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Emerson Lake & Palmer

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Emerson Lake & Palmer Love Beach album cover
2.12 | 795 ratings | 78 reviews | 3% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. All I Want Is You (2:35)
2. Love Beach (2:46)
3. Taste of My Love (3:33)
4. The Gambler (3:23)
5. For You (4:28)
6. Canario (from Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre) {J. Rodrigo} (4:00)
7. Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman (20:16)
- a. Prologue / The Education of a Gentleman (5:33)
- b. Love at First Sight (5:37)
- c. Letters from the Front (5:20)
- d. Honourable Company (A March) (3:46)

Total Time 41:01

Bonus tracks on 2001 & 2011 remasters:
8. Canario (rehearsal 1978) (4:39)
9. Taste of My Love (rehearsal 1978) (3:01)
10. Letters from the Front (rehearsal 1978) (8:55)

Line-up / Musicians

- Greg Lake / vocals, bass, guitars, harmonica (?)
- Keith Emerson / keyboards (piano, organ, synths)
- Carl Palmer / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Bob Defrin with Jim Houghton (photo)

LP Atlantic - SD 19211 (1978, US)

CD Victory Music ‎- 828 469-2 (1993, Germany) Remastered by Joseph M. Palmaccio
CD Castle Music ‎- CMRCD226 (2001, UK) Remastered w/ 3 bonus tracks
CD Manticore ‎- 88697848662 (2011, Europe) Remastered by Andy Pearce w/ 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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Buy EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Love Beach Music

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Love Beach ratings distribution

(795 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(3%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(6%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (30%)
Poor. Only for completionists (37%)

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Love Beach reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
1 stars As for the insults about this album I shall let other people exercise their talents. This album was recorded as to fill out the rest of a contract and does this ever show. They did try to be honest and write in their typical manner , but originality and inspiration are completely absent from these tracks. Even the sidelong suite Officer and gentleman is completely listless and without much interest.

Avoid this stuff if you are interested in discovering them and start chronologically! Even the artwork sleeve is awfull as they look like a bad honkey version of Pablo Cruise. Often reffered to as Love Bitch , this album should only of interest to ELP completist.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Love belch!

This is where it all went pear shaped. The magic suddenly evaporated, leaving an uninspired album. Many of the right ingredients still seemed to be here, the side-long suite, the Greg Lake ballad, the Keith Emerson driven keyboard instrumental etc., but the spark was completely missing.

The sleeve gave the first hints that something was amiss, with the three band members appearing in a photo straight from a boy band album, a million miles from Brain Salad Surgery's innovative and striking presentation. To be fair, since the album was recorded in the Bahamas, the beach scene simply reflects their location at the time. Was it really necessary though to pose like disco era Bees Gees?

The actual music is the real disappointment though. All three band members come across as completely bored: they seem to be churning out second-rate clones of their previous works, without any real effort or inspiration. Were they perhaps saving their better pieces for solo albums?

Greg Lake pretty much dominates side one of the album, although Pete Sinfield is also culpable for many of the inane, double entendre lyrics. ". . . Someone get me a ladder. . ." sounds like Shakespearean prose compared to some of the drivel here. Emerson and Palmer provide only secondary noodling on five of the six short (but not short enough) tracks on side 1. Lake's vocal style really does not suit the superficial pop of these songs, a point which is only exacerbated by the weakness of the songs themselves. The final track on this side, "Canario (From Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre) " is the only chink of light, being a quick outing by Emerson. The piece is hardly challenging for him, but sounds so much better after what has gone before.

Side 2 is made up of the suite, "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman ". The fact that it is a long suite made up of a number of sections is where any similarities with "Karn evil 9", "The endless enigma" or indeed "Tarkus" ends. The piece is simply an extended version of the lightweight pop based songs which dominated side 1. You can almost hear the band members asking "how much longer do we need to keep this going to fill the side?".

There really is nothing to recommend this album, to either fans or those wishing to explore the work of the band. Avoid!

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Very accessible, but not addictive. The songs have full of decent instruments who are well played. The keyboards are honest, the drums do the job, LAKE sings properly. It's just that the progressive complex patterns are no more present. It's more a complex pop album. "Canario" is a very good symphonic complex song.

This record is not bad.

Review by daveconn
3 stars Okay, so the wannabeegees cover and title fuels the suspicion that "Love Beach" is no more than a musical morass, but conceptually ELP wasn't stuck for an encore. The trouble with this album isn't the ideas or the inspiration, but the execution. Simply put, the production value is thin, erasing the pomp factor so critical to ELP's success. (In fact, my elpee doesn't list any production credits, which might explain why the album feels so underproduced.) Keith Emerson's keyboards especially lack the thunder of old, a problem that likewise plagued Rick Wakeman on the similarly disappointing "Tormato" (in their defense, the late '70s did produce a weak generation of electronic keyboards like the Birotron).

"Love Beach" is essentially split into two sides, with Greg Lake and Emerson engaging the full-time services of Peter Sinfield. The first side of music (or the Lake-side part) features the usual assortment of ballads and stories, pale shadows of earlier successes; "All I Want Is You" for example is no more than a warmed-over version of "Nobody Loves You Like I Do". Some of the old darkness creeps in on "Taste of My Love,",while "Canario" isn't so far removed from their classic instrumental workouts, but none of this ranks as top-shelf stuff. Better in thought and execution is the side-long "Memoirs of An Officer and A Gentleman," which is a rare song cycle from Emerson and Sinfield that hits the occasional high point. "The Education of a Gentleman" in particular finds the band hitting their stride, and "Letters From The Front" is centered around an interesting melody.

"Love Beach" never does build up the momentum needed to leave the Earth, but anyone who found merit in "Tormato" will find some here as well. It is the least essential of ELP's studio albums from the '70s, though the new music alone makes it more interesting than the subsequent concert album and greatest hits compilation. Looking back, a lyric sheet would have been a nice touch as well. Since the vinyl version sounds pretty weak, I'd recommend splurging for the compact disc on this one.

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars I must confess that when I first saw the cover of this album was almost sure I would hate it, I wasn't wrong. "Love Beach" is not such a terrible album as most fans believe, I'm sure Genesis released worst albums in the 80's and 90's but nothing this bad in the 70's, and at least everybody could expect a tragic album without Gabriel and Hackett, but ELP was complete, so there's no excuse.

The main problem with "Love Beach"? There are many, it's a bad record (not terrible) has a wrong title for a prog album, wrong cover (it's an aberration), released for the wrong reasons and in a wrong moment (with so many wrongs in the same sentence it can't be good).

The band had a contract with Atlantic records and still owed a studio and a live release, so they decided paid their debt with "Love Beach" when their minds was on their solo projects (the live album was "In Concert" 1978 and they disbanded in 1979).

Side A presents more of the same weak ballads you can find in Works II, so there's no need for further comment, and side B is a pompous and self indulgent "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman", I believe they tried to do something of a concept similar to Gilbert & Sullivan's "HMS Pinaforte" (even though the music has no relation), but without any success, this multi part epic is absolutely boring and lasts forever, I almost clapped my hands when it ended.

The only track I really enjoy is "Canario", a short song based in Joaquin Rodrigo's Concert for Guitar and Orchestra "Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre", which is played with absolute talent and strength by the band, a beautiful song that deserves to be surrounded by better tracks.

If this album would have been released by another band in the 90's, probably would be considered acceptable, but by ELP in the 70's is unacceptable. One star for Canario, the rest of the album is not terrible but pretty forgettable.

Don't buy it unless you're an ELP die hard fan and you need this album to complete your collection.

Review by richardh
2 stars I may be pushing the boat out bit by giving this 2 stars but actually it does have relevance to prog rock with the excellent suite 'Memoirs Of An Officer And Gentleman' from side 2 (Vinyl wise).Here Greg Lake gives his finest performance in ELP and the lyrics have an almost refreshing emotional approach.This is not bad,honest! Side one on the other hand...well it does have 'Canario' which is a good reworking of a Rodrigo peice.The rest is naff basically.
Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars What a hardship it must have been for Emerson, Lake and Palmer to be "forced" (so the story goes) to decamp to Compass Point Studios in the sun-kissed Bahamas to record this album. Actually I believe they moved there for tax reasons. Still, it would have been worth it had the sun and sea helped to produce some decent music, but the result was this execrable album.

