Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Emerson Lake & Palmer

Symphonic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Emerson Lake & Palmer Live At The Royal Albert Hall album cover
2.96 | 178 ratings | 18 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Live, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression - Part 2) (1:45)
2. Tarkus (Medley): (9:33)
a) Eruption {Emerson}
b) Stones Of Years {Emerson/Lake}
c) Iconoclast {Emerson}
3. Knife Edge (5:27)
4. Paper Blood (4:10)
5. Romeo & Juliet {Prokofiev, arranged by Emerson} (3:41)
6. Creole Dance {Emerson, based on Alberto Ginastera's Suite de Danzes Cirallas} (3:17)
7. Still... You Turn Me On {Lake} (3:18)
8. Lucky Man (4:38)
9. Black Moon (6:32)
10. Pirates (13:23)
11. Finale (Medley): (14:41)
a) Fanfare For The Common Man {Aaron Copland, arranged by Emerson}
b) America {Leonard Berstein, arranged by Emerson}
c) Rondo {Brubeck}

Total Time: 70:27

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Victory Music / PolyGram Records 480011-2; re-released 1996 on Rhino {USA / Canada}

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

Buy EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Live At The Royal Albert Hall Music

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Live At The Royal Albert Hall ratings distribution

(178 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Live At The Royal Albert Hall reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by richardh
2 stars This live album is taken from ELP's Black Moon tour in 1992 and NOT from their heyday (1970-1974).For that reason this has to be approached with some caution.In truth much of the energy and dynamism of this famous trio had long gone by this time.Carl Palmer sounds a bit sluggish on the kit,Greg Lake's voice is as deep as any blues singer (not good for prog IMO) while Keith Emerson struggles to remind us that he was once the best keyboard player in the world.It's not a bad album though.The sound is 'clean' and the band are tight.But these are the bare minimium you would expect to find.The only reason I can give for buying this is the extended version of 'Fanfare For The Common Man' which beats the original studio version but otherwise you have inferior versions of classic ELP tracks like 'Tarkus' which can only really be of interest to collectors/fans.
Review by Guillermo
3 stars I bought this album more by curiosity, to hear how the band sounded live after their "Black Moon" reunion album of 1992. There are several changes in the band.Keith Emerson still is a very good keyboard player, in this album using the "new" keyboards of the early 90s. Greg Lake`s voice shows the passing of time, but he still sings well. Carl Palmer shows "new sounds" using electronic drums apart from his usual acoustic drum kit. The album starts with a medley of fragments from "Karn Evil 9" and "Tarkus". I prefer the live versions of their 1974 live album "Welcome back...". "Knife Edge" is a good version, this time without orchestra as in the "In concert " album, with a good instrumental organ section."Paper Blood" has some female vocals which seem played in a pre-recorded tape. A good song from the "Black Moon" album. "Romeo & Juliet" is a very good arrangement of a classical piece also included in their 1992 album. "Creole Dance" is a high speed piano solo by Emerson. Lake`s songs, " turn me on" and "Lucky Man" are good too, but I prefer the arrangement done to "Lucky Man". "Black Moon" is another good song from their 1992 album. "Pirates" is a "complicated" song, but it`s good. The "Finale " medley starts with a good version of the "Fanfare for the Common Man", followed by the synthesizer noisy "America" and "Rondo" (I think that Emerson also played these last songs with The Nice). The recording and the mixing of this album are good.
Review by Neu!mann
3 stars I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this 1992 concert recording (on loan from a friend), after having long ago dismissed ELP as a trio of has-been Prog Rock trailblazers who didn't really progress much after 1971. But I always had a soft spot for the band, dating back to High School when they served as the springboard for my first tentative plunge into the deeper waters of Progressive Rock music. I remember spending a happy afternoon in Mr. Haines' art class, proudly silk-screening the ELP logo onto the back of my underwear: now is that dedication, or what?

Everyone knows the band fell on harder times than most Prog acts during the lean, mean 1980s, so this tour in support of their then-current "Black Moon" reunion album was as much an attempt to rehabilitate their tarnished legacy as it was a move to re- establish themselves among their still rabid fan base (which, in 1992, no longer included yours truly). There isn't anything new or innovative here, but the performances show more enthusiasm and commitment than you might expect from a group that had lingered so long past their expiration date.

At least the equipment is up-to-the-minute, circa 1992. Keith's cool new digital keyboards and Carl's midi-drum kit can take some adjustment for anyone with ears stuck in an analog time warp (funny how they already sound so dated). And Greg's cigarette habit seems to have finally caught up with his once-crystal voice box, although there's an appealing vulnerability to his now husky baritone. He can still hit those high notes when he has to, but clearly needs to ration the attempts.

