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EMERSON LAKE & PALMER

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Emerson Lake & Palmer biography
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

ELP revolutionized the 70's rock scene by introducing a new line-up format. This fact really mattered due to each musician's geniality and unlimited talent that, put together, generated a level of music never achieved by anybody else as of yet. All of the musicians came from established bands before joining forces together: Greg LAKE came from KING CRIMSON, Carl PALMER came from ATOMIC ROOSTER, and Keith EMERSON came from THE NICE.

They explored their capabilities to an extreme, even with the technology limitations of the early 70's, breaking ground, setting the new parameters for a new vein in the english pop music (at the time) which would be called progressive music. ELP released 10 outstanding albums during the 70's, and after a long break, they got back in the 90's with a new approach, but still making good music. In 1986 Cozy POWELL replaced PALMER and they put together EMERSON, LAKE and POWELL, a good effort as well.

They've pushed their ambitions over-the-edge. On "Tarkus" the title suite was an inventive and edgy suite revolving around jazzy textures. Their most popular album "Brain Salad Surgery", was their most grandiose and refined. Next, the more adventurous listener might try "Trilogy" or ELP's self-titled first album. In my opinion, these four albums form the core of ELP's best material. Other good ELP albums include "Pictures at an Exhibition", their provocative, fiery and intense take on a classical work. and "Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends", a triple-live album (now on double-CD) with some absolutely stunning playing.


Being that some albums belong to a different band with only two members of ELP, we have to make this addition:


Emerson, Lake & Powell

Emerson, Lake & Powell, often abbreviated to ELPowell, were an offshoot of a classic prog band Emerson, Lake & Palmer with Cozy Powell taking over the drumming duites in place of Carl Palmer which released one self-titled album in 1986.

After releasing Love Beach in 1978 Emerson, Lake & Palmer became silent for a couple of years until Emerson and Lake met during summer 1985 inspired by Jim Lewis, a vice-pr...
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Emerson Lake & Palmer official website

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Emerson Lake & PalmerEmerson Lake & Palmer
Razor & Tie 2013
Audio CD$7.18
$7.68 (used)
TrilogyTrilogy
Import · Remastered
Sony UK 2011
Audio CD$3.63
$4.72 (used)
Once Upon a Time Live in South AmericaOnce Upon a Time Live in South America
Box set
Rockbeat Records 2015
Audio CD$33.99
Tarkus (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD Set)Tarkus (Deluxe Edition) (2 CD Set)
Razor & Tie 2013
Audio CD$10.05
$7.88 (used)
Come & See the Show: Best of Emerson Lake PalmerCome & See the Show: Best of Emerson Lake Palmer
Razor & Tie 2012
Audio CD$7.19
$7.18 (used)
Works 1Works 1
Import
Sony UK 2011
Audio CD$6.24
$9.29 (used)
Pictures at an ExhibitionPictures at an Exhibition
Import · Remastered
Sony UK 2011
Audio CD$3.44
$3.43 (used)
EssentialEssential
Import
Sony UK 2011
Audio CD$4.12
$6.94 (used)
Welcome Back My FriendsWelcome Back My Friends
Import · Remastered
Sony UK 2011
Audio CD$5.76
$8.27 (used)
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11h 56m
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14h 43m
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14h 47m
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19h 8m
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20h 38m
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LP brain salad surgery
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER
~ USD $43.56
LP emerson, lake & palmer
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER
~ USD $19.06
LP pictures at an exhibition
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER
~ USD $19.82
CD tarkus
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER
~ USD $7.74
LP trilogy
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER
~ USD $19.82
LP welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER
~ USD $35.40


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EMERSON LAKE & PALMER discography


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

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

4.24 | 1507 ratings
Emerson Lake & Palmer
1970
4.04 | 1339 ratings
Tarkus
1971
4.08 | 1189 ratings
Trilogy
1972
4.11 | 1391 ratings
Brain Salad Surgery
1973
2.83 | 540 ratings
Works Vol. 1
1977
2.35 | 443 ratings
Works Vol. 2
1977
2.06 | 492 ratings
Love Beach
1978
3.14 | 325 ratings
Emerson Lake & Powell
1986
2.84 | 332 ratings
Black Moon
1992
1.71 | 270 ratings
In The Hot Seat
1994

