? about that holiday at Compass Point man .......)

When punk declared it open season on the Progasaurus Boringoldfarticus, they afforded ELP special status as a delicacy to be best enjoyed eaten alive after roasting over a viciously hot spit and marinaded for several years before being washed down with a bottle of finest German Schadenfreude.

In 1978 Emerson, Lake and Palmer really only had two options: they could lie low for a while (or as low as a dinosaur could be expected to lie) until the eternally cyclic tides of fashion had turned once more back in their favor or: take on the new wave at its own game and under its rules.

As commendable as their decision to opt for the latter was, there is but a very fine line between the brave and the foolhardy and given that their most potent weapon in this campaign rested entirely on the ability of one from their number being able to write short radio friendly pop hits (Greg Lake), they had about as much chance of success as that of David's infant niece against a Goliath who has already purloined the slingshot beforehand.

'All I Want Is You' - Now I know I'll be swimming against the tide here but, I rather enjoy this and, apart from the excruciating middle eight where you might be forgiven for hoping that 'flight 112' loses power in both its engines, think this is a really neat little pop song with a catchy chorus to boot. Just the shimmering guitar and Greg's voice makes for a very effective entrance.

'Love Beach' - Contains the immortal couplet:

Where pirate moons, throw silver spoons across the waves to you

Do potential tourists in the Bahamas run the risk of injury from being harpooned by cutlery from bum baring buccaneers? I really think we should be told.

'Taste of My Love' - If music be the food of love Greg, you really need to stop snacking between meals. As an advert for the author's Olympian stamina during some high altitude training in the boudoir, this strays perilously close to 'Spinal Tap' territory.

'The Gambler' - This ain't too shabby at all and at least it's got a bit of grunt in the shuffle boogie chorus plus a decent hook courtesy of Greg's guitar. A work of labyrinthine conceptual genius in the light of what preceded it.

'For You' - Still can't believe this made The Return of the Manticore boxed set as despite some 'pretty' piano from Emerson and Greg's patented Julio Iglesias impersonation, there really isn't sufficient cause to reach for the tissue box just yet. The guitar synthesizer that Lake packed for his hols is put to good use here but as attractive a timbre as it is, he's like a kid with a new toy: you just can't seem to get the damn thing off him. Enough already!

'Canario' - The 'token' classical adaptation is well played, energetic and pretty good fun but they sound inhibited, either by the hovering specter of Ahmet Ertegun who booked the studio time, or someone has discovered the source of that funny smell at Compass Point (It's Franck Pourcel's missing cheese from 1969.)

'Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman'

'Prologue/The Education of a Gentleman' - Very understated opening with just simple piano chords and Lake's sepia tinged lamentation for the lost generation. Carl's restrained but salutary fill kicks us into a much meatier groove thereafter with drums, bass and synths supporting a melodic transition that goes in turns from noble through triumphant to defiant with increasing urgency. Emerson keeps things very simple and does not have a conventional 'solo' but contents himself with unfailingly inspired synth brass fanfare motifs that capture perfectly the waning sunset over a once mighty British Empire. This is more like it lads.....Damn! the 'Baby Clanger Early Warning Alarm System' has just been tripped by:

When I finally marched from Sandhurst, I'd learned to put my fellow man first

Towards the end alas, the harmonic colors dissolve somewhat into an ambiguous 'pale blues' palette, and ELP seem either undecided or hesitant as to whether following this detour will bring the song to a satisfying conclusion. (It doesn't)

'Love at First Sight' - As far as I can tell this is built entirely from a Chopin piano etude that Emerson plays unaltered on the intro before moving into his own uncharacteristically florid and romantic extension of same joined by Lake's vocal. Being a staple of the classical repertoire the tune is hardly deserving of any flak and Greg's 'Edwardian drawing room' inflected delivery on this section sounds authentic and sincere. Unfortunately this same delightful material stubbornly refuses to 'kick ass' as ELP attempt to cajole it to do so on the second part of the track. Lake's vocal just sounds wearyingly shrill and the pathos of the first half degenerates into bathos on the second. Nice little Spanish guitar solo from Greg and supporting vibes from Carl do soften the blow a little.

'Words From the Front' - Palmer's sparing but lively groove approaches 'the Meters' but ultimately shies away from 'da funk' (It was, after all, only a tan) and the band join him in a jazzy and by ELP standards, minimalistic passage featuring some biting Fender Rhodes electric piano from Keith. There is much to enjoy here as the room afforded by the sparsity of the arrangement allows us to hear at close quarters some vintage interplay between the trio. Once again Emerson practices admirable restraint and avoids the temptation to fill up all that free air with dazzling but cluttering virtuosity, and the track benefits from this new found discipline and....Whoops! the 'Baby Clanger Early Warning Alarm System' is flashing red again:

Yes it's great now you're a full time nurse but do be careful with the air raids getting worse (need to increase the threshold setting I think)

The quiet section in the middle where Second Lieutenant Lake receives the news that Sister Lake has met an untimely end at the hands of those filthy Bosch hun, borders on the trite and despite a truly haunting and chilling atmosphere created by Emerson's skeletal chiming Rhodes and Palmer's chattering cymbals, nothing is going to save Lake's melodrama heavy 'gravitas' from being consigned to the 'out' tray for eternity. (and perhaps just a bit longer, it really sucks)

The thrilling and inspired ending to the song therefore takes on the mantle of a musical apology for what came before with Lake's snarling and indignant vocal mirrored sympathetically by some glorious brass 'distress signals' via Keith's synths. (Yummy, you are forgiven boys)

'Honourable Company (A March)' - Anyone in the flight path of the orbiting Planet Emerson would normally batten down the hatches and secure the ornaments if they see the word 'March' looming on the horizon as history dictates that a merciless trampling underfoot will be meted out otherwise. This is therefore rather disappointing and smacks of Abaddon's Bolero (the sequel), as performed by the massed Pipes and Drums of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. Cute, but that is hardly an epithet worthy of ELP.

Sometimes Officer and a Gentleman is brilliant, at other times ordinary and very often downright atrocious and we are forced to view this piece as a lavishly expensive demo included here on Love Beach as a snapshot of a promising but underdeveloped work in progress.

Peter Sinfield was flown in to contribute to the lyrics on this record and he brought along with him his erstwhile girlfriend, the reigning Miss Spain. Some of the lyrics are in places so bad that it begs the question, did the dusky beauty queen actually write them? (or was it that hotel waiter who was studying English?)

Exiled in the late 70's from their own country for tax purposes and probably their own personal safety too, there is a temptation to read too much into ELP's tale of a triumphant and expansive empire being torn asunder by the barbarians at the gates (punk rock) for the fit to reek of anything other than Chateau de Sarsons

Report this review (#170460)
Posted Saturday, May 10, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
1 stars A Plague of Light Gross Weepers

This album was bagged out completely by the band members themselves on the DVD From the Beginning. They even hated the album cover and for good reason. Its Bee Gees meets Hawaii Five O.

