Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Emerson Lake & Palmer

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Emerson Lake & Palmer The Birth Of A Band - Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 album cover
2.64 | 37 ratings | 6 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
DVD/Video, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

Side 1 (audio) - 41:49
1. Pictures at an Exhibition (23:59)
2. Take A Pebble (4:28)
3. Rondo (10:48)
4. Nutrocker (2:31)

Side 2 (DVD-chapters) - 76:51
1. Birth of a Band (5:17)
2. SuperGroup (3:43)
3. Pictures at an Exhibition (4:11)
4. The Moog Synthesizer - A Landmark in Music (3:47)
5. Augmenting the Music (5:59)
6. 'Pictures at an Exhibition' live at I.O.W. 1970 (24:50)
7. 'Take A Pebble' Live at I.O.W. 1970 (4:54)
8. 'Rondo' Live at I.O.W. 1970 (10:37)
9. 'Nutrocker' Live at I.O.W. 1970 (3:33)

Total Time: 118:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Keith Emerson / vocals, keyboards, synthesizer
- Greg Lake / vocals, bass guitar, acoustic guitar
- Carl Palmer / drums, percussion

Releases information

Eagle. Dual sided disk. Side 1 live audio. Side 2 DVD.

Thanks to micky for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy EMERSON LAKE & PALMER The Birth Of A Band - Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 Music

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER The Birth Of A Band - Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER The Birth Of A Band - Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by micky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Well.. after a long break from reviewing... time to get back in the saddle hahah



of course we know it wasn't the true debut but...this is what exploded Emerson Lake and Palmer to the forefront of progressive rock. This is a recent release from Eagle Vision that is a single double sided CD disk. The first side is a portion of their landmark 'debut' performance at the Isle of Wight August 29, 1970. The first side of the disk contains a full version of their interpetation of Mussorgsky's 'Pictures at an Exhibition'. An edited performance of Take A Pebble, a typical incendiary performance of Rondo, and their typical show closer: Nutrocker. A great listen if you don't have a copy of the full performance, since this album is easily and readily available in stores today. The sound quality is excellent. Recommended if a first time exposure to this show.

The second side is what makes the album worth the few stars I'm going to give it. The second side is a DVD that contains a new film with a synopsis of the group.. their beginnings and some great insight into their creative thoughts and inspirations. The section on The Moog, and Augmenting the music are especially interesting. This film incorporates the Murray Lerner film that was shot of the group performing at the Isle of Wright. Anyone familiar with his previous films out on the market.. The Jethro Tull and Message to Love DVD's will know that at times crowd shots are interspaced into the music. Take a Pebble is a particular waste unless you want to see dirty hippies bathing at the beach..picking up...pebbles hhahahha. The two standouts are the INCREDIBLE perfromance of Mussorgsky.. complete with the infamous cannons and Rondo of course...knives and Carl Palmer drum solo included. Though the Masters from the Vault (Beyond the Beginning) DVD versions of Rondo are better.

All in all, I gained some more insight into what I feel is a fascinating and completely essential band in the annuls of progressive rock. 4 stars for personal enjoyment... 2 stars for the the forum at large. You will learn more about ELP with this, but it's not essential.

Micheal (aka Micky)

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars Awful. Destroyed magic.

The raw, buzzing sound of late 60's/early 70's live performance equipment (amplifiers etc.) was simply not suitable for sophisticated piece such is adaptation of Mussorgsky's piano masterpiece. You may call it energetic, but it's simply messy. It's not the band's fault, they just did the thing ahead of its time - although I find it a bit stretched, forced and, if I may say, boring at the moments, if we look at this performance from a different angle it could easily be rated with much higher rating. I always loved this band, their live performances and all the other bands stage antics including the rapture of the Hammond organ.

But this is not a real thing. You see, during the days of my brain-damaging-substances experimentation, I watched excerpts from the ELP's Live At The Isle Of Wight performance and...well, if you never experienced the phenomenon of non-sexually-related orgasm, there is no point of describing it. However this is not the same video's a different camera filming from the different angles, and it's missing lots of good things.

The worst thing is, actually, the synchronization. The picture and the sound don't match. It's hilarious and annoying to see Keith playing Hammond organ with both hands while you actually hear monophonic Moog solo. Even worse, some sequences are repeated later during the play! What were DVD editors thinking, that the audience is that naive!? Any possible pleasure of watching this performance was destroyed for good.

This DVD contains a few other things, but they are not very relevant neither. Well, at least they are not annoying. The excerpt from the interview with Keith is interesting - when he's describing capabilities of a Moog modular synthesizer, and interview with Palmer is worth taking a look - drummer provided some very intelligent and witty answers.

