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GREG LAKE

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Greg Lake biography
Perhaps best known for his popular seasonal hit 'I Believe In Father Christmas', GREG LAKE has made a signficant impact on the prog world by being in two of the most important bands of the genre: King Crimson and ELP. Coming from Bournemouth (on the south coast of England) he shared the same guitar teacher with Robert Fripp.It was Fripp though that first dipped his toes into the prog world with 'The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles,Giles and Fripp' (1968) an album considered too experimental by the record company who wanted something more mainstream. Fripp set out to form a band that could satisfy this requirement and he recruited Ian MacDonald (who importantly owned a Mellotron) plus, of course, GREG LAKE.

So King Crimson came into being, their amazing debut album 'In The Court Of The Cimson King' featuring LAKE's silky smooth vocals helping the album to be the most important statement of the progressive rock movement to date. Whilst touring with Crimson in 1969, LAKE met Keith Emerson, keyboard player in The Nice who, as a band, were arguably as important as King Crimson in the early development of progressive rock.They became firm friends and perhaps it was inevitable they would form a band together.Eventually recruiting young drumming prodigy Carl Palmer (apparently LAKE rang him up and said something like ''If you don't join this band you are not only damaging yourself but you are harming me as well..and that's heavy!!), a triumphant official debut performance at the massive Isle Of Wight Festival followed in 1970. Later in the year ELP's self titled album was released, proudly featuring a song LAKE had written as a child, 'Lucky Man'.Keith Emerson provided a 'progressive' Moog solo that still marks this fine track as a classic. ELP were up and running!

Apart from singing and playing all guitars, GREG LAKE also took over the producer's chair in ELP.His work with engineer Eddie Offord on albums like 'Trilogy' and 'Tarkus' was exceptional for the time and provides yet another string to his bow. In 1975, having formed a songwriting partnership with ex Crimson lyricist Pete Sinfield (while ELP were taking a break), LAKE released the aforementioned Christmas record. It peaked at No2 in the UK charts and perfectly demonstrated LAKE's qualities as a producer, nicely mixing an orchestral Prokofiev theme into the song without it sounding cheesy in any respect. He followed this by writing (with Sinfield) a series of songs that were included on ELP'...
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London 81London 81
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Greg LakeGreg Lake
Import
CAROLINE GENERAL CAT 2011
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Songs of a LifetimeSongs of a Lifetime
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Esoteric 2013
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GREG LAKE discography


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

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

2.91 | 22 ratings
Greg Lake
1981
2.40 | 20 ratings
Manoeuvres
1983

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

3.00 | 10 ratings
In Concert on The King Biscuit Flower Hour
1995
3.33 | 3 ratings
Greg Lake
2007
2.77 | 14 ratings
Songs Of A Lifetime
2013

GREG LAKE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Welcome Backstage
2005
3.46 | 10 ratings
Live (DVD)
2006

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

2.21 | 5 ratings
From The Beginning - Retrospective
1997

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
I Believe In Father Christmas
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
C'est La Vie
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Watching Over You
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Let Me Love You Once
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Love You Too Much
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
It Hurts (Duele)
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Famous Last Words
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Believe In Father Christmas (CD Single)
1992

GREG LAKE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Songs Of A Lifetime by LAKE, GREG album cover Live, 2013
2.77 | 14 ratings

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Songs Of A Lifetime
Greg Lake Prog Related

Review by richardh
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Not nearly as bad as you might expect and preferable to the Manticore Hall CD that Lake did with Emerson , this comes from a solo tour that has no band and uses a backing track (gulp!). Lake sings very well though and his voice is seemingly stronger than it was in the 90's although obviously not having the same range of ELP's early days. You get a pleasing mix of covers of ELP , King Crimson , Beatles and even an Elvis song . His recollection of seeing Elvis in Vegas 'Tribute To The King' is a treasure in itself ( he can tell a good story!) as well as interesting recollections and anecdotes about Lucky Man and The Beatles. His version of You've Got To Hide Your Love Away is lovely and demonstrates perfectly Lake's ability to deliver a ballad. The backing track of course on some of the rockier songs is not ideal like KE9 but its okay. Will only be purchased by fans I guess but the stories and anecdotes hopefully will be of interest to everyone.

