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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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Trilogy (Deluxe Edition)Trilogy (Deluxe Edition)
Razor & Tie 2015
Audio CD$21.89
$21.89 (used)
Pictures at an ExhibitionPictures at an Exhibition
Import · Remastered
Sony UK 2011
Audio CD$10.69
$9.87 (used)
EssentialEssential
Import
Sony UK 2011
Audio CD$12.91
$2.52 (used)
Emerson Lake & PalmerEmerson Lake & Palmer
Import · Remastered
Sony UK 2011
Audio CD$23.07
$29.44 (used)
The Best Of Emerson Lake & PalmerThe Best Of Emerson Lake & Palmer
Rhino 1996
Audio CD$63.99
$13.96 (used)
Once Upon a Time Live in South AmericaOnce Upon a Time Live in South America
Box set
Rockbeat Records 2015
Audio CD$27.24
$27.34 (used)
Tarkus (Deluxe Edition)Tarkus (Deluxe Edition)
Razor & Tie 2013
Audio CD$44.98
$31.11 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
1971 EMERSON LAKE PALMER LP-TARKUS-EXCELLENT VINYL COND.-COTILLION LABEL SD 9900 USD $9.95 Buy It Now 33m 23s
EMERSON LAKE PALMER Tarkus P10126 LP EB2426 USD $2.99 [1 bids]
49m 51s
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1h
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2h 20m
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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 | 1690 ratings
Emerson Lake & Palmer
1970
4.05 | 1491 ratings
Tarkus
1971
4.09 | 1321 ratings
Trilogy
1972
4.12 | 1535 ratings
Brain Salad Surgery
1973
2.87 | 609 ratings
Works Vol. 1
1977
2.36 | 501 ratings
Works Vol. 2
1977
2.06 | 543 ratings
Love Beach
1978
3.12 | 371 ratings
Emerson Lake & Powell
1986
2.87 | 380 ratings
Black Moon
1992
1.76 | 314 ratings
In The Hot Seat
1994

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

3.85 | 805 ratings
Pictures At An Exhibition
1971
4.21 | 463 ratings
Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends
1974
2.66 | 170 ratings
Emerson Lake & Palmer In Concert
1979
2.90 | 135 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall
1993
3.29 | 130 ratings
Works Live
1993
3.33 | 43 ratings
Emerson,Lake & Palmer - King Biscuit Flower Hour (AKA "Live")
1997
2.74 | 63 ratings
Then And Now
1998
3.38 | 57 ratings
Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
1998
2.85 | 14 ratings
The Show That Never Ends
2001
4.11 | 27 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 1
2001
3.75 | 24 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 2
2001
3.29 | 18 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 3
2001
3.25 | 38 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
3.76 | 15 ratings
Emerson Lake and Powell: Live In Concert - Lakeland Florida, 1986 (An official bootleg)
2003
3.23 | 12 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 | 12 ratings
Original Bootleg Series from the Manticore Vaults, Vol. 4
2006
3.34 | 21 ratings
A Time And A Place
2010
2.57 | 32 ratings
Live at High Voltage 2010
2010
3.44 | 30 ratings
Live At Nassau Coliseum '78
2011
4.19 | 42 ratings
Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival '72
2011
3.88 | 8 ratings
Emerson, Lake and Powell - Live In Concert and More...
2012
3.33 | 6 ratings
Live in Montreal 1977
2013
2.50 | 2 ratings
Once Upon A Time In South America
2015
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Montreux 1997
2015

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

2.80 | 16 ratings
Welcome Back
1992
3.75 | 37 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall (DVD)
2001
3.52 | 77 ratings
Pictures At An Exhibition - 35th Anniversary Collectors Edition
2002
3.26 | 16 ratings
Inside Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1970-1995
2003
4.55 | 29 ratings
Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special
2003
3.58 | 50 ratings
Live At Montreux 1997 (DVD)
2004
4.08 | 27 ratings
Masters From The Vaults
2004
2.00 | 1 ratings
Live In Concert (DVD)
2004
3.82 | 67 ratings
Beyond The Beginning
2005
2.61 | 29 ratings
The Birth Of A Band - Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
2006
4.50 | 8 ratings
Rare Broadcasts
2007
3.97 | 42 ratings
40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (High Voltage Festival 2010)
2011

