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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 & Palmer with Cozy Powell taking over the drumming duites in place of Carl Palme...
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Pictures At An ExhibitionPictures At An Exhibition
BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd 2016
$12.70
$12.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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Brain Salad Surgery - 2nd - EX Emerson Lake & Palmer UK vinyl LP album record USD $39.44 Buy It Now
Emerson Lake & Palmer 7" record Fanfare For The Common Man... UK USD $12.77 Buy It Now
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Emerson Lake & Palmer 2 CD (Double CD) King Biscuit Flower Hour ... JPN USD $45.87 Buy It Now
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EMERSON LAKE & PALMER LP VENEZUELA WORKS 1977 USD $38.63 Buy It Now
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Emerson, Lake & Palmer - In the Hot Seat (CD, Oct-1994, Victory Records (USA)) USD $8.99 Buy It Now
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Live in Switzerland, 1997 by Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Vinyl, Apr-2016, 2... USD $36.19 Buy It Now
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LP - EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER / TRILOGY 1972 COTILLION SD 9903 GATEFOLD USD $10.49 Buy It Now
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Emerson Lake & Palmer 1972 USD $4.25 [0 bids]
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USD $6.50 Buy It Now
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EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER - Welcome Back My Friends.... ORIGINAL 1974 3 LP SET USD $8.98 [0 bids]
1h 49m
Emerson,Lake & Palmer (CD ,Atlantic Rec.U.S.A 1st issue) USD $0.99 [0 bids]
1h 52m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER - Pictures At An Exhibition, 1972 UK LP... NICE COPY USD $6.41 [0 bids]
1h 55m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER "ELP" PINK RIM ISLAND ALBUM 1970 USD $1.27 [0 bids]
2h 13m
Rock 2-Disc Lp Emerson Lake & Palmer Works: Volume 1 On Atlantic USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 14m
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EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER - TARKUS Cassette album(1971 original ISLAND PINK LABEL) USD $12.83 [0 bids]
2h 42m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER IN CONCERT CINTA TAPE CASSETTE 1979 SPANISH EDITION RARE USD $14.08 Buy It Now 2h 44m
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3h 14m
Jackie Magazine 1971 Emerson Lake & Palmer Tony Blackburn Bee Gees USD $23.11 Buy It Now 3h 25m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER "Tiger In A Spotlight/Peter Gunn" 45rpm PROMO 7" NM USD $8.00 Buy It Now 3h 27m
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3h 50m
Brain Salad Surgery [lenticular cover] by Emerson, Lake & Palmer (CD, 1996) USD $15.98 Buy It Now 4h 6m
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EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER ?- TRILOGY (Vinyl LP, Gatefold, 1972) USD $7.00 Buy It Now 4h 59m
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5h 49m
In the Hot Seat by Emerson, Lake & Palmer (CD, Jul-2000, Victor Records) USD $6.02 Buy It Now 5h 53m
Emerson Lake & Palmer ELP Encyclopedia article USD $15.12 Buy It Now 5h 55m
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Works Vol. 1 (1977) - LP - Atlantic SD-2-7000 USD $6.99 Buy It Now 5h 59m
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2CD EMERSON LAKE & PALMER "LUCKY MAN". New and sealed USD $13.28 Buy It Now 6h 9m
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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 | 1968 ratings
Emerson Lake & Palmer
1970
4.06 | 1711 ratings
Tarkus
1971
4.13 | 1515 ratings
Trilogy
1972
4.14 | 1769 ratings
Brain Salad Surgery
1973
2.93 | 725 ratings
Works Vol. 1
1977
2.42 | 601 ratings
Works Vol. 2
1977
2.07 | 639 ratings
Love Beach
1978
3.13 | 447 ratings
Emerson, Lake & Powell: Emerson, Lake & Powell
1986
2.84 | 450 ratings
Black Moon
1992
1.78 | 370 ratings
In The Hot Seat
1994