But I had to taste and see for myself. And it left a bad taste in my mouth I had to wash out with dollops of Tarkus and Brain Salad Surgery. What a mess this album is.

One track stands out - One! but you have to wade through the sewerage tunnels of 5 tracks that have a stench worse than a full nappy. Track 6 - Canario (From Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre) is a beautiful 4 minute stand out piece that works well both instrumentally and is full of innovative musical virtuosity. Its the only track that is found on the 'Ultimate ELP' compilation. It shows the type of work these guys were capable of. Then 'Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentlemen' begins and goes on..... and on..... and on! It never seems to stop! It feels like Chinese torture by the 10th minute. What were they thinking?

Thankfully albums following this such as 'Black Moon' saw ELP rise to decent levels. Even 'In the Hot Seat' has 2 decent tracks. What a waste of talent is Love Beach! I don't think anymore needs to be said. Avoid like the veritable plague!

Report this review (#177908)
Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
2 stars Finally, I got to hear this much hated album. Since I have heard so many bad things about it, I was expecting the worst. Actually, the album is not that bad! Obviously, this album is not comparable to the early classic albums Brain Salad Surgery, Tarkus, Trilogy and the self-titled debut. But Love Beach is actually better than the bands previous two studio efforts; Works vol. 1 and Works vol. 2 (the latter wasn't really a proper studio album at all, but more of a compilation of previously unreleased tracks).

What people seem to hate most about this album is the cover art and the lyrics. I cannot other than agree with this. But it is the music that judgements (mainly) should be based upon, isn't it? And the track The Gambler is the only thing here that is truly awful. The Greg Lake songs from this album, All I Want Is You, Love Beach, Taste Of My Love and For You are listenable but forgettable. However, I think that these songs are mostly better than the songs from side two of the Works vol. 1 album (which was made up entirely of Lake's songs).

Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman is easily the best and most interesting track on this album and in my opinion this is actually just as enjoyable as Pirates (also from the Works vol. 1 album). The section of this epic called Letters From The Front is especially good. Also, Canario (a classical composition?) is a good track.

The remastered CD version also offers three bonus tracks. These are rehearsals of Canario, Taste Of My Love and Letters From The Front. These tracks constitute a rare insight into the studio.

There are many Emerson Lake & Palmer albums that should be checked out before this one. Their first four studio albums, the great 1992 comeback album Black Moon and the Emerson, Lake & Powell album are all far better than this. However, Love Beach isn't that horrible, and it isn't their worst album.

Worth having if you are a fan and you have all the other albums I mentioned.

Report this review (#178002)
Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars Love Beach was produced to satisfy contractual obligations. Anytime I hear the words "contractual obligations" I have to wonder what I'm getting myself into by buying the album. Although I couldn't help myself in approaching this album negatively right from the start, it actually seems better to me than ELP's previous effort, Works Vol. II.

Although almost completely uninspired, the only track worth getting this album for is the 20-minute epic Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman. It's clearly nowhere near the level we expect from ELP considering some of the remarkable pieces they created in the past (like Karn Evil 9), but it's at the very least, passable. The other track worth noting is Emerson's take on Canario, an excerpt of Joaquín Rodrigo's Fantasía para un gentilhombre. Nicely done.

The rest of the album is plainly a mixture of pop and classic rock pieces, chiefly written by Lake and Sinfield. True, this album contains the usual ELP formula of an epic, a cover of some classical piece, Greg Lake ballads and filler rubbish. What it lacks is inspiration and some basic songwriting skills.

I'm going to lean towards the collectors/fans crowd and give this two stars, but please note that many of my fellow reviewers rate this even lower. So take that as a serious warning.

Report this review (#180379)
Posted Wednesday, August 20, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars I sum this album up as a miss ojn most counts. The mix is very poor reducing Emerson and Palmer to bar band sidemen on side one. Greg Lake proves why he should never be the lead character in ELP. It is a wonder they lasted so long with this cheesy balladeer in their ranks. Awful Lyrics and pub singer delivery damn side one. The instrumental tracks on the end of side one and 2 are cpompetent enough but lack spirit and again the mix is pathetic compressing and reducing everythig to a glossy low contrast radio hum. The long suite on side 2 that everyone says saves the album is again a poorly realised mess. Some valiant piano playing by KE cannot hide the terrible 6th form noodles of the lyrics. Sinfield was under pressure? Yup, and he couldn't hack it. Embarassing crap. The original album ends with the instrumental, but who the hell made it so toothless in the mixing? No bass no feel or presence. I originally saw this album in the cut out racks and wondered what the hell it was, bought it and realised that even as an ELP devotee, I really didn't need it. Oh the pain. Well ocassionally I take it out dust it down and point to the east, no, sorry it always fails to please.
Report this review (#187560)
Posted Saturday, November 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
1 stars Abysmal. This band held so much promise, yet somehow their 70's life ended with this abomination. The playing is un-inspired, and lyrically the entire album manages to attain the poetic nadir Geg Lake only aspired to on previous projects. I can imagine him sitting in his basement one evening staring at the furnace for inspiration. That's it...I'll write about central heating !!! Even sadder, I remember rushing out with anticipation to purchase this record in 1978, then actually enjoying it !! 31 years on it's sheen has faded. Can you say ...contactual obligation ? 2009, and rumours fly that ELP will re-unite for a tour. You know I still love these guys, and have hope for one final masterpiece. They owe us one to make up for Love Beach.
Report this review (#210626)
Posted Monday, April 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars Better than I expected, but the cheesy lyrics and the just average music made me understad why this album is so hated among proggers around the world

Love Beach is usually regarded as THE WORST Emerson, Lake and Palmer album and one of the worst progressive rock albums of all history, and it is really not very hard to understand why: the limited, uninspired, generic and repetitive lyrics (which are EXTRA cheesy on the first side of the album) makes me wonder if they were really written by Peter Sinfield and the average (and sometimes uninspired) muisc makes me wonder if who really wrote this is the Keath Emerson we know and not his evil twin. The inspiration and virtuoso playing are unfortunately, nowhere to be seen here.

Ironically, the only really good song (the best song actually) in Love Beach was not written by Keith Emerson. Canario (From Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre) was written by the Spanish classical music composer Joaquín Ridrigo. Maybe the only good song by ELP is the closing song: the epic Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman. However, just like in the rest of the album, there is no exceptional playing, but in the last song it does not a difference because it is quite good the way it is. Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman sounds very close to what the classic Emerson, Lake and Palmer songs did, but the thing is that it is unable to rescue the album from the pit of cheese it was put in by most of the first part of the album.