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

3.85 | 737 ratings
Pictures At An Exhibition
1971
4.19 | 423 ratings
Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends
1974
2.66 | 155 ratings
Emerson Lake & Palmer In Concert
1979
2.90 | 122 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall
1993
3.30 | 117 ratings
Works Live
1993
3.33 | 41 ratings
Emerson,Lake & Palmer - King Biscuit Flower Hour (AKA "Live")
1997
2.71 | 55 ratings
Then And Now
1998
3.38 | 54 ratings
Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
1998
2.85 | 14 ratings
The Show That Never Ends
2001
4.11 | 26 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 1
2001
3.76 | 23 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 2
2001
3.29 | 17 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 3
2001
3.26 | 35 ratings
Live In Poland
2001
2.29 | 16 ratings
Best of the Bootlegs
2002
2.95 | 10 ratings
Lucky Man (Live) (Re-released as " Fanfare: The 1997 World Tour")
2002
3.82 | 14 ratings
Emerson Lake and Powell: Live In Concert - Lakeland Florida, 1986 (An official bootleg)
2003
3.21 | 10 ratings
Emerson Lake and Powell: The Sprocket Sessions (An Official Bootleg)
2003
2.41 | 9 ratings
The Best Of Emerson Lake & Palmer
2003
2.77 | 11 ratings
Original Bootleg Series from the Manticore Vaults, Vol. 4
2006
3.34 | 21 ratings
A Time And A Place
2010
2.59 | 30 ratings
Live at High Voltage 2010
2010
3.76 | 26 ratings
Live At Nassau Coliseum '78
2011
4.17 | 38 ratings
Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival '72
2011
3.88 | 8 ratings
Emerson, Lake and Powell - Live In Concert and More...
2012
3.40 | 5 ratings
Live in Montreal 1977
2013

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.81 | 15 ratings
Welcome Back
1992
3.76 | 36 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall (DVD)
2001
3.51 | 73 ratings
Pictures At An Exhibition - 35th Anniversary Collectors Edition
2002
3.29 | 16 ratings
Inside Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1970-1995
2003
4.55 | 28 ratings
Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special
2003
3.58 | 49 ratings
Live At Montreux 1997 (DVD)
2004
4.04 | 27 ratings
Masters From The Vaults
2004
2.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Concert (DVD)
2004
3.81 | 63 ratings
Beyond The Beginning
2005
2.59 | 25 ratings
The Birth Of A Band - Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
2006
4.50 | 8 ratings
Rare Broadcasts
2007
4.31 | 37 ratings
40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (High Voltage Festival 2010)
2011

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

2.38 | 55 ratings
The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1980
4.22 | 40 ratings
The Atlantic Years
1992
3.48 | 57 ratings
The Return Of The Manticore
1993
1.73 | 9 ratings
Classic Rock Featuring "Lucky Man"
1994
3.89 | 35 ratings
The Best Of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1994
1.42 | 13 ratings
Extended Versions: The Encore Collection
2000
2.56 | 13 ratings
The very Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2001
3.42 | 12 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man [The Anthology]
2001
1.35 | 21 ratings
Re-Works
2003
3.70 | 17 ratings
The Ultimate Collection
2004
3.50 | 12 ratings
An Introduction To... Emerson Lake & Palmer
2004
4.55 | 11 ratings
From The Beginning (5CD+DVD)
2007
3.55 | 13 ratings
The Essential Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2007
3.25 | 13 ratings
Come And See The Show: The Best Of Emerson Lake & Palmer
2008
2.16 | 8 ratings
High Voltage
2010
2.67 | 6 ratings
The Essential Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2011
1.80 | 5 ratings
From the Beginning - The Best of ELP
2011

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

3.38 | 17 ratings
Lucky Man / Knife Edge
1971
3.34 | 16 ratings
From the Beginning
1972
4.29 | 28 ratings
Jerusalem
1973
2.68 | 13 ratings
Brain Salad Surgery/ Excerpt From Brain Salad Surgery
1973
3.11 | 9 ratings
C'est La Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name
1977
2.43 | 9 ratings
Tiger in a Spotlight / So Far to Fall
1977
4.09 | 14 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man
1977
1.77 | 12 ratings
Canario
1978
3.80 | 10 ratings
Peter Gunn
1980
3.43 | 13 ratings
Touch and Go
1986
1.83 | 9 ratings
Affairs of the Heart
1992
2.36 | 9 ratings
Black Moon
1992
4.25 | 4 ratings
Farewell to Arms (promo)
1992
1.64 | 6 ratings
Affairs of the Heart
1992
2.75 | 4 ratings
Affairs Of The Heart (limited edition collectors doublepack)
1992
4.00 | 4 ratings
Gone too Soon (promo)
1994
2.43 | 22 ratings
I Believe In Father Christmas
1995
4.00 | 8 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man
2002