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

3.86 | 925 ratings
Pictures At An Exhibition
1971
4.24 | 533 ratings
Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends
1974
2.72 | 204 ratings
Emerson Lake & Palmer In Concert
1979
2.94 | 160 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall
1993
3.33 | 150 ratings
Works Live
1993
3.35 | 51 ratings
Emerson,Lake & Palmer - King Biscuit Flower Hour (AKA "Live")
1997
3.44 | 73 ratings
Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
1997
2.78 | 69 ratings
Then And Now
1998
2.83 | 15 ratings
The Show That Never Ends
2001
4.07 | 36 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 1
2001
3.73 | 31 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 2
2001
3.28 | 23 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 3
2001
3.26 | 43 ratings
Live In Poland
2001
2.33 | 20 ratings
Best of the Bootlegs
2002
2.91 | 10 ratings
Lucky Man (Live) (Re-released as " Fanfare: The 1997 World Tour")
2002
3.72 | 20 ratings
Emerson Lake and Powell: Live In Concert - Lakeland Florida, 1986 (An official bootleg)
2003
3.14 | 16 ratings
Emerson Lake and Powell: The Sprocket Sessions (An Official Bootleg)
2003
2.43 | 13 ratings
The Best Of Emerson Lake & Palmer
2003
2.79 | 15 ratings
Original Bootleg Series from the Manticore Vaults, Vol. 4
2006
3.44 | 29 ratings
A Time And A Place
2010
2.61 | 42 ratings
Live at High Voltage 2010
2010
3.71 | 43 ratings
Live At Nassau Coliseum '78
2011
4.22 | 60 ratings
Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival '72
2011
3.88 | 8 ratings
Emerson, Lake and Powell - Live In Concert and More...
2012
1.19 | 2 ratings
Live in California 1974
2012
2.65 | 21 ratings
Live in Montreal 1977
2013
3.00 | 6 ratings
Once Upon A Time In South America
2015
3.72 | 15 ratings
Live at Montreux 1997
2015

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

2.75 | 19 ratings
Welcome Back
1992
3.78 | 40 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall (DVD)
2001
3.55 | 84 ratings
Pictures At An Exhibition - 35th Anniversary Collectors Edition
2002
3.19 | 18 ratings
Inside Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1970-1995
2003
4.57 | 33 ratings
Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special
2003
3.61 | 54 ratings
Live At Montreux 1997 (DVD)
2004
4.09 | 30 ratings
Masters From The Vaults
2004
3.50 | 2 ratings
Live In Concert (DVD)
2004
3.83 | 75 ratings
Beyond The Beginning
2005
2.63 | 32 ratings
The Birth Of A Band - Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
2006
4.45 | 11 ratings
Rare Broadcasts
2007
3.88 | 51 ratings
40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (High Voltage Festival 2010)
2011

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

2.40 | 67 ratings
The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of ELP
1984
4.21 | 47 ratings
The Atlantic Years
1992
3.60 | 69 ratings
The Return Of The Manticore
1993
1.72 | 9 ratings
Classic Rock Featuring "Lucky Man"
1994
3.88 | 37 ratings
The Best Of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1994
1.43 | 13 ratings
Extended Versions: The Encore Collection
2000
2.58 | 14 ratings
The very Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2001
3.44 | 13 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man [The Anthology]
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
History Of Rock
2001
1.38 | 24 ratings
Re-Works
2003
3.72 | 13 ratings
The Ultimate Collection
2004
3.67 | 12 ratings
An Introduction To... Emerson Lake & Palmer
2004
4.34 | 26 ratings
From The Beginning (5CD+DVD)
2007
3.56 | 14 ratings
The Essential Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2007
3.29 | 9 ratings
Come And See The Show: The Best Of Emerson Lake & Palmer
2008
2.11 | 9 ratings
High Voltage
2010
2.69 | 7 ratings
The Essential Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2011
1.20 | 5 ratings
From the Beginning - The Best of ELP
2011
4.57 | 7 ratings
The Anthology
2016

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

3.47 | 21 ratings
Lucky Man / Knife Edge
1971
3.41 | 18 ratings
From the Beginning
1972
4.11 | 38 ratings
Jerusalem
1973
2.55 | 17 ratings
Brain Salad Surgery/ Excerpt From Brain Salad Surgery
1973
3.07 | 11 ratings
C'est La Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name
1977
2.52 | 10 ratings
Tiger in a Spotlight / So Far to Fall
1977
3.35 | 17 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man
1977
2.36 | 15 ratings
Canario
1978
4.13 | 10 ratings
Peter Gunn
1980
3.46 | 14 ratings
Touch and Go
1986
1.96 | 11 ratings
Affairs of the Heart
1992
2.53 | 11 ratings
Black Moon
1992
4.25 | 4 ratings
Farewell to Arms (promo)
1992
1.77 | 7 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
2.56 | 26 ratings
I Believe In Father Christmas
1995
4.38 | 8 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man
2002