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

2.39 | 57 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 | 42 ratings
The Atlantic Years
1992
3.51 | 61 ratings
The Return Of The Manticore
1993
1.73 | 9 ratings
Classic Rock Featuring "Lucky Man"
1994
3.89 | 37 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
0.00 | 0 ratings
History Of Rock
2001
1.38 | 22 ratings
Re-Works
2003
3.71 | 12 ratings
The Ultimate Collection
2004
3.50 | 12 ratings
An Introduction To... Emerson Lake & Palmer
2004
4.44 | 18 ratings
From The Beginning (5CD+DVD)
2007
3.55 | 13 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 | 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)

3.39 | 18 ratings
Lucky Man / Knife Edge
1971
3.38 | 17 ratings
From the Beginning
1972
4.30 | 30 ratings
Jerusalem
1973
2.68 | 13 ratings
Brain Salad Surgery/ Excerpt From Brain Salad Surgery
1973
3.07 | 10 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 | 15 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
1.90 | 10 ratings
Affairs of the Heart
1992
2.45 | 10 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
2.46 | 23 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
 Brain Salad Surgery by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.12 | 1535 ratings

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Brain Salad Surgery
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle

3 stars Hello there, plastic-bombastic!

Brain Salad Surgery is arguably one of progressive rock's most controversial albums. A few titles and artworks were denied, settling on this one, still with a dirty subtext, though less visible.

Musically, I don't see anything all that special. This is widely known as ELP's last true progressive rock album. For me, everything here is all over the top. This work is way to powerful to me. And that is not "Celestial Voices" type of powerful. In places, this work gives the listener a feeling as if being approached by the armadillo-tank. Some might like that, I do not. Perhaps ELP had just a little too big of a brainstorm overload. However, Carl Palmer considers "Brain Salad Surgery" group's most accomplished work and recalls it was a pure joy to work on.

That is not to say that it does not have a potential. "Jerusalem" is a very English track with an Anglican cathedral-like feel to it. quite enjoyable, but nothing suprising appears here. The breathtaking factor of Emerson Lake & Palmer's debut and sophomore (and "Pictures From An Exhibition") albums is clearly overshaded by the size that music grows to. "Toccata" is a quintessence of what I am talking about. Synthesizers are getting all over your head. Sure, the idea is good. I like the introduction of interesting percussion and the dissonant melody, but the drum synth appearing at the beggining of the 5th minute is just too much and makes me want to skip the track. "Still You Turn Me On" is a great acoustic piece kept in a very Jethro Tull-esque mood. This is a nice track. Inventive, not too harsh on the listener, inspired and well played. In case of the "Benny The Bouncer", the bombastic factor is finally working. It is a very comedic tune, again quite british with a strain of boogie-woogie fashion and incredible drumming. Greg Lake's voice is unbelieveable here. "Karn 9 Evil" features many allusions to their much greater "Tarkus". In my opinion, this one doesn't bring anything new to the game other than just being your another multimovement suite. The 2nd part of the "1st impression" is sort of unbearable for me. This one shows the musical bourge element that ELP started having right around this period. "2nd impression" is possibly the best of all, strongly influenced by jazz, it features a Dave Brubeck-like soft, smooth melody. 3rd movement is another huge-feeling track, but quite interesting. Characterised by a nice theme passage with a good idea being transformed in many different ways for the best result. It also features a nice jazzy jam.

All in all, this album is something that every ELP fan should have, but something that newcommers should avoid. This is not a good way to start your adventure with prog rock. If you are an expirienced progressive rock listener, you will be able to appreciate many different factors of "Brain Salad Surgery", which lie burried in a garden of overabundance of sounds and moods on this album. 3.33 stars for this one!

