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Emerson Lake & Palmer

Symphonic Prog

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Emerson Lake & Palmer Works Live  album cover
3.37 | 177 ratings | 11 reviews | 19% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1 (41:13)
1. Introductory Fanfare (0:53)
2. Peter Gunn {Henry Mancini} (3:34)
3. Tiger In A Spotlight (4:09)
4. C'est La Vie (4:15)
5. Watching Over You (3:59)
6. Maple Leaf Rag {Scott Joplin} (1:14)
7. The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits (Excerpt from "The Scythian Suite" 2nd Movement) {Prokofiev} (2:47)
8. Fanfare For The Common Man {Aaron Copland, arranged by Emerson} (10:56)
9. Knife Edge {adapted from Janacek's "Sinfonietta" by Emerson/Lake/Fraser} (5:03)
10. Show Me The Way To Go Home {Irving King} (4:21)
Disc 2 (46:38)
1. Abaddon's Bolero (6:04)
2. Pictures At An Exhibition {Mussorgsky / Emerson / Lake / Palmer} (15:43)
3. Closer To Believing (5:29)
4. Piano Concerto No. 1 (Third Movement: Toccata Con Fuoco)(6:42)
5. Tank (12:38)

Total Time: 87:51

Line-up / Musicians

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

- Diane Duguay, Jacques Lareau, Jeffrey Meyer, Claudette Roy, Yves Saint-Amant, Marjorie Sparks / singers
- Bruce Dukoff / concert master
- Godfrey Salmon / orchestra conductor

Releases information

Victory Music / PolyGram Records 484003-2; 1996 on Rhino {USA / Canada}

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
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Buy EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Works Live Music

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Works Live ratings distribution

(177 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(19%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(34%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Works Live reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy

ELP sets the table again. Not only did they release two disgusting studios albums (a double as well as a single one) around the theme "Works". They are striking again with this live album now. I usually do my reviews chronologically, but when I started with the infect "Works One" I could not believe what I heard so I went on with "Works Two" which was the same nightmare (but half in lenght, which shortened the supplice).

So, what to expect form this "Live" one ? Well, honestly nothing. Even if it starts like "Welcome Back My Friend" in terms of public announcement.

One of the only average moment will be "Peter Gunn". It was an unreleased TV theme song with a catchy beat. The least awful songs will be the Greg ones. At least we won't have to suffer the noisy band. But don't get me wrong. These acoustic and dull numbers are rather weak. If a song like "C'est La Vie" is the least boring number of a live ELP album, you can imagine how much the audience suffered.

Even the pompous & useless ELP pieces will not gain anything in this live rendition. The "Fanfare" stuff will remain as boring as the studio one. I really need a break now. This is too much crap in so short a time ! Time for dinner...

Welcome back from dinner my friends, I just hope that this show will shortly ends.

Nothing as boring numbers till what I had anticipated to be the only great moment of this live album.

But, unfortunately, ELP will also completely screwed a suite that I have loved since 1973. This rendition of "Pictures At An Exhibition" is extremely poor. Only Greg will save this track with his superb vocals. For the rest, it is as crappy as the other songs of this live album and ends up this awful "Trilogy" as it has been started.

And I can tell you, this part of the album is the least horrible one, so be prepared for the worst live ELP ever (but I guess you knew this beforehand already). I really wonder how the audience could clap in their hands after each song. They should have thrown anything possible to get the band back to their dressing room. At least we might have avoided to suffer such an experience !

ELP was a band that I have appreciated almost since their early days (I discovered them in 1971). This awful "Works" trilogy won't provide you with any good feeling about them. Boredom, boredom. All the way through.

Again (and you know that I do not usually criticized colleagues opinions) I can hardly understand that this "Works" can be rated with five stars as if it were a masterpiece. This whole is just of piece of S H I T ! (sorry to be that rude, it is not in my habit, just my honest opinion).

I just ask my fellow prog reviewer to vote real low for this work (although I fully understand that they are reluctant to do so). Seeing that it reached 3.76 (before my review) is simply unfair.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars If you really really like the Works albums, then I recommend that you buy this one, too. It's main reason for existence is for the live recorings of songs from those albums. For what that is worth.

This is an expanded version of the concert album lnown as In Concert. Here you get everything on that album, plus Watching Over You, Fanfare For The Common Man, Show Me The Way To Go Home, Abbadon's Bolero, Closer To Believing and Tank. The only tracks there worth owning are Fanfare, which features Emerson playing Bach's Toccata & Fugue In D Minor from the reverse side of his Hammond, and the new arrangement of Tank.

