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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Rare Broadcasts CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer

Symphonic Prog

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4 stars Review Nº 549

Emerson, Lake & Palmer, also known as ELP, was an English progressive rock super group which was formed in 1970 in England, United Kingdom. It was one of the best and most influential prog bands ever. They found success in the 70's and headlined large stadium concerts. They're one of the most popular and commercially successful progressive rock bands too. The band consisted of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (bass guitar, vocals and guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums and percussion). The three band's members came from three very well established bands, before they joined together. All of them were very talented musicians and very experienced too. Greg Lake came from a band that needs no introduction. He came from King Crimson and was one of their founder members. He took part on their two first studio albums, "In The Court Of The Crimson King" and "In The Wake Of Poseidon". Carl Palmer came from Atomic Rooster and he was also one of their founder members. He has only participated on their debut eponymous studio album "Atomic Rooster". Keith Emerson came from The Nice and was one of their founder members too. He took part on their four studio albums "The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack", "Ars Longa Vita Brevis", "The Nice" and "Elegy".

"Rare Broadcasts" is a DVD of Emerson, Lake & Palmer released in 2007. It contains 13 tracks with 2 disc set, a CD with 6 tracks and a DVD with 7 tracks. It was recorded at the outset of their career, at the time of the release of their eponymous debut studio album "Emerson, Lake & Plamer" in 1970. According to the sleeve notes, the recording in question is a television special filmed in Switzerland in 1970, for European broadcast. It features the trio in the starting of their career, playing classics such as "Take A Pebble", "The Barbarian" and "Knife Edge", along with extensive improvisation from the band including an 11 minute drum solo by Palmer, making this an essential purchase. The "Rare Broadcasts" set includes a DVD along with a CD of the same performance, housed in a sealed clamshell picture box.

About the performance, "Rare Broadcasts" opens with "Start/Intro". As it name indicates, "Start/Intro" represents the introduction to this live show with some pictures taken from the band and others taken from the band before the start of this live set. But "The Barbarian" is the track that properly opens this live concert. "The Barbarian" is also the track that opens their eponymous debut studio album. Despite being attributed to the trio, "The Barbarian" is in reality a musical arrangement of a Bela Bartok's piano piece, named "Allegro Barbaro". Although, the original piece is only for piano, the band re-arranged the song for organ, bass and drums. This is a great aggressive track with a hard rock influence and that when played live is even stronger and much more impressive, which is true in this live set too. It was followed by "Rondo/Bach Improvisation" and "Drum Solo". "Rondo" isn't properly a band's track. It's a track of The Nice that was released on their debut studio album "The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjak". This is a fantastic track, a must for all who love instrumentals. It has a very powerful musical atmosphere with a magnificent musical performance. This is truly a progressive track with an incredible work of Emerson perfectly at the same level of the best songs of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. This is one of the best instrumental tracks I've ever heard that fits perfectly well with the music of ELP and that represents another great live moment here with the Bach's improvisation and the amazing drum solo played by Palmer. The set pursue with "Nutrocker" a track from their debut live album "Pictures At An Exhibition". "Nutrocker" is a jazzy variation of a Tchaikovsky's piece. This re-elaborated version is a good example of the trio's interest in exploring the roots of the chamber music and translates it to a rock context. Here it was amazingly performed live. "Take A Pebble" is a beautiful ballad with the final line of the verses building on the legacy of King Crimson's "Epitaph", which sounds even better. It's a great song with the powerful vocals of Lake that sounds also great when performed live. "Knife-Edge" is based on the first movement of Leos Janacek's "Sinfonietta". This is another great piece with a great showcase by all the three band's members, with particular emphasis to the great bass lines. This closes in a nice way this great live set.

Conclusion: "Rare Broadcasts" is a great live set showing Emerson, Lake & Palmer in the beginning of what would be their absolutely amazing and unique career. This live set is very good bringing to us a very exiting experience. It shows a very young and inspired band searching for their recognition with a very warm and fun interaction with the audience. The footage is from that era, just from their studio debut. "Rare Broadcasts" is a nice live document capting the band in the peak of their power despite they had a relatively short repertoire then. The sound quality is quite good and the video images aren't properly bad. Of course there are no miracles since we are talking about a document recorded in 1970.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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Posted Thursday, July 7, 2022 | Review Permalink

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