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 Tarkus by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.05 | 1491 ratings

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Tarkus
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nš 65

This is my fourth review of an Emerson, Lake & Palmer's album. The others are their eponymous debut studio album 'Emerson, Lake & Palmer' released in 1970, their fourth studio album 'Brain Salad Surgery' released in 1973 and their debut live album 'Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends' released in 1974. 'Tarkus' is their second studio album and was released in 1971. It represents my first contact with the group. 'Tarkus' was my first vinyl disk of them and is also one of my eldest vinyl records. I bought it in the distant years of the 70's. So, I know it very well.

This was a very important album to the band because after the huge success of their eponymous debut studio album, the band was under an enormous pressure to come up with something special. This was a hard task basically because of two reasons. The first was that the first super group in the rock history had the obligation to make a very special musical work with great quality. The second was that their first studio album was seen more like a collection of individual efforts and ideas than a collective musical effort. So, there were doubts about the result of the collective musical composition of the band. However, after the release of this album, all doubts were dissipated.

'Tarkus' was their first successful conceptual album and has seven tracks. It's a very special album divided into two parts. However, essentially everything runs around their first track who gave its name to the album. It occupies an entire side of the LP, almost making us forget the other half of the album, what would be a little bit unfair because it has also some very good songs with a certain charm. As I wrote before, the first part is entirely completed by their first track 'Tarkus', which is divided into seven parts: 'Eruption' (instrumental) written by Emerson, 'Stones of Years' written by Emerson and Lake, 'Iconoclast' (instrumental) written by Emerson, 'Mass' written by Emerson and Lake, 'Manticore' (instrumental) written by Emerson, 'Battlefield' written by Lake and 'Aquatarkus' (instrumental) written by Emerson. It's a very complex and a fantastic piece of music with great creativity, very experimental in rock music and certainly avant-garde for those times. This great progressive epic represents the lengthiest studio song made by the band, 20:35, until their song 'Karn Evil 9', 29:37, released on 'Brain Salad Surgery'. This remains a favourite song for the fans and was consistently played live by the group, and is also my favourite song of them. Namely, 'Battlefield' is absolutely superb, beautiful, memorable and an unforgettable song. The side B of the LP has the remaining 6 tracks. The first track 'Jeremy Bender/The Sheriff' written by Emerson and Lake and the sixth and last track 'Are You Ready Eddie?' written by Emerson, Lake and Palmer, are two comedic rocker songs on the same mould of 'Benny The Bouncer' released on 'Brain Salad Surgery'. Sincerely, these two songs are very pleasant to listen to, but hardly worthy of an Emerson, Lake & Palmer's album. The second track 'Bitches Crystal' written by Emerson and Lake is a song strongly influenced by jazz and represents a very good song. The third track 'The Only Way (Hymn)' written by Bach, Emerson and Lake and the fourth track 'Infinite Space (Conclusion)' are also two very good tracks with a fantastic piano and organ works. The fifth track 'A Time And A Place' written by Emerson, Lake & Palmer do a nice contrast to the other songs. It's the hardest song on the album and it shows the rocker quality of the band.

The art cover of the album was made about the first track of the album and was created by the artist William Neal. It depicts an image of a creature half armadillo and half a tank of the World War I. Inside the cover of the album there is a gatefold who features a sequence of pictures which show us the birth of Tarkus, from an egg erupted from a volcano, and others depicting pictures of some other battles fought between Tarkus and some other half mechanical creatures, until their defeats by a Manticore, the only creature totally organic on the story. It's interesting to note that the band later named their record company as the Manticore Records. To sum up, 'Tarkus' described a story about reverse evolution and speak to us about the futility of the war in general, and it's also about the religious hypocrisy.

