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3

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Founded in 1988 - Disbanded in 1989 - New release by Robert BERRY as "3.2" in 2018

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 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)

2.47 | 60 ratings
To The Power Of Three
1988
4.17 | 32 ratings
3.2: The Rules Have Changed
2018

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

2.44 | 6 ratings
Live Boston '88
1988
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live - Rockin' the Ritz
2017

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
 3.2: The Rules Have Changed by 3 album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.17 | 32 ratings

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3.2: The Rules Have Changed
3 Crossover Prog

Review by OldSchoolProg

5 stars I'm not going to get into a history lesson, you know the band 3 (much maligned by hardcore ELP fans, but with a bit of a cult following, etc). It may have taken 30 years, but here is the follow up 3.2 project spearheaded by multi instrumentalist, musician, producer, Robert Berry. With interest from Keith after the release of 3, Live in Boston, Robert began working on this 3.2 project with his friend and mentor, only to have everything come crashing down at Emerson's untimely death. But, a few years later, the project was finished. With vintage synth sounds, leftover '87 recording tracks, new ideas and shared music, the Japanese release is in hand, and I find it refreshing, nostalgic, and downright brilliant. What Robert Berry has crafted is next to genius, using just a few Emerson snippets and conceptual ideas. It opens with "One by One," probably the most progressive rock track. The concept was outlined by Keith and Robert, but all instruments recorded by Robert. Berry throws every stereotypical prog rock trick including the kitchen sink at your ears, and yet still hooks you with the melody and lyric bouncing around the brain hours later. "One by One" was an arrangement sketched out with Emerson, from the Edward Grieg piano idea, to the Roland D50 sounds, Berry stitched it all together. "Powerful Man," the second single to be released and first official video is also a strong track with deep emotions and symbolism. Perhaps the most AOR track, hearkening back to the original 3 sound (you know what I'm Talkin 'bout), it's a great song to listen to. The video might be cheesy, but I like me some nice vintage 1988 cheese (ew!), and those synths are here, premium cheese (yay!). Although no Emerson input on Powerful Man, his influence and his sound is rich within this track. "The Rules Have Changed" has a very modernistic prog sound and arranging without Emerson input. There may be no Carl Palmer here either, but Robert Berry real shows off some impressive drumming chops, ripping guitar solos, and and epic battle between synth and electric guitar toward the end. "Our bond" is a very emotional tribute written after the death of Keith Emerson. Originally released as a piano and vocal track, this updated version here is much more powerful. The added strings, synth and drum flourishes add much more depth. Hear Robert quote America, Fanfare for the Common Man, Hoedown, Tarkus, Desde La vida, etc, and sing powerful touching lyrics, it really does pull at the heartstrings. "What You're Dreaming Now" with Emerson input dating back to 1987, you hear the soundtrack influence and later "Changing States" demo sound. A fun track that is finally finished with Robert's added lyrics and melody. "Somebody's Watching," the first single released really put 3.2 on the map months before it's official release. Emerson's beautiful piano intro circa '87 and added drum and keyboard tracks balance well with Robert's fun guitar and vocals. "The Letter" is an all Berry original. It starts with just acoustic guitar, in a rather Phillip Phillips/Lumineers way, but just as one may be dismissing this track as the odd red headed step child of the album, in come added piano and accordion, busting out into a party and ending with full blown progressive Hammond and synthesizer drive to the end. Well played Robert, well played. "Your Mark on the World" is an Emerson collaboration made up from left over bits and parts. There are some unique patches used here, and if you are familiar with Robert Berry's Encores, Legends and Paradox, Karn Evil 9 recording (with Jordan Rudass and Simon Phillips), this track has a lot of those qualities. Robert is leaving his mark on the music world with this stunning tribute to his friend and musical partner. You don't hear music like this in the mainstream anymore, and that's what makes it so refreshing. The Japanese bonus track "Sailors Horn Pipe" is an Emerson track that sounds like it was lifted, dusted off, and updated from his Honky album. A fun instrumental to end this release. The 20 page booklet is very insightful and full of history, read along as you listen to this to better understand the background and motives of each song. Some true emotion and understanding of what Keith's final days may have been, not read anywhere else before, is shared from Robert's conversations and understanding of his good friend. I give the music a solid 4.0 stars (a little busy and excessive at times), the nostalgia and history 5 stars, and the tribute and legacy to Mr. Keith Emerson 6 stars. This was a very emotional ride that every progressive rock, and Keith Emerson fan should add to their collection. I have to give the whole package an overall 5 star rating, I can't stop listening to it.
 Live - Rockin' the Ritz by 3 album cover Live, 2017
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Live - Rockin' the Ritz
3 Crossover Prog

