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3

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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At a time when ASIA and GTR were hitting it big, EMERSON, LAKE & POWELL (an ELP spin-of) decided they wanted a shot at commercial success too. However, things didn't work out so well so in 1988, Keith Emerson again joined forces with Carl Palmer with yet another vocalist/bassist/guitarist by the name of Robert Berry. They simply called themselves "3". As you would expect, their music has the characteristic ELP sound but also a decidedly corporate-rock, 80's-pop flair.

Their album "To the Power of Three" (1988) contains a few worthy bombastic prog epics à la 70's ELP that will no doubt please the fans - excellent musicianship, especially the keyboards. The rest, however, is mostly made up of simple, upbeat, AOR rock ballads reminiscent of TOTO and the likes. It is not altogether a bad album as it features some excellent song writing and Robert Berry proves to be a fairly decent vocalist. However, don't expect any consistent progressive fireworks here. (Perhaps "3" refers to the number of progressive tracks on the album?)

Recommended strictly for die-hard ELP collectors and those who don't mind the slick, digital 80's sound of the bands mentioned above.

: : : Lise (HIBOU), CANADA : : :

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3 discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

3 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.40 | 46 ratings
To The Power Of Three
1988

3 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.05 | 2 ratings
Live Boston '88
1988

3 Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3 Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3 Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Live Boston '88 by 3 album cover Live, 1988
2.05 | 2 ratings

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Live Boston '88
3 Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars From the life

After Emerson and Lake had done an album a couple of years prior with Cozy Powell replacing Palmer, it then was Lake's turn to take a break from the band. In stepped Robert Berry. Since Berry's last name doesn't begin with the letter "L" the ELP moniker could not be maintained this time and they opted for the shorter "3" as their band name. They released their only studio album under this name entitled To The Power Of Three in 1988 and then embarked on a tour. The present live disc documents a show recorded in Boston.

Interestingly the set list is as if Lake had never existed and we do not get to hear Berry sing any song that was originally sung by Lake. There are several classic tunes with which all ELP fans will certainly be familiar, but they are all instrumentals and written by others, such as Leonard Bernstein's America, Dave Brubeck's Rondo (both originally adapted and performed by Emerson in The Nice), Alberto Ginastera's Creole Dance, and Aaron Copland's Fanfare For The Common Man and Hoedown.

With the exception of Standing In The Shadows Of Love (another cover song I believe), the rest of the set list consists of songs from To The Power Of Three album. All but one of the eight tracks from that album are recreated in this live concert. The best of these is definitely Desde La Vida ("meaning from the life", as Emerson explains to the audience), a three-part epic mainly written by Emerson with some help from Berry and Palmer. This is the most progressive song from To The Power Of Three and it is performed here in a slightly elongated version compared to the studio counterpart. Another good song from that album is On My Way Home written by Emerson.

Songs like Talkin' Bout, Runaway, You Do or You Don't (all written by Berry alone), and Lover To Lover (co- written with Emerson and Palmer), are rather straightforward melodic Rock songs with catchy choruses and little or no surprises. These songs brought the studio album down and they do not enhance this live album either. The show ends with Eight Miles High which is a Byrds cover.

Overall, despite some really good moments, this live album fails to be a sufficient improvement over the To The Power Of Three studio disc to deserve a higher rating. The concentration of songs from that album is too heavy and there is too much focus on material written by other people.

Recommended primarily to ELP fans and collectors.

 To The Power Of Three by 3 album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.40 | 46 ratings