Conclusion: Unfortunately, due to the profound musical differences between the two sides of the LP, 'Tarkus' is somewhat unbalanced and failed to be a masterpiece. The problem with this album is that on side A we have 'Tarkus', a truly masterpiece, but on side B, despite the songs being good, they're in generally with a slightly lower quality. Nevertheless, with this album the group made a great musical work and 'Tarkus' can be considered a landmark to the band's musical career and represents one of their best pieces of music. With it, they made a lasting impression on the music scene and to this day their musical influence can still be felt and their music still inspires bands from around the world. They simply became as one of the most influential bands to come out of the treasure that was the early 70's.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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 Live at Montreux 1997 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Live, 2015
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Live at Montreux 1997
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars Booking Emerson, Lake and Palmer at the Montreux Jazz festival in 1997 must have seemed like forcing three very square pegs into an elliptical hole. Not because the event was actually a jazz music festival (it wasn't), but because the trio had been considered obsolete for over two decades already: chart-topping superstars reduced to a legacy act, playing the same old hits for their aging fans. Emerson even dedicated one song in this set ("Honky Tonk Train Blues", hardly a model of Progressive Rock) to his mum, watching from the balcony.

But you'd never guess from this late gig that the band was only a year away from its final breakup. Keith Emerson's dexterity had suffered after his radial nerve (not Brain Salad) surgery in 1993. But he could still attack his keyboards with surprising gusto, in the Tarkus chestnut "Bitches Crystal", and elsewhere.

Greg Lake's ailing voice was likewise no longer a pristine thing of beauty. But as I noted in an older review of the band's Royal Albert Hall performance (recorded five years earlier), the rust in his pipes gave his singing more character, as heard in the low opening verses of "Knife Edge".

And Carl Palmer simply refuses to age.

The material here won't be unfamiliar to diehard fans. This last phase of ELP's career is well documented on the "Live in Poland" CD (from a show only two weeks before this one), and on the lopsided "Then and Now" compilation. And a DVD of the same Montreux concert was released in 2004. I haven't seen it, and frankly don't want to: on compact disc the trio sounds a lot younger than they probably looked in 1997.

The set-list too won't hold any surprises, from the obligatory "Karn Evil 9" Welcome-Back-My-Friends introduction to the usual overkill finale: a 19-minute collision of Brubeck, Copland, Bach and Orff, complete with drum solo and ritual Hammond organ abuse. That trademark vulgar showmanship still raises hackles among the narrow-minded Blues Orthodoxy crowd, but screw them: what you see with your head in the sand is the same view as someone with his head up his ass, after all.

The performances gain strength as the concert continues, by the end of Disc One recapturing (at least audibly) some of the rapport too often lost behind the triple arsenal of egos (and in "Take a Pebble" finally airing a little ersatz jazz on the shores of Lake Geneva). The abbreviated "Tarkus" suite - actually an extended "Stones of Years", with a longer, atypically sensitive Emerson solo - proves yet again how innovative that classic always was. And the climactic segue to the end of "Pictures at an Exhibition" was a perfectly judged moment of high musical bombast.

I've never been the biggest fan of the band's Mussorgsky upgrade, and especially its hyperbolic "Great Gates of Kiev" finish. But the crescendo here is undeniably exciting, with Greg Lake's melodramatic doggerel ("Death is Life") becoming suddenly relevant as the band approached its omega. The lyrics may have sounded trite in 1972, but in 1997 expressed all the frustrated optimism felt by closet Progheads enjoying a rebirth of interest in a style of music long considered dead when it was only dormant.

Regardless of how poorly ELP rode "the tides of fate" after the band's mid-'70s peak, and how little effort the resurrected trio made to transcend the faded glory of those bygone years, the mere fact that they were still alive and kicking and attracting crowds in the late 1990's is reason enough to award this gig a bonus fourth star, as the band was nearing the finish line.

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 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (High Voltage Festival 2010) by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover DVD/Video, 2011
3.97 | 42 ratings

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40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (High Voltage Festival 2010)
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In 1998 ELP split again as a band after a tour. By 2010 Keith Emerson and Greg Lake were playing some concerts as a duo. Later in the same year, with the 40th Anniversary of the formation of the band, ELP reformed the band for a one-off concert. This concert was recorded for CD and video and was released in 2011.

I read some reviews about this concert in 2010. Some people didn't like it. Finally, I recently watched to the DVD of this concert.

For this concert, the band rehearsed for 5 weeks, as Carl Palmer said in interviews. There wasn't a full 40th Anniversary Tour because he didn't like their playing very much. So maybe this is the final concert from ELP as a band.