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 Songs Of A Lifetime by LAKE, GREG album cover Live, 2013
2.77 | 14 ratings

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Songs Of A Lifetime
Greg Lake Prog Related

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars What we have here is a one-man show, combining Greg performing some of his most well- known songs (with a backing track) along with stories of things that have happened in his life. So, we hear about the Beatles, and when he saw Elvis in concert and so forth. The one thing I did learn from this was that the artist behind 'Court of the Crimson King' died only three days after he presented the artwork to the band, at the age of 21. There is no doubting Greg's musical ability or his stunning voice, but is this really the best way to hear him? Rick Wakeman has been performing a similar show, on and off, for some ten years or more where he tells stories and plays the piano. The major difference there is that Rick is providing new interpretations of songs, with no backing music whatsoever, whereas here we have instances such as on "From The Beginning" where there is quite an extended keyboard solo yet at that point all Greg does is play chords as that was his part in that section of the song.

I have always enjoyed Greg's performances with ELP (and I loved it when he fronted Asia, I just wish that they had recorded a studio album together), but he hasn't done a great deal outside that and definitely comes across better in the band environment. This has been billed as 'Songs of a Lifetime' but the most recent song here is the mighty "Touch and Go" from the Emerson Lake & Powell album in 1985, so what happened in the last 28 years? Greg also performs some covers that were important to him in his musical life, such as "Heartbreak Hotel" yet while it is interesting to hear Greg's version I would much rather hear more ELP. The stories are fairly lengthy, which means that the album doesn't benefit from repeated plays either.

All in all I would rather play the compilation of his that was issued a few years ago, 'From The Beginning', but although I can't see myself returning to it very often he still has a wonderful voice..

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 Songs Of A Lifetime by LAKE, GREG album cover Live, 2013
2.77 | 14 ratings

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Songs Of A Lifetime
Greg Lake Prog Related

Review by ProgShine
Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

2 stars Greg Lake doesn't really need any introduction. The only two reasons I see for you not to know him are A) If you've lived in a cave for the last 40 years; B) You're a beginner in the Prog World.

First, Greg Lake was the vocalist/bassist of King Crimson and then of Emerson Lake & Palmer, both bands are pillars to what Prog Rock would be in the 70's. After ELP broke up in 1978 he basically did? very little, in the music scene. He released 2 solo albums in 80's (81 & 83), participated in the ELP (this time as Emerson, Lake & Powell) come back in 86 and again with the original ELP line up in 92. Since then he has released sporadic live albums here and there.

In 2012 Greg was writing his biography and the idea of a new tour appeared to him. The one that he would be alone on stage singing the songs that he considered crucial to his career and telling the stories of his musical life. So far so good, it would be probably a great DVD and a great experience on stage, but all in all, as a live album, it doesn't work at all.

Musically speaking, what's the point of having a great musician like Greg live, with a playback in the background? And what's worse, the versions on the playback are the ones from the 90's ELP comeback, not the originals. And it's kind of a shame having Prog classics like '21st Century Schizoid Man', 'Epitaph/The Court Of The Crimson King' and 'I Talk To The Wind' by King Crimson and 'Trilogy' and 'Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression Part 2' by Emerson, Lake & Palmer played that way with such bad and fake arrangements.

While Greg tells his stories, they are all great and very, very interesting, but by the second time you listen to it, they're all boring and old already. Like I said, for you to go to the concert or even watch a DVD that would be great. But to release a CD from it? I don't get it.

