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EMERSON LAKE & PALMER

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Emerson Lake & Palmer picture
Emerson Lake & Palmer biography
Formed in London, UK in 1970 - Disbanded in 1979 - Regrouped between 1991-1998 - Reunited briefly in 2010

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.

2016 was a sad year for Prog fans, because Keith and Greg left us, Rest in Peace and thank you for everything

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

Emerson, Lake & Powell (Active between 1985-1986)

Emerson, Lake & Powell, often abbreviated to ELPowell, were an offshoot of a classic prog band Emerson, Lake & Pa...
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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 | 2264 ratings
Emerson Lake & Palmer
1970
4.06 | 1976 ratings
Tarkus
1971
4.14 | 1753 ratings
Trilogy
1972
4.15 | 2032 ratings
Brain Salad Surgery
1973
2.94 | 841 ratings
Works Vol. 1
1977
2.44 | 693 ratings
Works Vol. 2
1977
2.09 | 750 ratings
Love Beach
1978
3.11 | 523 ratings
Emerson, Lake & Powell: Emerson, Lake & Powell
1986
2.78 | 512 ratings
Black Moon
1992
1.79 | 436 ratings
In The Hot Seat
1994

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

3.88 | 1052 ratings
Pictures at an Exhibition
1971
4.27 | 615 ratings
Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends
1974
2.77 | 230 ratings
Emerson Lake & Palmer In Concert
1979
2.95 | 172 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall
1993
3.36 | 170 ratings
Works Live
1993
3.33 | 53 ratings
Emerson, Lake & Palmer - King Biscuit Flower Hour [Aka: Live]
1997
3.44 | 77 ratings
Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
1997
3.00 | 6 ratings
Live in Poland
1998
2.78 | 76 ratings
Then And Now
1998
2.82 | 17 ratings
The Show That Never Ends
2001
4.03 | 38 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 1
2001
3.70 | 33 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 2
2001
3.24 | 25 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 3
2001
3.25 | 47 ratings
Live In Poland
2001
2.25 | 21 ratings
Best of the Bootlegs
2002
2.90 | 12 ratings
Lucky Man (Live) (Re-released as " Fanfare: The 1997 World Tour")
2002
3.63 | 24 ratings
Emerson Lake and Powell: Live In Concert - Lakeland Florida, 1986 (An official bootleg)
2003
3.15 | 21 ratings
Emerson Lake and Powell: The Sprocket Sessions (An Official Bootleg)
2003
2.38 | 14 ratings
The Best Of Emerson Lake & Palmer
2003
3.41 | 31 ratings
A Time And A Place
2010
2.66 | 47 ratings
Live at High Voltage 2010
2010
3.73 | 48 ratings
Live At Nassau Coliseum '78
2011
4.21 | 65 ratings
Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival '72
2011
3.75 | 12 ratings
Emerson, Lake and Powell - Live In Concert and More...
2012
1.40 | 6 ratings
Live in California 1974
2012
2.72 | 24 ratings
Live in Montreal 1977
2013
3.20 | 10 ratings
Once Upon A Time In South America
2015
3.67 | 20 ratings
Live at Montreux 1997
2015
3.00 | 5 ratings
Live at Pocono International Raceway, USA, 1972
2019

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

2.75 | 21 ratings
Welcome Back
1992
3.76 | 44 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall (DVD)
2001
3.58 | 91 ratings
Pictures At An Exhibition - 35th Anniversary Collectors Edition
2002
3.12 | 21 ratings
Inside Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1970-1995
2003
4.55 | 36 ratings
Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special
2003
3.60 | 58 ratings
Live At Montreux 1997 (DVD)
2004
4.08 | 34 ratings
Masters From The Vaults
2004
3.00 | 4 ratings
Live In Concert (DVD)
2004
3.83 | 78 ratings
Beyond The Beginning
2005
2.64 | 36 ratings
The Birth Of A Band - Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
2006
4.06 | 14 ratings
Rare Broadcasts
2007
3.87 | 58 ratings
40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (High Voltage Festival 2010)
2011