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Works Live  by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Live, 1993
3.30 | 117 ratings

BUY
Works Live
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Maybe the hard work that ELP had between 1970 and 1974 was too much for them that they needed a rest. So, they took some rest between the last half of 1974 and 1976, before going to the recording studio to record their "Works 1" album. Maybe many fans were waiting for another album that could be as "energetic" as "Brain Salad Surgery" from 1973, or as their live album from 1974 titled "Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends- Ladies and Gentlemen: ELP". I think that both albums represented in a way the peak of the band musically. By 1973-74 they had a lot of success. So, when "Works 1" was finally released in early 1977, many fans did not like it very much and became disappointed, because the band with that album (and also with "Works 2" which was released in late 1977) changed their energetic music for a much relaxed music very influenced by Classical Music and using an orchestra and a choir a lot. By 1978, with the release of their last studio album from the seventies titled "Love Beach" (which in fact was recorded and released only as a contractual obligation for their record labels) many fans could have been even more disappointed, because that album was more oriented to Pop Rock ballads with some references to their old Prog Rock style in a few songs. By 1979 ELP had split, but they still had another contractual obligation album to be released titled "In Concert", with most of it recorded at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal in August 1977, during their "Works Tour", and with the appearance of an orchestra and a choir in several songs. Again, many fans maybe were disappointed, because most of the material of that album reflected the music from their "Works" albums. I listened for the first time to the "In Concert" album in mid 1980, when I bought it, and I liked it.

Finally, in 1993 they released this live album titled "Works Live", which in fact is an expanded version of their "In Concert" album from 1979, with more songs recorded at their concert at the Olympic Stadium in Montreal in 26- August-77. Despite being a 2 CD set, this expanded version still has not the complete set list they played at that concert, and with the video from the same concert which was released in 2003 (titled "Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special", which has some other extra tracks which only were released in the video: "Karn Evil, 1st Impression, Part 2", "Pirates", "Nutrocker" and "Lucky Man", but has other songs previously released in "Works Live: "Abaddon's Bolero", "The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits", "Pictures At An Exhibition", "C'Est La Vie", "Piano Concerto No.1- 3rd Movement, Toccata Con Fuoco", and " Tank") maybe the fans could listen to the whole set list played by ELP at that concert. The sound of "Works Live" is better than the sound from the "In Concert" album, being remastered. The songs which were previously released in the "In Concert" album were: "Introductory Fanfare", "Peter Gunn", "Tiger in a Spotlight", "C`est La Vie", "The Enemy God Dances with the Black Spirits", "Knife Edge", "Piano Concerto No. 1 Third Movement: Toccata con Fuoco", and "Pictures at an Exhibition". The extra songs which were released in "Works Live" were: "Watching Over You", "Maple Leaf Rag", "Fanfare for the Common Man", "Show Me the Way to Go Home", "Abbadon`s Bolero", "Closer to Believing", and "Tank". "Peter Gunn" and "Tiger in a Spotlight" apparently were not recorded in Montreal (as i read in some websites), and I also could listen to several differences between the video version of "The Enemy God" (played with orchestra ) and the album version of the same song (played as a trio or mixed without the orchestral parts) so i think that the album version maybe was recorded at another show or was mixed without the orchestra.

Having liked the "In Concert" album from 1979, I really liked very much this "Works Liive" album. It really was a change, maybe too drastic, from the music they released in their previous live album titled "Welcome Back..." from 1974, "Works Live", in comparison, is a more relaxed album, with some ballads written and sung by Greg Lake and played with the orchestra, and with Keith Emerson playing "Maple Leaf Rag", or with the band playing "Show Me The Way To Go Home" in a Blues-Jazz musical style. The orchestra and the choir arrangements are very good but maybe also sometimes very relaxed in some parts, but they work very well particularly in "Pictures at an Exhibition", "Knife Edge", and "Piano Concerto". It doesn`t mean that the band has not some heavy moments in other songs, still playing with a lot of energy. But by 1977 the band changed, But I still like this "Works Live" album very much, an album which maybe shows the band playing in a more "matured" way, playing very well with and without the orchestra. This is maybe the best live album done with a Prog Rock band playing along with an orchestra and a choir. They sound very well rehearsed and integrated.