I suppose it's nice to actually hear Emerson Lake & Palmer play the songs that were released under their names, but played by the members individually. But otherwise it's a mostly lifeless set.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Yeah, it actually works better live!

Works Vol. 1 is in my opinion the weakest of ELP's studio albums (yes, I prefer Love Beach and In The Hot Seat and even Works Vol. 2 over it!). The main problem with it is that it is wildly incoherent with each member having his own vinyl side and only one proper band side. It is really three half solo albums and one half ELP album masquerading as a double album. Works Vol. 2 is unsatisfactory in its own way by virtually being a compilation album of B-sides and tracks that didn't make it onto previous albums. The best songs from both Works albums could have made up one good single album, but it was a mistake to release three whole LP's (the double Vol. 1 followed by Works Vol. 2). This live album, featuring material primarily from the Works albums, has a much better flow than the Works studio albums. It must however be added that the absence of Pirates (by far the best track from Works Vol. 1) is a disappointment. (Though, thankfully, that very good number got a well deserved appearance on the band's next official live record Live At The Royal Albert Hall.)

Originally released in 1979 under the name In Concert, Works Live is the expanded CD reissue of that third official ELP live album. As I said, the set list features primarily songs taken from the Works albums and this period in the band's career was one of decline. While it is very clear that it is inferior to the previous live album Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends, I nonetheless find Works Live a decent live album in its own right that I generally prefer over both of the Works studio albums.

Discounting the brief Introductory Fanfare (which appears on both albums), In Concert featured seven tracks. Works Live is expanded with another seven tracks making the album into a double album. Peter Gunn, Tiger In A Spotlight, C'est La Vie, The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits, Knife Edge, Piano Concerto No. 1 (Third Movement: Toccata Con Fuoco), and Pictures At An Exhibition remain, with Watching Over You, Maple Leaf Rag, Fanfare For The Common Man, Show Me The Way To Go Home, Abaddon's Bolero, Closer To Believing, and Tank being added. Not all of these songs are strong additions, but overall it was a nice idea to expand the album making it truer to the actual show.

The band is supported here by a symphony orchestra emphasising the bombastic nature of the music. In general I find this unnecessary and it also ruined the band financially contributing to their breakup. While hardly their best live record, it is a worthy addition to an ELP collection.

Review by Guillermo
4 stars Maybe the hard work that ELP had between 1970 and 1974 was too much for them that they needed a rest. So, they took some rest between the last half of 1974 and 1976, before going to the recording studio to record their "Works 1" album. Maybe many fans were waiting for another album that could be as "energetic" as "Brain Salad Surgery" from 1973, or as their live album from 1974 titled "Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends- Ladies and Gentlemen: ELP". I think that both albums represented in a way the peak of the band musically. By 1973-74 they had a lot of success. So, when "Works 1" was finally released in early 1977, many fans did not like it very much and became disappointed, because the band with that album (and also with "Works 2" which was released in late 1977) changed their energetic music for a much relaxed music very influenced by Classical Music and using an orchestra and a choir a lot. By 1978, with the release of their last studio album from the seventies titled "Love Beach" (which in fact was recorded and released only as a contractual obligation for their record labels) many fans could have been even more disappointed, because that album was more oriented to Pop Rock ballads with some references to their old Prog Rock style in a few songs. By 1979 ELP had split, but they still had another contractual obligation album to be released titled "In Concert", with most of it recorded at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal in August 1977, during their "Works Tour", and with the appearance of an orchestra and a choir in several songs. Again, many fans maybe were disappointed, because most of the material of that album reflected the music from their "Works" albums. I listened for the first time to the "In Concert" album in mid 1980, when I bought it, and I liked it.