Some say the music on this album was written either tongue-in-cheek or without heart because the band begrudgingly had to fulfil a contractual obligation to Atlantic Records. Others say that Atlantic Records insisted the band produce shorter, more commercial tracks. So what does that make the LP side-long 'Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman' then: a sop to existing fans, or a compromise with Atlantic? The excuses would still mean that the band abrogated their responsibility to their fans. Any self-respecting artist would not prostitute himself in such a way and, in any case, it is still possible to produce good music within a 3 or 4-minute straightjacket, as other Progressive Rock bands have shown. No, I believe the dearth of quality has a simpler explanation: the band members were bankrupt creatively and suffering from over-inflated egos. You only have to listen to "Works Volume 1" to realise that all was not well long before "Love Beach" was even conceived. Fame, fortune and overblown, tiring concert tours had taken their toll, and the quality of the music nose-dived after "Brain Salad Surgery." The band's flamboyance was tolerable while they were producing albums of the quality of the first five, but not after la dolce vita arrived and creative burnout occurred. I believe that the musical output would have been the same even if the band had taken another break (and remember that there had already been a lengthy hiatus between "Brain Salad Surgery" and "Works Volume 1"). The band was a spent force, irrespective of the advent of punk rock. According to lyricist Sinfield the band were behaving like "spoilt brats" and hardly talking to each other, so I think the apologists are basically wrong.

The album title alludes to a well-known beach of that name in the Bahamas. I assume that the band members were already living on or near Love Beach. Perhaps it was one of the reasons for choosing to record in the Bahamas in the first place. Anyway, according to the sleeve notes of the Sanctuary Records CD, Emerson was incensed at the choice of title - I do hope that is true.

The cringe-making album title and 'Bee Gees' cover photo were a surprise when I bought the album in 1978 - a surprise that turned to disappointment upon hearing the music. I thought it would improve with repeated listening, but it didn't. Sinfield's lyrics are part of the problem: "I want to love you like nobody loved you, Get on my stallion and we'll ride"; "I'm gonna love you like nobody loved you, Climb on my rocket and we'll fly"; "We loved so hard we shook the stars above." Yuck! Sinfield later declared that, with the possible exception of 'An Officer And A Gentleman', he didn't think much of his lyrics either. And I disagree with his opinion of 'An Officer And A Gentleman': parts of that track are dire too (the forced rhyming in places, for example). It's no exaggeration to say that some of the lyrics on this album make me cringe.

All the songs on the first side of the LP are slight pop: elevator music. 'All I Want Is You' (the single) and 'Love Beach' have simplistic, pleasant-enough tunes, but 'Taste Of My Love', 'The Gambler' and 'For You' have naff tunes and lousy synthesizers. 'Canario', the only decent track on the album, is an instrumental: the band's interpretation of Rodrigo's 'Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre'. 'Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentlemen' is 20 minutes of mediocre music dressed up in pretentious lyrics.

Surprisingly it's still easy to buy this album. Ironically, prevalent sniggering about the album over the years has probably resulted in some sales: people want to hear for themselves what the fuss is all about. Several earlier reviews posted on this Web site are evidence that the album has not disappointed universally; taste, after all, is a very individual thing. However it seems the majority share my disdain for the album, so don't say you haven't been warned!

The Sanctuary Records CD has three bonus tracks to prolong the misery: rehearsals for 'Canario', 'Taste Of My Love' and 'Letters From The Front'. What a complete waste of time.

How the mighty have fallen. I'm tempted to give this album a zero-star rating (Bad. Do not buy!), but a completist and diehard ELP fan would still be able to listen to it so I'll go with one star (Poor. Only for completists.)

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The album is lousy, but "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" is truly a hidden gem within it! I would still suggest you to get it from some compilation, like "Return of The Manticore" boxed set for example. The album covers are so terrible, that at least I couldn't contaminate my bookshelf with such. But perhaps I'm too serious about this subject, and lack sense for sick humor!
Review by Progbear
1 stars More contractual obligation. This manages to be even WORSE than WORKS VOL. 2, thanks to the nagging little fact that the music here was specifically written for this album, reportedly in the space of two days. I can believe it.

If the music were merely mediocre, I could forgive it, but the whole disc is just jaw-droppingly appalling at any moment. Not in an amusing, "point and laugh" sort of way. More in a "shocked and appalled" sort of way, sort of like the reaction to seeing a latter-day minstrel show. Sure, there were lame moments on previous albums, but I'm shocked and appalled that they produced something THIS bad.

Many of the band's fanboys will tell you that there are saving graces to this album. I disagree. "Canario" is more sub-Tomita kitsch, a tasteless synthed-up rendition of a classical guitar piece. And "Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman" is one of the most half-assed epics in prog history. It sounds like Emerson dusted off some half-finished motival ideas from his piano concerto, stuck them together with some wheezy synth passages and VOILÀ! Another epic is born.

Needless to say, the rest of the album is a nightmare of screeching synthesizer, bad lyrics and facile pop melodies. "Taste Of My Love" is the very definition of the word "execrable".

In short: this album is every bit as bad as you've heard. Stay away, far away, if you value your sanity.

Review by 1800iareyay
1 stars Let me start off by saying that this album will make you doubt the existence of a benevolent deity. Love Beach, ELP's fifth album, came on the heels of four masterpieces that helped to create prog rock as we know it. Then, came Works Volumes 1 and 2. That showed the band slipping. Then, label pressures and a desire to achieve commercial success resulted in Love Beach, a now legendary failure.

I came across this album after my friend lent me The Best of ELP to put on my iPod and after I acquired the excellent Brain Salad Surgery. I was blown away by tracks like Tarkus and Karn Evil, ELP were rapidly becoming one of favorite prog bands alongside Dream Theater, King Crimson, and Yes. Then I got this album. After giving it a few listens (one really must for prog albums), I concluded that ELP was dead to me. It was a full year and a half before I could even listen to a good ELP album.

Normally, I provide a track by track synopsis of each album, but if I even began to think about the individual tracks, my nose would bleed. I'm already typing with one hand so I can cup my nose if necessary. Now, I'm not one to condemn a band for selling out just because it becomes popular, but I do cry foul if a band comprises its vision to do so.

I took into consideration that their label was pushing them in their usual fashion to bleed their artists dry, but it astounds me that the boys down at A&R would release this. The only song that retains even a semblance to past glory is Officer and a Gentleman, but even that is horrible. Why did Keith abandon the polyphonic ensemble, an instrument created for him to discover new sonic territory? Why?! Instead he muddles about with lesser instruments. Greg and Carl's contributions also retain none of their old power and proficiency. If I didn't know better, I'd think the kids they use for those moronic "Kids Bop" CDs might have crafted this mess.

Some of you who are like me will be curious to check out this album to see if it lives up to its infamy. Instead, you should take out your wallet, extract however much you need to purchase Love Beach, burn it with a lit cigarette, then put out the cigarette in your eye. Trust me, it'll hurt at first, but you'll look better with an eye patch on your face than you will with Love Beach on your CD player.

Grade: F

Review by Tom Ozric
3 stars O.K. - not the worlds greatest album, but a cut above most of the mainstream drek at the time. I do have time for this release on the odd occasion, and the album contains some well written rock songs that could get the average listener interested and willing for further investigation of this wonderful band. Not all is lost here - the trio have still given us the intense ballad, 'For You', and another classical interpretation - a complex rendition of a Rodrigo composition, 'Canario'. This one is very proggy but too short. The side-long suite (actually 4 seperate parts which are only held together in concept) have their moments for sure. Keith has ditched his Hammond and stuck with mainly pianos (some beautiful Grand Piano parts are present), synths (Yamaha, Korg and Moog) and a clavinet, Greg Lake actually turns in some fine vocals but his bass playing takes more of a back-seat while he concentrates on guitar, and, in all honesty, Carl Palmer does a really good job with his Percussive work throughout. Still, lyricist Pete Sinfield writes some cheezy lines, and overall, this album, whilst I prefer it to the Works Volumes, is really one for the completist - not bad, but not grandiose either. I've decided to up this record to 3 stars because Carl Palmer is actually outstanding and really brings this music to life.
Review by Garion81
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars By the time I had finished listening to this album for the first time I knew the music world was in trouble. What were the band thinking. I know if their defence the record company was demanding an album from them and they weren't really ready to do this. First of all delete the first five worthless pieces of music. It isn't so much that they are simpler songs or anything like that it is just that they are bad. I like simpler stuff sometimes but these are terrible! Canario ends the first side and it is a pretty good adaptation and one we come to expect form ELP Good energy and good playing. Unfortunately it does not spill over into the epic on the other side. The whole Officer suite reminds me of a stretched out Take a Pebble(if that is possible) with a story behind it. There are probably 5 minutes of good music here and the March at the end of the suite is just ok. On top of it all is that cover! Yechh!

There is nothing here except Canario worth listening too so I give this two stars.

Review by ZowieZiggy

Both their awful and disgusting "Works I and II" are behind but will ELP delivers something better with this release ? It is obvious that the best is behind. The poppish attempts "All I Want Is You" and "Taste Of My Love" are not too bad after all. Great keys (but is this to be mentioned ?). Unfortunately, the title track is a very weak number. I do like like pop/prog as I call it, but this song is really hard to cope with. Press next.