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To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This is not a bad album but it is not very Progressive Rock in style. Very well produced in the standars for the eighties, with very good arrangements and very typical sounds from the eighties. The predominant musical style in this album is Pop Rock....from the eighties. Anyway, this album, as other albums from other Progressive Rock related musicians released during that decade was much better than much of the music recorded by most of the Pop Rock "stars" of that period of time. So, this album is more in the same style as some albums released by Yes, Genesis, Asia, Kansas and other Progressive Rock bands from the seventies. But the very typical eighties production is so predominant that only 2 songs deserve to be considered in the Prog Rock musical style: "Desde la Vida" and "On My Way Home". Both songs have very good keyboards by Keith Emerson. Robert Berry`s vocals are very related to the Pop Rock / Arena Rock musical style from that period of time, but he is a good musician, singer and songwriter. Some of Carl Palmer`s drums sound very "eighties", sometimes sounding lilke electronic drums or even like programmed drums. Anyway, some of the Pop Rock songs are good, like "Talking About" (from which I watched a video on the TV in 1988) and "Lover to Lover". For Keith Emerson it was his second attempt in that decade to try to form a band from the remains of ELP, but it was until the early nineties with the reunion of ELP that he finally had a more permanent band and a more compatible line-up with his musical style (at least unitl 1998, when ELP split again).In comparison to ELPowell, this band was more focused in the Pop Rock musical market of the eighties, and this, their only studio album, is a more forgotten album in comparison to the only studio album recorded by ELPowell. Maybe Greg Lake`s vocals and inlfuence helped the ELPowell album to sound more related to the musical style of ELP than this album.Even Emerson`s very original style of playing the keyboards is not very recognizable sometimes, sounding a bit "lost" in this new band called "3". It is amazing how a new lead singer and songwriter contributor like Robert Berry changed the "musical identity" of some old bands and the musical styles of some musicians like Emerson and Palmer.
 To The Power Of Three by 3 album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.40 | 46 ratings

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To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 really

When I first look at the reviews of this band and album here, I see I was among the few who like this album, also I saw not many positive reviews here aswell, so what we have here??? To me is a good album all the way, two of the most well known musicians from golden era of prog Carl Palmer and Keith Emerson meets an excellent vocalist, bassist and guitarist named Robert Berry and the result was the band 3. Everybody knows who is Plamer and Emerson, but who is this Berry, to tell the truth I never heared of him untill I heared this album. He came from an unknown band named Hush who released some albums in late'70's , and early '80's and aswell has a solo career in the '90's. Now, the chemistry between these 3 guys is perfect, I mean they feel eachoter very well, they are like a single unit here, and the result contrary to many reviwers from here is good all the way. Also even the album has an AOR aura on every pieces melted with progressive moments not far from Yes (Big generator era) some Asia or GTR similarities or even ELP in places, the album is extremely well crafted for that period, when progressive music was not far from almost dead with some exceptions, we talking about 1988. I like a lot the voice of Berry , very solid voice, ok tipical for AOR, hard rock music, but here he fits like a glove, Robert Berry gives a string vocal performance as well, with a warm and steady voice that is perfectly suited for this kind of music. The album ventures into prog territory at times, such as the three-part "Desde La Vida", and closing track "On My Way Home" sounds a lot like ELP, but for the most part it is a pop-oriented rock/AOR album, and a strong one at that. In my opinion this album named To the power of three released in 1988 at Geffen is a total winner, not a single moment is weak, keeping in mind that is impossible to have another Tarkus in 1988, time are changing, and about this relase I will give a solid 3 stars, 3.5 . I was very sure that this album is low rated here, aswell in other places , but to me is a good one and I was enjoying every single piece ofr this unnoticed album.

 To The Power Of Three by 3 album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.40 | 46 ratings

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To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by Cactus Choir

3 stars Despite Love Beach providing a damning Exhibit A that he wasn't really cut out for a Genesis-style pop group makeover, Keith Emerson tried again in the 80s with 3. A bid for the Toto/Asia market, the album proves that Emerson (here in partnership with US singer, guitarist and songwriter Robert Berry) could write decent enough AOR material but the likes of Chains, Lover to Lover and You Do or You Don't just weren't catchy enough to trouble the charts.

I do have a soft spot for the opener Talkin' 'Bout mainly because it must be the most pompously bombastic and overblown AOR song I have ever heard, and therefore thoroughly enjoyable to my ELP-loving ears. Those of you with more delicate sensibilties may find it somewhat painful. The best tracks are the cover of the Byrds Eight Miles High with some nice drumming from Carl Palmer and a groovy Emerson syth solo. Then there's On My Way Home, a quite touching tribute to former Nice manager and Charisma label boss Tony-Stratton Smith, which is written as a march and has a very Nice-style feel to it. Desde La Vida is the bone thrown to us proggers and quite a tasty one it is too. More pomp and bombast and some real demonic aggression are thrown into its seven minute, three- part structure and in my view it's the best prog track that Emerson had produced since Pirates, and better than anything on ELP's subsequent Black Moon.