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Brain Salad Surgery by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.14 | 1769 ratings

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Brain Salad Surgery
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars ELP's fourth album "Brain Salad Surgery" is a very important album, no doubt about it. To some, it is one of the best progressive albums ever, and it is the favorite of most ELP fans. I am one of the exceptions. I definitely love ELP, but I always seem to love the wrong ones, like the debut album, "Trilogy" and both "Works" volumes. I consider those four their best albums, but not this one. I know I have been cursed by the Prog Gods for this, but I find it lacking in versatility and dynamics. Most of that is because of "Karn Evil 9" which takes up most of the album. Even though I am very familiar with the epic track, I have always thought it was over 30 minutes of bombastic music that doesn't let up much. It is dense, it is mostly unrelenting and it seems to go on forever.

I apologize to those that love that track, but I find that I enjoy their music that relies more on the classically inspired music then I do the rock jams. On this album, my favorite track is "Toccata", and yes it is another quite "over-the-top" track, but there are probably more dynamics in that 7 minute track than there is in the entire "Karn Evil 9" suite. "Still You Turn Me On" is a great ballad by Greg Lake also. But, other than that, I continue to have a hard time with this album. I recognize the fact that the music and performances are stellar, and I completely understand that people love this album, but its just too much of a good thing for me, or something.

I'm not going to go into anymore detail than that, most people who love Prog are quite familiar with this album, as am I. But I usually only listen to it when I am listening through their entire discography as a whole. At least it's not as bad as "Love Beach" and beyond however. There is that at least. 3.5 stars for me, but since it is a prog staple and because the performances are so excellent, I will give it 4 stars.

 Trilogy by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.13 | 1515 ratings

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Trilogy
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars For some reason, I keep wanting to put this album after "Brain Salad Surgery" as far as when it was released, but in actuality, it was released before that album and after "Tarkus" (and "Pictures at an Exhibition" which was a live album). That makes "Trilogy" the 3rd studio album for Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP). Trilogy was definitely quite different than both the albums that came before and after, less bombastic and more personal, yet still not commercial. It also relied more on classical music influences.

There are a lot of people that feel that this album relied more on Keith Emerson's talent, but in reality, that is what ELP always relied on, at least on their best and more progressive albums. Emerson seemed to always stand out more than Lake or Palmer. A lot of that is because Emerson was the best at being able to play several keyboards at a time and he was exceptional and adding in textures and loops where needed. Greg Lake, of course, fit right in with Emerson's bombastic style as far as his vocals were concerned as he had a very strong and almost operatic voice, but his guitar and bass talents were meant mostly for support, and never really proved that he could uphold a long guitar solo, so that was still left up to Emerson to carry that load. Besides that, Lake, when left alone to write a song, always leaned toward commercialism, especially ballads. Carl Palmer was an amazing drummer, and proves that many times on ELP albums, probably one of the few that could keep up with Emerson. He doesn't stick out on the albums as much as Emerson, obviously because he played percussion and didn't have the texture and dynamic opportunities that Emerson had with the keyboards and gadgets available to him. Thus, its easy enough to understand why Emerson seemed he was in the spotlight, but it wasn't just because of this album, as it was always the case. Yes there could have been a fourth member that could have provided some great guitar solos, but, then it wouldn't have been ELP. Besides, you have "Triumvirat" if you want to hear that same style of music with more guitar.

So, you have the album "Trilogy" which is decidedly less bombastic and it sits between two very bombastic albums. I have always loved this album and consider it one of the all time best, and I actually place it over "Brain Salad Surgery" because I was never as excited over the "Karn Evil 9" suite, that, even though it is an exceptional work, it is way too long and over-the-top, sometimes a seemingly endless barrage of wildness which could have stood being trimmed down to fit a few more tracks in there for variety. Trilogy, on the other hand, has plenty of crazy solos, but is much more dynamic with it's heavy and soft parts. It's the variety on this album that makes it stand out for me, plus the fact that it relies on the classical (and sometimes jazz) influences of the musicians.

