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Keith Emerson

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Keith Emerson Changing States album cover
3.31 | 27 ratings | 6 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Shelter from the Rain (3:36)
2. Another Frontier (6:48)
3. Ballade (4:30)
4. The Band Keeps Playing (5:20)
5. Summertime (3:44)
6. The Church (5:12)
7. Interlude (1:35)
8. Montagues and Capulets (2:04)
9. Abaddon's Bolero (orchestral version) (8:08)
10. The Band Keeps Playing (Aftershock mix) (5:23)

Total Time 46:20

Line-up / Musicians

- Keith Emerson / keyboards, piano

- Gary Cirimelli / vocals (1,4,10)
- Marc Bonilla / guitar (1,4,10)
- Tim Pierce / guitar (2,6,8)
- Kevin Gilbert / bass & drums (1,4,10), choir director (1), tuba solo (9), nylon guitar (3), production & mixing
- Jerry Watts / bass (2,5,6,8)
- Mike Barsimanto / drums (2,5,6,8)
- London Philharmonic Orchestra (9)
- John Mayer / conductor (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Bob Warner

CD AMP Records ‎- AMP-CD 026 (1995, UK)
CD Esoteric Recordings ‎- ECLEC 2440 (2014, Europe) Remastered (?), new cover art

Thanks to Ghost Rider for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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KEITH EMERSON Changing States ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(37%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (7%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

KEITH EMERSON Changing States reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars So far, Keith's solo career couldn't fill my musical expectations with a lot of enthusiasm.

To tell that I am totally satisfied with this one would be beyond my thought, but it is better than his previous outputs (which was not too difficult to be honest). The music from this album ranges from heavy /funky ("Shelter From The Rain", "Band Keeps Playing") to fully bombastic ("Another Frontier", "Church").

The latter being a subsequent ELP affair, but after all those years of very average music it was with some relief that I listened to such a good old composition again. His Excellence Emerson is really good in this number (which is an all instrumental, and I very much welcome this fact). If you are nostalgic of the grandeur of this very good band, this song is for you.

At least, it made the job for me. But to tell you the truth, there is nothing new since it IS a rework from an ELP song (as Iain outlined in his review). The closing number ("Abaddon's Bolero") is another example.

"The Church" is also the type of track that brings us nicely to the past. It can really compete with the best of ELP; even if as a solo artist, one doesn't feel it necessary to sound like one's previous band. But for the fan, it is always a pleasure (or you can call this nostalgia).

There are some subtle moments to expect on this "Changing States". No wonder that a track as "Ballad" hold these characteristics. Wonderful piano work (but we know the man, right). Same applies to the short "Interlude".

In all, this is a good album performed by Keith but in terms of truly new numbers, one could have expected more bearing in mind that fourteen years passed between "Nighthawks" (a soundtrack) and this album. Lack of inspiration, I guess.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars This is not a bad CD. It's not a great one either. But for Keith Emerson fans, it's a treat. And it features Kevin Gilbert. That makes it a double treat. It also marks (as far as I know) the first appearance of Marc Bonilla on an Emerson album (Emerson had previously appeared on one of Bonilla's disks).

The result, while nowhere near as spectacular as the better ELP albums, is still a good listen. The two poppier songs, Shelter From The Rain and The Band Keeps Playing are not bad, but the chorus section of the latter song is a bit too cheesy for my tastes. The remainder of the song are typically eclectic for an Emerson album. There is a tasteful piano piece, Ballade, a nice jazz cover, the wonderful take on Summertime, and the reworked classical piece, Montagues and Capulets, the Prokofiev work later recorded by ELP.

But the highlight here is the rocked out version of The Church, originally from one of Emerson's sountrack projects. This great song would have fit very well on any of the classic ELP albums.

In progness and quality, I would put this below the classic ELP disks, but before anything that ELP did since Welcome Back My Friends....

I'd rate this 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars The Black Moon demos

In my opinion, Emerson Lake & Palmer's 1992 come-back album Black Moon is (contrary to common opinion) a very solid album and easily the best the band had produced since they peaked with Brain Salad Surgery in 1973. Indeed, I think that Black Moon ranks as one of ELP's best studio albums ever, surpassed only by Brain Salad Surgery, Trilogy, and the self-titled debut. I also think it is better than the other things that Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer did in the interim period, including the album Keith and Greg did with Cozy Powell in 1986 (under the name Emerson Lake & Powell), the album Keith and Carl did with Robert Berry in 1988 (under the name 3), the albums Carl did with Asia, as well as Greg's and Keith's respective solo albums.