The highlights go to: Canario (From Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre) and Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman. The saddest moments are: All I Want Is You, Love Beach, Taste Of My Love, The Gambler, For You.

One interesting thing about Love Beach is that it may be considered a concept album, since every song theme is about love, one way or the other. That can be seen in the lyrics (which repeat the word love MANY TIMES in almost every song) and also in the songs titles. The fact of being or not a concept album doesn't make a difference, because with an album title like Love Beach and an album cover like we have here, you pretty much know what to expect.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Well, I have always been skeptic about low grades in ProgArchives, specially when the subject is this band in partucular, but this time the grade is pretty fair. The album is not very good, regarding both the lyrics and the music, but it is not worthless. As I said before, the last two songs are actually good ones, but they are not great, just good, so they can't rescue the album from the seas of cheese upon it was released. Thus, the grade for Love Beach is 2 stars at most.

Report this review (#212478)
Posted Saturday, April 25, 2009 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
3 stars Love Beach, ELP. 1978

OK, revisionism starts here. Love Beach is a good album. Maybe it's just the Carl Palmer rule, or maybe I'm not righteously angry enough at a band doing pop music or going for a cover without elves, or spacemen or camels, but simply put, the 46% of reviewers who've given this one star are really missing out on some of the decent pop music on side 1 and the entertaining, if not fully realised classical fiddling of Canario and the suite on Side 2. Besides, it's 1978, and of the classic 'prog' bands, only Van Der Graaf, sans the Generator, plus a violinist, are still going very strong. Admittedly, Lake's voice isn't as secure as it was previously (it's still alright, though), and God knows what happened to Sinfield... probably left a romantically-inspired egomaniac chimp on a typewriter while heading off for a watery frolic with Miss Spain, but apart from that... this is a surprisingly decent album, and vastly better than it is often made out to be. Yes, it's hardly Genesis or Sheet Music in terms of class, but it's still a fairly good pop-based album, with some fun, memorable songs and great work from Carl Palmer.

The album opens with All I Want Is You, which, in spite of Sinfield and Lake's (I can't understand why he resorts to such laboured twists) concerted effort to ruin the song, Palmer is going strong and Emerson's synths are good fun, if maybe a bit too high for their own good. So yeah, not classic, but it's not really difficult to listen to.

Now, in a scandalous revelation, I think the title track is a great song.  Catchy diao-nao-da-niao-niao guitar lines, memorable vocal melodies, fantastic drumming, canny little breaks in the main melody, a decent vocal from Lake, some of Sinfield's pet chimp's best lines, even if the lyrics are a bit tacky.  A good pop song. No shame in that.

Taste Of My Love opens with a twenty second synth introduction, before Palmer comes in to provide a great link between Emerson's strident keys and Lake's flexible, and actually pretty alright vocal, with his bizarre jazz/rock style and rattlesnake growling. Emerson fills up the mood with every synth sound he can pluck out, and, even if he's not 100% in the realm of taste, he does some pretty cool stab things to reinforce the vocal. Again, the lyrics are absolutely dreadful, but they're better than Scenes From A Memory Metropolis, so that's OK.

The Gambler benefits most from the Carl Palmer rule. Bland vocal, bland lyrics, rather obvious, but nonetheless neat synthesiser work, but still, the drumming is fantastic, with its insidious groove and slamming fills... taking on the tin bucket and whatever other silliness he's got around in that kit. And, besides, it all pulls together a bit towards the end. Not a great moment, but still, it's got listenable content.

For You, on the other hand, is an all-round good song. A great synth-guitar-and-drums introduction, with some semaphore keys. A neat bit of guitar and haunting synth soloing introduces easily the most introspective and understated piece of this album, with a bloody fantastic Lake vocal (where was it on the rest of the album so far?), and more work with subtle synthesiser sounds and piano, and Palmer, as ever, is absolutely solid, further assisted by some When The Apple Blossoms Bloom... style synth bits. Anyway, I love this one. It helps that Sinfield, even if he's not at his best here, has probably at least given his monkey some English lessons for this one. Anyway, a great pop song.

The synth-led take on a classical guitar piece is maybe the easiest thing for Joe the Progger to get into here, with its quirky, light-hearted squeaking, lack of Sinfield's-Monkey lyrics and slightly more confident bass work from Lake, and Emerson's hectic twists are something to behold. Palmer, as always, is a bulwark of talent and taste, and the overall impression is quite neat, even if you can't help feeling that it's really only The Keith Emerson Show with very little relevance to the anything else. Actually possibly the least enjoyable thing on the album so far.

Side two opens with a muted piano chord, lightly and emotionally played by Keith Emerson, who, for the first time here, seems really quite concerned with the subtle range of his playing, and Lake sounds a heck of a lot better than he did on his own pop songs, maybe he's just happy with the pompous mood, and with Palmer's mixture of his more idiosyncratic rock work and the occasional classical crash, this is comfortably the most classic ELP track we've seen so far.

A lush, smooth romantic piano part connects the prologue to the delicate Love At First Sight, a superb showcase on the part of Emerson, and while Lake is putting himself under a little more stress than he needs to, he's still quite comfortable and capable at the piano-and-voice game, and with the absolutely gorgeous supplementary classical guitar from Lake and xylophone from Palmer, this track goes from a beauty to an understated gem. Simply put, every serious ELP fan should here this superb song at least once in their lives. Preferably a few times in their lives. I can't imagine getting bored of it too quickly.

After a slightly less involving synth-and-drum=chaos in 'typical' ELP style, we move onto the maybe-a-bit-too-twee Letters From The Front, with its excessive coupletage, and the effort at a dramatic twist is admittedly laboured, though it sort of fits the choppy organ from Emerson (and there are some absolutely great spiralling, whirling organ (I think) parts, reminiscent in a way of the solo Hackett piece 'Tigermoth' (also a war theme).

An effort at maybe uniting everything pompous about ELP, the military drumming, the ambling bass, the twee synths, is clearly made in the conclusive 'Honourable Company' (A March), and if the effects is more of Pomp And Circumstance March than the life-affirmingly British power-trip of Jerusalem, that's just about forgivable. All in all, the last couple of sections are significantly weaker than the first couple, but it shouldn't overshadow the fact that there's a fantastic ten minutes in there, and the other few are weak as much by comparison as by content.

So, it comes down to weighing up these ups (of which there are a lot) and the downs (of which there are definitely some). Anything with drumming this good (however frank Carl Palmer is about his opinions on albums he's cut in the past, he's honestly never failed to do his best with the kit on them, and at this point in time, he still absolutely ruled) escapes the 'only for completionists' boundary, and, simply put, there are two ELP classics, and two great pop songs on here, and the rest at least have some redeeming features and, more importantly, never drop below slightly irritating, which means the whole album can be quite cheerfully taken in one sitting. For the moment, it's getting a three in the 'pop/prog' book, obviously non-essential, but it's still an album with a bit of character, and the first two bits of Memoirs are some Emerson, Lake And Palmer that you could do with even if you're not a huge fan of theirs.