"The Endless Enigma" is actually a suite of the first 3 tracks, a great combination and opening highlighting the strengths of all three performers, but driven, of course, by keyboards and piano, which start off mysteriously and minimal, become dramatic with the introduction of the piano, and then settle in for the heavy melody. The vocals are one of the most difficult parts of this track and show off Lake's dynamics and range, going from soft to loud many times. The first part takes up most of the track. The second part is a short piano solo based somewhat loosely on the fugue style of baroque composers, and even this section actually starts more like a rhapsody which finally does turn into a fugue in the second half. The last part returns to the main theme again after a fast attack with percussion and bass and Emerson's varied sounds and textures and ending on Lake's heavy vocals.

After that first 10 minute track, we get one of Lake's most beautiful compositions "From the Beginning" which starts with an acoustic guitar solo similar to the introduction to "Roundabout" from "Yes". When the main vocal melody starts, it continues with acoustic guitar some sparse percussion and a beautiful melody. The long instrumental ending has a nice electric guitar solo, which remains light. Keyboards don't even come into this track until the second part of the instrumental break.

"The Sheriff" is a "western" style track (western in topic, not sound), a rowdy track along the same lines as "Jeremy Bender" from "Tarkus". This is a quick track with the expectant story line, but a quite basic melody line. The best part is the Honky- Tonk style ending.

Following that western theme, we get a cover of a section of a classical work from Aaron Copeland. The track is "Rodeo" taken from one of Copeland's much bigger works called "Hoedown". This is one of my favorite ELP covers, and it remains surprisingly faithful to the original, only done with ELP's instruments and not an orchestra, Emerson taking over all of the orchestra parts on his keyboards. It is quick paced, exciting, fun and entertaining, a track that definitely shows off Emerson's talent as he pretty much takes control of everything except bass and drums.

"Trilogy" is really a three part track put into one song. It starts off in a rhapsody style with piano, which is later joined by Lake's excellent and expressive vocals. After the vocal part, the piano continues and by itself builds up to the faster 2nd section, which hits suddenly with the full band, suddenly jumping into a repetitive and noisy pattern with Emerson doing a keyboard solo over the top of it all. This section ends with a sort of fanfare separating into the next section, which continues with a more complex foundation that has amazing bass and drum parts. Lake starts singing again, this time with shorter phrasing and stanzas, but still all over the musical scale. After the vocals, Emerson plays another solo with a deeper texture, but the chaotic section continues to the end which comes at almost 9 minutes. This is the most bombastic song on the album, but there had to be at least one, right, and its welcome on this album.

"Living Sin" is a dark track, mostly headed over by Lake's evil sounding vocals, similar to "Knife's Edge", but shorter and less complex. I remember the keyboard riff that comes at the end of this track used to be used by a local TV station as theme music to their "Movie of the Week". There is some great drum work by Palmer on this one, but then his work is great on the entire album.

The last track is "Abaddon's Bolero". So, a Bolero is typically a Spanish style dance, made popular worldwide from Maurice Ravel's "Bolero". Ravel's classical version of the dance is the most popular version of a bolero and because of that many current artists and composers that came after use Ravel's template of starting out soft, and over the course of several minutes, the song increases slowly in volume, using the same melody and thematic ideas throughout, until the song climaxes at full volume. The traditional bolero is typically in a 3 / 4 or 6 / 8 meter. ELP's version of a bolero uses the same template as Ravel, starting soft and over the course of 8 minutes of repeating the same basic melody and adding instruments and volume, ends in an explosive climax. However, their "bolero" is actually a march in 4 / 4 meter, so it really isn't a bolero. (Yes I know there is a different style of Bolero from Cuba that uses 2 / 4 time, but ELP's track is still obviously a march). Anyway, the song is quite dynamic as explained, the melody is simple, but complex and long enough to not get too boring as textures and sounds are added with repeats. The style is not Spanish either, but more Americana sounding, taking short riffs and feelings from maybe Civil War times. Anyway, there you have it.