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 Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover DVD/Video, 2003
4.55 | 28 ratings

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Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This DVD has two things:

The "WORKS ORCHESTRAL TOUR", recorded live at the Olympic Stadium, in Montreal, in 26-August-1977. Parts from a concert from their "Works Tour" in 1977, with an orchestra and a choir. Audio recordings from this same concert were released first in their "In Concert" album in 1979, and in 1993 they were re-issued with bonus tracks as a 2 CD set titled "Works Live".

The quality of the images and of the sound in this DVD are not very good. The camera angles are good, but the sound mixing sometimes let the sound of the audience "bury" the music being played by the band and the orchestra. Anyway, it still is a good document of a very good concert. But I think that it is better to listen to the "Works Live " 2 CD set which sounds better and has more songs played at that concert, with a better sound mixing.

Despite the fact that their "Works " Vols. 1 and 2 studio albums were not very well received by some fans of the band, this tour was done by ELP with an orchestra in only some dates because it was very expensive for them to take the orchestra with them at all tour dates. And I think that they sound very well rehearsed with the orchestra and the choir. In fact, "Pictures at an Exhibition", while it is a shorter version in comparison to the other live recording which was released in the live album of the same title in 1971, sounds played much better with the orchestra and the choir, particularly in "The Great Gates of Kiev". "C`est La Vie" also sounds very well played with the help of the orchestra and the choir. But I like more the version of "The Enemy God" which was released in the albums "In concert" and "Works Live", because it doesn`t include the orchestra, and it makes me think that it was taken from another concert or was mixed without the orchestra. "Pictures at an Exhibition" was also edited a bit for the video, being at least two minutes shorter that the version which was released in the "In Concert" and "Works Live" albums, So I prefer the version which was included in those albums. But in the video I also could see that among the members of the orchestra there were a bassist and an electric guitarist playing along with the band in some parts. Carl Palmer also appears playing some percussion instruments (a xylophone, a timpani and a tambourine) during Emerson`s "Piano Concerto". The band also did not take themselves very seriously, with them playing some songs with some humour. For example, during Carl Palmer`s impressive drums and percussion solo during "Tank", they used a rotating plattform for his drum kit, and with him also throwing the drum sticks to the air and catching them without losing a beat. Keith Emerson also did his antics with the Hammond Organ, "wrestling" with the instrument on the stage`s floor during the improvised section in "Fanfare for the Common Man", and with him also "playing" some noises with his Moog Synthesiser. So, the video version of this Montreal concert is very good, showing the band playing very well with and without the orchestra and the choir. Godfrey Salmon was the conductor of the orchestra, with him being a former member of the ESPERANTO band (he played violin with that band).

Also I could see some of the musical instruments they used then. Emerson was mainly playing a Hammond organ, and a Yamaha GX-1 polyphonic synthesiser (which included four keyboards put together in the same instrument) and a modular Moog synthesiser which he tended then to use less time than before. For his "wrestling" routine he used another Hammond Organ (which obviously looked with some "scars" due to the "wrestling). Lake used a 8 string bass guitar which had a very characteristic "metalic" and "percussive" sound being played by him using a plectrum. He also played an acoustic 12 string guitar and a bit of electric guitar. And Palmer`s drum kit looked very expensive with the metalic drum shells (maybe he was using a Slingerland drum kit then, a fine instument, but I really don`t know), and he also used some other percussion instruments (two timpanis, a xylophone, a triangle, a tambourine, tubular bells, etc.)

The "MANTICORE SPECIAL" is a documentary recorded during one of their 1973 tours, and it shows the band and the tour crew working hard during that tour. It also shows the members of the band rehearsing and also being interviewed out of the stage and also in their respective homes. There are also some humorous moments showing the members of the band and the tour crew having some fun before and after the concerts. This documentary also shows some of the problems they had, like when they had to cancel some tour dates because Greg Lake became ill for some days and he could not play and sing with the band. Anyway, it is a good documentary which maybe could be more interesting for the most dedicated fans of the band.

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 C'est La Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1977
3.11 | 9 ratings

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C'est La Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by omphaloskepsis

5 stars C'est la Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name are two of the most amazing songs Emerson, Lake & Palmer ever committed to paper or vinyl... Down thru the decades reviewers have spewed vitriol all over Greg Lake's side of Works. These two songs are exceptions! Go and listen to C'est la Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name and hear the animation of C'est la Vie's Walt Disney classic" Lady and the Tramp" spaghetti kissing scene. How romantic.

