Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Emerson Lake & Palmer - The Atlantic Years CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars A good impression

An excellent collection of the highlights from the early ELP albums up to and including "Love beach" (which thankfully contributes only "Canario"). The tracks are arranged pretty much chronologically, and it's hard to fault those which have been selected, or for that matter to criticise the omissions.

Longer tracks such as "Tarkus" and "Karn evil 9" (all three impressions) are included in full. Nothing from the second side of "Tarkus" is present, while "Pictures at an exhibition" is represented in extract format.

Those who love the music of ELP will have long since acquired the original albums. For those who have yet to explore their music, this is a fine place to start.


Report this review (#14598)
Posted Thursday, March 4, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a very nice compilation of the ELP's best and finest music. (3 1/2 stars) A couple more songs here and there would have been nice (no Hoedown?!?!?), but this is a 2 CD set so there is obviously a time limitation. The songs run in a liner fashion and allow the listener to hear the band's progression. Very little is taken from Works, Works 2 or Love Beach. Which is fine! My only complaint is that they used the single version of FANFARE FOR THE COMMON MAN instead of the album version found on Works. Aside from this minor complaint this is a great compilation of ELP at their best and it won't cost you an arm or a leg.
Report this review (#14599)
Posted Thursday, August 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Perhaps this is the unique collection by ELP which is really worth to be checked out from the beginning to the end!! The selection is good and the remastered tracks earn a lot...I think of "Tarkus", but also "Picture at an exhibition". Certainly the ballad "I believe in Father Christmas" by Lake is not unforgettable, but his contribution within the whole contest works quite well! Besides it's strange that such an aggressive and epic song like "Hoedown" has been not chosen, but of course it's not a major defect, as they have inserted the memorable suite "Karn Evil 9" into this remarkable collection.

Let it play!!

Report this review (#14600)
Posted Monday, November 22, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars Usually colection albums have not been what I have collected but I had come across that one in a second hand and the price was just to buy it. And I have never regreted. I was not a specialist in the ELP field but this 2CD introduced me therein superbly. The songs and compositions chosen are great and unforgetable. A masterpiece among collections.
Report this review (#14602)
Posted Friday, February 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a rare compilation, as it includes some full length epics on it ("Tarkus" and "Karn Evil 9"). I would have personally selected "Pictures at An Exhibition" myself instead of the show that never ends, as this is a much better composition from them in my opinion. Maybe many of the tracks from "Works" and "Love Beach" albums could have also been omitted? Anyway, the first essential album is mostly included here, and the double CD gives a good overview of this band for newer listeners. Those who have these classic albums don't need this release, as there's not any previously unreleased material on it, which is fair from the collectors point of view.
Report this review (#38760)
Posted Thursday, July 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars A two disc compilation encompassing nine albums from their first LP to Love Beach. It is obvious a lot of thought has been put into what to include in this release because the track choice is superb.

On the first CD we are treated to Take a Pebble, Knife Edge, Tank and Lucky man from the first album; Tarkus from the second album is included in its entirety. Then we have a 14 minute edited version of Pictures at an Exhibition, this has been skilfully done and is a big improvement on the original in my view (I'd qualify that by saying that I was never fond of the Pictures album anyway). Disc one rounds off with the Endless Enigma suite. I personally would have preferred The Barbarian instead of Tank but the selection on this CD is simply flawless.

The second CD starts with From the Beginning also from Trilogy, and continues with Karn Evil 9 again presented in its entirety, with the two sections of First Impression being edited together seamlessly (almost). Jerusalem and Still You Turn Me On from Brain Salad Surgery are also included. This is perhaps overkill since all but 1 track from Brain Salad Surgery is on this compilation, albeit Toccata is from the triple live album.

From Works volume 1 we have Fanfare for the Common man and Pirates which again are the highlights of that album. Another miscue in my view is that Fanfare is presented in a specially edited format which does not work quite as well. I'd argue they should have gone for the single version or included it in full.

Although I believe in Father Christmas is from the Works Vol 2, it's pretty much a Greg Lake solo track and strongly associated with him, it should have been left off in favour of another track from the Works 2 album. As it is the only other Works 2 track is Honky Tonk Train Blues. There is a single track from Love Beach, Canario which is surprisingly strong in fact.

All in all this is a superb collection and for anyone trying to get to grips with the band this is an excellent first step (in fact probably only step). For an avid fan like me it was still good as I got the best from the first three albums without buying these separately. There are extensive and well compiled liner notes as well.

With a flawless selection on disk 1 it's 5 stars; disk 2 is slightly less effective and gets only 4 stars from me, this gives a rating of 4.5 stars.