Rating: 3 stars, (higher than Works 2, actually), 9/15, maybe. Favourite Track: Love At First Sight <3

Edit: I'm dropping a lot of ratings generally... I felt that maybe a two would be more accurate. I like this album a lot, it's still an overall good album, I just felt that if I'm going for increasing stinginess across the board, an album I gave three stars partly out of reaction to how unreasonably lowly it was generally estimated was one that I should probably drop. I would say that an ELP fan should have this in their collection.

Edit edit: Listened to the damn thing again and agreed with my original rating. Think Side 1 is a tad better than I perhaps thought them.

Report this review (#216251)
Posted Saturday, May 16, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars By 1978 Emerson Lake & Palmer had taken pretty much everything over the top from spinning pianos to having full orchestras and choirs backing them up in live concerts. At the " suggestion " of the president of Atlantic Records they rationalized their music into several radio friendly rock ballads ( which was nothing new ), a watered down epic and an instrumental piece based on Rodrigo`s Fantasia Para Va Gentlehombre.

If their 1974 Brain Salad Surgery album was the zenith of ELPs creative faculties then Love Beach sent out a message of resolve stating that it was indeed time to apply the brakes. Collectively they had only managed to produce a handful of solid compositions since that album amidst a heavy touring schedule. While the fertile days for progressive rock of the early seventies were long passed they still managed to produce a respectable record when compared with other progrock bands who were also feeling the scourge of disco, punk and shifts in musical tastes in the late 70s. While Love Beach was cooly recieved by the media it still managed to make it into the top 100 on both sides of the Atlantic and contained music that was still true to the ELP praxis. The Greg Lake ballads were certainly not of the calibre of C`est La Vie or Lucky Man with the more upbeat The Gambler echoing Benny The Bouncer and Are You Ready Eddie?. Also, the almost compulsory 20 minute epic presented in the form of Memiors Of An Officer And A Gentleman, a romantic and tragic elucidation of the life of a soldier during wartime, was certainly not a Karn Evil 9, but was refreshing nonetheless with the band sounding much more relaxed throughout the whole album which was recorded in a state-of-the-art studio in the Bahamas.

Indeed, the cover and title that the band themselves detested, were reminicient of a Beach Boys record or a Surfaris comeback album, but one has to understand that the ball was not completely in the band`s court. They had a commitment to the record company and had to bow at least somewhat to Atlantic`s whims and wishes and this included the album cover and title. So, having had to say, " very well then we`ll do that " to the record company they managed to pull off a record which could have been a lot worse under the circumstances as evidenced by other contemporary material from other progrock bands who fell victim to the times.

While I`ll stand by a three star rating I would also advise someone to at least familiarize themselves with some of ELPs earlier material before getting into this odd one. Definitely not wholly representitive of their true form but nonetheless has redeemable moments, cheesy title and cover notwithstanding. If you can get over this then it`s certainly not the tomato as it has been made out to be.

Report this review (#232382)
Posted Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars ELP on the edge - 2.5 stars for sure

With Love beach from 1978, ELP goes realy on the bottom line, far are the days when we heared blistering key passages like on Tarkus or Trilogy, the late 70's cought ELP in wrong musical direction. Is like I'm listening to Bee Gees from that period, only pieces just for the sake to be on the album. Even the keys of Emerson and the drums of Palmer are dull, flat with no vein but not bad performed, only from time to time I heared some good vocal parts from Lake, but far from the early days sparkle. If you skip first 6 pieces remaing only one more piece to listen, the longest from here and one of the longest they ever compose, the unintristing Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman. When I saw such a long suite, I belive that even this track is in vein of Tarkus, Endless enigma, but turned to be in the end a total mediocre piece, without soul, intrest and everything you name it. The sections are played good, the keys in places are ok, the voice aswell, but as a whole, something is missing, there is no more that early career spark between musicians, is like they are tired to bring the piece to the end, forgetable track, even they tried to sound like old days , they fail big time. The cover art is a perfect example what is on the album. So, 2.5 stars, there are some good moments here and there, but not enought, keeping in mind what albums they releasewd in early '70s.

Report this review (#242469)
Posted Friday, October 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Back when this album was released, I would have rated it with one star. This album was far worse than anything they had ever release, so far beneath their previous output it was rendered unlistenable. But, now, more than three deacades later, I must re-evaluate that. They have released worse since then. Black Moon was marginally worse, and In The Hot Seat is far worse. So two stars it is.

The first half of the album is just terrible. Plain pop songs. But at least Lake still had his voice, Palmer could still play rings around almost every other rock drummer, and Emerson, for what little he was adding, was still Emerson.

The second half is better. Canario, yet another Ginastera-based piece, is very good, but not great. And the "epic", Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman, not as good as Pirates, which was nowhere near as good as Tarkus and Karn Evil 9, has some tolerable sections, as well as some snore inducing parts.

Report this review (#242501)
Posted Friday, October 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Only recently I had any wish to hear this CD again. At the time I hated Love Beach as much as anyone else I knew. Well, it was 1978 and with its hideous cover and title, what would you expect? Strangely, I remember seeing a ELP special on TV at the time. I´m still wondering why it was ever broadcast. Anyway, after 30 years it doesn´t sound nearly as bad as i thought at the time. After all, Greg Lake still had his wonderful voice intact and the band hasn´t lost their magic touch completely. Not that it was very good either. The album´s first side, very much Lake dominated, has some nice melodies but could be improve a lot with a (much) better production and stronger arrangements.

Side two has a more progressive approach and it is slightly better than side one of the vinyl. Their version for Canario always sounded pleasant to me, even if it is a pale attempt to reproduce their earlier success with Aaron Copland´s Hoedown. The 20 minute suite Memoirs Of An Officer and A Gentleman is probably the CD´s best track. Ok it is no Tarkus or Karn Evil: it has too many words and not enough memorable ELP´s trademark instrumental parts (it sounds good for a Broadway musical). Yet, it has its merits.

Conclusion: their weakest 70´s efford, little doubt about it, but not that horrible. Worth for fans and collectors, largely because of Memoirs...

Report this review (#242945)
Posted Sunday, October 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars Might be able do the grasp of the meaning of this album in the work that ELP announced variously including the listener and the fan. 1978 year will have been time of a rapid revolution for the industry of music. A situation at that time at the time of having been put ELP might have swallowed the existence of the band. Cannot able not to have limited to ELP and to know it. However, the discussion will have various opinions as long as this album exists for ELP.