I tend to blame the varied reviews on this album due to the fact that there isn't as much bombasitic-ness on this album as others, and the fact that the album ends on "Abaddon's Bolero" which is repetitive, but hopefully the explanation above will shed some light on that, it is actually a great track even if it isn't a bolero in a traditional sense. But the album still shines in the fact that it has a better variety and still shows off the exceptional musicianship of the trio. It might be harder to accept too because it is driven more by classical influences than some of their other albums. I don't agree that it has anything to do with Emerson being in charge of it, because he was always at the head of their best albums anyway. When Lake started influencing the music more by writing more songs, that is when the overall sound of the band suffered more, starting with the horrible album "Love Beach". As far as "Trilogy" is concerned though, it is one of my favorite ELP albums and I consider it essential especially with regards to its use of classical influences in progressive music.

 Black Moon by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.84 | 450 ratings

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Black Moon
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

2 stars After 14 years without a studio album and following up the mostly horrendous "Love Beach" album, Emerson, Lake & Palmer finally try again with a their 8th studio album "Black Moon". Fans were hoping for a return to form, but unfortunately, a complete return to form would not be happening as this album, though heavier than "Love Beach", the sound stays with a more popular straightforward rock sound.

The album starts off with a lot of hope however. The title track leads off the album with a heavy and driving song. It even opens with Emerson showing off on the piano a bit, and you automatically start to get your hopes up. A heavy beat is established, and you get a pretty much straightforward hard rock song, with some nice hints of their glory days, and right away it seems like, even if it is pretty standard, it is at least better than anything on "Love Beach".

Following this is another organ heavy "Paper Blood", again a track that stays on the heavy side, yet different enough from the opener as the organ is heavier and you even get a nice harmonica solo. It is still quite standard again, but at least it has a great rock edge to it and Greg Lake's vocals are quite good. Unfortunately, the next track is co-written by Geoffrey Downes, and when I saw that the first time, I lost all hope. Downes has been known to be the downfall of many great classic Rock and/or Progressive acts. The track is "Affairs of the Heart" starting with a nice strummed guitar and an okay, yet somewhat schleppy, ballad. But, it's back to the pop sound. Lake's vocals are still top notch and at least it's still not as weak as the music on the previous album.

Unfortunately, things go even further down hill from here and continue to do so. Its like they made the track list to go from the most interesting track to the most boring at the end.

"Romeo and Juliet" is a rocked-out version of the Prokofiev modern-classical work which utilizes one of the melodies and turns it into a rock march. Not too bad, and somewhat reminiscent of the re-workings of other classical music themes the band was famous for, but it's short and doesn't feature a lot of improvisation or ingenuity. It is really only a slight step above "Hooked on Classics". After this instrumental comes "Farewell to Arms". This is where I start to lose interest, as this track is just too much like something from "Love Beach", corny and overly sentimental.

"Changing States" is an instrumental written and led by Emerson. Again, it has some semblance to his earlier instrumentals, but offers nothing really challenging like in the past. Just pretty much a stately melody, but nothing very fancy. "Burning Bridges" is a boring pop song. "Close to Home" is just Emerson trying his had at new age solo piano in a piece that steals from Rachmaninoff but not giving him credit. I'm not sure what happened to emotions or dynamics in this track, but it's like Emerson had forgotten what that was. "Better Days" is a bad attempt at being current with a funky vibe, but ends up just sounding dated. "Footprints in the Snow" is as dumb as it sounds as Lake is contemplating following in the footsteps of Rod Stewart and that his next solo album is going to be a collection of old standards that the blue haired ladies will go crazy over. Thank goodness it didn't quite come to that. Some editions also contain another bonus track which is just more new age piano.

So, the album is only slightly better than "Love Beach" and their next awful album "In the Hot Seat" which has no saving grace. Listening to these albums is like listening to a bad imitation. Emerson had become one-dimensional, Lake was becoming a lounge singer, only Palmer really held on to his amazing ability and you hear some great drumming on here, unfortunately, the material doesn't support his talent. ELP's glory days were over and now they seemed to only be in it for the fame.

 Brain Salad Surgery/ Excerpt From Brain Salad Surgery by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1973
2.55 | 17 ratings

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Brain Salad Surgery/ Excerpt From Brain Salad Surgery
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars It will work for you, it works for me

Not to be confused with the full length album of the same name, this is a single that was given away for free together with a music magazine back in 1973 to promote the album Brain Salad Surgery.