Report this review (#117719)
Posted Monday, April 9, 2007 | Review Permalink

Very few times a compilation album (prog-oriented) has grouped so many great songs. I really want to congratulate ELP of course because at the end of the day, they were the genious behing their music but also the ones who decided of the track list (maybe themselves, I don't know°.

Lots of times, it sounds as if a compilation is created almost at random. By no means, it is the case here. Can you imagine ?

Four of the best tracks of their debut album are featured, the great "Tarkus" (the track of course) in full, a great condensed version of "Pictures", my preferred song out of "Trilogy" ("The endless Enigma - both parts), all of my fave studio album ("Brain...") except the stupid "Benny the Bouncer" of course. That's it for the great moments which represent seventy-five percent of the whole.

Some average ones with the inclusion of "Pirates" (again, in full) and a good condensed version of "Fanfare For The Common Man" (just over half the original) from Works I. "Canario" was probably the best choice available from "Love Beach" so, in the optic of having each ELP album represented here, I guess that no damage has been done (although the start of this song sounds really horrible).

Some blunders as well, IMO. "The Fugue", "In The Beginning", "I Believe In Father Christmas" (absolutely dreadful), and "Honky Tonk Train Blues" don't belong by any means to the best of ELP. But all these songs together only represent eight percent of this double CD set.

This compilation is a great one. I can only recommend it to someone interested in discovering how great this band was. Five stars even if eight percent of it is extremely poor. But all the great songs that sit here, easily compensate this.

Report this review (#131442)
Posted Thursday, August 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was my introduction to the band, and it was a great one obviously, since it features the best and only the best from each album. Of course it was hard to pick anything great from the awful "Love Beach" and so towards the end, the second cd starts slowing down, but it's only the last few tracks. Is this a masterpiece? Certainly not - but for my money this is the best possible introduction to ELP, better than any single album from the early 70s.
Report this review (#131445)
Posted Thursday, August 2, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars Here's an oddity. An anthology of a progressive rock band on a major label that appears to have been produced by someone who actually likes their music. How refreshing!

It would be impossible to fit all of the great ELP tracks on two compact discs, especially since they have to include the "hits", and include all of the albums included in the so-called "Atlantic years". I won't go into detail, but I do wish they had included more from the Trilogy album.

If you are a follower of my reviews, you will know that I have a fondness for prog that is on the bombastic and overblown side, so therefore, ELP is one of my favorite bands. At least in their prime years, which are all covered here. On these recordings, Keith Emerson proves that he was the king of the keyboards (sorry, Wakeman fans, but during this time, Keith was better). Carl Palmer was the perfect drummer at this time, being able to match Emerson's talents in moving between jazz and classical with frenetic precision. Any discussion of the genre's top drummers must include Palmer. And even Lake, before the Works albums, provides strong bass and guitar, amazingly clear vocals, and ballads that do not bore.

This is a great selection for an introduction to this band, as it does include most of the essential pieces from this band. And extra kudos to the producers for not including the dismal C'est La Vie. But unfortunately, they did include Fanfare For The Common Man, and I Believe In Father Christmas (which is almost saved by the lyrics "And they told me a fairy story till I believed in the israelite".

The remastering on these recordings is great, the clarity of all the instruments is wonderful.

4.5 stars, rounded up.

Report this review (#241201)
Posted Thursday, September 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
4 stars I only bought this compilation having coveted it for many years just for the nice artwork! The pleasing thing about this selection is that there is nothing post 1980 so there is no crud from Black Moon or ELPowell thankfully just 150 minutes from the glory years of this great progressive rock band. The only quibble I have is the ommision of Hoedown and the title track of Trilogy but otherwise its all there. Great chunks of ELP,Tarkus (the suite) ,Pictures at An Exhibition and Brain Salad Surgery covering mostly the heavier symphonic stuff that defined ELP's style. The quality of the CD are surprisingly good considering they were first masterings. No absent of any detail and plenty of dymanics. I can happily listen to this and ignore most of the remasterings that have added little or nothing. Highly recommended for anyone who just wants a compilation of this important band in this collection.
Report this review (#415017)
Posted Sunday, March 13, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars As if we needed yet another collection of the "Best" of Emerson Lake and Palmer. And this from a band that was not really a "singles" band at all. Oh, well...2 cds, 151 minutes of ELP music. All the biggies here. Hits here. SIngles here. Pomposity here. Edits here. All from the start up through the atrocious LOVE BEACH, which thankfully contributes only 1 tune to this collection. And maybe that's 1 too many, even. Nothing really new or groundbreaking and it does have complete longer songs like "tarkus", but is it really needed? No, so I can give only 3 stars to this.
Report this review (#733625)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permalink

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER The Atlantic Years ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of EMERSON LAKE & PALMER The Atlantic Years

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives