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Keith Emerson

Crossover Prog

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Keith Emerson Off The Shelf album cover
3.02 | 22 ratings | 4 reviews | 9% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2006

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Abaddon's Bolero Orchestral (8:02)
2. Pictures At An Exhibit (5:00)
3. And Then January (5:44)
4. Rio (3:50)
5. Straight Between The Eyes (2:34)
6. Don't Be Cruel (4:15)
7. Au Privave (5:23)
8. Walter L (5:32)
9. Rhythm-A-Ning (5:54)
10. Asian Pear (6:40)
11. Motor Bikin' (2:39)
12. America (5:18)
13. Lumpy Gravy (2:09)
14. Up The Elephant & Round The Castle (2:26)
15. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll (3:31)

Line-up / Musicians

- Keith Emerson / arranger
- Neil Ardley / arranger
- Simon Phillips / performer
- Cozy Powell / drums
- The Nice / arranger, performer
- Levon Helm / performer
- Garth Hudson / performer
- Pat Travers / guitar, performer
- John Doukas / vocals
- London Philharmonic Orchestra
- Ron Asprey / alto sax, soprano sax
- Mo Foster / bass

Releases information

CD Castle Music 1305 (2006)
CD Sanctuary 36254 (2006)

Thanks to Ghost Rider for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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KEITH EMERSON Off The Shelf ratings distribution

(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(9%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(23%)
Good, but non-essential (45%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

KEITH EMERSON Off The Shelf reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Garion81
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Off the Shelf is an interesting package of different recordings Keith has collected from over the years. Most of these have been bootlegged before but here you get them in a cleaned up nicely mastered package. An inclusion of Abaddon's Bolero recorded by an orchestra along with Keith on synthesizer is pretty good. (I still chuckle when Greg Lake's bass line goes from cello to tuba.) Along with that there is a studio demo version of Pictures at an Exhibition that is all Keith going through the first 3 movements. There is also a great rendition of America featuring Keith and Pat Travers!

The music has a variety of musicians including The Nice, Cozy Powell, Ian Wallace, John Hiseman, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Simon Phillips, Aynsley Dunbar, Barbara Thompson, and Ron Aspery The Nice's piece is a vintage live radio recording of them doing Frank Zappa's Lumpy Gravy. The rest are recordings Keith has recorded for a lot of different projects. Some like And then January and Asian Pear showing off Keith's vulnerable side of emotions. Others like Walter L give us a blistering Jimmy Smith organ and synth jazz trio. Some straight R&R pieces Straight Between the Eyes and Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll as well as a song that makes me think Benny Hill and some large chested females are going to explode out my media player called Up the Elephant and Round the Castle round out the collection.

These kinds of CD's are a way for an artist to put closure on things that have hung around for years and most of the time these things were left off for very good reason. I really think that there is enough here to interest a person into Keith's work whether you are new to his music or not. . A good balance of the ELP prog rock of yore and Keith's love of Jazz, Classical, Romantic and Rock and Roll to his fun side ensures a something for everyone package. Keith wasn't trying to create another Tarkus here just complete some unfinished business. If you have an interest in Keith's solo music this is not a bad place to start. 3 stars.

Review by Muzikman
3 stars Off The Shelf is exactly what Keith Emerson says it is in the foreword to the liner notes, a veritable cornucopia of pot pourri within an audio montage.

This is a collection of rare tracks that took years to see the light of day, much too long for such a creative and well-known artist such as Emerson. The people that show up on the recordings are as diverse as the genres covered-from Pat Travers and Cozy Powell to the London Symphony Orchestra.

You will hear jazz, jazz-fusion, rock, blues, you name it, and Emerson leaves nothing to chance, giving the listener a broad range of his tastes. The music he came to know and love, and which served him as the most influential in musical development, is what this recording is all about, along with seeing the artist in an entirely different musical space. Its no wonder he turned out to be one of the greatest keyboard players in the world, and not just in the realm of rock music. He stands far above the rest, landing with both feet firmly implanted in the elite club with people like Rick Wakeman.

I think most people familiar with his work will find this surprisingly good and refreshing because it is the unexpected, and what makes it so enjoyable is that you will hear quality music, not a bunch of throwaway tracks that Emerson never wanted to release. It is quite the contrary.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It looks ,that Sanctuary Records released just a year ago huge (3CD) collection of Emerson movie soundtrack songs, continued with cleaning the vaults.

The second compilation is more eclectic ( first at least had the common idea - movies soundtracks), in fact you can find there very different pieces in different styles , sometimes recorded with star-musicians. More jazzy music as well.

And if each track by itself quite often is interesting, or even strong, that chaotic mix of styles , sounds and arrangements gave some strange feeling. At least for me it doesn't sound like album, even compilation. It's more like amateur home-made recorded collection of his beloved musician.

It should be very good addition for Emerson fan collection, with some really rare works. But for regular listener I think it sounds to raw and chaoticaly unfinished.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This is about as eclectic a collection that you could find. It has classical, Abbadon's Bolero, Pictures At An Exhibit, jazz, Au Privave, Rhythm-A-Ning, blues Walter L, southern honky tonk rock Straight Between The Eyes, Kenny G style fusion Asian Pear, romantic piano solo And Then January, Broadway America, and some unexpected cover songs.

In all of this, Emerson shows his versatility, excelling at any of the styles he undertakes.

The only really low point is his 1980's recording of excerpts from Pictures.... Like watching Ian Anderson in recent concerts struggling to hit notes that used to come easily to him, in this recording, you can hear Emerson simplifying many of the passages, to accomodate his wrist problems.

It's fun to hear an old recording of The Nice, playing an excerpt of Zappa's Lumpy Gravy. And the inclusion of Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll is so odd, it's funny.

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