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

2.46 | 75 ratings
The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1980
2.08 | 4 ratings
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1980
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Best of ELP
1984
4.20 | 52 ratings
The Atlantic Years
1992
3.59 | 74 ratings
The Return Of The Manticore
1993
1.76 | 10 ratings
Classic Rock Featuring "Lucky Man"
1994
3.89 | 40 ratings
The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1994
1.45 | 14 ratings
Extended Versions: The Encore Collection
2000
2.61 | 18 ratings
The very Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2001
3.47 | 17 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man [The Anthology]
2001
4.33 | 3 ratings
History Of Rock
2001
1.40 | 27 ratings
Re-Works
2003
3.74 | 15 ratings
The Ultimate Collection
2004
3.38 | 8 ratings
An Introduction To... Emerson Lake & Palmer
2004
4.29 | 29 ratings
From The Beginning (5CD+DVD)
2007
3.58 | 18 ratings
The Essential Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2007
3.29 | 12 ratings
Come And See The Show: The Best Of Emerson Lake & Palmer
2008
2.10 | 11 ratings
High Voltage
2010
2.87 | 10 ratings
The Essential Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2011
1.88 | 8 ratings
From the Beginning - The Best of ELP
2011
4.42 | 12 ratings
The Anthology
2016
4.00 | 2 ratings
Lucky Man
2018
3.80 | 5 ratings
The Anthology (4LP)
2019
4.08 | 5 ratings
The Ultimate Collection
2020
4.17 | 6 ratings
Out of This World: Live (1970-1997)
2021

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

3.54 | 24 ratings
Lucky Man / Knife Edge
1971
5.00 | 2 ratings
Stone of Years / Time and a Place
1971
4.00 | 3 ratings
Nutrocker / The Great Gates of Kiev
1972
3.46 | 22 ratings
From the Beginning
1972
2.57 | 19 ratings
Brain Salad Surgery/ Excerpt From Brain Salad Surgery
1973
4.11 | 41 ratings
Jerusalem
1973
3.10 | 14 ratings
C'est La Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name
1977
2.48 | 12 ratings
Tiger in a Spotlight / So Far to Fall
1977
3.35 | 19 ratings
Fanfare for the Common Man
1977
2.40 | 17 ratings
Canario
1978
4.18 | 11 ratings
Peter Gunn
1980
3.08 | 18 ratings
Touch and Go
1986
1.88 | 12 ratings
Affairs of the Heart
1992
2.45 | 14 ratings
Black Moon
1992
3.67 | 6 ratings
Farewell to Arms (promo)
1992
1.63 | 8 ratings
Affairs of the Heart
1992
2.71 | 6 ratings
Affairs Of The Heart (limited edition collectors doublepack)
1992
3.33 | 6 ratings
Gone too Soon (promo)
1994
2.49 | 31 ratings
I Believe In Father Christmas EP
1995
4.36 | 11 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man
2002
2.00 | 2 ratings
Black Moon - Rough Mixes (December 1991)
2017

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Rare Broadcasts by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover DVD/Video, 2007
4.06 | 14 ratings

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Rare Broadcasts
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 549

Emerson, Lake & Palmer, also known as ELP, was an English progressive rock super group which was formed in 1970 in England, United Kingdom. It was one of the best and most influential prog bands ever. They found success in the 70's and headlined large stadium concerts. They're one of the most popular and commercially successful progressive rock bands too. The band consisted of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (bass guitar, vocals and guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums and percussion). The three band's members came from three very well established bands, before they joined together. All of them were very talented musicians and very experienced too. Greg Lake came from a band that needs no introduction. He came from King Crimson and was one of their founder members. He took part on their two first studio albums, "In The Court Of The Crimson King" and "In The Wake Of Poseidon". Carl Palmer came from Atomic Rooster and he was also one of their founder members. He has only participated on their debut eponymous studio album "Atomic Rooster". Keith Emerson came from The Nice and was one of their founder members too. He took part on their four studio albums "The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack", "Ars Longa Vita Brevis", "The Nice" and "Elegy".