Overall this record is rooted in the eighties, from the production sound right down to the unfortunate mullets that all three members sport in the band photos. I'm also not a massive fan of Berry's rather generic-sounding vocals and if 3 had had the more characterful voice of John Wetton to front their material they may well have been more successful. Despite my hatred of most things 80s I still play this from time to time which is more than I can say for the output of Genesis from that era, so a generous three stars.

 To The Power Of Three by 3 album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.40 | 46 ratings

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To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Palmer is back, Lake is out

After the Emerson Lake & Powell album on which Cozy Powell replaced Carl Palmer because the latter was busy with Asia, Palmer once again came back into the fold. However, this time Lake could not take part so they called themselves 3 this time. Since Lake - being the lead vocalist and writer of many songs - was a more important ingredient of ELP, his absence is more apparent than that of Palmer on the previous album. Robert Barry, who replaces Lake here, is also not particularly similar to Lake in the way Powell was similar to Palmer (musically, not just by having last names beginning with the letter p). In that way it is appropriate that they chose a radically different band name this time.

Barry sings lead vocals and writes as many as three of the album's eight tracks on his own and co-writes a further two with Emerson and Palmer. In addition, there are two cover songs. All this is a pretty clear indicator that Emerson's inspiration was running very dry. Indeed, to be honest, ELP ran out of steam already in 1974 and did not produce a good album until the promising Emerson Lake & Powell album from 1986. The 3 album is back to the quality level of Love Beach and the two Works albums. Needless to say, this is not a very good album.

The voice of Robert Barry reminds me a little bit of that of Trevor Rabin. And his effect on the music is similar to the effect Rabin had on Yes. This album fits nicely into the family of 80's albums by classic Prog bands like Yes' Big Generator. It does not lack progressive content, but several of the songs are pure AOR.

I can recommend this album only to major fans and collectors of everything ELP.

 To The Power Of Three by 3 album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.40 | 46 ratings

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To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by Hét LICHAAM

3 stars My first thought was GTR and not even that bad. It's from the time of slick productions, electronic drums and ego vocals. But when you are from my generation (said the old fart.....) you might like it. Clean, well produced and vocals that are understandable, no grunts, not even really screaming guitars, just nice kikback on the couch music. If they had the right plugger (don't know if that is an Englisch term) they might had made it through the mainstream radio stations. I had never heard of them so Holland past them by. Shame, I'm listening to the album while I type this review and there is nothing wrong with it. I won't go any further than 3 stars but good enough to buy.
 To The Power Of Three by 3 album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.40 | 46 ratings

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To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by Gooner
Prog Reviewer

3 stars A generous 3 stars, this one. While it's not ELP...it's not even Emerson, Lake & Powell sounding either. It sounds more in the neo prog. tradition. Very '80s sounding with that '80s production in the vein of later '80s Saga. This '3' LP is certainly not as bad as everyone says it is, but it's not great either. Let's put it this way. If someone were to give me the choice to listen to ELP's _Love Beach_, Emerson Lake & Powell or 3's _To The Power Of Three...I would pick the latter. The best track is the 3 parter _Desde La Vida_ which can be heard on this website. It's really the only thing that hints at prog.rock. The other tracks(no real highlights) are well written AOR rock pieces with very little hit potential. Throw this album in with most inoffensive material coming from the likes of the Alan Parson Project or '80s Camel. Simply put, this is well produced music but nothing too amazing. It's as good as '80s YES or GENESIS, but not quite as good as the first 3 ASIA albums.
 To The Power Of Three by 3 album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.40 | 46 ratings

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To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by progaardvark
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After Greg Lake and Keith Emerson had another falling out, Emerson, Lake & Powell was no more. So Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer (free from Asia at this time) joined together with Robert Berry (who later became well known for his contributions to Magna Carta's tribute albums), and the three of them formed a band simply called 3. With or without hindsight, this name should have been considered a mistake. Yes, it's easy to remember, but who knows where a record store might file it. At the beginning of everything? At the end? Under T? Why they didn't choose Emerson, Berry, and Palmer, which would have been more marketable and have them filed either in or near other ELP releases, is something many have pondered. Well... not exactly. Very FEW have pondered this question because 3's To the Power of Three is rather disappointing. Maybe that decision was good after all, thus to prevent embarrassing the ELP namesake. No need to worry as the original ELP lineup would do a good job of that with Black Moon and In the Hot Seat in the 1990s.