The part where this album should be verified can be enumerated as some respects. Preparations of the flow that the band reaches this album will be able to go back to the live album announced in 1974. It was a work with high quality with which the element as keyboard Trio that they did was blocked in this live album. However, when the flow from "Brain Salad Surgery" is received at the same time, it can be caught as a certain kind of boundary.

There is an opinion made that "Brain Salad Surgery" was one top as the general opinion made well for ELP, too. However, it is said that the problem is consecutive from the tour dared this time and it was generated. The harmony of the band begins to collapse gradually of course. And, the fact whose period to "Works Vol.1&2" announced in 1977 is a little long period. And, the content of "Works" might be and there be a little loose part including each member's Solo, too. Keith Emerson is made remarks, "The situation, the market, and the demand concerning music changed in the latter half of the 70's" in the interview. The verification can be advanced as follows based on this remark.

Especially, 1978 year when this album had been announced was time that the industry of music had revolutionized. The fashion of the market changed around Punk Rock and New Age, too. A progressive band including ELP receives the demand from the outside further.

Keith Emerson recollects a situation at that time. 「The industry of music tried to part from pure Prog Rock. To produce the tune of a short fraction for the radio, the recording label was demanded. Pure Prog Rock has not already been needed. 」

This will have been an event that did not limit to ELP and happened to all bands. However, it gropes for ELP to answer the demand. However, it is not certain whether tied to the content of "Love Beach" at once.

Flow of money problem by tour to take orchestra that they did when indirectly considering it. It will have been one of the factors to disarrange the member's harmony surely. And, the band that spends between 1977 and 1978 and acts faces the extreme condition. The member was already negative compared with the activity of the band.

Keith Emerson recollects a situation at that time. 「The creation of the music character in Love Beach made an effort to some degree. The tour in this album was not dared. However, the album sold unexpectedly. 」

This remark is inevitable as a situation at that time or not certain by chance. The refined music might certainly have been demanded in the age. And, groping and the revolution will have been the tough goings for the band of Prog Rock. It might be difficult for this flow to find the responsibility. The age had changed surely. And, it might be true that it acts about ELP and a misfortune and a bad situation came in succession. All are inevitable and continuous by chance. The album made in the situation is this "Love Beach".

In addition, a bad element attacks the band as a part where this album is verified. It was an investigation by the questionnaire executed by "O'Hare international airport" that existed in Chicago. It was an investigation said that the title was chosen from among List to decide a suitable title for this album. The title that collected support most based on the result of the investigation of the questionnaire was "Love Beach". The band denied this result. However, Atlantic Records likes and adopts this title as a result.

Furthermore, it is said that the place of the problem of the tax for the production of the album was decided to Bahamas. After the tour, Keith Emerson took the moving vacation in Bahamas. Two remaining members are summoned and it begins the production of this album. Therefore, it might be one of the factors that this part is reflected in the content and Album Art of the album.

Keith Emerson recollects a situation at that time. 「It talked with the member in the process of producing this album. And, the dissolution of ELP was decided. Because the problem of the contract had existed, it was necessary to make this album. 」

However, the state of the band will have been a limit as the result in complete. It is made remarks that it made an effort to the approach of the music character in "Love Beach" in the remark by the above-mentioned description. However, even if the problem of the contract is considered, the evaluation of the content in this album might be low worldwide. As for this album, the opinion made it is necessary to make not to exist might be still esteemed.

The opinion concerning the content of this album is various. There is an opinion made for the taste of ELP to be expressed in the opinion well, too. The part that has a good sense of relief and power of expression while following the music character cultivated till then might be pointed at. However, the point said that the impression of Keith Emerson is a little thin as the collective impression and the opinion. Or, it is partial felt no existence of luster in the rhythm of Carl Palmer. The song of Greg Lake might have the part to which it contributes a little. However, it did not contribute to the chart in the United States and Britain. It might have a little contradiction compared with the remark of Keith Emerson.

It is easy to criticize this album. Inevitability, a coincidence, and various events might have come in succession as a situation concerning music of course at that time. This album made in the flow is a work that showed a band indeed at that time the situation of music in detail. Courage and the effort of ELP might be included a little as a content that realistically shows the situation in which the band is opened in the work.

Therefore, ranking to this album is not absolute if it catches generously partially of the history of Prog Rock. My ranking is set as much as possible overall as a standard. And, it is possible to proceed to a discussion here.

"All I Want Is You" makes the flow with good song that Greg Lake in close relation to the melody of the guitar and the keyboard with the sense of relief is powerful. Sound of familiar, deep keyboard. And, rhythmically of 16 notes fast in close relation to a bright melody. Or, it develops by reminiscent of the march. The tune is openhearted.

There might have been a fan to be surprised at lyrics of "Love Beach", too. Processing of melody with bright guitar and effective Picking. And, the obbligati of the keyboard that consistently supports the tune. A bright, openhearted impression is given as a result.

In "Taste Of My Love", the melody with expression of feelings is a feature. And, it is partial of the unison by 16 aggressive notes. Or, it twines well for the rhythm to which the taste of ELP is steady. The keyboard with the contribution and the diversity of the guitar shines, too. The device that doubles the tempo in the part of Coda of the tune has succeeded, too.

"The Gambler" is straight Rock to emphasize Groove. The sound of the harmonica and Cow Bell is effectively introduced. However, this tune will not be a tune that they should do. There is certainly an effective part with chorus's introduction and keyboard. However, the collective impression is very weak.

The progress of Chord of the guitar of "For You" is impressive. Part of melody of keyboard with diversity. And, the ballade gently sung flows. Good minor Chord composition ties well and it progresses. The composition with fast and slow has finished well.

"Canario" is a tune for men who take the rhythm of the shuffle. It will have development to follow a past music character while emphasizing the element of classics. The band constructs ensemble that you may exactly combine. It is a tune that their tastes are exactly demonstrated. Making the part and the sound that shifts to a rhythm of 2 and three reams on the way is devised well.

"Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" might be a tune that represents this album. A beautiful piano melody and a gentle song listen to the power of expression of the band. Chord with expression of feelings and an original part might be the proofs of the expression that they did. Part of symphonic to emphasize transparent feeling. A melody that flows gently and a powerful rhythm show the existence of the band. And, it is partial of more moving more piano melody and the song. Or, symphonic flows corresponding to the rhythm to emphasize Groove. The melody with fast and slow while producing the dash feeling is multiused. The tune faces the march of rejoicing while accompanying the sense of relief.

Merits and demerits that the content and the band of this album had shot at this time gave birth to various opinions. Various coincidence and situations might have come in succession at difficult time for the music called the latter half of the 70's. It is likely to be talked about this album made in that for better or worse.