"Rare Broadcasts" is a DVD of Emerson, Lake & Palmer released in 2007. It contains 13 tracks with 2 disc set, a CD with 6 tracks and a DVD with 7 tracks. It was recorded at the outset of their career, at the time of the release of their eponymous debut studio album "Emerson, Lake & Plamer" in 1970. According to the sleeve notes, the recording in question is a television special filmed in Switzerland in 1970, for European broadcast. It features the trio in the starting of their career, playing classics such as "Take A Pebble", "The Barbarian" and "Knife Edge", along with extensive improvisation from the band including an 11 minute drum solo by Palmer, making this an essential purchase. The "Rare Broadcasts" set includes a DVD along with a CD of the same performance, housed in a sealed clamshell picture box.

About the performance, "Rare Broadcasts" opens with "Start/Intro". As it name indicates, "Start/Intro" represents the introduction to this live show with some pictures taken from the band and others taken from the band before the start of this live set. But "The Barbarian" is the track that properly opens this live concert. "The Barbarian" is also the track that opens their eponymous debut studio album. Despite being attributed to the trio, "The Barbarian" is in reality a musical arrangement of a Bela Bartok's piano piece, named "Allegro Barbaro". Although, the original piece is only for piano, the band re-arranged the song for organ, bass and drums. This is a great aggressive track with a hard rock influence and that when played live is even stronger and much more impressive, which is true in this live set too. It was followed by "Rondo/Bach Improvisation" and "Drum Solo". "Rondo" isn't properly a band's track. It's a track of The Nice that was released on their debut studio album "The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjak". This is a fantastic track, a must for all who love instrumentals. It has a very powerful musical atmosphere with a magnificent musical performance. This is truly a progressive track with an incredible work of Emerson perfectly at the same level of the best songs of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. This is one of the best instrumental tracks I've ever heard that fits perfectly well with the music of ELP and that represents another great live moment here with the Bach's improvisation and the amazing drum solo played by Palmer. The set pursue with "Nutrocker" a track from their debut live album "Pictures At An Exhibition". "Nutrocker" is a jazzy variation of a Tchaikovsky's piece. This re-elaborated version is a good example of the trio's interest in exploring the roots of the chamber music and translates it to a rock context. Here it was amazingly performed live. "Take A Pebble" is a beautiful ballad with the final line of the verses building on the legacy of King Crimson's "Epitaph", which sounds even better. It's a great song with the powerful vocals of Lake that sounds also great when performed live. "Knife-Edge" is based on the first movement of Leos Janacek's "Sinfonietta". This is another great piece with a great showcase by all the three band's members, with particular emphasis to the great bass lines. This closes in a nice way this great live set.

Conclusion: "Rare Broadcasts" is a great live set showing Emerson, Lake & Palmer in the beginning of what would be their absolutely amazing and unique career. This live set is very good bringing to us a very exiting experience. It shows a very young and inspired band searching for their recognition with a very warm and fun interaction with the audience. The footage is from that era, just from their studio debut. "Rare Broadcasts" is a nice live document capting the band in the peak of their power despite they had a relatively short repertoire then. The sound quality is quite good and the video images aren't properly bad. Of course there are no miracles since we are talking about a document recorded in 1970.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 The Ultimate Collection by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2020
4.08 | 5 ratings

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The Ultimate Collection
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Another compilation of the awesome prog legends ELP. Their legacy remains and now we are left with new compilations to pour through or live releases. This latest comp is a great one with a ton of prog etched onto 3 CDs and a lavish package. There is not much left out on this comp, starting with Knife-Edge, Lucky Man, The Barbarian, Take a Pebble, and Tarkus. Other treasures include Trilogy, Karn Evil 9, Jerusalem, Fanfare for the Common Man, and Pirates. It loses interest then as much as their studio output but I still like to hear Tiger in a Spotlight, Peter Gunn (live) and Black Moon.