Greg Lake sings very well despite the passing of time, in a lower register. But he didn't play any lead electric guitar parts in some songs on which he played them years before, only playing the bass guitar. It seems to me that Keith Emerson "simplified" some of his keyboard parts, playing them with different arrangements. He even used his Modular Synthesiser in some parts. Maybe Carl Palmer was the member of the band who played better, maybe due to the fact that he has not stopped playing on tours, doing them with ASIA and with his own band. Most songs are played with different arrangements. And not very well, in my opinion. Being a one-off concert, maybe they were a bit "nervous" and maybe they should have done a short tour to give them the chance to improve their playing and to have more confidence playing on stage, and maybe they should have recorded the last concert to release it on CD and on DVD. But with only one-off concert, they sound a bit "raw". It looks to me more like an "informal" concert, short in lenght, only played to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the formation of the band.

It's not a very good concert, but they still are very good musicians.

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 In The Hot Seat by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1994
1.76 | 314 ratings

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In The Hot Seat
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I remember that in late 1995 I read in a Rock Magazine that Keith Emerson received surgery in one of his hands due to problems caused by carpal tunnel syndrome. Years later I also read that Carl Palmer also had similar problems with carpal tunnel syndrome. It seems that these health problems were in progress during the recording of this "In the Hot Seat" (1994) album, their second and last studio album which they recorded after the reunion of ELP in the early nineties. There also were some personal problems mainly between Emerson and Lake during the recording of this album, another album on which Lake didn't act as their producer. A thing that finally brought even more problems when the band was planning the recording of a new album in 1998, and which finally caused the split of the band again, with Lake wanting to be the producer of their albums again, a thing on which Emerson and Palmer didn't agree with Lake.

With this album being recorded under these circunstances, and with the record label wanting a more commercial album, maybe it reflected all these problems. New producer Keith Olsen also had some co-writing credits with the members on the band in some songs, and they also had some external co-writers for some songs. The sound of this album is even more Pop Rock in sound than their previous album ("Black Moon") in mid nineties terms. It's not a totally bad album, but the external influences over their music are more apparent, with it sounding mostly like a Pop Rock album from the nineties. Maybe this album in the end became another "contractual obligation album" for them, like their "Love Beach" album from 1978. Or it is even more related in some ways to "To the Power of Three" (1988) album from the band called 3 (from Emerson and Palmer with Robert Berry replacing Lake). Anyway, this "In the Hot Seat" album really shows a band doing their jobs the best they could under the previously mentioned circunstances to fill a recording contract. In particular, the song called "Give Me a Reason to Stay" is a song written only by external songwriters. It maybe was given to them by the producer and / or the record label to have a song to be played in the radio. Unfortunately It doesn't sound as ELP. So, maybe some of the bad criticism given in some reviews to this album is justified in some way by this song and by the musical content of the album as a whole. Even the inclusion as a CD Bonus Track of a studio recording of their arrangement to Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition" musical piece didn't help the album to be a better album. Their live versions of this musical piece from the seventies are much better than this studio recording with new arrangements from the nineties.

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 Black Moon by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1992
2.87 | 380 ratings

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Black Moon
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars ELP's first studio album since 1978's "Love Beach" album. With this happening after Keith Emerson recorded two albums with two different bands. First, the "Emerson Lake and Powell" (1986) album, with Greg Lake, and with Cozy Powell (who replaced Carl Palmer, who at the time was with ASIA and didn't participate). And later, with the band called "3" (with Carl Palmer, and with Robert Berry replacing Greg Lake) which recorded their "To the Power of Three" (1988) album. With both bands and albums having some influences from the mid to late eighties's musical sounds, but with the "To the Power of Three" album being even more Pop Rock in style, and with the two albums having moderate success, and with both bands having a brief existence.