Report this review (#273228)
Posted Saturday, March 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
1 stars I remember my wife, and daughter, who was about three years old at the time, getting this album for me for my birthday. I was happy at first, because ELP was one of my favorite bands to listen to. As soon as I got some spare time I put the record on my stereo and waited for the good music to begin. So I waited, and waited, and waited, well you get the idea.

It was the most boring stuff I ever heard from this once super group. There was a side length tune on the 2nd side that I thought would at least have some life to it. Again, it was like zombie ville. I couldn't understand why ELP were seemingly going through the motions.

I only listened to it one time and maybe it's not completely fair of me, but that recording made a lasting impression on me. That is, I never want to hear it again. I give it 1 star. Please don't torment anyone by getting them this music, unless you really hate them!

Report this review (#278300)
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
1 stars Was this album published on April 1st?

This would explain a lot. OK, contract obligations - but this album is simply too embarrassing. I always have to laugh when I see the cover photo. I would like to know what they had smoked during the sessions and on the day they made this pic..., just to avoid it... What are they laughing about? Probably the customer. At least they're laughing us straight in the face, especially Emerson! Just out of spite I'm listening to this crap while writing this review... No, Greg I don't want you to make love to me - not on Love Beach or anywhere else. And the lyrics of Taste of my Love- lord, this album can be really entertaining if you see it as the joke it is. Greg was responsible for the first five songs, so you get simple pop stuff. The best of these tracks is For You. Canario is an inacceptable version of the piece by classical Joaquin Rodrigo. All hope rests now with the suite "...Officer and a Gentlemen". It seems to be the only serious effort on this album, but it's all second rate.

What to make of this mess? Since you really can't speak of prog here, it will be one star. Although the unvoluntary humour displayed on this album and one or two not too shabby moments... no, there is no chance of saving this wonderful output to mankind...

Report this review (#295992)
Posted Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | Review Permalink

Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Love Beach is an enjoyable album. It tries to balance their prog side with their pop side, and is generally 'lighter' than their other releases. They achieve this balance by having one side of shorter songs and another side taken up by a suite 'Memoirs, of an officer, and a gentleman'. There is also one brief classical reworking, 'Canario'.

There is a high standard on the first side with the shorter tracks; 'Canario' is vintage ELP, bouncy, playful, skillful, colourful. The opening two cuts are bright pop-rock with colourful synths. 'All I want is you' is almost like a sea shanty. The title track is energetic and fun. My favuorite, however, is the uber-romantic 'For You'. The song has a slightly prog jam at the start but the song is innovative pop, I suppose. It has a gentle, passionate, piano riff presiding over some passionate vocals, some eerie synths sometimes, and gradually builds to a climax. I find 'The Gambler' to be a very enjoyable song. The lyrics are well constructed and clever, and the music is fun. I am not so keen on 'Taste of my love', but that's a matter of taste, isn't it? It's another funky pop-rock song that has a few eerie synths, to give it a bit of 'prog-flavour'.

Then there is the side-long suite. Now I would say this song is worth about 6/10. So it is not bad. But to have to sit down and listen to a 6/10 song for twenty minutes? A 6/10 song is okay for 3 minutes but not twenty, but still it is not a bad song. It is more gentle and romantic than your usual ELP side-long epic, and has some very good moments. It is an interesting story, too.

I think the album is enjoyable, it is still innovative, and there is some variety. A bit more emotionally involved for ELP, as well. I actually find the lyrics to be very good on this album. So the first side is exuberant pop-rock fun with some colourful synths, and the second side is an emotionally attentative 20-minute epic that is not bad either. 3.5 / 5.0

Report this review (#329325)
Posted Monday, November 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars What a disaster this record is.

I consider myself a hard core ELP fan, and i absolutely love what they did from their first album up until and including Brain Sallad Surgery. I fell out on Works, which was too serious, and I cenrtanly fell out on Love Beach.

It's a pity how most of the progressive rock bands lost their way during the late 70's, and this album is a perfect example of just that.

It's obvious from the first track that something is very wrong. They are focusing on making Pop/Disco songs to appeal to the mainstream music marked. About 70% of all the songs are about Love, and the lyrics are generally cheesy & really bad. Sure, this album was made just to fulfill the contract obligations, but they could at least TRY to sound like ELP! The cover is maybe the worst prog rock cover EVER, as they pose like the Bee Gees in their slick Disco cloathes & hairy chests. I just cant stand looking at it..

The only tracks that are worth listening to are "Canario" and "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman", though they are not GREAT tracks in the ELP canon.

Keith Emersons keyboards on this album sounds cheesy and "plastic". Its a pity that NO Hammond organ is being used, just his cheesy Yamaha synth. Greg Lake's singing sounds dull & ininspired. The only one delivering the goods on this album is Carl Palmer, with great drumming on "Canario" and "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman"

Conclution: ELP fans & Prog rock fans in general: Stay away from this album.

Report this review (#457811)
Posted Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars I'm crazy.

ELP has never been a band I could appreciate.While his debut album was good to hear, "Tarkus" and "Brain Salad Surgery"was a crap total.And I am now, struggling with "Love Beach" considered by many to be his worst album, but that was a big surprise to me.

You know what? Fuck! (this business of using online translators is horrible, I never wanted to curse and look out the word that the translator gives me-forgive me). I have already demonstrated that albums like AOR, pop-rock, whatever it is, I have no prejudices in this regard, I am an open mind.

Of course I'm not saying that this album is a masterpiece, I'm not so crazy like that, but anyway I do not think he deserves the dozens of ranks 1 and 2 star-received course this depends on the view each one, and I must respect it, as I hope they respect my opinion.

3 stars

(Note: Although I enjoyed the album, I must say that I hate the keyboards of Emerson and the cover is ridiculous and one of the worst in history)

Report this review (#462063)
Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
1 stars Love Beach is the enfant terrible in the prog rock world and with good reason too.

The cover artwork screams "turkey inside" more than any deep frozen turkeys you buy from the supermarkets. The first minutes also makes any ELP fans blood run cold. What a pathetic piece of junk All I Want Is You is ! All I want is a sickbag, though. A refill of sickbags is ordered for the truly horrible title tracks and the turkey of all turkeys; Taste Of My Love. The lyrics is a cringe fest. The Gambler too is not easy listening for ELP fans. Utter horror and For You just strenghtens this feeling. The long piece here is pretty uninspired and a waste of space too. Not to mention; a cringe fest.

I could not believe Love Beach was that bad when purchasing it. It is and it is a true turkey. It feels like a piece of music from the Canaries Islands "enjoyed" after twenty beers too many. Not even then would I enjoy this piece of garbage. Enough said.

1 stars (turkey)

Report this review (#491079)
Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | Review Permalink
2 stars Oh, dear.

