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Emerson Lake & Palmer

Symphonic Prog

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Emerson Lake & Palmer Live In Poland album cover
3.27 | 49 ratings | 7 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression, part 2) (5:35)
2. Touch and Go (3:58)
3. From the Beginning (4:15)
4. Knife Edge (5:47)
5. Bitches Crystal (4:01)
6. Take a Pebble (6:39)
7. Lucky Man (4:24)
8. Medley: Tarkus/Pictures at an Exhibition (17:09)
9. Medley: Fanfare for the Common Man/Rondo (17:59)

Total time 69:52

Metal Minds version includes additional track 6 - "Piano solo"

Line-up / Musicians

- Keith Emerson / Hammond organ C3, Steinway piano, Zoukra, Moog synthesizer IIIC, Mini Moog Model D
- Greg Lake / vocals, bass, electric & acoustic guitar
- Carl Palmer / drums, percussion

Releases information

Metal Minds Productions CD PROGCD006 (1999)
Sanctuary records CD SMRCD086 (2004)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Live In Poland ratings distribution

(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (57%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Live In Poland reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars The progheads in Poland were very lucky on that night in 1997, they were served with a splendid show from an inspired ELP. To my surprise it hardly contain songs from their late period, only "Touch and go". Keith Emerson had exchanged his pile of same sounding Korg synthesizers for a range of vintage keyboards, including the Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer and that's as it should be forever! The tracking list delivers "Take a pebble", "Knife edge" and the inevitable but charming worldwide 'progrock hit' "Lucky man", including the famous Moog synthesizer solo. During "Tarkus/Pictures at an exhibion" ELP is at its best but I'm also delighted about the bombastic "Fanfare for the common man" and Rondo" (stunning stage antics with his Hammond organ). AN INTERESTING CD!
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars When you hear the introduction of this live set, you think : "hold on a sec.". You get up, take the CD out of your CD player because you believe that it's "Welcome Back My Friends..." that's been played. But no, it is "Live In Poland" which starts exactly as the best ELP live album.

If one except a few blunders in here (like "Touch & Go" and "Bitches Crystal") the track selection is fine. I would only feel a bit disappointed that so many track are shortened in a drastic manner. Was ELP on a hurry ? Did they forget how great these songs sound like when you can get it in full ?

Of course, they might be P.O. to play the same songs for ever and ever. But just half of "Take A Pebble", only the second impression of "Karn Evil" (although one of the best moment of this live set) an excellent medley clocking at seventeen minutes grouping two of the best ELP "classics" that are "Tarkus" and "Pictures". Eleven minutes for "Tarkus" and six for "Pictures". Actually it is not too bad a compromise, although "Pictures" is not really great here (it features mostly the "Promenade" vocal parts).

Anyway, I guess that the audience prefers to listen to this than to "Memoirs..." even if it has been hardly played live (actually I have never heard it, but there so many ELP live albums available that there might be a trace of a live version, but I don't know that).

"Fanfare & Rondo" (almost eighteen minutes) is also a pleasant moment of this concert. The Polish fans have been rather spoiled for the last ten years. Lots of bands now include this country in their tour and it might be a reason why so many good Polish bands have emerged lately.

This is a good live album. Three stars. I guess it fully corresponds to the PA archive rating system : good but not essential.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Songs from the beginning

The recordings used for this album date from 1997, and thus come well after ELP's final studio album 1994's "In the hot seat". By this time, the three were effectively embarked on separate journeys, getting back together to tour as Emerson, Lake and Palmer for perhaps the final time. The set list, of which this is presumably just an extract, is best described as "safe", focusing on the band's heydays in the early 1970's. Indeed no fewer than three tracks are taken from the first album, although not perhaps the three most might predict.

We open of course with "Karn evil 9, 1st impression, part 2" in order to secure the traditional "Welcome back my friends" opening lyric. Lake's voice is of the deeper tones which came with later albums, immediately confirming the 90's timestamp on this gig. "Touch and go" which follows is the most recent song on the album, dating from 1985's "Emerson Lake and Powell". The version here is interesting, as it slows the song down slightly, while making it darker and moodier.

The sole contribution from the superb "Trilogy" album is Lake's acoustic spot singing "From the beginning". "Bitches crystal" and "Knife edge" sound closest to their original counterparts, the deeper vocals more closely matching those on the studio albums.

Several songs appear in abbreviated or medley form, giving the effect of a sort of self tribute. "Take a pebble" falls into this category, the lengthy core of the song being suppressed into a 3-4 minute instrumental. "Tarkus" is faithfully reproduced for about the first 10 minutes before bizarrely mutating into the closing section of "Pictures at an exhibition". "Fanfare for the common man" and The Nice's interpretation of "Rondo" are more successfully combined for the closing suite.

The rendition of "Lucky man" is one of the album's highlights, as it includes some fine Hammond organ work by Keith plus a faithful if slightly shortened refrain of the distinctive moog solo to finish.

In all, an enjoyable excursion for the ELP faithful, but an otherwise superfluous entry in the band's discography.