Together they mesh like a well-oiled machine after an overdue tune-up, with a set list showing more than a little consideration for pace and tempo, unlike their rambling 3-LP live set from the 1970s (the aptly titled "Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends..."). It begins with a medley of certified classics, opening (of course) with the First Impression, Part Two of "Karn Evil 9", clocking in at a brisk 75 seconds (!) before making a dramatic transition to a likewise abbreviated "Tarkus" (about half the title suite), and from there to a full-blooded version of "Knife Edge".

Next is a brace of selections off the "Black Moon" album, as new to me now as they were to the crowds at the Royal Albert Hall in 1992. And it's good stuff too, in a blunt and blustery early '90s AOR sort of way. There's no comparison to the group's groundbreaking Golden Age material, of course, but the songs are miles ahead of the witless would-be hits of "Works Volume II" and "Love Beach", and thus were at least a half step in the right direction.

Included is the usual purloined classic, in this case from Prokofiev's ballet of "Romeo and Juliet", updated with a monster beat that sticks in the mind like musical oobleck (I'm tapping my toes to it even now). It's fun, but by 1992 the novelty of classical rock had long since disappeared. Let's face it: a decade earlier even the nutty boys of Madness were performing ska covers of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake".

Then there's the obligatory solo piano spot from Emerson, as usual played too fast, followed by the expected Greg Lake ballads "Still...You Turn Me On" and "Lucky Man". Both sound richer played live in a large arena, even if some of the lyrics ("...every day a little sadder, a little madder...someone get me a ladder...") still make me cringe.

"Pirates" is the closer, and doesn't miss the cheesy orchestral padding one bit, but hold your breath for the encore: a 15-minute instrumental medley combining "Fanfare For the Common Man" with Emerson's pre-ELP workouts "America" and "Rondo", the latter spotlighting the keyboard wizard's trademark, show-stopping Hammond B3 demolition derby.

That grungy organ sound is like a breath of fresh air after all the pitch-perfect string and horn samples. I might have suspected it was just another digital facsimile, if I hadn't seen it for myself a few years later, when the band was touring with Jethro Tull. But I'll be damned if Keith didn't wheel out the old Hammond warhorse for a bit of rough trade at the climax of their set, throwing it around the stage like a sack of raw potatoes. The visual element is of course missing here, but it's a thrilling finale nonetheless.

ELP had always been a little too conceited in their success, and in the 1990s still presented themselves as rock 'n' roll aristocracy: note the coat-of-arms CD cover art, and the majestic brass fanfare that accompanies their walk off. But in retrospect this was their final burst of true musical energy before advancing age and creative fatigue finally rendered them terminally obsolete (the upcoming "In the Hot Seat" LP was a sad epilogue to a once fruitful career).

Too bad the band didn't quit while they were at least marginally ahead again. I'd bet my underwear that this CD would have made a respectable swan song.

Review by lor68
3 stars I don't like the mixing of this live recording and the choice regarding a few light songs by Lake as well, but as usual the best keyboard and drumming solos are performed here. you can listen to the resumed suite from "Tarkus" and the remarkable Carl Palmer solo too (even though after a so long career it's becoming just a little bit tiring as for its reproduction repetitively in the course of 20 years.); while Emerson is involved with the transposition from a famous jazz composition by an Argentinean Pianist, which is delightful and so much rhythmical as well, considering also the complex harmony of such track!! The "Karn Evil 9" suite is too short in the present version, as it has been reduced to its intro only!! But apart from this consideration, I like their final jam sessions within "Fanfare for the common man" . after all it's one of the last live performances by ELP before breaking their project definitively, and in spite of a few defects, it witnesses the end of an historical period.worth checking out, but it's not so exciting!!
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I bought this CD from a discount sales after it was released, and I was hugely disappointed of it. The new versions of the old classics didn't sound very pleasing, as they were played with modern, plastic sounding synthesizers. For me the song title "Iconoclast" in "Tarkus" medley got a much deeper meaning: ELP destroyed the piece of art they self created in their youth! The few newer songs from "Black Moon" worked better, but I don't like the style of their newer compositions, so this album wasn't clearly made for me.
Review by Rivertree
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Band Submissions
3 stars Elegance Lost in the Past

This is from ELP's 1992 'Black Moon' tour and contains a mix of classic songs from the 70's and from the last studio output 'Black Moon'. 'Karn Evil 9' and 'Tarkus' in a shortened version? Not a good idea! Nobody can understand why the concert is compressed to a single CD - a big minus!