But the next button will, inevitably lead you to "The Gambler". The same button is the best option and will lead you to "For You" a Lake ballad meant to repeat "Lucky Man", "Still..." or "C'Est La Vie". Well at this time of this difficult review, I must say that it is not the worse track so far..."Canario" starts really awful but features a not too bad ELP at the end.

So, the only hopes are based on the epic track. Another "Tarkus" maybe (or half a "Karn Evil" or double a "Take A Pebble") ? Well, let's put things into perspective and be happy that "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" is not as poor as the rest. There are of course lots of weak sections (the best one being the introducory part featuring Lake on the vocals). After that, the band will play a lenghtly and dispensible instrumental part.

Unfortunately, "Tarkus" won't be repeated... I am of course not a musician but how comes that such a great band will produce such miserable music ? When I am not in great shape, my business partner tells me : he, what happens with you! Go out there, get inspired and come back with good projects !

Is there no one in their close relationships or management to tell them the same (this is also valid for other great bands of course) ?

1978 was of course not the proggiest one, but who could be interested in such a release ? I couldn't at that time. There were lots of funnier bands to listen to than this boring ELP. I will be generous and give them two stars for this "work".

It is rather surprising that two reviewers have given the masterpiece status to this album. Did I miss something ?

Review by Zitro
2 stars Interesting, when I was reviewing their discography, I stopped at their inconsistent Works II. How could I forget their much maligned crapbeach?

To tell you the truth, I don't really find this album an abomination at all. Sure, the first side have them playing classic rock/pop with Greg Lake sounds like a lounge singer instead of the guy who sang in Epitaph and the second side is an uninspired (for them) epic. However, do not blame the members so much (who even themselves have a strong dislike for this album). Love Beach was recorded quickly (I think I heard that it was recorded in two days) and as an obligation to a label. I also read that the guys were already tired and wanted to call it a day, and they had this burden to record an album quickly. So, you wouldn't expect these guys to record something great. On a positive note, the sound quality is crystal clear, the short songs usually are not boring and many melodies are acceptable if you are willing to forgive the horrible lyrics.

Emerson ruins All I want is You with his goofy synths. The composition is not that bad, despite the band sounding like it is going through the motions. The album starts on a bad note. 3/10

Love Beach has more memorable melodies but the Greg sometimes sounds like a bad imitation of Robert Plant and the song's mood and the lyrics I'm gonna make love to you in love beach perfectly capture the album cover, which looks like a playgirl magazine april fool's day cover. 4/10

The silly Taste of My Love sounds like the main theme of a pornographic movie. Once again, it is a song dominated by Greg's embarrasing lyrics and guitar lines. Palmer again seems uninspired and Emerson plays his silly synths. The following lyric is so bad it's funny: I'm gonna love you like nobody ever loved you, climb on my rocket and we'll fly. 4/10

The Gambler is a supposedly groovy blues tune that doesn't sound at all like ELP. Emerson himself plays a goofy solo and then there's an abominable call and response performance between Lake and a girl going ohhhh ahaaa. 2.5/10

For You starts with an odd-sounding electric guitar intro that appears to me like a weak imitation of Yes-Roundabout. Luckily a well-arranged romantic mood not only redeems the intro but makes it the clear highlight of the album for me. The melodies and instrumental arrangements are more thought-out and inspired and Emerson finally uses the right synthesizer sounds and plays nice motifs with them. The electric guitar tone is great as well. 7/10

While most reviewers call Canario the highlight, it starts with a pathetic groove and the synthesizer tone are pretty irritating. This classical adaptation is very weak and reminds me of Wakeman's silliest songs in Rhapsodies, except that it has a very messy climax. 3.5/10

Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman is the slightly dull epic, though luckily is not as mediocre as you might think. It begins with acoustic piano and vocals, continues with pleasant and inoffensive balladry. Piano and vocals return with pleasant yet forgettable music. A more rock section later with a neat electric-harpsichord motif that reminds me of Gentle Giant. When vocals return, the music is probably the most inspired in this epic and turns a bit jazzy. I like the vocal deliveries and the Gentle-Giant style electric piano motifs. The song ends with a military rhythm and a positive synthesizer motif. In summary, the song is never irritating, maybe a bit dull in some moments. 5/10

C'mon, the album is not the worst prog album of all times. I do not think it is even a bad album. Just a band being forced to do something quickly when they just wanted to rest.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars A Plague of Light Gross Weepers

This album was bagged out completely by the band members themselves on the DVD From the Beginning. They even hated the album cover and for good reason. Its Bee Gees meets Hawaii Five O.

But I had to taste and see for myself. And it left a bad taste in my mouth I had to wash out with dollops of Tarkus and Brain Salad Surgery. What a mess this album is.

One track stands out - One! but you have to wade through the sewerage tunnels of 5 tracks that have a stench worse than a full nappy. Track 6 - Canario (From Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre) is a beautiful 4 minute stand out piece that works well both instrumentally and is full of innovative musical virtuosity. Its the only track that is found on the 'Ultimate ELP' compilation. It shows the type of work these guys were capable of. Then 'Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentlemen' begins and goes on..... and on..... and on! It never seems to stop! It feels like Chinese torture by the 10th minute. What were they thinking?

Thankfully albums following this such as 'Black Moon' saw ELP rise to decent levels. Even 'In the Hot Seat' has 2 decent tracks. What a waste of talent is Love Beach! I don't think anymore needs to be said. Avoid like the veritable plague!

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Memoirs of three gentlemen

Love Beach is an album with a very bad reputation, almost having become a symbol of the decline, not just of the band, but of the whole genre. Is there any justice in this? Yes and no. The band didn't even want to make another album at this point, but contractual obligations forced them to.

The first thing people notice is probably the cheesy album cover and the title, which does not exactly inspire confidence. The next thing is the music itself, which is a mixed bag. The first side holds six tracks, the first five of which are rather straightforward Rock songs on which Keith and Carl are reduced to a backing band for Greg. Some of these are quite forgettable, the rest downright horrible. Had the album continued in this fashion it would indeed have deserved it's bad reputation.

However, the rest of the album is very strong. Canario is an excellent instrumental that was also released as a single. I absolutely love this track. Side B holds Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman, which is an epic composition in the vein of Pirates. These two tracks occupies more than half of the album and redeems it from the weak tracks at the beginning.

In my opinion, despite its obvious weaknesses, Love Beach is actually a better album than either of the two Works albums, and a good addition.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
2 stars Love Beach was produced to satisfy contractual obligations. Anytime I hear the words "contractual obligations" I have to wonder what I'm getting myself into by buying the album. Although I couldn't help myself in approaching this album negatively right from the start, it actually seems better to me than ELP's previous effort, Works Vol. II.

Although almost completely uninspired, the only track worth getting this album for is the 20-minute epic Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman. It's clearly nowhere near the level we expect from ELP considering some of the remarkable pieces they created in the past (like Karn Evil 9), but it's at the very least, passable. The other track worth noting is Emerson's take on Canario, an excerpt of Joaquín Rodrigo's Fantasía para un gentilhombre. Nicely done.

The rest of the album is plainly a mixture of pop and classic rock pieces, chiefly written by Lake and Sinfield. True, this album contains the usual ELP formula of an epic, a cover of some classical piece, Greg Lake ballads and filler rubbish. What it lacks is inspiration and some basic songwriting skills.

I'm going to lean towards the collectors/fans crowd and give this two stars, but please note that many of my fellow reviewers rate this even lower. So take that as a serious warning.

Review by CCVP
2 stars Better than I expected, but the cheesy lyrics and the just average music made me understad why this album is so hated among proggers around the world

Love Beach is usually regarded as THE WORST Emerson, Lake and Palmer album and one of the worst progressive rock albums of all history, and it is really not very hard to understand why: the limited, uninspired, generic and repetitive lyrics (which are EXTRA cheesy on the first side of the album) makes me wonder if they were really written by Peter Sinfield and the average (and sometimes uninspired) muisc makes me wonder if who really wrote this is the Keath Emerson we know and not his evil twin. The inspiration and virtuoso playing are unfortunately, nowhere to be seen here.

Ironically, the only really good song (the best song actually) in Love Beach was not written by Keith Emerson. Canario (From Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre) was written by the Spanish classical music composer Joaquín Ridrigo. Maybe the only good song by ELP is the closing song: the epic Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman. However, just like in the rest of the album, there is no exceptional playing, but in the last song it does not a difference because it is quite good the way it is. Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman sounds very close to what the classic Emerson, Lake and Palmer songs did, but the thing is that it is unable to rescue the album from the pit of cheese it was put in by most of the first part of the album.

The highlights go to: Canario (From Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre) and Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman. The saddest moments are: All I Want Is You, Love Beach, Taste Of My Love, The Gambler, For You.