And yet " Hallowed Be Thy Name" is my favorite ELP song ever!!! The lyrics are Satan temping poetry ( New Testament style) with another animated Walt Disney meets Lord of the Rings shwing! Don't buy the vinyl single...Instead treat yourself to ELP's most under rated Album...WORKS....Carl Palmer's side is to die for, I love Keith Emerson's piano concerto, and ELP doing Aaron Copeland's "Fanfare For the Common Man" is a decadent desert served after the main course.

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 Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover DVD/Video, 2003
4.55 | 28 ratings

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Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

5 stars While this DVD can not compete with modern releases in terms of image and sound quality, and it's possibly not even the best ELP live performance ever captured in video, it's an historical document of such significance for the genre (and the concert is so great anyway) that I can't give it any less than 5 stars. This is a testament of where the big got biggest, where the ambition crossed the sustainable limits, the inflection point for one of the bands who had shaped the meaning of Progressive Rock, where they went bankrupt and from here they would never be the same again.

Keith Emerson had achieved his dream of recording a classical concerto in Works I, and his next dream was performing live with an orchestra. Not that he was or would be the only one, but while others (Purple, Wakeman) concentrated on one or a few shows, Emerson & Co attempted to do a full tour with a 65-piece orchestra conducted by Godfrey Salmon, all coupled with the excesses of stardom they had got used to until then. Everything big, bigger, biggest. Unfortunately this proved to be excessively ambitious and money ran out before they had done 10 gigs.

This video captured the concert at Montreal's Olympic Stadium on August 26, 1977 in front of 78,000 people, the biggest venue they played, and besides the financial issues the task of recording it in audio and video for posterity turned into a nightmare when a line in the recording unit went dead, which meant that a lot of material was messed up and for the audio LP 'In Concert' (released 1979) they had to combine with tracks from other concerts. Eventually the full audio concert would be recovered and released in 2013 with the name 'Live in Montreal 1977'.

At any rate, the song selection in the video is good enough, even if for my personal taste I would have preferred it slightly different. Although the tracklist mentions Abaddon's Bolero, we only hear some of it as background during the intro. For the rest it's in the line of what ELP were doing at the time, with several group pieces and some where each member could stand out. 'The Enemy God', 'Pictures at an Exhibition' and 'Pirates' are gorgeous with the orchestra, fantastic performances of great songs. 'Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Pt 2' is performed as a trio piece, always a great song. Lake uses his turn to perform C'Est La Vie which is great with Emerson playing the accordion and the orchestra adding some bits, and we get also the unavoidable Lucky Man.

Emerson's turn is, of course, his Piano Concerto, but sadly we only get the 3rd movement, yet it is outstanding. Palmer uses his to perform Tank with orchestra including his long drum solo, surely a landmark document in drumming history.

We have also the energetic NutRocker, and the concert closes with a long version of 'Fanfare For The Common Man' including 'Rondo' and Emerson's archetypal abusing of his Hammond L100.

Personally I would have preferred them to skip Lucky Man, NutRocker and to shorten a bit Fanfare or Tank in order to take advantage of having the orchestra and playing the Piano Concerto in it's entirety, that would have been awesome, but perhaps Lake and Palmer were not too keen on that.

The 2003 release includes the documentary 'The Manticore Special' of their 1973 tour which while not great is a nice add-on.

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 Pictures At An Exhibition by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Live, 1971
3.85 | 737 ratings

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Pictures At An Exhibition
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Losimba

5 stars As I grew up with classical music, rock remakes of classical pieces are hardly stand-alones for me. In fact, I know many of those pieces in "normal", i.e. orchestral, or in case of solo concertos, normally instrumented versions. In case of Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition this is true in an even wider variety, as it was originally composed as a piano sequence which became famous in the orchestration by Maurice Ravel.

Of course, there is absolutely no similarity in sound between any of the versions, not that I expected anything like that. Emerson, Lake & Palmer didn't even use all of the pictures of the original score, instead adding one or two of their own. But the biggest addition is the voice (and lyrics) in The Great Gates Of Kiev which is one of the reasons I rate this particular album so high. Another one is the encore, but that again may be because I simply love the original Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky. But that probably wouldn't do the performance of those three musicians justice. Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer were already renowned musicians when they formed the trio, and they show their skills to full extent during those 37 or so minutes.

