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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 | 61 ratings
To The Power Of Three
1988
4.18 | 61 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
4.18 | 61 ratings

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3.2: The Rules Have Changed
3 Crossover Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars Some thirty years ago, Keith Emerson, Carl Palmer and Robert Berry formed the band 3, and released the album 'To The Power of Three'. I always felt that it was a sadly maligned album, and far superior to what many ELP fans said about it, and there was certainly quite a lot of criticism. It was the only release by the band, with ELP reforming, and Robert moved onto other things. Fast forward to 2016, and a record label approached Keith as they wanted to release a live album of a performance recorded in 1988. Keith agreed and then forgot about it until one day the CD arrived in the mail, and one evening he listened to it while drinking a glass of wine. I asked Robert what happened, "He listened to the whole thing and immediately called me. His voice sounded so excited. He said "Robert, we were really a good band. No really a good band." I couldn't believe me ears. I had always thought that but never thought he'd give it another chance, and there it was. The open door to my 28 year dream. After we spoke about how much fun we had had and how the spark on stage with the jamming was just the best time ever I broke the question. I said that a record company had been bugging me for years to do a follow up album but I knew he wasn't interested. I said "What about now Keith? Any chance you'd consider working with me to do one more really great album?" He gave it a mild "yes" and that was enough for me. I called the record company and asked if they were still interested, they were. I called Keith back, we discussed the ideal parameters for such an album and the record company agreed to every detail. Keith was amazed at their deal, the advance involved, and the interest being so high. He was ready to start so we did."

Only one song was used that was written during the original period, with the rest of the material being put together as Keith and Robert swapped ideas, and collaborated together while they were on the phone to each other. They also approached Carl to see if he wanted to be involved, but he was committed to his own band, so they decided that they would approach Simon Phillips once they had all the basic parts of the songs recorded properly. Sadly that wasn't to be, as Keith passed away before it got that far. This left Robert with the songs, the ideas, structures and sounds, and he felt the only thing to do was to record everything himself. Those who have followed his career will know that Robert is a multi-instrumentalist, but I have always thought of him far more as a guitarist and singer, but his parents were not only performers but also owned a piano store, and he had many years of piano lessons so also really knows his way around a keyboard (and was also drumming from a young age as well!).

The result is an album that is very much the sequel to the original, the album that is a follow-up to 'The Power of Three' in so many ways. It's not quite as bombastic, but it is hard to realise that the keyboards are from Robert and not Keith, as he has captured his style in so many ways, and there are certain sounds employed that one immediately recognises as having played their part on the original. Just 8 songs, 46 minutes long, there is no way that his sounds like the solo effort of a musician in 2018, but as if this is a band recording from the late Eighties full of power, passion, melody and dynamics. I defy anyone to listen to the change in style 3:20 into "Our Bond" and say that Robert hasn't captured what the original band and Keith was all about. As a tribute, this album is incredible. As a collection of music, this is simply superb. Absolutely essential, I can play this album all day and never tire of it. Wonderful.

 3.2: The Rules Have Changed by 3 album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.18 | 61 ratings

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3.2: The Rules Have Changed
3 Crossover Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

4 stars 'About keyboard pyrotechnics and song oriented melodic rock'

The working relationship between multi-instrumentalist, composer, songwriter and producer Robert Berry (who played with Sammy Hagar, Ambrosia, 3, GTR, Alliance and The Greg Kihn Band) and the late Keith Emerson (who contributed to Ayreon's album The Theory Of Everything in 2013) began in 1987, resulting in the band 3 featuring Keith Emerson, Robert Berry and Carl Palmer. They released the album To The Power Of Three, but Keith Emerson already left after the worldwide tour. In October 2015 conversations about a new 3 album started between Robert Berry and the Frontiers label as Robert had been speaking to Keith about releasing the long delayed 3 follow-up album. The exchange of musical ideas and song collaborations ultimately paved the groundwork for The Rules Have Changed. After Emerson's death in 2016, Berry was left with Emerson's final musical ideas for the project. Unfortunately the familly gave Berry only permission to use Keith his compositions, not his recorded keyboard parts.

So Berry plays keyboards, and he also does the drums, bass, and guitars, incredible, he sounds like a four piece formation, what an impressive job he has done! Another great job by Berry is on the compositorial level: he has written 7 inventive, elaborate, varied and dynamic tracks, with the focus on a melodic and song oriented approach. This is topped by Berry his strong and emotional voice, often with a melancholical undertone. As a tribute to Keith Emerson all tracks contain awesome, often spectacular work on keyboards, in the vein of the late keyboard hero. Also due to the distinctive Memorymoog ' and Roland D-50 synthesizer sound on this album.

Fat Moog flights in Powerful Man (along propulsive guitar riffs) and in the titletrack (also harder-edged guitar work).

Tender piano, classical orchestrations and Emersonian synthesizer layers in Our Bond (embellished with delicate brass and violin).

Again fat Moog runs and lush Hammond with heavy guitar riffs in the dynamic What You're Dreaming Now.

Sparkling piano, bombastic Hammond and sensational Moog with pitchbend in the exciting Somebody's Watching (what a powerhouse rhythm-section by one-man-band Berry!).

And a sumptuous Moog - and Hammond sound (including church organ) with a thunderous rhythm-section in the final track Your Mark On The World.

My highlights are the two compositions that sound more different from the song oriented other six tracks. First the opener One By One: it starts with sparkling, very beautiful classical work on the Grand piano, then a slow rhythm with melancholical vocals, followed by flashy Moog with pitchbend and a jazzy piano interlude and in the end a mid-tempo with a swirling Hammond solo. It sounds like a mini symphony, very varied and dynamic.

Finally the wonderfully build-up ballad This Letter, Berry plays propulsive acoustic rhythm guitar and piano, he sings very emotional. Gradually the sound becomes more lush with classical orchestrations and a cheerful accordion sound, culminating in spectacular 'Old School Keyboard Extravaganza', goose bumps!

This outstanding effort is not an Old School album or a Seventies Keith Emerson tribute. Because Robert Berry blends keyboard driven symphonic rock and song oriented melodic rock/AOR in a very tasteful and inventive way. But for sure the spirit of Keith Emerson is on The Rules Have Changed, excellent work mister Berry!

The first edition of this review was recently published on the Dutch prog website Background Magazine.

 3.2: The Rules Have Changed by 3 album cover Studio Album, 2018
4.18 | 61 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 really 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 | 61 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 | 61 ratings

BUY
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 | 61 ratings

BUY
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 | 61 ratings

BUY
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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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