One interesting thing about Love Beach is that it may be considered a concept album, since every song theme is about love, one way or the other. That can be seen in the lyrics (which repeat the word love MANY TIMES in almost every song) and also in the songs titles. The fact of being or not a concept album doesn't make a difference, because with an album title like Love Beach and an album cover like we have here, you pretty much know what to expect.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Well, I have always been skeptic about low grades in ProgArchives, specially when the subject is this band in partucular, but this time the grade is pretty fair. The album is not very good, regarding both the lyrics and the music, but it is not worthless. As I said before, the last two songs are actually good ones, but they are not great, just good, so they can't rescue the album from the seas of cheese upon it was released. Thus, the grade for Love Beach is 2 stars at most.

Review by TGM: Orb
3 stars Love Beach, ELP. 1978

OK, revisionism starts here. Love Beach is a good album. Maybe it's just the Carl Palmer rule, or maybe I'm not righteously angry enough at a band doing pop music or going for a cover without elves, or spacemen or camels, but simply put, the 46% of reviewers who've given this one star are really missing out on some of the decent pop music on side 1 and the entertaining, if not fully realised classical fiddling of Canario and the suite on Side 2. Besides, it's 1978, and of the classic 'prog' bands, only Van Der Graaf, sans the Generator, plus a violinist, are still going very strong. Admittedly, Lake's voice isn't as secure as it was previously (it's still alright, though), and God knows what happened to Sinfield... probably left a romantically-inspired egomaniac chimp on a typewriter while heading off for a watery frolic with Miss Spain, but apart from that... this is a surprisingly decent album, and vastly better than it is often made out to be. Yes, it's hardly Genesis or Sheet Music in terms of class, but it's still a fairly good pop-based album, with some fun, memorable songs and great work from Carl Palmer.

The album opens with All I Want Is You, which, in spite of Sinfield and Lake's (I can't understand why he resorts to such laboured twists) concerted effort to ruin the song, Palmer is going strong and Emerson's synths are good fun, if maybe a bit too high for their own good. So yeah, not classic, but it's not really difficult to listen to.

Now, in a scandalous revelation, I think the title track is a great song.  Catchy diao-nao-da-niao-niao guitar lines, memorable vocal melodies, fantastic drumming, canny little breaks in the main melody, a decent vocal from Lake, some of Sinfield's pet chimp's best lines, even if the lyrics are a bit tacky.  A good pop song. No shame in that.

Taste Of My Love opens with a twenty second synth introduction, before Palmer comes in to provide a great link between Emerson's strident keys and Lake's flexible, and actually pretty alright vocal, with his bizarre jazz/rock style and rattlesnake growling. Emerson fills up the mood with every synth sound he can pluck out, and, even if he's not 100% in the realm of taste, he does some pretty cool stab things to reinforce the vocal. Again, the lyrics are absolutely dreadful, but they're better than Scenes From A Memory Metropolis, so that's OK.

The Gambler benefits most from the Carl Palmer rule. Bland vocal, bland lyrics, rather obvious, but nonetheless neat synthesiser work, but still, the drumming is fantastic, with its insidious groove and slamming fills... taking on the tin bucket and whatever other silliness he's got around in that kit. And, besides, it all pulls together a bit towards the end. Not a great moment, but still, it's got listenable content.

For You, on the other hand, is an all-round good song. A great synth-guitar-and-drums introduction, with some semaphore keys. A neat bit of guitar and haunting synth soloing introduces easily the most introspective and understated piece of this album, with a bloody fantastic Lake vocal (where was it on the rest of the album so far?), and more work with subtle synthesiser sounds and piano, and Palmer, as ever, is absolutely solid, further assisted by some When The Apple Blossoms Bloom... style synth bits. Anyway, I love this one. It helps that Sinfield, even if he's not at his best here, has probably at least given his monkey some English lessons for this one. Anyway, a great pop song.

The synth-led take on a classical guitar piece is maybe the easiest thing for Joe the Progger to get into here, with its quirky, light-hearted squeaking, lack of Sinfield's-Monkey lyrics and slightly more confident bass work from Lake, and Emerson's hectic twists are something to behold. Palmer, as always, is a bulwark of talent and taste, and the overall impression is quite neat, even if you can't help feeling that it's really only The Keith Emerson Show with very little relevance to the anything else. Actually possibly the least enjoyable thing on the album so far.

Side two opens with a muted piano chord, lightly and emotionally played by Keith Emerson, who, for the first time here, seems really quite concerned with the subtle range of his playing, and Lake sounds a heck of a lot better than he did on his own pop songs, maybe he's just happy with the pompous mood, and with Palmer's mixture of his more idiosyncratic rock work and the occasional classical crash, this is comfortably the most classic ELP track we've seen so far.

A lush, smooth romantic piano part connects the prologue to the delicate Love At First Sight, a superb showcase on the part of Emerson, and while Lake is putting himself under a little more stress than he needs to, he's still quite comfortable and capable at the piano-and-voice game, and with the absolutely gorgeous supplementary classical guitar from Lake and xylophone from Palmer, this track goes from a beauty to an understated gem. Simply put, every serious ELP fan should here this superb song at least once in their lives. Preferably a few times in their lives. I can't imagine getting bored of it too quickly.

After a slightly less involving synth-and-drum=chaos in 'typical' ELP style, we move onto the maybe-a-bit-too-twee Letters From The Front, with its excessive coupletage, and the effort at a dramatic twist is admittedly laboured, though it sort of fits the choppy organ from Emerson (and there are some absolutely great spiralling, whirling organ (I think) parts, reminiscent in a way of the solo Hackett piece 'Tigermoth' (also a war theme).

An effort at maybe uniting everything pompous about ELP, the military drumming, the ambling bass, the twee synths, is clearly made in the conclusive 'Honourable Company' (A March), and if the effects is more of Pomp And Circumstance March than the life-affirmingly British power-trip of Jerusalem, that's just about forgivable. All in all, the last couple of sections are significantly weaker than the first couple, but it shouldn't overshadow the fact that there's a fantastic ten minutes in there, and the other few are weak as much by comparison as by content.

So, it comes down to weighing up these ups (of which there are a lot) and the downs (of which there are definitely some). Anything with drumming this good (however frank Carl Palmer is about his opinions on albums he's cut in the past, he's honestly never failed to do his best with the kit on them, and at this point in time, he still absolutely ruled) escapes the 'only for completionists' boundary, and, simply put, there are two ELP classics, and two great pop songs on here, and the rest at least have some redeeming features and, more importantly, never drop below slightly irritating, which means the whole album can be quite cheerfully taken in one sitting. For the moment, it's getting a three in the 'pop/prog' book, obviously non-essential, but it's still an album with a bit of character, and the first two bits of Memoirs are some Emerson, Lake And Palmer that you could do with even if you're not a huge fan of theirs.

Rating: 3 stars, (higher than Works 2, actually), 9/15, maybe. Favourite Track: Love At First Sight <3

Edit: I'm dropping a lot of ratings generally... I felt that maybe a two would be more accurate. I like this album a lot, it's still an overall good album, I just felt that if I'm going for increasing stinginess across the board, an album I gave three stars partly out of reaction to how unreasonably lowly it was generally estimated was one that I should probably drop. I would say that an ELP fan should have this in their collection.

Edit edit: Listened to the damn thing again and agreed with my original rating. Think Side 1 is a tad better than I perhaps thought them.

Review by b_olariu
2 stars ELP on the edge - 2.5 stars for sure

With Love beach from 1978, ELP goes realy on the bottom line, far are the days when we heared blistering key passages like on Tarkus or Trilogy, the late 70's cought ELP in wrong musical direction. Is like I'm listening to Bee Gees from that period, only pieces just for the sake to be on the album. Even the keys of Emerson and the drums of Palmer are dull, flat with no vein but not bad performed, only from time to time I heared some good vocal parts from Lake, but far from the early days sparkle. If you skip first 6 pieces remaing only one more piece to listen, the longest from here and one of the longest they ever compose, the unintristing Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman. When I saw such a long suite, I belive that even this track is in vein of Tarkus, Endless enigma, but turned to be in the end a total mediocre piece, without soul, intrest and everything you name it. The sections are played good, the keys in places are ok, the voice aswell, but as a whole, something is missing, there is no more that early career spark between musicians, is like they are tired to bring the piece to the end, forgetable track, even they tried to sound like old days , they fail big time. The cover art is a perfect example what is on the album. So, 2.5 stars, there are some good moments here and there, but not enought, keeping in mind what albums they releasewd in early '70s.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Back when this album was released, I would have rated it with one star. This album was far worse than anything they had ever release, so far beneath their previous output it was rendered unlistenable. But, now, more than three deacades later, I must re-evaluate that. They have released worse since then. Black Moon was marginally worse, and In The Hot Seat is far worse. So two stars it is.

The first half of the album is just terrible. Plain pop songs. But at least Lake still had his voice, Palmer could still play rings around almost every other rock drummer, and Emerson, for what little he was adding, was still Emerson.