The compilation is very comprehensive with the complete Tarkus and Karn Evil 9 and covers tracks from every release. If you do not own the great early albums, this is the next best thing. I wonder how many more concerts will be released or compilations of these prog legends .

 Inside Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1970-1995 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover DVD/Video, 2003
3.12 | 21 ratings

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Inside Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1970-1995
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars In a nostalgic mood for the glory days of ELP this is a nice cheapie to indulge in. Basically its a documentary showcasing the pomp and majesty of the super chaps three in all their bombastic excellence. Tracks include excerpts from Tarkus, Pictures At An Exhibition, Trilogy, Brain Salad Surgery, Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends, Ladies And Gentlemen .. the Works Volumes right up to Black Moon. It is a series of interviews and concert footage that have been covered better in the wonderful In the Beginning DVD. For beginners to the group it is a great starting point in a condensed package.
 In The Hot Seat by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.79 | 436 ratings

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In The Hot Seat
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Lupton

1 stars The end.

People who blather on about how Love Beach is the worst thing ELP recorded have clearly not heard this absolute monstrosity.Seriously- Love Beach is a Symphonic Prog masterpiece compared to In the Hot Seat.At least the earlier album had some decent playing and a great version of Canario.This album has nothing and I mean literally nothing to recommend it.Terrible songs, horrible production and lacklustre playing.Even Greg Lake's voice seems forced and hoarse.I wish they had not released this absolute turkey- such a sad way for such a great band to end.

1 star because the forum doe not allow for less.

 Brain Salad Surgery by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.15 | 2032 ratings

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Brain Salad Surgery
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Saimon

5 stars Review: #14: Brain Salad Surgery

Welcome back my friends, to the show will never ends!

I want to start this review with a few words to this wonderful band, which is one of my favorites so far.

I think that no introduction is needed for, in my opinion, the best musical trio that humanity has been able to witness so far.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer (more commonly abbreviated "ELP") is the union of three of the best musicians of the 20th century, with bases in academic music and jazz, among other things. This band is enigmatic in the whole history of prog, since it is inexorable to listen to a song by them and not identify Palmer's hyper-planetary drums, Lake's figurative voice and Emerson's keyboards (here I want to make a small parenthesis to clarify the unnecessary fact that Emerson seems to me the best keyboard player that ever lived. It is impossible not to listen to him without being delighted by those extravagant melodies and his unique sounds full of grace and majesty).

But well, enough of the chitchat! Let's start with the review of this incredible work.

Brain Salad Surgery, ELP's fourth album is, in my opinion, the band's best album (mainly because of the perfect, and I stress PERFECT, composition of "Karn Evil 9", but that's for later).

This album conforms and ends with the golden stage (not to say, the best) of the trio. "ELP (eponymous album and debut)", "Tarkus", "Trilogy" and "Brain Salad Surgery" (something similar to the "Yes Golden Chain", which I already explained in my review to "Close to the Edge").

This time, I'm going to take the little trouble of analyzing it song by song, because, man.... This album is really worth it!

Jerusalem (4/5): This song offers us a harmonic and quilted introduction to the album, with Emerson's church organs in the background, while Lake's voice captivates us with his exciting and pure way of singing. There are some interesting rhythmic breaks in between.

Toccata (3.5/5): Probably the most atmospheric, percussive and messy track on the album. But all this doesn't take away from the smoothness and beauty of listening to Palmer show off with those tubular bells, steel drums and accompanying winds. There are some "funny" sounds in between, which accompany that desert atmosphere, but it's good because it offers us some catchy rhythms.