Review by Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The bootleg. A gamble of the biggest kind for a music lover. A leap of faith and risk of love with high stakes that could leave the fan with a big hole in his pocket where 20 or 30 bucks used to be, and with a recording that would be best used as a Christmas ornament. And though it does have that direct-to-soundboard tone, 'Emerson, Lake & Palmer Live in Poland' is not such a recording. Initially it was licensed by Manticore and issued by Metal Mind for ELP's fan club, eventually becoming widely available. And as 'fan club releases' go, it doesn't disappoint. Sure their '97 live set is better covered elsewhere [though this includes 'Tarkus' which is missing form the King Biscuit release], occasionally they seem rushed, Keith's plastic synth sounds make us want to shake him, and Lake's voice is markedly strained with an attractive but leathery husk. But it was 1997, they'd been through a lot, and besides hasn't every ELP performance always danced between brilliance and disaster? Isn't that part of the thrill? Of course it is and in that context, especially if you're a fan, this is a neat fly to add to your tackle box. The sound is clean and well balanced, the set list is just right considering the period, and Carl, Greg and Keith put on a great show and sound marvelous here. Like they'd been playing together for decades... oh, wait.

A rousing 'Welcome Back' gets things going, Keith warming up and getting his synth/organ/piano levels straight. But the boys definitely came to play, Palmer ripping it up on the toms and bassdrum. A real band is heard, three guys who pulled off huge music by themselves; no relegation of duties, backing players, chamber ensembles or exotic percussionists. Just the three of them, and it is still remarkable. They're running with the devil and it *is* Touch and Go-- a tune, by the way, that has improved over time with Emerson's courtly horn sounds and Lake's fatalistic visions of getting older, followed by a perfect take of 'From the Beginning' wherein Emerson squeaks out a perfectly kitsch synth solo, and a 'Knife Edge' that sounds like it could be from 1970 with a harpsichord sample the only thing to give it away. The jazzy pendulars of 'Bitches Crystal' fit like a pair of custom-made gloves and Keith's eight minute grand piano solo is its usual treat, though the saloon hijinks I could do without (the man just can't swing). A top notch 'Take a Pebble' with a sweet Bill Evans middle followed by an obligatory 'Lucky Man'. And then slowly up from its signature overture, out from the darkness it comes; the Armadillo. Angry on this night and though aged, as mean as ever for this enormous Tarkus/Pictures mutation. Nothing touches the originals of course but it's nice to hear these variations. Copeland's Fanfare next and 'Rondo' finishes this tiny but colorful addition to any Elper's collection, and a CD that I'm glad I picked up when I saw it.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars What can you say about an ELP album that doesn't even get it's songs straight? The first track on my CD (the one on the Sanctuary label) says Karn Evil 9 2nd Impression. Any ELP fan knows that the piece that begin's "Welcome back my friends..." is Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2 (thanks to PA for getting it right, despite another glaring error on this album's page).

But all in all, this set isn't too bad. Although Lake's voice is fading again, Palmer seems to have finally recovered from his stint in Asia. He now appears to be up to the task of playing prog.

The song selection is okay. How often do you get to hear Bitches Crystal and From The Beginning played live? But poor Tarkus. He's been shrunken down, so much that he's been attached to excepts from Pictures....

Any why no Brubeck credit for the melody used in Rondo. I guess he's been Rondo'ed.

2.5 stars, rounded up.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
4 stars Rest assured you'll get your money's worth: The greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth!

When Emerson, Lake & Palmer returned to the stage in late 90's, they put on a better show than they had done since their peak in the mid 70's. At least this is so judging from how they sound on this live album, recorded in Poland in 1997 (and other live recordings from this period, there are several). Live In Poland is in my opinion a better live album than both Live At The Royal Albert Hall (recorded in the early 90's when touring in support of Black Moon) and In Concert (aka Works Live; recorded in the late 70's when touring in support of the Works albums).

Even tough they had no new material at this time, with the latest (and still the last to date) studio album In The Hot Seat already some years in the past. Nothing from that 1994 album made it into this set list, which is probably for the better (even if I personally think it does have some good moments that would be interesting to hear in a live setting). Given the fact that they didn't have any new material to perform, it is not surprising that the set list runs like a best of collection focusing on classics from the 1970's heyday.

They open, as always, with Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression, Part 2). This is a good version, though it must by said that the band takes some time to warm up here. Still, this version is better than the heavily truncated one that opened Live At The Royal Albert Hall. This is followed by Touch And Go, originally from the 1986 Emerson, Lake & Powell album. I like this song, but it is with From The Beginning that the show really takes off. Greg shines here and this is followed by further excellent performances of Knife Edge, Bitches Crystal, Take A Pebble, and Lucky Man.

At the end of the disc are two "medleys" clocking in at over 17 minutes respectively. The first one features Tarkus and Pictures At An Exhibition, both of which are superb and excellently performed. Again, in comparison with Live At The Royal Albert Hall, Tarkus is not so heavily truncated even though I would rather have had a more complete performance of this great epic number. The same goes for Pictures At An Exhibition which sounds much better here than on Works Live or indeed than the original live version on the band's first official live album. The show finishes off with Fanfare For The Common Man/Rondo, which allows the band some jamming, and I must confess that there are some segments that I could live happily without. Still, this is overall a very good live album.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This is like listening to the audio of the 'Live @ Montreux dvd' since this show was recorded only 2 weeks prior to the Montreux date. Greg Lake's vocals are in fine form.. and even better than the Montreux video. This is one of the better live show recordings from the the 97/98 tours.The edit ... (read more)

Report this review (#33278) | Posted by threefates | Monday, January 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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