The second half is better. Canario, yet another Ginastera-based piece, is very good, but not great. And the "epic", Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman, not as good as Pirates, which was nowhere near as good as Tarkus and Karn Evil 9, has some tolerable sections, as well as some snore inducing parts.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
2 stars Only recently I had any wish to hear this CD again. At the time I hated Love Beach as much as anyone else I knew. Well, it was 1978 and with its hideous cover and title, what would you expect? Strangely, I remember seeing a ELP special on TV at the time. I´m still wondering why it was ever broadcast. Anyway, after 30 years it doesn´t sound nearly as bad as i thought at the time. After all, Greg Lake still had his wonderful voice intact and the band hasn´t lost their magic touch completely. Not that it was very good either. The album´s first side, very much Lake dominated, has some nice melodies but could be improve a lot with a (much) better production and stronger arrangements.

Side two has a more progressive approach and it is slightly better than side one of the vinyl. Their version for Canario always sounded pleasant to me, even if it is a pale attempt to reproduce their earlier success with Aaron Copland´s Hoedown. The 20 minute suite Memoirs Of An Officer and A Gentleman is probably the CD´s best track. Ok it is no Tarkus or Karn Evil: it has too many words and not enough memorable ELP´s trademark instrumental parts (it sounds good for a Broadway musical). Yet, it has its merits.

Conclusion: their weakest 70´s efford, little doubt about it, but not that horrible. Worth for fans and collectors, largely because of Memoirs...

Review by Kazuhiro
3 stars Might be able do the grasp of the meaning of this album in the work that ELP announced variously including the listener and the fan. 1978 year will have been time of a rapid revolution for the industry of music. A situation at that time at the time of having been put ELP might have swallowed the existence of the band. Cannot able not to have limited to ELP and to know it. However, the discussion will have various opinions as long as this album exists for ELP.

The part where this album should be verified can be enumerated as some respects. Preparations of the flow that the band reaches this album will be able to go back to the live album announced in 1974. It was a work with high quality with which the element as keyboard Trio that they did was blocked in this live album. However, when the flow from "Brain Salad Surgery" is received at the same time, it can be caught as a certain kind of boundary.

There is an opinion made that "Brain Salad Surgery" was one top as the general opinion made well for ELP, too. However, it is said that the problem is consecutive from the tour dared this time and it was generated. The harmony of the band begins to collapse gradually of course. And, the fact whose period to "Works Vol.1&2" announced in 1977 is a little long period. And, the content of "Works" might be and there be a little loose part including each member's Solo, too. Keith Emerson is made remarks, "The situation, the market, and the demand concerning music changed in the latter half of the 70's" in the interview. The verification can be advanced as follows based on this remark.

Especially, 1978 year when this album had been announced was time that the industry of music had revolutionized. The fashion of the market changed around Punk Rock and New Age, too. A progressive band including ELP receives the demand from the outside further.

Keith Emerson recollects a situation at that time. 「The industry of music tried to part from pure Prog Rock. To produce the tune of a short fraction for the radio, the recording label was demanded. Pure Prog Rock has not already been needed. 」

This will have been an event that did not limit to ELP and happened to all bands. However, it gropes for ELP to answer the demand. However, it is not certain whether tied to the content of "Love Beach" at once.

Flow of money problem by tour to take orchestra that they did when indirectly considering it. It will have been one of the factors to disarrange the member's harmony surely. And, the band that spends between 1977 and 1978 and acts faces the extreme condition. The member was already negative compared with the activity of the band.

Keith Emerson recollects a situation at that time. 「The creation of the music character in Love Beach made an effort to some degree. The tour in this album was not dared. However, the album sold unexpectedly. 」

This remark is inevitable as a situation at that time or not certain by chance. The refined music might certainly have been demanded in the age. And, groping and the revolution will have been the tough goings for the band of Prog Rock. It might be difficult for this flow to find the responsibility. The age had changed surely. And, it might be true that it acts about ELP and a misfortune and a bad situation came in succession. All are inevitable and continuous by chance. The album made in the situation is this "Love Beach".

In addition, a bad element attacks the band as a part where this album is verified. It was an investigation by the questionnaire executed by "O'Hare international airport" that existed in Chicago. It was an investigation said that the title was chosen from among List to decide a suitable title for this album. The title that collected support most based on the result of the investigation of the questionnaire was "Love Beach". The band denied this result. However, Atlantic Records likes and adopts this title as a result.

Furthermore, it is said that the place of the problem of the tax for the production of the album was decided to Bahamas. After the tour, Keith Emerson took the moving vacation in Bahamas. Two remaining members are summoned and it begins the production of this album. Therefore, it might be one of the factors that this part is reflected in the content and Album Art of the album.

Keith Emerson recollects a situation at that time. 「It talked with the member in the process of producing this album. And, the dissolution of ELP was decided. Because the problem of the contract had existed, it was necessary to make this album. 」

However, the state of the band will have been a limit as the result in complete. It is made remarks that it made an effort to the approach of the music character in "Love Beach" in the remark by the above-mentioned description. However, even if the problem of the contract is considered, the evaluation of the content in this album might be low worldwide. As for this album, the opinion made it is necessary to make not to exist might be still esteemed.

The opinion concerning the content of this album is various. There is an opinion made for the taste of ELP to be expressed in the opinion well, too. The part that has a good sense of relief and power of expression while following the music character cultivated till then might be pointed at. However, the point said that the impression of Keith Emerson is a little thin as the collective impression and the opinion. Or, it is partial felt no existence of luster in the rhythm of Carl Palmer. The song of Greg Lake might have the part to which it contributes a little. However, it did not contribute to the chart in the United States and Britain. It might have a little contradiction compared with the remark of Keith Emerson.

It is easy to criticize this album. Inevitability, a coincidence, and various events might have come in succession as a situation concerning music of course at that time. This album made in the flow is a work that showed a band indeed at that time the situation of music in detail. Courage and the effort of ELP might be included a little as a content that realistically shows the situation in which the band is opened in the work.

Therefore, ranking to this album is not absolute if it catches generously partially of the history of Prog Rock. My ranking is set as much as possible overall as a standard. And, it is possible to proceed to a discussion here.

"All I Want Is You" makes the flow with good song that Greg Lake in close relation to the melody of the guitar and the keyboard with the sense of relief is powerful. Sound of familiar, deep keyboard. And, rhythmically of 16 notes fast in close relation to a bright melody. Or, it develops by reminiscent of the march. The tune is openhearted.

There might have been a fan to be surprised at lyrics of "Love Beach", too. Processing of melody with bright guitar and effective Picking. And, the obbligati of the keyboard that consistently supports the tune. A bright, openhearted impression is given as a result.

In "Taste Of My Love", the melody with expression of feelings is a feature. And, it is partial of the unison by 16 aggressive notes. Or, it twines well for the rhythm to which the taste of ELP is steady. The keyboard with the contribution and the diversity of the guitar shines, too. The device that doubles the tempo in the part of Coda of the tune has succeeded, too.

"The Gambler" is straight Rock to emphasize Groove. The sound of the harmonica and Cow Bell is effectively introduced. However, this tune will not be a tune that they should do. There is certainly an effective part with chorus's introduction and keyboard. However, the collective impression is very weak.

The progress of Chord of the guitar of "For You" is impressive. Part of melody of keyboard with diversity. And, the ballade gently sung flows. Good minor Chord composition ties well and it progresses. The composition with fast and slow has finished well.

"Canario" is a tune for men who take the rhythm of the shuffle. It will have development to follow a past music character while emphasizing the element of classics. The band constructs ensemble that you may exactly combine. It is a tune that their tastes are exactly demonstrated. Making the part and the sound that shifts to a rhythm of 2 and three reams on the way is devised well.

"Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" might be a tune that represents this album. A beautiful piano melody and a gentle song listen to the power of expression of the band. Chord with expression of feelings and an original part might be the proofs of the expression that they did. Part of symphonic to emphasize transparent feeling. A melody that flows gently and a powerful rhythm show the existence of the band. And, it is partial of more moving more piano melody and the song. Or, symphonic flows corresponding to the rhythm to emphasize Groove. The melody with fast and slow while producing the dash feeling is multiused. The tune faces the march of rejoicing while accompanying the sense of relief.

Merits and demerits that the content and the band of this album had shot at this time gave birth to various opinions. Various coincidence and situations might have come in succession at difficult time for the music called the latter half of the 70's. It is likely to be talked about this album made in that for better or worse.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
2 stars I don't understand why should Greg Lake try to sing like Freddy Mercury...this was my first thought after having listened to the first song of this album. Musically is not too different from the cheesy Lake's songs that can be found on the two "Works" studio album. It's a way to say that this song is almost rubbish.

The title track is an outplaced pop song. It makes me think to Zeppelin's "In Through The Out Door", a pop song from the late 60s composed in the punk era. On this song Emerson is almost disappeared. Two out of 7 are gone.