This album was, believe it or not, my entry point into ELP. It was in a crate of LP's left behind by an older sister, along with several other records that schooled me in the ways of prog: Genesis' "Selling England", "Lamb, " "Trick," & "Wind & Wuthering," (and "Duke," but let's not go there,) Yes' "Yessongs" and "Going For the One," etc. And among those ageless wonders festered this LP, with its tacky cover art and trite song titles. "Taste of My Love"? Barf.

The cover alone kept me well away from this music for several months. It was only after falling in love with the other LP's in the crate and discovering this music called "progressive rock," and after I had been assured that ELP were major players in the genre, that I gave Love Beach a spin. Trepidation swiftly turned to disdain. Everything was just... bad. As a pop record, it was bad. As a rock record, it was bad. As a prog record, it does not even register.

With hindsight, the first two tracks, while awful, are still better pop tunes than anything Lake contributed to the entire Works fiasco. But any chance the album has of being likable go out the window with the thoroughly execrable "Taste of My Love" and 'The Gambler." Lake's melodramatic ballad "For You" gets good mentions from time to time, but I fail to see why. This song is merely the culmination of the album's dominant lyrical theme, which again and again force the listener to understand that, yes, Greg Lake will love you hard, he will love you long, he will love you right, and also wrong; he will make love to ya, make love to ya, make love to ya, he will love you like nobody's ever loved you, he'll love you so hard you'll shake the stars and... oh my god Greg STOP IT. I wanted a rape whistle, listening to this album. You will smell like Greg Lake's chafed scrotum by the end of Side 1 alone. You have been amply warned.

Side two is genuinely pleasant listening, but nothing exceptional. It wasn't until later, after I had discovered the ELP magic in full (that is, from 1970-74) that I appreciated Side 2 for the uncharacteristic tastefulness of Emerson's playing; nowhere does he attempt to evoke Bartok, or worse yet, those pitiable cocktail-hour "jazz" cliches he loves so much, nor does he toss in any of those stupid Popeye-on-the-poop-deck nautical melodies that scar, like acne, the face of even their classic work. But to praise Side 2 for what it isn't---hideous---is not to overlook it for what it is: Dull.

There is nothing here that adds any dignity to the ELP legacy. It is notable solely as a document of how far a once-great band can fall. Other falls have been swifter, but has any been as steep as ELP's?

Sheer horror, particularly the first half.

Report this review (#651225)
Posted Thursday, March 8, 2012 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars I don't understand why should Greg Lake try to sing like Freddy Mercury...this was my first thought after having listened to the first song of this album. Musically is not too different from the cheesy Lake's songs that can be found on the two "Works" studio album. It's a way to say that this song is almost rubbish.

The title track is an outplaced pop song. It makes me think to Zeppelin's "In Through The Out Door", a pop song from the late 60s composed in the punk era. On this song Emerson is almost disappeared. Two out of 7 are gone.

"Taste Of My Love", despite the unpromising title has a start a little more interesting. Lake's voice is always good and this is the first track on this album on which it seems to hear Lake. There's something of the old ELP in this song, but if you think to what the band was doing just 5 years before you can't not hate this song as well.

Let's skip "The Gambler". It's not a Scott Joplin's ragtime or even a rock 'n roll. It's that kind of fillers that are present even in good ELP albums. Not so bad to be skipped, but imagine somebody looking for the "ELP new release", spending some bucks and once at home finds this stuff. After three songs you are still waiting to hear something that deserves the price paid.

"For You" is another unpromising title. Lake is a great singer, but do we really need to have lyrics on each song? Emerson's work in the background is not too bad, but the chords are so trivial that making this song sounding interesting is a challenge. I don't know how many time i resisted to it without skipping.

"Canario" seems copied from PFM's "E' Festa"(Celebration). It is not, but let me say that if they had really copied it, the result would have likely been better. Non so bad but not enough, up to now, to buy the album. The second part of the song contains at least a bit of ELP.

So what? there's an epic on side B. "Officer and Gentleman" doesn't sound very good, but they must have filled the 20 minutes of the track with something bearable. Lake sings like on Trilogy, it's not a bad start. Going ahead one starts to be a bit bored: Lake is good, but why do the other two sound so uninspired? However this is not too bad and even if very far from being "excellent" it's not a bad listening at all. Not at the level we were used even the previous year with "Piano Concerto N.1" or "Pirates", this is the problem.

With this epic only it could have been a three stars album, but the songs are too poor and meaningless both in terms of lyrics and music. Not entirely poor, but for collectors only.

Report this review (#777555)
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
Rock Progressivo Italiano Team
2 stars "Have a taste of my love, around from the maze of pleasure to the gates of pain..." - Oh, ELP - BEHAVE!

If you decide to take the plunge and purchase this most notorious of (cough) `progressive rock' albums, you'll be in for some luck - you'll likely pick it up dirt cheap! I've come across this album in so many bargain bins, and one look at the cover will all but guarantee you'll know why it's so unloved! I bought the remastered CD for $2.99 Australian. Great price, but then comes the other dilemma - finding something else to buy WITH it so you don't look quite so sad. I managed to get Tangerine Dream's `Phaedra' and `The Nice: BBC Sessions' to hide `Love Beach' between when I handed it to the pretty sales girl. OK, so dignity sort of intact - let's move on!

I've mentioned before in other reviews that I'm always fascinated to see progressive artists try to balance their artistic/technical complexities with commercial pop appeal. It's produced some interesting (and to my ears, fairly successful) results like Genesis with `Abacab/Duke', Magenta's `Chameleon', or, to some extent, perhaps even the prog-pop works of the Alan Parsons Project. But with `Love Beach', the majority of the album is far too much on the side of pop, with few rewarding and challenging moments. However, despite so many negative elements to this album, there is a number of positive aspects.

First of all, the production is nice and clean, and all the instruments sound fantastic. So the main players may not be giving themselves a complex or overly-technical musical workout in the material they're actually playing, but it's nice to hear the occasional strong melodies and effective restrained playing. Carl Palmer's drumming is mixed full and loud, and is the member of the trio who leaves the best impression on the album. He constantly throws in lots of snappy quick fills and busy playing. Greg Lake's vocals are very confident, even if many of the lyrics he's actually singing are dross. His bass is mixed very low and is oddly unnoticeable on this, instead favouring his acoustic and electric guitar playing. Emerson's piano and keyboards are prominent and varied - and I secretly love his quick synthy stabs during `Taste Of My Love'!