I guess everybody was doing this in the 1980s. Trading in their prog roots for some good old AOR. If my memory is correct, reviews at the time called this album dismal. Twenty years later, that term still fits. At least Asia and Yes were performing fairly decent AOR at the time. 3's To the Power of Three is just plain bland. And it's not because of any single member. All three of them contribute to this album's blandness and mediocrity.

The opening Talkin' About was, I believe, released as a single and got some radio play. They did a rather modern, but bland cover of The Byrds' Eight Miles High. The rest of the shorter pieces sound similar to the shorter stuff from the 1985 release of Emerson, Lake & Powell's eponymous album and quite similar to material found on ELP's future 1990s releases of Black Moon and In the Hot Seat. The only interesting number is Desde La Vida, which had some semblance of progressiveness to it despite it's use of 1980s instrumentation.

Clearly for collectors and fans of ELP, especially those interested in the twisted sidebars of the group's genealogical tree. Future ELP releases are as dismal as this one. Robert Berry, on the other hand, actually did some nice progressive numbers as a collaborator and on his own in the 1990s. Two stars.

 To The Power Of Three by 3 album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.40 | 46 ratings

BUY
To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by altaeria

1 stars Seriously...I've always been a big fan of ELP...and I've also been a fan of quality melodic 80's pop/rock...but this album simply isn't very interesting.

There are 2 decent tracks on here that are borderline comparable to ELPowell material: "Desde La Vida" and "On My Way Home". Everything else is completely sterile keyboard-driven 80's Pop...Nothing more. (I'd much rather suggest you try Cutting Crew's first album if you're loking for quality 80's stuff--but I digress:)

There's a reason why the band name doesn't resemble the "ELP" moniker for this project -- because the music doesn't resemble ELP.

1 star on the Prog-ometer

1 star on the Personal Taste Meter

 To The Power Of Three by 3 album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.40 | 46 ratings

BUY
To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by coldsun

3 stars What in the world is wrong with this album? Put this album in my left hand and a copy of Asia's "Arena" in my right, and the left hand would instantly weigh MUCH heavier. Sure, it's not prog per se, but even when you class it as AOR, it's not half bad.

Reviewers giving this album 2/5 on its' prog content are right in what they say - there isn't much prog here. However, when you place this album in a pile alongside the prog "classics" of 1987-88 ("Big Generator" anyone?), what you have is an album that stood out at the time, even though die-hard ELP fans will go all-out to detest it.

The opening 2 tracks, "Nothin' But" and "Lover to Lover" are nice, easy AOR rockers. No pretentions - just good, honest rock. "Chains" may be rather bubblegum, but the 7min epic "Desde la Vida" (with an impressive instrumental section from Emerson & palmer) compensates easily. Quality drops slightly in the second thanks to a haphazard cover of The Byrds' "Eight Miles High", but that again is compensated by the wonderfully anthemic "On My Way Home".

I bought this LP around the same time as I bought ELP's "Love Beach" - and this one still gets listened to today (it takes more than a few beers in order to listen to "Love Beach" in its' entirety). As AOR, it's a welcome alternative to the ballad-driven dross of Jon Cain-era Journey or any Styx album after they peaked with "Paradise Theater" - and given the tripe crammed into the British pop charts back in 1987/88, I'd much rather accept this album's flaws than tolerate 40 minutes of Bros or Kylie.

Well worthy of 3 stars as it's above-par AOR, exceeds the qualities reminiscent of the popular music at the time, and still beats the living daylights out of "Big Generator" and "Love Beach". It's not an essential part of a prog-fan's collection, but should appease any prog fan who likes their Journey and Asia.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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