By the way, on the CD I have there are not only two parts with Nutrocker included in the second one, but each of the pictures is a separate track on the CD and so is the encore.

To finish it off, I still have to find a recording of Pictures At An Exhibition in any instrumentation that doesn't deserve full 5 stars. This includes the one by Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

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 Emerson Lake & Palmer by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.24 | 1507 ratings

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Emerson Lake & Palmer
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars This is the debut album from this supergroup of stellar musicians. This was to become the outlet for Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer to showcase their musicianship. But, at it's peak, it was more than anything a spotlight for Emerson's spectacular keyboard playing and composing. As you listen to this album, which has been reviewed plenty of times here already, you will notice that everyone gets to shine, but the balance of the spotlight is tilted quite heavily to Emerson, which is fine. His talent has inspired countless musicians and has influenced many people to explore other avenues of music that they normally would not have explored.

This album is amazing, especially for a debut album. There is quite a mix of classically inspired rock. The mix of sounds you get here should not be too surprising because of the talent. You start off with "The Barbarian" with the full band doing their take on a Bartok composition from 1911; "Allegro Barbaro". After this somewhat bombastic instrumental where each band member shows off their talent, an epic track named "Take a Pebble" follows. This track has vocals from the amazing voice of Greg Lake. The sections where there is singing is performed by full band, but the very long instrumental break is surprisingly acoustic piano through most of it with a short break for an acoustic guitar solo and a return to the piano with drums joining in eventually. This is a very nice surprise because the sound is amazing and anyone who knows keyboards will be blown away by Emerson's playing. "Knife Edge" is another harder edged song again with full band and vocals and is very progressive. It is based on the first movement of Leo? JanŠček's Sinfonietta. with a organ solo during the instrumental break that follows Bach's Allamande from the French Suite in D minor.

Following this you get two long instrumentals. The first being a suite called "The Three Fates" which is definitely another chance for Emerson to show off, of which I have no complaint. This is one of my favorite ELP tracks and probably one of the least known. You get a very cool organ solo on the first movement, and nice piano solo on the 2nd movement, and then the piano gets joined by drums and bass for the third. This is a very progressive number that always gets my heart pounding. This also demonstrates that Emerson is not only an amazing player, but an outstanding composer also. Next is "Tank" which is a full band instrumental which spotlights Carl Palmer this time. This is another excellent instrumental with a completely different feel from the last track and a very excellent drum solo in the middle which is not stretched out to a never-ending length. Palmer shares the spotlight with Emerson not only with the instruments but with the composition also. Great stuff. The album ends with the popular Lake folk rock ballad "Lucky Man" which features his vocals and guitar and ends with Emerson on synth that was overdubbed on the end so that everyone would know (on the radio) that this is not a Lake solo. Good song, but not very indicative of the rest of their sound and I'm sure a lot of people were surprised when they heard the song on the radio, bought the album and heard something they were not expecting. But it worked for the band and made them hugely popular and that popularity continued for several years.

Anyway, this is an excellent album that introduced a lot of people to the challenging music of progressive rock. In that way, it is essential in that it helped bring a lot of rock lovers around to becoming interested in classical music and a more sophisticated style of popular music. The importance of this album in rock music can not be denied. ELP would go on to produce some other great albums and some trashy ones too, but their influence in progressive and popular music is still felt today. Essential album. 5 stars.

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 Love Beach by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.06 | 492 ratings

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Love Beach
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by brydon10

3 stars I put off listening to this album for a long time. The cover art is terrible, and the reviews are generally negative. When I finally listened to it, I was pleasantly surprised, there is some good music here.

Tracks 1-5 are pretty poppy and generic, not terrible but not very interesting. Track 6 "Canario" is quite a nice little instrumental transposed from Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre.

Track 7 "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" is a 20 minute suite. This piece is quite good all the way through, I've listened to it multiple times now and it really grows on you. This is the saving grace for the album and in my opinion a hidden ELP gem.

In the end, "Canario" and especially "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" make this album a worthwhile listen.

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 Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival '72 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Live, 2011
4.17 | 38 ratings

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Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival '72
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Mar Y Sol Festival took place in Puerto Rico in April of 1972. The accounts of the media who were there suggest that this festival was not a success pointing to several accidental deaths along with a murder. Also the promoter had to sneak out of the country before the festival was over with the police looking for him. BLACK SABBATH was cancelled due to the fact they couldn't get them to the venue on time due to the traffic. Along with ELP the festival boasted Alice Cooper, The Faces, The Allman Brothers, Osibisa, Mahavishnu Orchestra along with many other bands taking part. We get the whole performance here from ELP, so just under 80 minutes of great live music with good sound quality.