Greg sings basically his solo songs from ELP times like 'From The Beginning', 'Still? You Turn Me On', 'C'est La Vie' and of course, 'Lucky Man'. He also plays a few classics such as 'Heartbreak Hotel' by Elvis Presley and 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away' by The Beatles. The set also includes the inexplicable presence of 'Touch And Go' from the Emerson, Lake & Powell (1986) album. If he wanted to play something from that album it could have been 'The Miracle' instead. Other good songs (and fairly pop ones) like 'A Time And A Place', 'The Sheriff' or 'Benny The Bouncer' were forgotten. In conclusion, don't get me wrong, Greg Lake is one of the most humble and good guys on Prog World. But we're talking about music here, and even if he still has a powerful voice, Songs From A Lifetime (2013) doesn't go anywhere. If you're not a hardcore fan, or if you weren't in the one of the shows? avoid it.

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 Live (DVD) by LAKE, GREG album cover DVD/Video, 2006
3.46 | 10 ratings

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Live (DVD)
Greg Lake Prog Related

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Each member of Emerson, Lake and Palmer have done a tour and a live CD or DVD in solo with songs from ELP. This time Greg Lake played in 2005, some ELP's classics, plus some King Crimson's songs with his band. Those versions are pretty close to the original, except "Take a Pebble" who has been rearranged. There is some mellow tracks that are not as intense as the most progressive tracks, including a Christmas song that seems to have been included here by some fans requests. There is also a rock 'n 'roll song that is too much for my taste, called "Love you too much".

This is a very honest performance by talented musicians, with the beautiful voice of Greg Lake. On the second disk, we have 45 minutes of songs in rehearsal with complete songs. The camera work and the picture are very professional, and a nice 5.1 surround sound.

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 Manoeuvres by LAKE, GREG album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.40 | 20 ratings

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Manoeuvres
Greg Lake Prog Related

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Overall, this album does not impress me at all even though Gary Moore contributes guitar part. It's probably there is basically no prog elements at all and I don't think his previous album as well. The only reason putting his music here is his contribution in Emerson Lake and Palmer. Not only the music that is too light and not that good melody-wise and composition-wise but also the lyrics are not compelling at all - consider "A Woman Like You" which I can not imagine Greg Lake wrote a lyric like this!

All songs are just mere pop with some of them having rock elements. "Too Young To Love" is probably the only track that I can consider good as a rock track as I can see stunning guitar work by Gary Moore. For those wanting to know this album - it's OK if your reason is to complete everything about ELP. But if you want to have progressive music, forget it - nothing here. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 From The Beginning - Retrospective by LAKE, GREG album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1997
2.21 | 5 ratings

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From The Beginning - Retrospective
Greg Lake Prog Related

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

2 stars Greg Lake is one of the most essential and largely known vocalists in the world of prog. His tenures with King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer are already merit enough to say so. But unlike his fellow prog vocalists (from the most succesful prog bands) such as Peter Gabriel, Jon Anderson, Ian Anderson, Roger Waters, David Gilmour or Peter Hammill (or, excuse me, Phil Collins!), Greg Lake seems to be "an old fa(r)t" who hasn't made a notable solo career or hasn't even made much worthy as a band member either since the decline of ELP. That means in practice that this 2-CD compilation is rather uneven. Also it is quite questionable who exactly is the ideal listerner to this set. Probably one who admires especially Lake's vocals (putting the musical context to a secondary status), not someone who is primarily after classic Crimson and ELP stuff, because the latter gets too much weaker material here. But I'm not saying this retrospective would't deserve its existence. Even if Lake's career has been mostly downhill since the seventies, it is interesting to get the chronological wider picture including various phases (KC, ELP, solo albums, ELPowell, later ELP).

ELP gets the lion's share here. Naturally the track choices favour songs instead of instrumentally oriented ELP stuff. So it's not only about the singer Greg Lake, it's also about the song-writer Greg Lake. I'm not getting into more detailed analysis of contents, see the track list yourself. Solo stuff has quite a few goodies, they tend to be pretentious power-pop ballads or totally forgettable arena rockers. But I guess this compilation is as good as one can make of it without emphasizing more on the best years. (Collectors/ fans only: two stars.)