Finally, in 1993 they released this live album titled "Works Live", which in fact is an expanded version of their "In Concert" album from 1979, with more songs recorded at their concert at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal in 26- August-77. Despite being a 2 CD set, this expanded version still has not the complete set list they played at that concert, and with the video from the same concert which was released in 2003 (titled "Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special", which has some other extra tracks which only were released in the video: "Karn Evil, 1st Impression, Part 2", "Pirates", "Nutrocker" and "Lucky Man", but has other songs previously released in "Works Live: "Abaddon's Bolero", "The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits", "Pictures At An Exhibition", "C'Est La Vie", "Piano Concerto No.1- 3rd Movement, Toccata Con Fuoco", and " Tank") maybe the fans could listen to the whole set list played by ELP at that concert. The sound of "Works Live" is better than the sound from the "In Concert" album, being remastered. The songs which were previously released in the "In Concert" album were: "Introductory Fanfare", "Peter Gunn", "Tiger in a Spotlight", "C`est La Vie", "The Enemy God Dances with the Black Spirits", "Knife Edge", "Piano Concerto No. 1 Third Movement: Toccata con Fuoco", and "Pictures at an Exhibition". The extra songs which were released in "Works Live" were: "Watching Over You", "Maple Leaf Rag", "Fanfare for the Common Man", "Show Me the Way to Go Home", "Abbadon`s Bolero", "Closer to Believing", and "Tank". "Peter Gunn" and "Tiger in a Spotlight" apparently were not recorded in Montreal (as i read in some websites), and I also could listen to several differences between the video version of "The Enemy God" (played with orchestra ) and the album version of the same song (played as a trio or mixed without the orchestral parts) so i think that the album version maybe was recorded at another show or was mixed without the orchestra.

Having liked the "In Concert" album from 1979, I really liked very much this "Works Liive" album. It really was a change, maybe too drastic, from the music they released in their previous live album titled "Welcome Back..." from 1974, "Works Live", in comparison, is a more relaxed album, with some ballads written and sung by Greg Lake and played with the orchestra, and with Keith Emerson playing "Maple Leaf Rag", or with the band playing "Show Me The Way To Go Home" in a Blues-Jazz musical style. The orchestra and the choir arrangements are very good but maybe also sometimes very relaxed in some parts, but they work very well particularly in "Pictures at an Exhibition", "Knife Edge", and "Piano Concerto". It doesn`t mean that the band has not some heavy moments in other songs, still playing with a lot of energy. But by 1977 the band changed, But I still like this "Works Live" album very much, an album which maybe shows the band playing in a more "matured" way, playing very well with and without the orchestra. This is maybe the best live album done with a Prog Rock band playing along with an orchestra and a choir. They sound very well rehearsed and integrated.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This was the 1977 tour that ELP had an orchestra accompanying them. While the Works material can't hold a candle to what was presented in Welcome Back My Friends in 1974, this is still a very good live album. The sound quality is great and so is the musicianship. This is an album that needs to ... (read more)

Report this review (#293529) | Posted by The Snowdog | Thursday, August 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Synchronised Drowning Becomes an Olympic Event Although this suffers from the stigma of 'contractual obligation' album notoriety in most quarters, there is plenty on Works Live that is unjustly overlooked by many ELP aficionados and perhaps deserving of some re-appraisal. The album started li ... (read more)

Report this review (#173939) | Posted by ExittheLemming | Saturday, June 14, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is definitely the essential ELP album, but it is quite good performance and the orchestra is included. It is worth a try although it is not a good place to start with ELP. If you want great live album from this group, try Welcome back my friends, Pictures at an exhibition or Live at Isle ... (read more)

Report this review (#99020) | Posted by Hejkal | Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The first LP I bought from ELP were BSS and I was stoned with It for, at least 8 months popping it like vitamins: twice a day minimum. So I tought they were genius playing and I then bought Works Vol. 1 and the deception was as deep as I was high before. What a piece of crap! and I remember thin ... (read more)

Report this review (#85501) | Posted by steelyhead | Wednesday, August 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars This are a real good album maybe the best in the long history of ELP i think that album are a real essential masterpiece in our collection of progmusic i raly like this album. I hear thius album for first time in 2000 wen i was 11 yers old and in thattime i realy dont apreciate this album, but ... (read more)

Report this review (#80391) | Posted by yesctte | Monday, June 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a great live set. Normaly, I dont get live albums because I dislike purchasing multiple renditions of the same song. This album features about 80% previously unreleased songs. Out of the two discs, only 4 songs were on studio albums. And these songs are redone with orchestral accompani ... (read more)

Report this review (#73208) | Posted by | Sunday, March 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One of the best moments of ELP. Back then those three brave guys were onstage with a full orchestra and conductor. But old fans must be aware this is the old album "In Concert" plus some additional tracks (during the '90s ELP seemed to have had the following strategy: making as much money as possibl ... (read more)

Report this review (#14615) | Posted by | Monday, December 29, 2003 | Review Permanlink

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