For this album titled "Black Moon", the band was signed to Victory Music Records, a record label which also signed YES in 1993 and other famous musicians like DAVID BOWIE and his band called TIN MACHINE. That record label had a brief existence, and later disappeared due to financial problems. Anyway, ELP recorded three albums for that record label ("Black Moon" 1992; "Live at the Royal Albert Hall, 1993; "In the Hot Seat", 1994) before their split as a band in 1998.

For this "Black Moon" album, the band had, for the first time, external producers (Mark Mancina, Ian Morrow, John Van Tongeren), with the first time in their history on which Greg Lake was not the producer of their albums. The album also was influenced by a more "modern" sound for the nineties, with a more Pop Rock /Prog Rock musical style, with more modern keyboards and drums sounds. In fact, some of the drums sound like being played in an electronic drum kit, and some percussion parts in fact sound like being programmed. Also, Greg Lake's voice obviously sounds changed, due to the natural passing of time, with him singing in a lower register, but singing very well.

This "Black Moon" album is a very good album, in my opinion. Different to their most Progressive albums of the seventies, and maybe more related to the "Emerson Lake and Powell" and "To the Power of Three" albums but still with some Prog Rock influences. Maybe they sound more "mature", due to the natural passing of time, but they sound very well.

The best songs in this album are "Black Moon", Paper Blood", "Romeo and Juliet" (an arrangement by Emerson to a theme from Prokofiev's "Romeo and Juliet"), "Farewell to Arms" (which sounds to me in a similar way to ELPowell's "Lay Down Your Guns"), and "Footprints in the Snow". Even producer Mark Mancina (who also worked with YES and with Trevor Rabin) contributed with one song ("Burning Bridges"). Greg Lake contributed with two ballads ("Affairs of the Heart", written by him with ASIA's Geoff Downes in 1988; and "Footprints in the Snow", written only by him). Keith Emerson contributed with two very good instrumental pieces ("Changing States" and "Close to Home"). Carl Palmer co-wrote two songs with Emerson and Lake ("Black Moon" and "Paper Blood"). Emerson and Lake wrote two songs together ("Farewell to Arms" and "Better Days").

A very good "reunion album" from ELP. Maybe less Progressive and more "modern" in musical terms for the nineties, but very good anyway, in my opinion.

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 Works Vol. 2 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.36 | 501 ratings

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Works Vol. 2
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

2 stars "Works Volume 2"....a collection of tracks which as a whole don't sound very "connected" with each other in a coherent way. That is... ELP playing Jazz, Ragtime, Blues, Rock and Roll, acoustic guitar ballads...but not really Prog Rock. All these tracks are played very well, with each one of the members of the band showing their skillls to play in any musical style that they wanted to play. After all, they are very good musicians. But... Maybe they were trying to find more musical sources of "inspiration" for the late seventies. Maybe they left all their energies in the recording of their "Works Volume 1" album. Maybe this "Works Volume Two" album also could be considered as another "contract obligation album" for their record label like their "Love Beach" album from 1978. With this "Works Volume Two" album having several outtakes from albums like "Brain Salad Surgery", some B-sides of singles, some solo tracks previously released as solo singles....well, I don't think that there really was a good plan behind the release of this "Works Volume 2" album, other than to release another album to fill a contract. I'm not going to write a detailed description of each track. Some previous reviewers here in PA have done that in a very good way. After their "Works Volume 1" album, it seems to me that the real inspiration and energy to work together as a band was gradually gone. I even can't mention "a best track" in this album. An album for the most dedicated fans of the band.

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 Works Vol. 1 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.87 | 609 ratings

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Works Vol. 1
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This album (then a 2- LP set, now a 2- CD set) is maybe underrated. It is a bit unfair, I think. This album really shows that it was made with a lot of care, and it really took to ELP a long time to record it. It is a very ambitious album. It's different to their previous studio albums from 1970 to 1973. It took to them more than three years after the release of their "Brain Salad Surgery" (1973) album to release this "Works Volume 1" album in March 1977. After their 1974 tour they also took some time to rest. But they recorded this "Works Volume 1" album in 1976. Their idea was to use orchestral and choral arrangements for most of the songs, with each of the members of the band having a Side of each LP to record their musical ideas separatedly (also with some help from the others in some cases) and also employing some uncredited session musicians and friends. Finally, in the last Side of the LPs the band recorded two musical pieces together. I think that it really was a lot of work done for this album. So I think that it deserves to be appreciated in a better way, even if for some people it was mostly a "pompous" album. Anyway, this album has a lot of quality, and it shows that by the late seventies the band wanted to change their sound to a more Classically influenced musical style.