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 Live (DVD) by LAKE, GREG album cover DVD/Video, 2006
3.46 | 10 ratings

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Live (DVD)
Greg Lake Prog Related

Review by lor68
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well if you think of the end of a great artist, whose fame with ELP was interrupted by a dramatic accident which occurred to Keith Emerson in the period of "In the Hot seat" (to one of his hands as you know...), you won't believe that Greg has been able to create a new ensemble after a long tormented passage of his career, by touring all over Europe!! Of course the lead guitarist along with him is able to re-arrange "Take a Pebble" in a remarkable manner, even though for instance their version of "Pictures at an Exhibition" doesn't add anything new in comparison to the ELP version of the early nineties...but even Greg is involved into some excursions at the electric guitar and well supported by a good keyboard-player such as David Arch, so at the end- by excluding the tepid ballads like "Farewell to Arms" (except perhaps on the magic atmosphere of "I Believe in Father Christmas") or a useless blues rock entitled "Paper Blood"- the other tracks- also in the present video concert- are quite remarkable! Greg's voice is not bad, being so mature, even though not clear at all in some circumstances, never mind cause I've appreciated the choice of "Karn Evil 9" and also the ever green "21st Century Schizoid Man" so much, after all!!

So you'll forgive him as for some missing powerful ballads like "Still you turn me on!" or the solemn and imposing tune "Jerusalem", but his return on stage as a well supported "soloist" of the prog-related genre has been a true surprise during the year 2005, then becoming a fine "confirmation" in the following year, by means of the present live.

Very interesting product and almost a must-have (final evaluation: almost "4 stars", cause the tepid ballads prevent me to give this DVD-live a major score).

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 Greg Lake by LAKE, GREG album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.91 | 22 ratings

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Greg Lake
Greg Lake Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars A great song like the opener Nuclear Attack shows us what the combination of Greg Lake and Gary Moore was capable of. Without doubt these two are extremely talented. Too bad this is largely wasted talent on some of these songs. The lyrics are seriously unimaginative on some songs on this album. The phrase 'I love you', together with a bunch of other similar rock/pop clichés feature a bit too much in the second, third, fourth and ninth tracks for example. That is simply too much 'love' for my taste!

Retribution Drive, The Lie and the Celtic-sounding closer For Those Who Dare are all good songs, but hardly something that will blow the prog fan away. The vocals are great, the bass guitar sounds great, the guitar playing is amazing and the rest of the band are also very good. In addition, the album is well produced. But still I am not convinced by it. Most of the songs are not strong enough to make a really good album. And, as I said, the lyrics are sometimes just awful!

So even if I would consider myself a big Greg Lake fan and even if I really like Gary Moore's guitar playing, I still cannot say that this is a good album. But it has some very good moments, for sure! It could have been a great album. Indeed, it should have been a great album. But sadly it isn't, even if I can understand those who like it.

I would recommend the live album called Nuclear Attack (aka Greg Lake Live At The King Biscuit Flower Hour) if you want to hear the Moore/Lake combination, or the excellent DVD Greg Lake Live before you move on to this studio album.

Despite some very good moments, this is only for fans.

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 In Concert on The King Biscuit Flower Hour by LAKE, GREG album cover Live, 1995
3.00 | 10 ratings

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In Concert on The King Biscuit Flower Hour
Greg Lake Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Gary Moore playing King Crimson and ELP songs!? It actually works! It really works! Especially 21st Century Schizoid Man I find truly amazing in this version, I actually like it better than the original! This version is a bit more streamlined and much more in the hard rock vein, but no less progressive. My version of this live album is called Nuclear Attack and has a different running order compared to the one listed above. But I'm pretty sure it is the same recording.