There must be some other version of Isle Of Wight video, so try to find it if you are interested. Or if you want to take a good overview of Pictures At An Exhibition, go for the excellent performance (mixed with some psychedelic video effects) published on VHS in the late 80's. This one is to be avoided. (I exchanged it for Jethro Tull Live At The Isle Of Wight DVD - that is a much better investment.)

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars ELP was the first progrock supergroup and during the Isle Of Wight Festival performance they did their best to translate this into musical and visual terms. This DVD is a blend of live footage and conversations with the band members and their 1969/70 manager John Gayden. Some quotes: "It was a musical turning point", "Just launching us", "The festival was a landmark in R&R history" and "The atmosphere was extremely encouraging" by Greg lake, "Every mistake in the festival book was made" by Carl Palmer, "So there was a lot of expectations" and "I had more accidents with the Hammond organ on stage than with my aeroplanes and motorbikes!" by Keith Emerson and "Greg Lake talked with Jimi Hendrix for his band but came up with Carl Palmer and Keith Emerson" by John Gayden. We can witness exciting live footage from ELP their gig (and also scenes from their genuine stage debut in the Lyceum Theatre earlier that year), including the 'magical' looking Keith Emerson with his blue glitter suit and leather hat and his spectacular stage antics with the Hammond organ, a sensational drum solo by an ecstatic Carl Palmer who threw out his s-shirt and the thunderous sound of the canons at the end of the show. Also interesting is the part about the Moog synthesizer, we can enjoy a short but mindblowing demonstation by Keith Emerson, I love that unsurpassed fat sound (created by 3 patented oscillators)! Unfortunately the music and the images don't match all the time and again (like on the Pictures At An Exhibition DVD) we have to look at a blend of music and images (from the festival) instead of an integral registration of the entire Pictures composition. For example, I am not up to watch the Isle Of Wight upper class in expensive speed boats, I want to see the upper middle class progrock musicians with their spectacular stage act during The Isle Of Wigth Festival! My rating: 3,5 stars.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Yet another DVD from the insane trio (almost forgot to add the "s" ;o), and after the Pictures At An Exhibition and the Masters From The Vaults, This is the third one to feature the very start of the band, and presents another facet of Isle Of Wight Festival, compared to Jethro Tull's DVD. Speaking of this, it's funny Greg Lake didn't see at all the ugliness of the scene, the way Tull did, apparently flying on his own cloud. Indeed, things were on a roll for the trio and superstardom awaited them after the festival, but it's hard to believe that they would've been oblivious of the near riots plaguing the festivities.

Apart from the opening interviews and a few features (notably on the Moog synth, which he still uses, but fails to show it from close), this is mostly a film of their second concert ever as a unit. Some of the tracks' on-stage footage are interrupted by some side issues and events of the festival, mostly naked girls in the sea, ferries assaulted by bikers and wild camping on neighbouring heights of the field. Outside a few glitches pointed by Clarke above, this DVD is not quite as bad as he makes it out to be.

As I spoke of the three above-mentioned choices of DVD, it is clear that there are overlaps between the three of them, not to mention the Beyond The Beginning extravaganza. Relatively difficult to discard one of them, but my choice would be the Master From the Vaults and the present one.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This DVD has become a cheapy and eventually I bowed to the pressure of the nice price tag and got hold of this infamous concert. The CD was always great to listen to and there are sections of this on the "Beyond The Beginning" compilation DVD so I knew what to expect. There are a few surprises such as the documentary style at the beginning of the DVD, and occasionally some images are seen as the concert continues such as the motor speed boat show, a precursor to ELP's Fanfare for the Common Man used for World of Boats or Sports shows. We also see some nudist footage on a beach, which is a bit naughty for a PG rated DVD. It occurs during Take A Pebble and is mostly women in case you were wondering, personally it mars the DVD and does not belong there.

We also have the showstopping performance of Emerson, decked out in shimmering hat and sparkling glam costume, dragging his keyboard, smashing it about and eventually pummelling it. Palmer has some extraordinary drumming moments, and Lake sounds fresh and vibrant on vocals and bass.The finale of the magnum opus Pictures.... is mind blowing with cannons that almost blow the stage to pieces. The boom must have been staggering in the live arena.

Overall this is a great visual record of ELP's essential performance. It is bombastic, brilliant and bizarre... but this is ELP!

Latest members reviews

2 stars This DVD was such a disappointment. I expected to see the legendary debut performance of ELP in all its gritty glory. I thought it would be as awesome as the audio aspect. But for some reason, due to maybe faulty film footage, improper lighting, or whatever, the concert footage is not what is goin ... (read more)

Report this review (#138460) | Posted by puma | Saturday, September 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of EMERSON LAKE & PALMER "The Birth Of A Band - Isle Of Wight Festival 1970"

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

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.