Still... You Turn Me On (5/5): This track is much calmer, peaceful, it's like a caress to the ear. Those beautiful keyboards of hope and the accompanying guitar that complements the prolific atmosphere of love and peace. The track has in the middle a sign to a lake or a dripping cavern, but returns to the peaceful rhythm I already mentioned. Too bad it lasts 3 minutes, but those 3 minutes are enjoyable!

Benny the Bouncer (3.5/5): This song, not that it's bad, but it leaves aside all the pragmatic atmosphere in which we were immersed, to put us in a western bar, or as if it were a song of "congratulations" for some reason that I didn't understand, heh. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to add these songs to these albums, it reminds me a lot of "Jeremy Bender" (Tarkus, Side B). Then, if you end up understanding the bar fight, due to the banging and glass breaking we hear in the background.

Karn Evil 9 (5/5): Well, what to say about this wonderful, spectacular, fantastic work of art. I think it goes without saying that it is the best part of the album, and one of the best compositions of all times. The first impression, as well as the second and the third, are impressive parts, full of passages, broken, changes of symphony and melody, perfect keyboards by the amazing Emerson, and the infallible and incomparable Palmer's drums... Please, somebody stop this man's madness! Those drums are not from this Palmer universe!

I always remember the first time I heard this masterpiece for the first time. I couldn't stop getting excited by the keyboards, or stop moving to the rhythm of Palmer's stratospheric percussion.

Maybe it sounds very monotonous of me to say most of the things I said throughout the review. Imagine that I'm not very good at explaining anything in depth, and imagine when I hear these things.... The first thing that comes to my mind is to go crazy because I've never really interpreted a work like this album!

In my top of favorite prog albums, this album comes in at position #29.

10/10. 5 stars for the best songwriting by one of the best bands ever, and the best musical trio I've ever heard. Yes, the album may not sound perfect to you, but it's close to the edge, wink ;)

 I Believe In Father Christmas EP by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
2.49 | 31 ratings

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I Believe In Father Christmas EP
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Humbug

This five-track Christmas EP was released in 1995 and features the iconic photo of the band very warmly dressed during the Works era. The first track is the original 1975 solo single version of Greg Lake's classic Christmas song I Believe In Father Christmas. Humbug was the b-side of that single and one that I had never heard before, it appears here as track three. In between, we get Keith Emerson's Troika (From Prokofiev's lieutenant Kije Suite) which is dated 1995, and is the most interesting of the five tracks featured here. Personally, I hadn't heard this anywhere else, but apparently it appears also on some versions of Emerson's solo Christmas album. After that we get the Works Vol. 2 version of I Believe In Father Christmas, which differs slightly from the original Greg Lake solo version. Finally, we get Nutrocker, originally from the Pictures at an Exhibition album, which let's Carl shine with his short drum solo and screams of "yeah".

Like another reviewer has pointed out, even though this EP was issued under the Emerson, Lake & Palmer name, the bulk of the material is solo rather than band in nature. Still, the same could be said about the band's Works era, and Humbug would not have been much out of place on Works Vol. 2. So I guess you might think of this EP as being a "Christmas Works".

Since most of the music is available elsewhere, and already familiar to most fans, I cannot give a higher rating, but with the exception of Humbug the music is of course great.

 Love Beach by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1978
2.09 | 750 ratings

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Love Beach
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Putonix24

1 stars One of the greatest bands in classic prog went down in prog history with this album, an absolute failure regarding a transition to pop music, which Genesis did well (not better, but thanks to Abacab I know Supper's Ready) and also Yes (I know Close to the Edge thanks to Owner of a Lonely Heart), King Crimson modernized itself, but ELP failed miserably.

I don't mind the record being a pop album, but it is not good pop or good prog. Emerson loses all his flash, Lake becomes very cheesy in his lyrics, and Palmer plays drums in a very normal style, they don't sound like Tarkus or BSS at all.

I don't consider any track like really bad, but you keep waiting for a good moment that never comes. Love Beach sounds like a Miami tv show theme from the 80s, but without any flash and cringeworthy.