The a-side is the track Brain Salad Surgery, which was never included on the album Brain Salad Surgery. And it is not hard to understand why, as it is clearly not up to par with the exceptional quality of the masterpiece album. Nonetheless, this non-album track fits well together with the material on Brain Salad Surgery, and it has appropriately been included among the bonus tracks on later CD re-issues of the album together with other leftover recordings from the time such as the instrumental When The Apple Blossoms Bloom In The Windmills Of Your Mind I'll Be Your Valentine (originally released as a single b-side). Both of these were also included on the Works Vol. 2 album.

The b-side of this single is an oddity; Excerpts from Brain Salad Surgery is what the title implies. This strange collage of snippets from various songs off the album has also been added as a bonus track on CD versions of the Brain Salad Surgery album, but once you have the full album there is little interest in this album trailer.

The original free flexi-disc single is now a rare collector's item, but the material on it is no longer rare.

 Jerusalem by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1973
4.11 | 38 ratings

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Jerusalem
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Was Jerusalem builded here, among these dark satanic mills?

Jerusalem is the opening track from the masterpiece Brain Salad Surgery, Emerson Lake & Palmer's greatest studio album. The song is an adaptation of a hymn, originally written by William Blake and Hubert Parry. While it works perfectly as an album opener, it was perhaps not an obvious choice to be released as a single.

The b-side holds When The Apple Blossoms Bloom In The Windmills Of Your Mind I'll Be Your Valentine, a rare instance of a non-album b-side. At the time, this track was only available on this single. Since then the track has been included first on the Works Vol. 2 album, and then later on added as a bonus track to several of the CD re-issues of Brain Salad Surgery. It is a very nice instrumental track that, while not of the same exceptional quality as the tracks that made it onto the original album, does have the same dark atmosphere as the Brain Salad Surgery material.

A small taste of the magnificent salad

 Canario by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1978
2.36 | 15 ratings

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Canario
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Fantasia for a gentleman

Canario is an adaptation of a piece by Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo, from the latter's concerto "Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre". Unfairly overlooked due to being hidden away as the last track on side 1 of the ill-fated Love Beach album, this excellent instrumental was wisely chosen to be released as a single in the same year as the album. I say "wisely" not because it did well commercially, which I don't think it did, but rather because it is by far the best track from that otherwise weak album and deserves to be heard on its own without having to sit through five rather dull Greg Lake rockers (one of which is All I Want Is You, which is the B-side of this single), before you get to this little gem.

In my opinion, Canario works much better as a single than Fanfare for the Common Man which was edited for single release. I usually don't rate singles when the material is identical to what can be found on a full length album, but in this case I will make an exception as I want to give this one more star than I gave to the album.

A great instrumental number!

 Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Live, 1997
3.44 | 73 ratings

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Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nš 200

'Live At The lsle Of Wight Festival 1970' is the seventh live album of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and was released in 1998. The line up on the album is Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Karl Palmer, as usual.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer was the first super group in the prog rock history. Few groups can look back to a single point in time where they leapt from relative obscurity to fame, announcing the arrival of a new and utterly distinctive sound. Keyboardist Emerson had attracted attention for his staggering technique and theatrical pyrotechnics in the group The Nice. Bassist and vocalist Lake found himself the centre of acclaim with King Crimson's 'In The Court Of the Crimson King'. Palmer had brushed success as drummer with The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and with Atomic Rooster.

It was in the beginning of their career they were invited to participate in the Isle Of Wight Festival that would become known as the English Woodstock. It lasted five days. Beyond Emerson, Lake & Palmer, also took part on it, names such as Chicago, Procol Harum, The Doors, The Who, Ten Years After, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Donovan, Leonard Cohen, Moody Blues, and Jethro Tull. Despite it has been recorded in 1970 it was only released twenty eight years later, in 1998. Their debut studio album was also released in the same year but only few months later.

The Festival was almost the beginning of their life because it was only their second live show. They appeared six days earlier in Plymouth. The band hadn't yet released any studio album and they didn't have an extensive catalogue to select for the show. So, nothing could have prepared them for the response for their first live performances. With this release of 1998, fans of the band can finally listening and see, if you bought the DVD, the short sets significance.That festival also marked the last UK appearance of Jimi Hendrix. It seemed that he was tired of his band and wanting to try different ideas and have expressed interest in playing with them. For conflicts in schedules of the musicians that wasn't possible, but the plan was to unite Hendrix with the group, later. Unfortunately, three weeks later he was dead. That fact put a definitive end to the hypothesis of Jimi joined the group and become Hendrix, Emerson, Lake & Palmer (HELP).