The sound quality is good but the performance is not so dynamic as in the 70's. The mystic ELP moments from the 70's are not coming back. 'Knife edge' lacks of inspiration. The piano solo 'Creole Dance' shows Emerson at his height. The new songs 'Paper blood' and 'Black moon' are working good. I consider also 'Pirates' and 'Finale' as some of the better tracks.

So my summary is: unfortunately not enough to be essential.

Review by clarke2001
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars ELP are back with the curse on their backs. The curse so typical for all reunions: if you change the sound, everybody will say that it isn't good, and if you keep the old sound people will say that you're stuck in the past. Well, they've changed the sound and it sounds crap. Instead of Hammond tapestries we have brass ensembles and string pads, instead of Moog solos we have digital buzzing hollow sounds.

Concert opens with "Karn Evil 9", where I faced two disappointments: years of smoking took their toll on Greg's voice, and whole "Karn Evil 9" is less than two minutes long. Opening trick, really, nothing else. "Tarkus" is somewhat better (Keith utilises old Hammond in it's full glorious raw sound) but the problem is that this is just an nine-minute excerpt, neither here nor there. The following track, "Knife Edge" is got a nice atmosphere, darkish, as it should be, although wrapped in that digital-sounding package. Actually, this is almost the only old song that sounds decent played on digital equipment. Paper Blood was the new song, surprisingly, played mostly on overdriven organ. Nice mainstream rock tune, but nothing to die for. ELP couldn't resist to adopt some classical piece in their catalogue every here and there, and this concert is no exception: Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet" is included, originally from their "Black Moon" album. Nice performance, in fact the first song that showed some passion. Keith's piano solo improvisation is a logical follower, and "Creole Dance" is cute, dynamic and complex. But again, the sound is awful. Too clear, clean, crystal with some unnecessary string pads here and there. Two most known Greg's acoustic ballads also faced dramatic changes in sound. "Lucky Man" is just awful beyond description, but "Still...You Turn Me on" is nice, Greg's voice is accompanied only with acoustic guitar which sounds lovely (almost like a harpsichord). For the first time in history, guys decided to keep it simple.

After the acoustic intermezzo, the band is back with the "Black Moon", and it sounds good. Probably because it's fresh and it was recorded with digital equipment similar to their stage setup. On the other hands "Pirates" are just boring and uninspiring. The "Finale" is worth mentioning because medley contains extended version of "Fanfare For The Common Man" (I was always wondering what it would be like after the fade-out of the studio version), a brief but nice piece of THE NICE's "America", and the "Rondo" with Hammond organ being raped...

At the end of the day, this is a nice try but overall rating is not so high. My biggest complaint is about the sound in general. I am not fan of digital, but with the digital equipment nice work could be done. This is not the case. Songs sound artificial and hollow. Drums are annoying all the time (their sound and Palmer's performance too). Please note that this is only the case of the old songs in their modern incarnation, new songs sounds quite well. However, this concert contains few highlights, but overall sound, choice of the songs and their length prevent me for rating this CD with more than 3 stars. There are better ELP concerts around, both old and new.

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars A band presentation which reminds us the good days of "Welcome Back My Friends..." to start and make some illusion...The whole lasts for less than two minutes which is totally insane. To reduce the great "Karn Evil" to a mere ninety seconds is the type of crime I cannot forgive. The great "Tarkus" is also limited to less than ten minutes, which is more acceptable but still.... Another step in time with an excellent version of "Knife Edge" (available on their debut album).

It twas the supporting tour for "Black Moon" (rather poor to say the least) so three songs from this album are included. Still, they could have chosen to play the best one of it ("Changing States"). Instead, we have to bear songs like "Paper Blood", and "Black Moon". The only one to be bearable during this live album is Keith's interpretation of a Prokofiev work : "Romeo & Juliet". It is played a little harder than on the studio album, but I prefer this version.

To highlight Keith's ability (which can't be ignored anyway), we'll get a crazy and wild piano solo. Not better nor worse than on other live albums. To avoid jealousy, the next two songs will please Gregg's fans except that his voice is extremely weak (especially during "Still..."). Both studio versions for "Still..." and "Lucky Man" are WAY better than here. But apparently, the crowd is less critical than I am and are more cheerful. Things get better though during "Lucky Man".