Review by OldSchoolProg

— First review of this album —
4 stars For a band that had one studio album and one tour, this is their 2nd official live release. Sounding better than the Live in Boston, and different enough in the performance to be unique, this original 1988 radio broadcast cleaned up nicely and show the power that this band had in concert, purposely playing smaller venues. With Emerson at the top of his game, the speed that he and Carl Palmer, along with Robert Berry, present old ELP instrumental classics and new 3 songs, and even a couple covers. To hear Emerson play Dream Runner, Creole Dance and On My Way Home on the piano is spectacular and worth the purchase itself. Love or hate the studio album, the band in a live setting is great, and this release REALLY captures that energy. The liner notes from Palmer and Berry and pictures are also a fitting tribute to the late great Keith Emerson.
 Live Boston '88 by 3 album cover Live, 1988
2.44 | 6 ratings

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Live Boston '88
3 Crossover Prog

Review by OldSchoolProg

3 stars Not the best sound quality, this LIVE concert does show the intensity and speed at which Emerson, Berry, Palmer presented themselves on their smaller venue tour. Just hearing Keith Emerson perform his soundtrack staple Dream Runner (at the end of Talkin' Bout), along with Creole Dance and intro to On My Way Home, is worth the purchase of this release. Hoedown is presented with blazing speed, and Paul Keller guitar parts add to the overall 3 person sound. We lose a great Emo Hammond solo in the mix, the show was plagued with technical problems. The cover tunes are almost forgettable but must realize they were used in context to showcase some of the "new" technology at the time, bringing Carl out from behind the drumset with his Dynachord portable electronic drum, and Emerson's keytar, plus some Palmer stick hitting on Berry's bass strings...all done for the crowd and show, this visual doesn't come across on a just audio release. A good live release, great to hear from a historical point of view, these guys could still play at a very high level in 1988.
 To The Power Of Three by 3 album cover Studio Album, 1988
2.47 | 60 ratings

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To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by OldSchoolProg

4 stars The band, a project initiated by Carl Palmer and Geffen manager Brian Lane, never intended to recreate the Emerson, Lake and Palmer Prog genre. Most reviewers can't get past that and constantly compare this to the likes of Tarkus or BSS. Trying something new, more in the vane of Asia, GTR, with a little mix of ELP and Ambrosia, the album produced a #9 charting hit in Talkin' Bout, a Robert Berry penned song. A successful smaller venue tour followed, but as interest from Geffen subsided, sadly there was no second album. There are far more proggy moments on this album then most people give credit to, along with some solid AOR sounding lyrics and form. Emerson's progress in midi and layering technology, while still providing an occasional Hammond and Moog sound, is refreshing. Palmer's lightning fast percussion technique on his REMO sponsored drums, also with a more electric sound, is evident. Robert Berry's vocal's are strong, his writing solid, he adds a new note to the overall AOR sound (he is NOT Greg Lake). ELP fans usually agree that Desde La Vida is a great progressive rock track, one the band has said could have been a 20 minute epic but chose to restrain themselves, it's a great song, as is On my Way Home, Lover to Lover and Talkin' Bout. you hear more and more with each listen. Try it again, you might like it!
 Live Boston '88 by 3 album cover Live, 1988
2.44 | 6 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
2.47 | 60 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
2.47 | 60 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
2.47 | 60 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
2.47 | 60 ratings

BUY
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
2.47 | 60 ratings

BUY
To The Power Of Three
3 Crossover Prog

Review by Ht 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.
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