"Taste Of My Love", despite the unpromising title has a start a little more interesting. Lake's voice is always good and this is the first track on this album on which it seems to hear Lake. There's something of the old ELP in this song, but if you think to what the band was doing just 5 years before you can't not hate this song as well.

Let's skip "The Gambler". It's not a Scott Joplin's ragtime or even a rock 'n roll. It's that kind of fillers that are present even in good ELP albums. Not so bad to be skipped, but imagine somebody looking for the "ELP new release", spending some bucks and once at home finds this stuff. After three songs you are still waiting to hear something that deserves the price paid.

"For You" is another unpromising title. Lake is a great singer, but do we really need to have lyrics on each song? Emerson's work in the background is not too bad, but the chords are so trivial that making this song sounding interesting is a challenge. I don't know how many time i resisted to it without skipping.

"Canario" seems copied from PFM's "E' Festa"(Celebration). It is not, but let me say that if they had really copied it, the result would have likely been better. Non so bad but not enough, up to now, to buy the album. The second part of the song contains at least a bit of ELP.

So what? there's an epic on side B. "Officer and Gentleman" doesn't sound very good, but they must have filled the 20 minutes of the track with something bearable. Lake sings like on Trilogy, it's not a bad start. Going ahead one starts to be a bit bored: Lake is good, but why do the other two sound so uninspired? However this is not too bad and even if very far from being "excellent" it's not a bad listening at all. Not at the level we were used even the previous year with "Piano Concerto N.1" or "Pirates", this is the problem.

With this epic only it could have been a three stars album, but the songs are too poor and meaningless both in terms of lyrics and music. Not entirely poor, but for collectors only.

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars "Have a taste of my love, around from the maze of pleasure to the gates of pain..." - Oh, ELP - BEHAVE!

If you decide to take the plunge and purchase this most notorious of (cough) `progressive rock' albums, you'll be in for some luck - you'll likely pick it up dirt cheap! I've come across this album in so many bargain bins, and one look at the cover will all but guarantee you'll know why it's so unloved! I bought the remastered CD for $2.99 Australian. Great price, but then comes the other dilemma - finding something else to buy WITH it so you don't look quite so sad. I managed to get Tangerine Dream's `Phaedra' and `The Nice: BBC Sessions' to hide `Love Beach' between when I handed it to the pretty sales girl. OK, so dignity sort of intact - let's move on!

I've mentioned before in other reviews that I'm always fascinated to see progressive artists try to balance their artistic/technical complexities with commercial pop appeal. It's produced some interesting (and to my ears, fairly successful) results like Genesis with `Abacab/Duke', Magenta's `Chameleon', or, to some extent, perhaps even the prog-pop works of the Alan Parsons Project. But with `Love Beach', the majority of the album is far too much on the side of pop, with few rewarding and challenging moments. However, despite so many negative elements to this album, there is a number of positive aspects.

First of all, the production is nice and clean, and all the instruments sound fantastic. So the main players may not be giving themselves a complex or overly-technical musical workout in the material they're actually playing, but it's nice to hear the occasional strong melodies and effective restrained playing. Carl Palmer's drumming is mixed full and loud, and is the member of the trio who leaves the best impression on the album. He constantly throws in lots of snappy quick fills and busy playing. Greg Lake's vocals are very confident, even if many of the lyrics he's actually singing are dross. His bass is mixed very low and is oddly unnoticeable on this, instead favouring his acoustic and electric guitar playing. Emerson's piano and keyboards are prominent and varied - and I secretly love his quick synthy stabs during `Taste Of My Love'!

Of course, much of the material is very lightweight and undemanding. `All I Want Is You' is extremely basic and straightforward. The title track is mundane and repetitive with dreadful rhyming lyrics. `Taste Of My Love' is jammed full of head slapping double and possibly even triple entendre lyrics, and there's an oddly creepy and vaguely sexually threatening tone to this one. `The Gambler' is a cheesy character piece along the lines of `The Sheriff', but it's bouncy and pleasant with a brief synth solo from Emerson that's kind of fun. `For You' is a little more serious and dramatic, with some strong drum-work and effective vocal hooks. Despite a schmaltzy keyboard intro, `Canario' is a boppy and cheeky classical/bolero tinged instrumental, it's the track on this album that probably shows off the band's abilities best. Lots of rapid-fire time changes and fiery instrumental playing - far and away the best piece on the album. The side long `Memoirs' is equally sumptuous and repulsive, pompous and romantic. Lake's singing is alternatively powerful and reflective, the lyrics thankfully more more sophisticated. We finally hear his bass playing for the first time too! Emerson shines most on this, with a huge variety of lovely piano and keyboard selections. Some grand and commanding drumming from Palmer adds greatly, too. There's a very lazy and unimaginative fade-out at the end, though, with not much in the way of a big finale or climax.

The remastered CD version also features a kind of bashy, crashing and slightly messy noisy instrumental rehearsal of `Taste Of My Love' that's much better with all those awful lyrics removed. Not bad at all!

Strangely, I sort of defend this album in many ways. I don't think it's the total dog that it's made out to be, as tracks like `Canario' and much of the side long piece offer great ideas, inventive playing with tasteful arrangements. But the album is also sappy, overwrought and frequently overly simplistic, especially the first few tracks. The album is pretty much saved by the quality playing in even it's worst moments. So perhaps lower your expectations (or standards!), and you may find some of `Love Beach' to your liking.

Two and a half stars!

Review by Guillermo
2 stars Not as bad as I expected. Greg Lake`s songs are not as good as others from previous albums. Particularly Peter Sinfield ´s lyrics in these songs are very Pop Rock oriented, and these songs sound like they were written very quickly for this album. And the album sounds that way too, like the band was tired of playing together and they wanted to take a rest. Their history says that this album was a contractual obligation to their record label. It really sounds like that. Maybe it could have been better to take a rest as a band for a least one year than to record this album. Maybe they could have carried on as a band for more years in the eighties if they could have taken this rest. But in those years it was expected for bands to record albums almost one per year and to do tours after an album was released, something that is not expected in the present. Anyway, the best songs in this album are "Canario" and "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman", both with more involvement from Emerson, whose playing in both songs are the best parts in this very underrated album. Palmer also has very interesting playing parts in both songs. It is not a very good album, but for me it was much, much better to listen to this album than to the music which the radio played then: Disco music and Punk. Progressive bands like Yes, Genesis and ELP were very criticized by 1978, but the albums they recorded then, while still being underrated by some people, still are much better than Disco and Punk, in my opinion. ELP didn´t tour after this album. They split by 1979.
Review by siLLy puPPy
2 stars One of the more hilarious examples of a once mighty early 70s prog band dismally falling from grace, EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER was quite ready to call it a day instead of convert to the changing musical tides or be crucified but unfortunately the band's record label Atlantic had other plans for them to fulfill the last album of their contract. Was this album a big middle finger to the industry or just a bad joke? Well, most opinions cite this as one of absolute worst examples of an album gone wrong from one of the greats of 70s progressive rock and a huge departure from eh band's intricately designed classical and jazz scores in their 2 volume "Works" albums.

Whatever the case ELP had finally run out of steam and wanted to rest on their laurels but after the Works tour were forced to head to the studio and start what would become their last album of their earliest incarnations. LOVE BEACH was named as such due to the fact that the band were tax exiles and had retreated to the Bahamas where they are seen sporting their classic Bee Gees look on the album cover. This album has attracted a few staunch supporters who would love their favorite band even if they recorded breakfast cereal commercials but the hardcore proggers were having none of this pop rock, AOR and yacht rock soup mixed with a few proggy remnants of the past. In reality and hindsight from someone who wasn't around back then to complain, this album isn't as horrible as the album cover suggests.

LOVE BEACH was divided into two sides, the first consisting of short catchy pop flavored tracks that in many ways sound like a rough draft of what would emerge in the 80s as Asia especially given the Greg Lake connection. The second side featured a return to the prog side of things with the side-long track "Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman" which consisted of four distinct parts and sailed past the 20 minute mark. Despite this attempt to please the fans, this album was seen as a bloody outrage and still receives probably more hate than any other prog gone wrong album in the history of the entire genre. However if one simmers down and actually evaluates the album on its own terms, it's not that bad! Not great either but certainly better than many other albums that were popular even by prog bands.

The first five tracks are all vocal oriented and feature prog pop constructs with the silliest being the title track which unfortunately taints the flow of things if you consider this an album experience but if you can simply fast forward and delete the impressions of the stinkers then this album is definitely worthy for the feisty classically infused "Canario" which is an excerpt from Joaquín Rodrigo's concerto "Fantasía para un Gentilhombre" which finds Keith Emerson in a triumphant return to keyboard wizardry with the other band members cranking out the instrumental prowess ELP fans were accustomed to completely sans vocals.