"Pirates" was probably one of the most interesting pieces of music of the whole "Works" albums. One of the best three moments on this live album. I also prefer this version of "Fanfare" (forteen long minutes) even if it is included in a medley including a funny moment during which ELP get into "America". But I am not really sure that the fans were expecting this even if it will only be for a few seconds. The finale of this medley is an explosion of keys and drumming. A bit irritating maybe...But that's how we like with ELP, so...

As far as I am concerned, the only live reference for ELP so far is their remarkable "Welcome Back My Friends". Do not bother with this one. You will only be disappointed. Two stars.

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
3 stars Live at the Royal Albert Hall, as the title suggests, was recorded at that venue in October 1992 during ELP's Black Moon reunion tour. Clearly because this wasn't recorded during the group's peak period, but rather during their ill-fated 1990s reunion which showed us such enjoyable doorstops like Black Moon and In the Hot Seat, one should be a bit cautious about buying this. But really, it's not all that bad. So if you can get it for a bargain, go for it. Otherwise, never pay full price for this baby.

The main reason I say that is because ELP sounds much like the other prog greats from the 1970s as they dragged their way through the 1980s and 1990s as distant shadows of their former selves. First you have Emerson chiming in with the newest synths of the day (of which 1992 wasn't a banner year), Palmer incorporating the mind-numbing electronic drums of the period, and Lake with an ever-aging but competent voice. Another major reason for not scrambling for this album is the selection of modern Black Moon tracks interspersed with selections of former great epics. Tarkus is only three of its original sections, scaled back to 9:26, Karn Evil 9 only makes a 1:50 introductory appearance, and a Finale which is an enjoyable, but shortened medley.

All the songs on this are performed admirably, but it seems like listening to a band that has lost its edge, a band that is just going through the motions. Eventually the egos and different opinions of the band members would tear ELP apart in a few years. At least they left something worth buying, even if only for the fans.

This is definitely not the first album to get from ELP, studio or live. Please start with anything from their pre-Works era. If you like that enough, this one should at least be on your list of possible future purchases, but only if it's a bargain. Three stars. Good, but hardly essential.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This recording is better than I would have expected, considering the lack of quality on the album this tour was supporting (Black Moon). Lakes voice sounds much less adenoidal than on the studio album. And luckily, they stick mostly to playing old material. In fact, the band only plays two songs from the new album (Black Moon and Paper Blood), both of which come off better here than on the studio versions, but neither are memorable.

The shortened version of Tarkus is okay,, but not great. Romeo & Juliet and Creole Dance are both pretty good. And Emerson's simulation of a full orchestra on this version of Pirates is just astounding. I believe this is the best recording of that song I've heard.

And the Finale medley is worth having just to hear the results of a very long Hammond torture session (anyone who has seen an ELP concert knows of what I speak).

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Live ELP at the Royal Albert Hall show the band still had something special to offer to the fans.

As an ELP addict who has everything they committed to studio, I found this irresistible as its been quite some time since I have heard anything new from the band, even live material. So it was with great eagerness and a real sense of adventure that I placed this CD on my player to be blown away by the kings of pompous prog. I had been suffering from withdrawal symptoms from a total abstinence of new ELP so I was delighted to hear this great live album rereleased in 1996.

It begins with the incredible 'Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression - Part 2)' which only runs for a pitiful 1:45 duration sadly. Oh well onto the epic. Oh thankyou ELP for listening to your fans! Yes we all love to take the Tarkus test and so to hear a new live version is a mindblowing experience. It only runs for 9:33 but any Tarkus is good Tarkus. The band sound awesome and clearly the crowd are going nuts during this. Emerson is a genius as usual and I love Lake's vocal treatment here with Palmer's killer drum metrical patterns. I felt better after my Tarkus fix.

Onto 'Knife Edge', a bonafide classic in any century. Those massive staccato stabs on the organ are pure bliss. The new 'Paper Blood' is pleasant and this is followed by 'Romeo & Juliet {Prokofiev, arranged by Emerson}' not a track I am overly familiar with, but the newer stuff is still great to listen to. 'Creole Dance {Emerson, based on Alberto Ginastera's Suite de Danzes Cirallas}' follows which is a showcase for Emerson's keyboard prowess. This is followed by the customary Lake Ballads 'Still... You Turn Me On' and the quintessential 'Lucky Man' that I have heard too may times for my health. I loved the 'Black Moon' live treatment and this was followed by a surprise rendition of 'Pirates'; a 13:23 epic that is perhaps better than the 'Works' Version; at least it is heavier and more passionate.

Having ignored as a strategic move the albums "Love Beach" and "In The Hot Seat", that both stunk like yesterday's diapers, the band prepare to embark on the finale.