Most of the tracks don't show anything at all, being very forgettable, Canario is often said that is the lost gem on the album and the most proggy song, but it is not good, also forgettable like the rest of the record.

"Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman" could save the record, being the standard long song, but it is just words, the music is not interesting at all and leaves you with nothing.

Even with the absolutely bizarre album cover, it would still be better if ELP turned into disco music, maybe that would have worked.

I don't recommend this record, only if you really like and are interested in ELP history, but just as a curiosity.

 Works Vol. 1 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.94 | 841 ratings

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Works Vol. 1
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Roddyboy4270

3 stars Works Volume 1 was ELP's return to the music world after a two and half year break. The music scene had changed dramatically . Punk was raging in England, disco was becoming a world wide popular music form and corporate stadium rock was holding sway in America. What would ELP come up with? The days of electronic rock experimentation featured on previous albums was a style the band no longer wanted to pursue . Individually, they had drifted apart. So the plan was to give each member a solo side of music . The fourth side would be reserved for group material. The band figured by combining solo sides along with group material that it would show the music buying public that they were still united as a band . Yes and no. The first side belonged to Keith Emerson with his piano concerto. I'm not an expert on classical music(or any kind of music for that matter) but it seemed a bit much to expect rock audiences to swallow 18 plus minutes of classical music. It wasn't done badly. It's just that it isn't rock n'roll. Emerson forgot to realize that his biggest gift was reworking classical music into the rock n'roll frame.. It would have been interesting for him to convert this music into ELP form but as I had written, he was no longer interested In going down that road. Greg Lake's side is next. It is mostly acoustic based and there is not a bad song on his side. Vocally, he is in fine form Some songs are a bit syrupy such as 'Closer to Believing', and you could understand why punk was starting to crowd out established musicIans as such as these. Carl Palmer has the third side and some tracks are better than others. 'The Enemy God' would be much better live with the ELP treatment( a point I had made earlier with Emerson if he adapted the piano concerto to that style). L.A. Nights and the jazzy reworking of 'Tank' are the highlights. Finally, we get the group side. First up is the band's reworking of Aaron Copland's 'Fanfare for the Common man.' I prefer this as an abridged single and it was actually a huge hit in England during the spring of '77. I believe it was number 2 behind the Pistol's 'Anarchy in the U.K.' The middle jam goes on a bit too long and it seemed to me it was more of a showcase for Emerson's new 'toy' at the time, the Yamaha GX1 synthesizer. 'Pirates' is the final track and the group are accompanied by orchestra . I preferred live versions without the orchestra. Here, it's very bombastic, but it's still captivating. Greg Lake gives a great vocal performance. The group were intent on toting an orchestra around on the supporting tour where they lost a fortune and had to jettison the orchestra save for a few dates in New York and the date for Montreal's Olympic Stadium. It would have been better if they chose another direction than the ill fated classical/orchestral one. While not a bad album, Works Volume 1 seems to be an ELP album in name only and they had drifted apart musically.
 In The Hot Seat by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.79 | 436 ratings

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In The Hot Seat
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Roddyboy4270