I have to mention here that ELP has never been a band I appreciated a whole lot although I love their debut. So imagine my surprise at how much I like this album. There's not the silliness here and the playing is incredible to say the least, but I just love how this sounds. Listening to this recording feels like a meeting with an old friend which again completely surprised me. And I really like how prominant the bass is but then all three guys were at the top of their game here.

The recording starts with a passionate announcement of the band "Here they are, from England, Emerson...Lake...and Palmer!" to a huge ovation. The crowd was really into this and one man who was there suggests that they were the highlight of the festival. They start with "Hoedown" but without the country vibe(thankyou). That familiar organ sound kicks it off with a full sound in tow. Check out the bass after 2 minutes. The synths replace the organ but not for long. An excellent uptempo instrumental. "Tarkus" opens with Keith I believe announcing "Okay we'd like to play something your probably familiar with, there's a picture of an armadillo and this is called "Tarkus", thankyou." This is my favourite track on here and it clocks in at just under 23 minutes. Just a killer song with Emerson leading the way. Vocals before 2 1/2 minutes as it settles down. So good! Love the instrumental section starting around 6 minutes then the vocals return a minute later. An interesting vocal section starting before 13 minutes with guitar. They change gears before 17 minutes as the crowd cheers. Keyboards galore follow along with upfront bass.

"Take A Pebble" is a change of pace after the furious ending of "Tarkus". With Lake singing I did think of KING CRIMSON. Nice piano solo around 3 minutes. It doesn't take long for the crowd to recognize that the next song is "Lucky Man". Up next is "Piano Improvisation" and it's just that for close to 10 minutes. I like when it turns jazzy before 4 minutes. Vocals actually arrive just before it ends.

"Pictures At An Exhibition" is good but my least favourite tune on here. They do kick some ass early on before a clam arrives before 3 minutes. Vocals 2 minutes later as it kicks back in. An interesting instrumental section starts before 11 minutes and it's actually experimental at times(gasp). Vocals return a couple of minutes later and this track ends their performance until we get the ovation that brings them back out to play the almost 19 minute "Rondo" to end it in style. Train sounds can be heard with lots of clashing cymbals. It's picking up speed, then we get this extended drum solo starting before 6 minutes. The crowd gets involved before 12 minutes and when the drum solo ends after 13 minutes we get a huge ovation. He's not quite done though(haha) then the bass joins in. Outstanding! Train sounds return followed by Emerson. Great sound!

So yes I highly recommend this fantastic live release and if your a big ELP fan you need this.

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 Live at High Voltage 2010 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Live, 2010
2.59 | 30 ratings

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Live at High Voltage 2010
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by ExittheLemming
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Varicose Vein Salad Surgical Stockings

We rehearsed for five weeks, which I could never understand why we needed to rehearse that long, Upon hearing the recordings, maybe five weeks was not long enough. It wasn't to the standard that I liked and I didn't think it sounded that good (Carl Palmer)

They sound like a hungover pub band bluffing it under the delusion that only friends and family are in attendance. On the evidence of this superannuated bumper pay day that the trio repaid with their greatest hits karaoke, it saddens me to report that ELP are no longer even the best ELP tribute band around. Many of their missed entries and cues conspire to sound rushed and tardy, too early and too late which makes for a very nervy listening experience for this self-confessed ELP fanboy.. Bum notes proliferate throughout making parts of Take a Pebble and Fanfare for the Common Man stray perilously close to self-parody. (I could swear Emerson is wearing mittens during Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2) Musicians of this calibre however, cannot be uniformly abject for 90 minutes (which is exactly how long a soccer match lasts but it probably feels longer seeing as how we're watching Chelsea's wheezing pensioners, one of whom is certainly worthy of a red card or failing that, a red face Greg...) The FOH mixing boffins were clearly unable to tame the sonic gremlins that spoil much of this performance: the drums at the outset sound alternately like Tupperware surdos or timpanic watering cans. The Barbarian they portray here would probably break into your apartment, dust the place, tidy up the rooms and leave behind some baked fruit scones. Similarly, the extant Tarkus critter has been lobotomised into some sort of de-fanged proggie moggie who answers to the name of 'Mr Frisky'. Lake's bass on Knife Edge approaches 'twangy brittle' rather than the required 'guttural brooding' although in mitigation, the aforementioned knob twiddlers have managed to perform some much needed running repairs to the appalling sound quality in the interim. On the up side, there appears a genuinely innovative moment re the unconventional piano intro to Lake's habitually guitar led From the Beginning which explores the implied jazz flavour of his 9th chord vamp quite beautifully. The synth patch used on Keith's outro solo alas, is a disaster, coming across like a creepy Rolf Harris in the role of Pied Piper using Casio's flagship stylophone. Touch and Go lives up to it's associations with a completely fumbled/dropped ball intro from Keith that seems plain vanilla senile (How does this one go again lads? high dotage/dosage?) but settles down thereafter into a reasonably robust reading of what is probably the only classic post 80's ELP number by any permutation of those initials. I'm trying hard to accentuate what few positives there are but why is everything on here just so damn half-baked, wimpy and soulless?

