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Emerson Lake & Palmer

Symphonic Prog

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Emerson Lake & Palmer C'est La Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name album cover
3.10 | 15 ratings | 3 reviews | 20% 5 stars

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. C'est La Vie
2. Hallowed Be Thy Name

Line-up / Musicians

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

Releases information

Atlantic 10955

Thanks to progaardvark for the addition
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EMERSON LAKE & PALMER C'est La Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name ratings distribution

(15 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(20%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(20%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER C'est La Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by progaardvark
COLLABORATOR Crossover/Symphonic/RPI Teams
2 stars ELP's C'est la Vie/Hallwed Be Thy Name was a single released off the Works Volume 1 album in 1977. Both songs are by Greg Lake and are the usual fare one might expect from Lake on an Emerson, Lake & Palmer album.

C'est la Vie never really impressed me a whole lot. It's a decent song in the vein of a love ballad, but pales in comparison to other more notable songs in the ELP discography. But I suppose from the other material on Works Volume 1, of which there isn't a whole lot to pick from, this was probably the most radio friendly song that could be tapped for a single.

The B-side isn't really memorable either. The lyrics seem messy and I'm not certain what the message is really aiming at. I'll leave that up to the ELP experts to translate. Both songs were co-written with Sinfield.

I wouldn't say this is poor material. It's more like the usual filler one might find on an ELP album. Definitely for fans and collectors only, particularly if you already own Works Volume 1. Two stars.

Review by Guillermo
3 stars Well. It's been a very long time since I listened for the last time to ELP's "Works Volume 1" (1977) album. But at least I'm going to write a review for this single, which has two songs from that album, both composed by Greg Lake and lyricist Peter Sinfield. I still have to write a review for the whole album! This single was released in France in 1977.

ELP as a band worked very hard from 1970 to 1974, recording album after album and doing tour after tour. By late 1974 they were very tired, and decided to take some time to rest. By 1976 they were recording their "Works Volume 1" album, which was a 2-LP set. But this album was different in some ways to their previous albums. First, each member recorded mostly separatedly a side of the LPs, with each one of them composing songs separatedly. It was only on Side Four of that album that the band composed and recorded some songs together. Maybe the design of the album was somewhat "pompous", because they decided to use an orchestra and choir to arrange the songs. Their most recent studio album, "Brain Salad Surgery" (1973), maybe was their best, and it passed a long time from 1973 to 1977 for them to release this "Works Volume 1" album. Maybe it was a long time. But they needed to rest. Also, while "Brain Salad Surgery" was a heavier album, "Works Volume 1" was a more "Classical music oriented album" which some people really didn't like very much. Also, by 1976-77 new musical trends (Disco, Punk, Funky) appeared, and Prog Rock music was losing some of its previous popularity. So, by 1977, ELP, like other Prog Rock bands like YES, Genesis and others, were really trying to continue the Prog Rock music style for more time, but also with some changes to their music. Maybe ELP took the most "pompous" way, trying to still demonstrate that Prog Rock still had a lot to contribute to the music of the world.

"C'est La Vie" is maybe Lake's best contribution to the album. A song written like a "French ballad" with a 12 string acoustic guitar, very good lead and backing vocals, a very good orchestral arrangement, an accordion solo, and a choral arrangement (with this last thing maybe being a bit excessive and "pompous" for my taste). The recording and mxing is a bit "impressive" for my ears. Anyway, it is a very good song. But I like more the live version which was included in their "Works Live" album. It sounds more simple for my taste and not as "excessive" as the studio recording.

"Hallowed Be Thy Name" is a song with piano, bass, acoustic guitar and drums, recorded by the whole band, with an orchestral arrangement. With somewhat strange lyrics, and heavier than "C'est La Vie".

I don't know if "C'est La Vie" was a Hit Single in France. Anyway, it was a good choice to be released as a single there, due to the musical style of the song, which maybe was inlfuenced by some popular French singers from previous decades.

Latest members reviews

5 stars C'est la Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name are two of the most amazing songs Emerson, Lake & Palmer ever committed to paper or vinyl... Down thru the decades reviewers have spewed vitriol all over Greg Lake's side of Works. These two songs are exceptions! Go and listen to C'est la Vie / Hallowed Be ... (read more)

Report this review (#1368812) | Posted by omphaloskepsis | Saturday, February 14, 2015 | Review Permanlink

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