1 stars If there was a zero star rating , I would gladly utilize that. There is a time when bands should have the sense to hang it up. Why ELP persisted with this mess is beyond me. It's regrettable that this was ELP's last studio statement. Save for 'Hand of Truth'(which hints at the old vigor and power of this band) and 'Daddy'(Lake's last good acoustic song, although dreary and depressing to reward future listens), this is a total mess. All the other songs are devoid of personality and if one were to listen to this garbage without knowing the band's name on the cover, they would be amazed that this was ELP. Greg Lake's voice was shot at this point and if you are into hoarse, croaky vocals, then this album may hold little appeal. Much of the material is junk cobbled together in search of a hit single and ELP were never about that. There is really nothing to seek out here except for the two aforementioned tracks. While they are no great shakes, they are at least tolerable, There are some monumental duds such as 'Thin Line''( a pathetic attempt at soul complete with backup singers assisting Lake. In his prime, a fantastic singer like him would never have the need for backup singers), 'Heart on ice' ( a horrendous ballad that is mawkish with terribly cliched lyrics) and 'Give me a reason to stay'(which gives no sensible listening person a reason to stay and not to hit the skip button on whatever device you are listening to this song on). There are other tracks that I could point out the awfulness but why extend the pain? Lest we forget, we get an updated, truncated version of 'Pictures at an Exhibition.' All that does is make me seek out the superb live album recorded at Newcastle City Hall back in '71. I understand Emerson's hand was in terrible shape, but it's no excuse for lackluster material. And Palmer emulates a drum machine . Best avoided . Put yellow construction tape around it as it is hazardous to one's hearing .
 Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Live, 1974
4.27 | 615 ratings

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Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Roddyboy4270

5 stars ELP was a band that came across better live than in the studio. The first four studio albums are very good but they are marred by unnecessary filler. This live document, as Emerson had stated at the time of its release, was a resume of everything the band had done up to this point . And an excellent one it is. The boys are out of the gate with 'Hoedown', whose tempo is much more rapid than the studio version. After whipping through this number, Emerson makes some introductions and the band launches into the stately 'Jerusalem.' Then it's onto 'Toccata.' The studio version( which to these ears, resembles computer game music) pales in comparison to this live rendition . Palmer is to the fore here with his synthesized percussion . 'Tarkus' is next and this is my favorite track off this live set. It's played faster and there is more intensity than what the studio version emitted. 'Aquatarkus' is simply amazing with Emerson improvising while Lake and Palmer keep up a steady groove and beat. With 'Aquatarkus' Emerson was reaching into Tangerine Dream territory. After all of this intensity, the band simmer down with 'Take a Pebble.' Lake's acoustic ballads; ' Lucky Man' and Still.. you turn me on' are incorporated within this track .They are preformed solo by Lake, armed with acoustic guitar and that amazing voice he possessed( it was one of the finest in not just Prog rock at the time, but Pop and rock n roll.) After Lake's acoustic balladry comes in Emerson with his piano improvisations. Now, this is where the term self -indulgent comes into play because it tends to meander. When Lake and Palmer join in with Emerson for the jazz improv, things become more lively and quite fun. It goes to show that ELP could do jazz if need be and perhaps they should have considered doing a jazz album in the later 70's. After the jazz improv, the band slides into the final conclusion of 'Pebble.' Emerson gets off some fine piano chops and he really was at his his best during this period; fast, nimble , but yet accurate. I have talked to some people who were fortunate to attend the shows of this tour and they never saw a band play such intricate music without a note out of place. Jeremy Bender/ The Sheriff is some of the filler I refer to on the studio albums, but yet, as a live medley, it works rather well. It's light fun after the piano jazz improv and a nice breather before the band launches into the Karn Evil 9 epic which is simply epic. IMO, unless you miss the disposable 'Benny the Bouncer' track , there isn't really a need to have the 'Brian Salad Surgery' album. All the other tracks off that album are much more superior live. Listening to most drum solos can be rather dull but Carl Palmer's during the midst of 'Karn Evil 9 Part 2 'is simply breathtaking. And it doesn't even go on a minute too long. 'Pictures at an Exhibition' was usually performed abridged as an encore on this tour but since the album was already a triple live set without its inclusion , it wasn't feasible to extend the album to eight sides. That this live set charted in the top 5 of the U.S. and in the top ten of the U.K. was simply astounding , given that both nations were possibly in recessions at that time. The sound may not be perfect but the high level of playing and the intensity of the performances shine through. The boys were at their peak at the time of this album's release and I believe they were on the final leg of this tour. A break for a few years ensued but when the band regrouped, they were never the same. It would only go downhill from that point onward.
Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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