The 20-minute closer "Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman" delivers the prog goods as a concept piece that recounts the story of a romance between a soldier and his wife to be during World War II although the band had lost control of content at this point and the lyrics were crafted by the additional outside help of Peter Sinfield who not only was one of the key lyricists of King Crimson's lauded debut "In The Court Of The Crimson King" but was even more successful in the world of pop music having worked with Cher, Cliff Richard, Leo Sayer and many others. While this final opus hits all the prog notes especially with beautiful piano riffs with an attempted return to prog, this overweening pompousness turns out to be the weakest side of the album! It sounds like a drunken Elton John trying to venture into classical music in a smokey bar struggling to hit the right notes but saved somewhat by the cool fourth movement.

Oh well. Every great band has an expiration date and although ELP was well aware of that they gave it their best shot to fulfill their obligatory contract and in the process manufactured one of prog's greatest buffoonery sessions. Yeah, this was an admitted embarrassment as expressed by all the band members but personally i don't think it's a complete waste of time either. While the 20-minute B-side is somewhat of a disappointment as is the ridiculous title track, the rest of the tracks are not that bad and as already mentioned crafted the perfect practice sessions for the progressive pop 80s bands that followed and perfected some of the simplified prog that is on display here. As it stands this will probably remain one of the most hated albums in music history and i have avoided this for years but alas i have finally tuned in to see what all the scorn was about and all i have to say - wow!

2.5 rounded down

Review by VianaProghead
3 stars Review Nº 414

"Love Beach" is the seventh studio album of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and was released in 1978. It was their last release of a studio album in the 70's, before the separation of the group for more than a decade. The three original members of the band would only join again fourteen years later, in 1992, for the release of their ninth studio album "Black Moon".

"Love Beach" had a very difficult birth. It was an album that Emerson, Lake & Palmer never wanted to release. They only recorded it because they were forced to do that by their record label. It was only released to satisfy the contractual obligations to fill out the rest of their contract. The final result was somehow a critical and commercial disappointment.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer wasn't satisfied with the album, particularly with the art of the front cover of it. Carl Palmer even compared the cover photograph of the album with the covers of Bee Gees. Coupled with that fact and because Keith Emerson considered that the fulcrum of the album was "Memoirs Of An Office And A Gentleman" and not the four love songs composed by Greg Lake and Peter Sinfield, he even phoned to the record company protesting with the name and the art cover of the album. But, as many times is usual, the record label disrespected the will of the band.

"Love Beach" is an album with seven tracks. It can be divided into two distinct parts. The side one has four love songs composed by Greg Lake and Peter Sinfield, a song composed by the group and a song based in Joaquin Rodrigo's Concert for Guitar and Orchestra, "Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre". The side two has only one song, the long suite "Memoirs Of An Officer And Gentleman", divided into four parts and composed by Keith Emerson and Peter Sinfield.

About the love songs, in general they aren't bad songs, but they aren't good songs, either. "All I Want Is You", the title track and "Taste Of My Love" are basically the same song repeated three times. Greg Lake's music is pretty decent, the exception is the title track, but Pete Sinfield's lyrics on each range are very weak, really. So, the first three tracks all fall into the same unfortunate bucket, especially the title track which is awful. The fourth song, "The Gambler" is not a great song but it reminds me of other silly tracks like "Jeremy Bender", "Are You Ready Eddy?", or "Benny The Bouncer". It's a style they've done before and this song is certainly no worse than any of those tracks. Still, I never liked this kind of songs on a band like Emerson, Lake & Palmer. "For You" is more in the usual style of the band. It has a more "modern" sound than "Still?You Turn Me On" and really flows well. If they had released "For You" as a single rather than "All I Want is You", they might have garnered some radio play. "Canario" represents what the band usually does, and usually they do well. It sounds great and because of that it represents, without any doubt, the best part of the first side of the album. Finally, we have the piece of music that represents the best musical part on the album, its side two. "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" has all the various movements and sections like their more well-known epics. It's a musical composition made in the same vein of other long classic suites of Keith Emerson, such as "Karn Evil 9", "Endless Enigma" and "Tarkus" and despite being less inspired and less good that it should be, and the others are, it has some really good and interesting musical moments. Greg Lake's voice sounds amazing on the track and Peter Sinfield's lyrics are touching and powerful. Keith Emerson wrote the music for the track and his playing on it is typically great. I really like this piece. Unfortunatelly, it represents the last great epic made by Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Conclusion: I have all the studio albums released in the 70's, by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, since those years. The only exception was "Love Beach". I only bought it some years ago. For many years, I never was interested on "Love Beach" due to the cover of the album and also because I have read very bad things about the album. It was considered the worst studio album released by the band in the 70's. So, sincerely I expected it was much worse. This isn't properly a great album but it has some good musical parts. It has many of the usual ingredients that an Emerson, Lake & Palmer's album must have, Greg Lake's ballads, Keith Emerson's long side suite and the his driven keyboard parts. "Love Beach" has roughly a half hour of great music, a little more if you include "The Gambler". If people were to judge the album by the first three songs, it's no wonder people hate it. But, if it had the album been sequenced differently and maybe if they had overhauled the first three, maybe the album might have been seen differently. But, there is another great problem with this album, its art cover. The art cover of the album is awful and completely stupid for a progressive work. It reveals a completely lack of sense, sensibility, love and respect for a great band like Emerson, Lake & Palmer. When Rick Wakeman saw the art cover of "Love Beach", he must have felt very embarrassed and certainly blushed with shame when he said that he disliked the art cover of "Tormato", released in the same year of "Love Beach", and threw a tomato to its pictures. Compared with the art cover of "Love Beach", the art cover of "Tormato" is a piece of art, indeed. Concluding, for me "Love Beach" is far from is their worst album. For instance, "Works, Vol. 2" is even much worse.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by Mirakaze
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Yeah! How do you like that album cover? What on earth happened? Okay, time for a little history lesson. Remember how the band used an orchestra on the previous two albums? Well, one day Keith said to the other guys: "Hey, wouldn't it be a great idea if we took an orchestra with us on our next tour?" And? well, to be honest, it actually was a great idea. Artistically, at least. Backing up the old and the new ELP hits with orchestral arrangements resulted in some outstanding performances that were captured on the live album Works Live, which I heartily recommend to anyone who's interested in the band. Financially however, this was a really bad move. Paying the musicians and transporting their equipment was such a financial strain that the band would inevitably lose money unless they sold every last seat at every venue. And they didn't succeed at that because the popularity of progressive rock as a whole took a nosedive in the late seventies. The genre's emphasis on complex rhythms and structures, esoteric concepts and instrumental virtuosity became more and more associated with snobbish elitism and was rejected by the new generation, which instead flocked to the more approachable, raw and rocking sound of punk rock bands such as the Sex Pistols, who regularly mocked progressive rock bands as part of their performances, with their infamous "I hate Pink Floyd" t-shirts, and their burning of Yes and ELP records on stage. In addition, the music industry itself changed around this time and became far less receptive towards experimental music than it had been throughout the decade.

So, to make a long story short, ELP were in a bad spot in 1978, and were further plagued by deteriorating personal relations between the band members, as well as conflicts with the record company which demanded a hot-selling record. Love Beach was made in a desperate attempt to reach out to a new audience: it's made up primarily of a bunch of lightweight pop songs but also throws in a few progressive-sounding tunes to please their old audience. The result, predictably, pleased no one at all and made ELP the laughing stock of the music world. Even the band members themselves have frequently mocked it. What else could they do? This album is just too easy to mock. Just look at it! Even the liner notes hardly say anything about the music and mostly just talk about how much fun the band had on the Bahamas, where the album was recorded.

I mean, you can tell that there are some creative problems when a singer has trouble trying to make the third line on an album fit within the meter. At the same time, Keith changes his synthesizer tones from otherwordly and ominous to sickly sweet and sappy, and Carl plays an awkward drumming part that never seems to get off the ground. And despite all of that, I still have to count "All I Want Is You" among the better songs on here, because it shows at least a wee bit of classical influence and of the old production style (and to be fair, this is hardly worse than Greg's pop stuff on Works, Volume 1).

However, things very rapidly go off the deep end with the title track and "Taste Of My Love", which are basically guitar-led cock rock anthems that have Greg singing oversexed smut that would make even Gene Simmons facepalm (Oh, I almost forgot: all of the lyrics on this album were written by Peter Sinfield, who originally rose to fame by supplying King Crimson with his hallucinatory texts about 21st century schizoid men and rusted chains of prison moons, and who just five years earlier thought up the apocalyptic machine warfare themes for Brain Salad Surgery. Now he writes such lovely slices of poetry like "I'm gonna love you like nobody ever loved you; Climb on my rocket and we'll fly"). Anyway, these songs are far too tame instrumentation-wise to appeal to the general sleaze-rock crowd, and far too simplistic to not infuriate anyone expecting to hear the ELP of old: Keith's synthesizer parts feel like they were added to these tracks more out of obligation rather than because they actually contributed something of substance to the music.