In my version the album opens with the aforementioned 21st Century Schizoid Man and continues with Fanfare For The Common Man. This instrumental, made famous by ELP, is obviously also very different here compared to the ELP version of the same. Here it is performed by a five piece band instead of by a three piece band, with excellent guitar play by Gary Moore. Great!

This segues into the first song from Greg Lake's first solo album (in support of which they are touring here). Unfortunately, they chose the worst song from that album; a generic and stereotypical rock 'n' roll number co-written by Bob Dylan and Greg Lake. The low point of this live album, I usually skip it (as I do when I listen to the studio album).

After that it is time for a song to represent Gary Moore's past. Parisienne Walkways, (co-?) written by Phil Lynnot of Thin Lizzy. Great guitar work (apart from an annoying long note that hurts my ears!) and Greg sings it very well.

Next up is Nuclear Attack (another track from Greg's self-titled first solo album) which is a great hard rocking song with moog synthesiser. It is opened up by a short snippet from Karn Evil 9 (wrongly listed as part of track two). All in all there are four tracks from Lake's first solo album, Retribution Drive and The Lie being the other two. These are all good songs, but nothing that will blow the prog fan away.

We are treated to two more great classic songs from Greg's past with Lucky Man and In The Court Of The Crimson King. I don't think I need to comment on those apart from that they are absolutely great and that they are strongly associated with Greg Lake. The guitars are once again fantastic!

Too bad, the album closes with another generic rock 'n' roller. You Really Got A Hold Of Me! Why Greg, why?

The combination of Greg Lake and Gary Moore turns out to be great! The combination of King Crimson, ELP and Greg's solo numbers also works very well (with the exception of Love You Too Much).

Good, but because of the inclusion of couple of stinkers it cannot be called excellent (even if some songs are just that).

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 Live (DVD) by LAKE, GREG album cover DVD/Video, 2006
3.46 | 10 ratings

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Live (DVD)
Greg Lake Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars This DVD is an excellent addition to any prog collection. I was really impressed by these versions of King Crimson and ELP classics, most of them are significantly different from the originals - and several of them are actually better, or as good as the originals! Most of the material here rocks harder than ELP or King Crimson ever did - something I like.

Greg is most well known as a bass player, singer and songwriter for ELP and King Crimson. But surprisingly he plays mainly electric guitar on this concert having a hired gun to play bass for him. And Greg can really play good electric guitar. But there is a second guitarist as well, a super young talent.

Greg has a big band behind him which gives him a lot of musical power. All in all there are eight people on stage including the man himself. It takes two keyboard players to play the role of Keith Emerson here and there are female backup singers and of course a drummer. All the musicians are unknown.

Obviously, the two keyboard players here are not Keith Emerson and the super young guitarist here is not Robert Fripp, but all that is beside the point. This is an altogether different type of band. The material is almost entirely classic ELP and Crimson songs but performed differently, with a different, harder-edged sound. The strong legacy of the front man keeps this from being just a great tribute band. Greg's voice is distinctive and legendary.

Hearing these re-arranged versions of some of the ELP cuts, I cannot help thinking that this is the way ELP should have sounded! There is a lot more guitar here than on the original versions, I have somehow always felt that ELP should have had a fourth member.

The set list is full of prog classics. In The Court Of The Crimson King, Take A Pebble (with an acoustic solo section for guitarist Florian Ophale to stretch out - he is good!), 21th Century Schizoid Man, (part of) Karn Evil 9 and - the song perhaps most associated with Greg Lake - Lucky Man.

A positive surprise for me was the inclusion of some songs from Black Moon which I have always felt is an underrated ELP album. Some of Greg's best ballads ever were on that album. I particularly like Farewell To Arms that has bag-pipe- sounding keyboard solo giving it an almost folky feel.

The only songs I don't care much for here is the Christmas song I Believe In father Christmas and the generic blues rocker Love You Too Much (the title alone gives it away doesn't it?). Apparently the latter was co-written by Bod Dylan so it is somehow understandable that Greg is proud of it.

Overall, this is a great DVD

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