Of course, much of the material is very lightweight and undemanding. `All I Want Is You' is extremely basic and straightforward. The title track is mundane and repetitive with dreadful rhyming lyrics. `Taste Of My Love' is jammed full of head slapping double and possibly even triple entendre lyrics, and there's an oddly creepy and vaguely sexually threatening tone to this one. `The Gambler' is a cheesy character piece along the lines of `The Sheriff', but it's bouncy and pleasant with a brief synth solo from Emerson that's kind of fun. `For You' is a little more serious and dramatic, with some strong drum-work and effective vocal hooks. Despite a schmaltzy keyboard intro, `Canario' is a boppy and cheeky classical/bolero tinged instrumental, it's the track on this album that probably shows off the band's abilities best. Lots of rapid-fire time changes and fiery instrumental playing - far and away the best piece on the album. The side long `Memoirs' is equally sumptuous and repulsive, pompous and romantic. Lake's singing is alternatively powerful and reflective, the lyrics thankfully more more sophisticated. We finally hear his bass playing for the first time too! Emerson shines most on this, with a huge variety of lovely piano and keyboard selections. Some grand and commanding drumming from Palmer adds greatly, too. There's a very lazy and unimaginative fade-out at the end, though, with not much in the way of a big finale or climax.

The remastered CD version also features a kind of bashy, crashing and slightly messy noisy instrumental rehearsal of `Taste Of My Love' that's much better with all those awful lyrics removed. Not bad at all!

Strangely, I sort of defend this album in many ways. I don't think it's the total dog that it's made out to be, as tracks like `Canario' and much of the side long piece offer great ideas, inventive playing with tasteful arrangements. But the album is also sappy, overwrought and frequently overly simplistic, especially the first few tracks. The album is pretty much saved by the quality playing in even it's worst moments. So perhaps lower your expectations (or standards!), and you may find some of `Love Beach' to your liking.

Two and a half stars!

Report this review (#813481)
Posted Saturday, September 1, 2012 | Review Permalink
2 stars Not as bad as I expected. Greg Lake`s songs are not as good as others from previous albums. Particularly Peter Sinfield ´s lyrics in these songs are very Pop Rock oriented, and these songs sound like they were written very quickly for this album. And the album sounds that way too, like the band was tired of playing together and they wanted to take a rest. Their history says that this album was a contractual obligation to their record label. It really sounds like that. Maybe it could have been better to take a rest as a band for a least one year than to record this album. Maybe they could have carried on as a band for more years in the eighties if they could have taken this rest. But in those years it was expected for bands to record albums almost one per year and to do tours after an album was released, something that is not expected in the present. Anyway, the best songs in this album are "Canario" and "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman", both with more involvement from Emerson, whose playing in both songs are the best parts in this very underrated album. Palmer also has very interesting playing parts in both songs. It is not a very good album, but for me it was much, much better to listen to this album than to the music which the radio played then: Disco music and Punk. Progressive bands like Yes, Genesis and ELP were very criticized by 1978, but the albums they recorded then, while still being underrated by some people, still are much better than Disco and Punk, in my opinion. ELP didn´t tour after this album. They split by 1979.
Report this review (#837834)
Posted Sunday, October 14, 2012 | Review Permalink
1 stars Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Love Beach is an album that would have been better not having been recorded. But they had a contract to fulfill, so we get this swill. This is arguably the worst prog album of all time, especialy when you consider the artist.

Of the songs on here, the only one that I can stomach is Canario, which is just an interpretation of anothers work. The self penned material is a complete waste, with only The Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman being even remotely interesting - and that's as good as it gets, remotely interesting. The rest is a wasteland.

From the stupid cover of the band in open shirt "glory" to the insipid tracks on the album, this should not have been perpetrated on the paying public. It's an embarasement.

Report this review (#912602)
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars First of all, even being my favorite band, Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Love beach was the hardest album for me to understand. After Brain Salad Surgery and Works, I really wanted something ELPesque. But Love Beach was a drastic change. Maybe stranger than 9012 (Yes drastic changed into cheesy rock) . Hard to get into, but Love Beach is actually a good album. But I don't really feel excited to listen to it. In my point of view, Carl Palmer is the star of the album, trespassing Keith Emerson. Check The Gambler first, and you will get what I'm talking about.
Report this review (#946107)
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
3 stars Emerson, Lake & Palmer's seventh studio record "Love Beach" from 1978 is a different record from the band. The cover is terrible just as on the Works' records, but eventually even more ugly. It is almost like a parody, three very smiling men on an exotic beach and a record name such as "Love Beach". Fortunately the music still contains a lot of great elements. Though it is obvious now that the music of the band is on its way down to less progressive music. Some tracks here are very weak pieces if we prepare them with earlier ELP.

The album starts with some familiar and wonderful tunes. It gives us hope that the first track will be fantastic. Well it cheated us a bit, "Al I want is you" becomes quite trivial but it's still a nice starter(6/10). Then comes "Love Beach", the title song, a kind little bit but not great in any way(5/10) and it is followed by "Taste of my love" another quite boring track(4/10) and the worst thing here "The Gambler"(4/10) which I'm not interested in hearing again. The hightlight of the album are beside "All I want Is you" "For you"(7/10) an exciting piece of atmospheric tunes and great vocals, "Canario" (6/10) an instrumental bit which pleases the listener and especially "Memoirs of an officer and a Gentleman", a long symphonic work(7/10) that proves that the band were still competent and could manage to play exciting expressions. It is a varied combination of melodies and nice lyrics, it has a lot of feeling and quality. I wouldn't compare it too much with earlier Emerson, Lake & Palmer songs but it is the best this record contains. I recommend you to listen to the tracks 1, 5, 6 & 7. You can skip the rest.

As a whole record I would give it 2,79 stars which here becomes three. Of course I am a bit disappointed but not very much because earlier rating indicated this wasn't a success. Though I am still curious about hering next thing from ELP which will be a live recording.

Report this review (#1153987)
Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is surely a mediocre album, but I would urge all prog fans to hear it, at least for two reasons: First, to discover some beautiful, 100% prog moments -actually the 20+ minutes of the suite that covers side 2 of the LP (Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman)! The rest of the album is inferior but I really feel that people who attack this album as a whole are exaggerating in such a manner that I doubt if they have heard more than one or two minutes of it before they condemn it.

Second, in order to realise that one shouldn't be too prejudiced by previous reviews and external factors like the silly album cover or the recording date, because then one will miss an album that is quite pleasant, well-played and, I would say, much more human than most ELP albums! Just listen to all of it once.

Report this review (#1225982)
Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | Review Permalink
2 stars I put off listening to this album for a long time. The cover art is terrible, and the reviews are generally negative. When I finally listened to it, I was pleasantly surprised, there is some good music here.

Tracks 1-5 are pretty poppy and generic, not terrible but not very interesting. Track 6 "Canario" is quite a nice little instrumental transposed from Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre.

Track 7 "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" is a 20 minute suite. This piece is quite good all the way through, I've listened to it multiple times now and it really grows on you. This is the saving grace for the album and in my opinion a hidden ELP gem.

In the end, "Canario" and especially "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" make this album a worthwhile listen.

Report this review (#1313330)
Posted Friday, November 21, 2014 | Review Permalink

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