"The Gambler" goes for a comedic mood again, but really overstays its welcome with its generic female backing vocals as well as some dumb ukulele and some equally dumb harmonica to spice up the pill. Oh well, at least it has some funny keyboard playing. And "For You" ... well, that one's actually alright. Not essential but certainly listenable. Unlike the rest of the album, it's more melancholic and reflective than sappy and jolly, and it has some nice echoey guitar playing, too. I couldn't care less about the "rocking" coda though (in quotes because it just sounds kind of torpid).

In contrast to the first side of the LP, the second side holds tracks that are basically bones thrown toward the band's traditional audience. The first track on here, "Canario", is also not bad. It's another classical cover (of a piece by Joaquín Rodrigo) that still sounds cheesy and overly sweet but at least it has some dang energy which is sorely missing on the rest of the album, particularly on the next track, where things get really murky when the boys try to pen one more epic multi-part suite in the old prog style, called "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentlemen". Don't expect another "Tarkus" here: this whole suite is just a big toss-off. Almost the whole thing is in the same key and the same plodding tempo, and it sticks to the same disgustingly cheerful atmosphere that dominates the rest of the album. Furthermore, the lyrics try to sound really grandiose and world-shattering but, when taking the utterly banal subject matter into account (a soldier falls in love with a nurse but oh no she died the end), just come off as pathetic. But worst of all, Keith's keyboard playing feels completely sterile and forced throughout the whole thing, and there's no impressive synth solo to hear for miles around. The final movement, "Honourable Company", is a gradually intensifying march that's obviously intended as a rewrite of "Aquatarkus", except there's no catharsis to it at all and it just ends up sounding like really bad theme park music (I apologize if I overuse this analogy in my reviews but I really can't think of a better thing to compare it to. Do you remember waiting in line for an Indiana Jones ride and hearing some super-cheesy tune to prepare you for the grand, magical adventure you're about to go on? Yeah, that's the one). Not even the gratuitous Chopin quotations help bring the suite to life or anything resembling life.

Oh, I'm sorry. I must come across as angry right now, but honestly, the spectacular stupidity of this album makes it impossible to actually hate or get angered by. The incompatibility of Emerson, Lake & Palmer with their newly created popstar image, combined with the unconvincing manner in which they pursued this new direction, makes Love Beach one of the most hilariously ham-fisted and ill-conceived products in the history of mainstream rock music. So just don't take it too seriously. Don't look for quality here. Just let the stupid sink in and have a blast.

Allmusic's original review of this album consisted of just one sentence which read: "A record that ELP released only because they owed it to their original label, and that's all one needs to know." I suppose it's a mystery whether the band just wanted to make a few dollars and please Atlantic Records or if they actually wanted to make a turn in this direction, but in any case, the album flopped both commercially and critically. Now reviled by their former fans and belittled by their enemies, the trio finally called it quits and went their separate ways.

Review by Hector Enrique
2 stars The place once occupied by the vigilante armadillo tank, or the disturbing and controversial female cadaverous image, is suddenly occupied by the smiling, tanned and semi-shirtless musicians. What happened? That is the question that the puzzling cover of "Love Beach" raises. Understanding that evolution is a natural process that occurs in the diverse manifestations of human nature, many times these processes take unthinkable paths, and beyond the legitimate right of E,L&P to take the path they consider pertinent, whether by individual decision, group disagreements, or contractual agreements, it is surprising that the result has been "Love Beach", their seventh album,

On the one hand, simplified and unpretentious developments, from the superficial "All I Want Is You" to the soporific and inconsequential "For You", where a very loquacious Greg Lake seriously assumes the role of lead singer and main figure, and both Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer, keyboardist and percussionist respectively, resign their protagonism and limit themselves to being mere accompanists, something unthinkable given the dynamics of all the band's previous albums.

And, on the other hand, a glimmer of the band's past appears in the outstanding "Canario", an adaptation of the orchestral work "Fantasía para un Gentilhombre" by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo, in which Emerson raises the level a little, to finally decline again in the long and dreary "Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman", which pretends to be an epic suite, but lacks spark and magic, beyond some salvageable notes from Emerson on the piano. Too little for the size of the band.

"Love Beach" was a blow to E,L&P's reputation and, beyond the rumours of how frayed the interpersonal relationships of its members were, the album probably accelerated their separation process, until their reunion more than a decade later.

2/2.5 stars

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Report this review (#2600390) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Friday, October 8, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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Report this review (#2595707) | Posted by Antonio Giacomin | Monday, September 20, 2021 | Review Permanlink

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Report this review (#1313330) | Posted by brydon10 | Friday, November 21, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is surely a mediocre album, but I would urge all prog fans to hear it, at least for two reasons: First, to discover some beautiful, 100% prog moments -actually the 20+ minutes of the suite that covers side 2 of the LP (Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman)! The rest of the album is inferi ... (read more)

Report this review (#1225982) | Posted by psychprog1 | Tuesday, July 29, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Emerson, Lake & Palmer's seventh studio record "Love Beach" from 1978 is a different record from the band. The cover is terrible just as on the Works' records, but eventually even more ugly. It is almost like a parody, three very smiling men on an exotic beach and a record name such as "Love B ... (read more)

Report this review (#1153987) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Wednesday, March 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Love Beach is an album that would have been better not having been recorded. But they had a contract to fulfill, so we get this swill. This is arguably the worst prog album of all time, especialy when you consider the artist. Of the songs on here, the only one that ... (read more)

Report this review (#912602) | Posted by wehpanzer | Monday, February 11, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Oh, dear. This album was, believe it or not, my entry point into ELP. It was in a crate of LP's left behind by an older sister, along with several other records that schooled me in the ways of prog: Genesis' "Selling England", "Lamb, " "Trick," & "Wind & Wuthering," (and "Duke," but let's no ... (read more)

Report this review (#651225) | Posted by DaveRoxit | Thursday, March 8, 2012 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Love Beach is the enfant terrible in the prog rock world and with good reason too. The cover artwork screams "turkey inside" more than any deep frozen turkeys you buy from the supermarkets. The first minutes also makes any ELP fans blood run cold. What a pathetic piece of junk All I Want Is Yo ... (read more)

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3 stars I'm crazy. ELP has never been a band I could appreciate.While his debut album was good to hear, "Tarkus" and "Brain Salad Surgery"was a crap total.And I am now, struggling with "Love Beach" considered by many to be his worst album, but that was a big surprise to me. You know what? Fuck! (t ... (read more)

Report this review (#462063) | Posted by voliveira | Wednesday, June 15, 2011 | Review Permanlink

2 stars What a disaster this record is. I consider myself a hard core ELP fan, and i absolutely love what they did from their first album up until and including Brain Sallad Surgery. I fell out on Works, which was too serious, and I cenrtanly fell out on Love Beach. It's a pity how most of the pro ... (read more)

Report this review (#457811) | Posted by Moonstone | Tuesday, June 7, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars THREE AND A HALF FOR AN ENJOYABLE ALBUM Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Love Beach is an enjoyable album. It tries to balance their prog side with their pop side, and is generally 'lighter' than their other releases. They achieve this balance by having one side of shorter songs and another side ta ... (read more)

Report this review (#329325) | Posted by Brendan | Monday, November 22, 2010 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Was this album published on April 1st? This would explain a lot. OK, contract obligations - but this album is simply too embarrassing. I always have to laugh when I see the cover photo. I would like to know what they had smoked during the sessions and on the day they made this pic..., just ... (read more)

Report this review (#295992) | Posted by strayfromatlantis | Tuesday, August 24, 2010 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I remember my wife, and daughter, who was about three years old at the time, getting this album for me for my birthday. I was happy at first, because ELP was one of my favorite bands to listen to. As soon as I got some spare time I put the record on my stereo and waited for the good music to begi ... (read more)

Report this review (#278300) | Posted by Keetian | Saturday, April 17, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars By 1978 Emerson Lake & Palmer had taken pretty much everything over the top from spinning pianos to having full orchestras and choirs backing them up in live concerts. At the " suggestion " of the president of Atlantic Records they rationalized their music into several radio friendly rock ballads ( ... (read more)

Report this review (#232382) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Wednesday, August 19, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars Abysmal. This band held so much promise, yet somehow their 70's life ended with this abomination. The playing is un-inspired, and lyrically the entire album manages to attain the poetic nadir Geg Lake only aspired to on previous projects. I can imagine him sitting in his basement one evening st ... (read more)

Report this review (#210626) | Posted by Progfan1958 | Monday, April 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I sum this album up as a miss ojn most counts. The mix is very poor reducing Emerson and Palmer to bar band sidemen on side one. Greg Lake proves why he should never be the lead character in ELP. It is a wonder they lasted so long with this cheesy balladeer in their ranks. Awful Lyrics and pub s ... (read more)

Report this review (#187560) | Posted by spikey123 | Saturday, November 1, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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