For me, it's just a pride thing Unless it's as good as what it can be, then I can't do it. I would have carried on if it had been as good as it was. I don't believe it was and I don't believe it would have ever gotten back to that standard. (Carl Palmer)

The piano improvisation through which Emerson negotiates from Take a Pebble to the Tarkus medley is brilliantly realised and the resultant Stones of Years is spared the indignity of degenerating into any anticipated 'Gallstones of Tears'. Things have perked up considerably hereabouts and Keith's organ solo is a veritable highlight of the set. Rather bizarrely, Greg deems it prudent to attenuate the feedback present on this number by erm, shouting 'feedback x 3' into the microphone as if this will somehow make it less noticeable? Worse than that, the now spherical blimp has the chutzpah to regale us with Mass without a trace of knowing irony. Although it's hardly a stand-out in their songbook, it's refreshing to hear a live version of Farewell to Arms from the criminally neglected Black Moon album. This has a quiet and understated dignity about it that survives Lake's habitually treacly 'spoken tag-line' bathos and the odd lapse into poorly digested Elgar betrayed by the arrangement. The grazing anti-warhorse that is Lucky Man benefits from a slyly ingenious piano intro which seems rather wasted on what has always been for me, a very insubstantial ballad. What weight it might possess is further undermined by it's author forgetting the lyrics to the first verse. Keith's gritty and ballsy organ certainly beefs things up considerably but once again, this is a brownie with delusions of being a three tiered wedding cake. To be fair to Prog's favourite law firm, (Emerson, Lake & Palmer est 1970 prop G. Lake esq) they offer a very spirited and in places, moving retread of Pictures at an Exhibition which follows the latter day truncated versions as contained on the likes of the Return of the Manticore. Here the band at least exemplify the hard won lesson that despite the stubborn excesses of their Prog lineage, 'less' is finally acknowledged as begetting a more satisfying and economic 'more'.

Much of the raggedness and inaccuracies that crept into Emerson's playing circa the early 90's were attributable to a trapped nerve condition that eventually required corrective surgery. Although the operation was considered a complete success it did have a debilitating effect on Keith's pianistic abilities thereafter. He had to pare down and relax his playing style somewhat compared to the shredding pyrotechnics of his 'gun-slinger' years. However, based on the evidence of the subsequent Keith Emerson Band studio album and Live in Moscow recordings with Marc Bonilla, his playing is unfailingly top notch on both so I'm at a loss as to why there are so many clinkers on High Voltage

By this point ELP didn't even have either 'Ham or Cheese' to offer their famished but faithful fanbase but we can at the very least finally answer that nagging question first posed in 1971: Are You Ready Eddy to pull those faders down? Yep, and turn out the lights when you leave the building thanks, this show ended 30 years ago.

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 Love Beach by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.06 | 492 ratings

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Love Beach
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by psychprog1

3 stars This is surely a mediocre album, but I would urge all prog fans to hear it, at least for two reasons: First, to discover some beautiful, 100% prog moments -actually the 20+ minutes of the suite that covers side 2 of the LP (Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman)! The rest of the album is inferior but I really feel that people who attack this album as a whole are exaggerating in such a manner that I doubt if they have heard more than one or two minutes of it before they condemn it.

Second, in order to realise that one shouldn't be too prejudiced by previous reviews and external factors like the silly album cover or the recording date, because then one will miss an album that is quite pleasant, well-played and, I would say, much more human than most ELP albums! Just listen to all of it once.

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