The 'Finale (Medley)' clocking in at 14:41 ends the concert beautifully with a medley of 'Fanfare For The Common Man', the Aaron Copland classic that introduced me to ELP, and 'America', the Leonard Berstein treasure that was covered brilliantly by The Nice. Finally The Nice's 'Rondo' written by Brubeck is blasted out. Overall I finished this album knowing I had once again encountered the untouchable masters of Symphonic pomp prog, and that can never be a bad thing. Grab this simply to relive the greatness of the super trio that transformed music.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars "You've got to see this show, it's Rock 'n' Roll!"

1992's Black Moon was a great comeback album for ELP and a triumphant return to form after some weaker albums in the late 70's followed by a long period of silence during the 80's (though there was Emerson, Lake & Powell and 3 in the interim). Here the band returns to the stage performing a strong set of songs in the famous Royal Albert Hall in London in the wake of Black Moon.

The show begins with an unusually brief snippet of Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression, Part 2) that clocks in at under two minutes (which is quite a reduction having in mind that the original version is around 30 minutes long). Tarkus too is reduced to less than half its original running time and there is some noisy parts towards the end of it that I learned from the video version of this concert recording is caused by Keith running around the stage and even into the audience with one of his electronic gadgets. This was somehow lost on me on this CD version. This then leads straight into a rocking version of Knife Edge with which the show really takes off.

The show then continues with Paper Blood on which Greg plays the harmonica. Apart from Paper Blood, two further selections from the Black Moon album are present here in Romeo And Juliet (based on original music by Prokiev) and the title track (the latter is only included on this CD and not on the video version of Live At The Royal Albert Hall). Both of these are very good and I wouldn't have minded hearing further songs from the underrated Black Moon album live.

Creole Dance is a rapid piano number showcasing Keith's incredible skills on that instrument. Greg gets to shine on his trademark Lucky Man and Still... You Turn Me On. (The latter is another song that is only included here and not on the video version. Songs that were on the video but that are absent from the CD include From The Beginning, Pictures At An Exhibition, and Honky Tonk Train Blues.)

The absolute highlight for me is Pirates which I think sounds better here than it did on Works Vol. 2. This epic composition works much better without the orchestra in my opinion. It has been given a much needed edge here and it is less bombastic. The show closes with a medley taking in Fanfare For The Common Man and some adaptations of Classical works that Keith originally performed with The Nice.

Overall a very good live record, though the video version is even better in my view.

Latest members reviews

2 stars Short changed. That's my two words about this live album. Released after one of their worst albums ever, their visit to Royal Albert Hall did not live up to the ELP name. The material is also way short of the standard set by Welcome Back My Friends and Live at Isle of Wight. This is just a ... (read more)

Report this review (#258262) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Monday, December 28, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I saw ELP in the tour that was registered in the "Now" pat of the "Then & Now" album. It was one of the great emotional moments of my life. And even that the RAH live album was recorded pror to this tour it sounds to my ears less vibrant and musically good than the later live record. I agree a ... (read more)

Report this review (#240039) | Posted by moodyxadi | Friday, September 18, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Welcome back my friends...but donīt expect it to be quite the same Documenting the early 90īs ELP reunion, that live CD left me thinking that it could have been better. Or maybe not. The song selection will always be questionable, since they have enough good stuf to fill various CDs (In fact, the ... (read more)

Report this review (#189132) | Posted by ignatiusrielly | Thursday, November 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

1 stars With now many years of progressive rock experience, and classic albums behind them, Emerson, Lake and Palmer began to deviate from the traditional epic and grandiose style of progressive compositions. Instead, they exercise a simpler, often blander, type of "pop prog", and were, agreeably, one of ... (read more)

Report this review (#140388) | Posted by Shakespeare | Monday, September 24, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars To start, this is a live album from ELP's comeback tour in the early 90's. It was recorded at Royal Albert Hall, and had some changes to the ELP structure. I'll state the obvious. 1. Greg Lake's voice HAS changed. Its lower now than in the 70's. Some people dont like it, but I really think it a ... (read more)

Report this review (#139055) | Posted by Tarkus31 | Tuesday, September 18, 2007 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I bougth this album after the Black moon tour. In case you have been at any of those concert it is a good reminder. In case not, well...avoid to spend your money into this CD. Songs are played decently,but: Carl Palmer playes very mechanical, no more those sinchopathed moviments he was famous ... (read more)

Report this review (#45994) | Posted by | Thursday, September 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of EMERSON LAKE & PALMER "Live At The Royal Albert Hall"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

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