Emerson, Lake & Palmer played on Saturday night, between Ten Years After and The Doors. The band opened the show with 'The Barbarian' without wasting a second and rolling through the notes like a steamroller over the audience in an onslaught of distorted bass notes, furious keyboards and scattered drums like roaches in the light, showing this new massive sound. 'Take A Pebble' with the ballad tone of Lake's voice captivates as the song gently walks through the first two and a half minutes before Emerson takes the reign and gives a solid piano solo to a shuffling Palmer drum chant and the bass adds the inflections of root notes. It includes a gorgeous jazz piano melody in the middle. 'Pictures At An Exhibition' is a half-hour long interpretation of Mussorgsky's masterpiece. All prog's recipe is superbly executed here without a fail. The Moog, which was relatively new and revolutionary at the time, several passages between synthesizer and acoustic guitar, making this the pleasure of a dreamy prog of a piece to listen to. The piece is broken in several sections but I prefer to look at it as a single composition. There are no blister solos here but rather a display of masterful flair and precision with a few flubs in a couple of songs but this live version is actually close to the Newcastle performance and just how amazing is it. 'Rondo', an original piece of The Nice, rises from the ashes of what's left from the last presentation, is another onslaught of Moog freak out sounds and a drum solo in spots from Palmer which wasn't his best. It's rather sloppy and shoddy when compared with others on, in their career. 'Nutrocker' completes their set and which was often a encore during their earlier shows to somewhat calm the audience down and relax them from the massive wall of sound they had just tumbled over on to the ears of the people who was watching and listening.

Conclusion: John Peel, a popular BBC music journalist called ELP's performance at the Isle of Wight, 'a tragic waste of time, talent and electricity'. I disagree. I believe this live performance is precursory of their legendary live sets. It's clear when we are listening to the show that the band played with blunt force and deafening volume. The band's Isle of Wight performance displayed the trio in full flight, defined by Palmer's intricate drum work, Lake's sturdy bass and Emerson's wizardry on the Hammond organ, piano and Moog synthesizer. The show circulated for years as a bootleg form and was officially finally released in 1998 as 'Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival'. It's true that the music contained on it has been performed many other times, recorded and released much better on others live sets and the sound isn't as good as it should be, we can here constantly on the recording a persistent and annoying electric noise. However, this is a very important historical document that represents the birth of a great historical group. It's also an important historical live document of that era and particularly it represents an important part of that mythic musical festival too.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Tarkus by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.06 | 1711 ratings

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Tarkus
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Chaser

2 stars I don't like ELP. I've tried, honestly, I have, but I just cannot understand what's so great about them.

I've owned my copy of Tarkus for more than thirty years and first listened when I was a wide eyed teenager with no preconceptions.

I didn't like it then and I still don't like it now.

I know as a prog fan I'm supposed to like this, and every so many years it comes off the shelf for another spin in the hope that one day the epiphany will happen. But it never does, and I'm pretty sure it never will.

Okay, they're great musicians and Emerson is a great keyboard player, but ELP just represent everything that I dislike about some prog.

This album comes across to me as nothing but self indulgent noodling. The album sounded dated when I first bought it thirty years now, and now it sounds like something that's been dug up in a time capsule.

I play an album like Close to the Edge and it sounds as fresh and interesting as it did thirty years ago, but Tarkus sounds tired and old fashioned by comparison.

I'm not a big fan of the first half of the album, as some are. It's tiresome noodling which goes nowhere and completely fails to get my juices flowing in any way. It leaves me cold.

Then we have quite ridiculous tracks like Jeremy Bender, with it's childish tune and lyrics, and we finish the album with the frankly terrible "Are You Ready Eddie?", intended as a humorous tribute to engineer Eddy Offord, but it sounds like high school kids sniggering in the playground.

The only track that I like on this album is "Bitches Crystal" which actually has something to it, and I really like Greg Lake's bass riff which gives some lovely depth to the track.

I won't even get into the album cover or the whole hedgehog tank thing (what is that all about?). I don't like the artwork and the hedgehog tank concept is simply ridiculous.

As I don't like the album myself I clearly couldn't recommend it to another prog fan or general music fan. ELP fans will like it, but they're already converts.