The present album was recorded in 1989 but not released until 1995. It includes early versions of several songs that ended up on the Black Moon album. Somewhat confusingly, the title of this album, Changing States, is also the title of a song from Black Moon that here goes under the alternative name of Another Frontier. The track that was called Romeo And Juliet on Black Moon is an adaptation of Prokiev's Montagues And Capulets and appears here under the latter title. Finally, Black Moon's Close To Home is here called Ballade. Both versions of all three of these tracks are great. Ballade is notable for having some acoustic guitar by Kevin Gilbert.

Another track on Changing States that is already going to be familiar to ELP fans is Abaddons Bolero which appears here in an orchestral version featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Personally I prefer the original adaptation from 1972's Trilogy album. While all of the above mentioned tracks are available elsewhere, the rest of this album is a mixed bag. The best of the lot is Church, a heavy progressive rocker drenched in organ in trademark Emerson style. Shelter From The Rain and The Band Keeps Playing are passable Hard Rock numbers with little or nothing indicating that this is a Keith Emerson album. They could indeed have come from Whitesnake. The real low point of the album, however, is definitely the jazzy version of Summertime. A complete embarrassment and waste of space.

There are some very good moments here, but as I've said they are mostly available elsewhere in better versions. If you already have Black Moon, you don't need this. And if you don't have Black Moon, get it first. Only fans and collectors need both albums.

Review by richardh
4 stars Yo, Keef!

I'm something of a Keith Emerson fan so its very difficult for me to be totally objective. Keith Emerson is one of those forces of nature that emerged from the late sixties showing that a Hammond organ could be a lead instrument in the right hands. This was the instrument that he forged his reputation on until he was sidetracked by the seductive charms of the Moog synth. However throughout his ELP career there are still those great organ lead tracks such as Hoedown and Tarkus before it was pretty much dumped for the Yamaha GX1 , the much vaunted keyboard of choice for the likes of Stevie Wonder and John Paul Jones (Led Zep). I do feel something was lost and that sense of loss continued through to the very disappointing ELPowell album where Emerson seemed reluctant,So where is that full blown Hammond Organ album to get one excited? By 1989 Emerson had had his fill of doing film soundtracks and so was looking to get back to a more traditional sounding album. This is it. Very much a stripped down sound and the organ up front. The band is absolutely top notch with some very powerful versions of tracks that were too be later reproduced by ELP on Black Moon- Another Frontier and Romeo and Juliet. For my money these are so much more powerful than the ELP versions and its the drums that are the major difference. The drummer here (Mark Barsimanto) is more dynamic than Carl Palmer who by 1992 was suffering some problems with his hands (Carpal Tunnel syndrome I think). It also helps that the producer is the legendary Kevin Gilbert who also co writes 3 of the tracks and plays Tuba on the orchestral version of Abaddon's Bolero ( yes really!!) as well as drums on the 3 of the three tracks. Actually this highlights one issue with this album that the tracks are taken from two different sessions but the common denominators are Emerson and Gilbert. This could almost be viewed as a collaboration between two of the greatest talents of the prog scene and when you also consider that Marc Bonilla is present on 3 of the tracks then there are some real heavyweights involved.

Kevin Gilbert's sleeve notes are a worth partly reproducing: The music on this CD was conceived in the traditional fashion.Lots of grunting and groaning.Sweat,Much too quickly.Mr Emerson braved the stirrups whilst Mr Gilbert reached in and pulled.Marc Bonilla midfwifed and Big Nila provided lots of hot water and towels. does go on much more and 'Kev' shows himself to be a talented writer.

This album is being reissued this year so if you want a dose of contemporary organ lead prog by one of the masters then this is for you.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Remastered for the Esoteric 2014 edition, originally issued in 1995, three years after EL&P's Black Moon, but recorded BEFORE it in 1989, Changing States is probably the finest album of complainted great keyboard master & wizard Keith Emerson: he was a visionary! man, he was able to interlace ba ... (read more)

Report this review (#2438490) | Posted by black/note | Monday, August 17, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Curate's Egg Hatches Emerson's exposure to the soundtrack industry after ELP's split in 1980 certainly had a discernible influence on his compositional style thereafter. Gone are the excessive musical gymnastics and ribbon controller torture of yore, and are supplanted by a burgeoning matur ... (read more)

Report this review (#169573) | Posted by ExittheLemming | Friday, May 2, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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