Not for me I'm afraid, but there is some good musicianship so I'll say 2.30 and round down to 2 stars.

 Brain Salad Surgery by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.14 | 1769 ratings

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Brain Salad Surgery
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Lupton

5 stars Emerson Lake and Palmer- Brain Salad Surgery

I am sure that for most ELP fans, this album is "THE ONE" in the same way that "Close to the Edge" is "THE ONE" for Yes fans and "Dark Side of the Moon" is "THE ONE" for Floyd fans.You know when an album is considered to be "THE ONE"- it invariably gets the deluxe treatment every time it is re-released.

I am one of those fans who see this album as their definitive statement even though I find the relentless bombast a bit too much at times and I definitely would not recommend introducing a potential fan to ELP by way of this album. Maybe the more subdued "Trilogy" album might do the trick.I made the mistake of thinking I could win over a friend by playing "Karn Evil 9 1st Impression" as loud as possible and he ran from the room in horror.So yes- it is incredibly brutal and intense and is imbued with an almost macabre ambiance -including the token light hearted song, "Benny the Bouncer"(check the lyrics) and yet there is something darkly beautiful about the album as well.The thundering Toccata is positively dripping with atmosphere and reminds me of being flying through a very dark and damp cave. The futuristic "Karn Evil 9 3rd Impression" is pure fantasy Prog at its best.I just love the way that track begins with the keyboard fanfare blasting over the top of an incredibly deep fuzzed base line which seems to growl out of the speakers.

The production on this album is truly extraordinary- slick, loud and powerful.Surprisingly,despite the massive sound, the album was in some ways stripped back as far as overdubs go so the trio could re-produce the tracks live. "Trilogy" by comparison is full of overdubs which is why apart from the albums' "Hoedown," most of the tracks could not be reproduced live the same way.

I do have have some reservations about this album. 'Karn Evil 9 1st Impression" starts off brilliantly, but seems to go on for too long, I could have done without that synthesized drum solo on Toccata which robs the track of its momentum - sorry Carl- and some of Keith's soloing during Karn Evil 9 9th Impression does sound a little cheesy. In other words there is a fair bit of excess- the sort of thing non Prog fans and Critics complain about when dismissing Prog Rock generally.But I still love this album and have no hesitation giving it two thumbs up. 5 stars

 Works Vol. 2 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.42 | 601 ratings

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Works Vol. 2
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars While Works Vol. 1 was more organized and featured each of the individuals contributing to a side each and leaving side 4 for two long group tracks. The album was a great showcase for the individuals and the band, most of the songs accompanied by a full orchestra, but it's biggest drawback was the lack of the band performing together. Works Vol. 2 is the companion album to this. It has a few outtakes from the first volume and also unused tracks from previous albums. The entire band work together more in these songs than on the first volume. You do get quite a mish mash of styles here which seems even more disjointed than the first volume because they are not organized like that album was. To me, however, that's okay. The performances are top rate, most of the songs are great, but unfortunately, most of them are not progressive. I love the variety on this one also. They tackle all styles here, and again, it becomes a showcase of talent from the band.

I have my definite favorites here, including "Bullfrog" which is a crazy, sometimes chaotic, jazz fusion instrumental from Palmer. I absolutely love this track and consider it one of my favorites in ELP's repertoire. Great percussion and excellent keyboard sound effects abound here. "Tiger in the Spotlight" is a great sock hop style song done ELP style with Lake on vocals. There are three mostly piano instrumentals here by Emerson which are mostly retro jazz styles that are a lot of fun to listen to. You get Boogie, Honky Tonk and Ragtime with full bands/orchestra alongside. "I Believe in Father Christmas" is on this album, which has become a staple in malls and stores everywhere during Christmastime, but the funny thing about this song is it is soooooo Anti- Christmas/Chirstian, and people don't realize it because they only hear the word Christmas and don't pay attention to the lyrics at all. Everything else here is interesting, but not spectacular.

This is still far better than the schlock that would become "Love Beach" which was their next album. This was the last great album by ELP, and they might have a good song here and there after this, but nothing matching their previous material after this album. I still consider this an excellent album, and I accept it as ELP's swan song to their best material. I put Vol 1 and 2 together and end up with a collection full of variety and fun.

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

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