On the Side One of the LPs, Keith Emerson plays his Piano Concerto No. 1 with the orchestra. I like this Piano Concerto. I consider him as a very good piano player and keyboard player. So, I think that despite the apparent "pompous" title this Concerto is very good.

On the Side Two, Greg Lake sings and plays some ballads written in collaboration with lyricist Peter Sinfield. After all, his songwriting contributions for ELP mostly have been this kind of acoustic guitar ballads, very well sung by him. The best songs from him in this album (with orchestral and choral arrangements) are "C'est La Vie" and "Closer to Believing".

On the Side Three, Carl Palmer plays some of his compositions and arrangements for Classical Music pieces. Obviously, he shows here his talent as drummer and percussionist. But he also offers more variety in musical styles: Classical Music (in Prokofiev's "The Enemy God..." and in J.S. Bach's "Two Part Invention In D Minor "); some Jazz-Rock / Fusion influences (in "L.A. Nights", "New Orleans" and in " Food For Your Soul"); and Prog Rock with orchestral arrangements (in a re-recording of "Tank" from the band's first album, but without a drums solo and with an orchestral arrangement).

On the Side four, ELP (playing as a full band) finally offers an arrangement by Emerson for "Fanfare For The Common Man" (composed by Aaron Copland), also addng an orchestral arrangement, but maybe also adding some improvisations at the end of the musical piece. And "Pirates", an extended song composed by Emerson and Lake, also with an orchestral arrangement. This song has some very complicated parts, so one has to listen to this song several times to appreciate it better.

The recording and mixing of this album is very good.

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 C'est La Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1977
3.07 | 10 ratings

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

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Well. It's been a very long time since I listened for the last time to ELP's "Works Volume 1" (1977) album. But at least I'm going to write a review for this single, which has two songs from that album, both composed by Greg Lake and lyricist Peter Sinfield. I still have to write a review for the whole album! This single was released in France in 1977.

ELP as a band worked very hard from 1970 to 1974, recording album after album and doing tour after tour. By late 1974 they were very tired, and decided to take some time to rest. By 1976 they were recording their "Works Volume 1" album, which was a 2-LP set. But this album was different in some ways to their previous albums. First, each member recorded mostly separatedly a side of the LPs, with each one of them composing songs separatedly. It was only on Side Four of that album that the band composed and recorded some songs together. Maybe the design of the album was somewhat "pompous", because they decided to use an orchestra and choir to arrange the songs. Their most recent studio album, "Brain Salad Surgery" (1973), maybe was their best, and it passed a long time from 1973 to 1977 for them to release this "Works Volume 1" album. Maybe it was a long time. But they needed to rest. Also, while "Brain Salad Surgery" was a heavier album, "Works Volume 1" was a more "Classical music oriented album" which some people really didn't like very much. Also, by 1976-77 new musical trends (Disco, Punk, Funky) appeared, and Prog Rock music was losing some of its previous popularity. So, by 1977, ELP, like other Prog Rock bands like YES, Genesis and others, were really trying to continue the Prog Rock music style for more time, but also with some changes to their music. Maybe ELP took the most "pompous" way, trying to still demonstrate that Prog Rock still had a lot to contribute to the music of the world.

"C'est La Vie" is maybe Lake's best contribution to the album. A song written like a "French ballad" with a 12 string acoustic guitar, very good lead and backing vocals, a very good orchestral arrangement, an accordion solo, and a choral arrangement (with this last thing maybe being a bit excessive and "pompous" for my taste). The recording and mxing is a bit "impressive" for my ears. Anyway, it is a very good song. But I like more the live version which was included in their "Works Live" album. It sounds more simple for my taste and not as "excessive" as the studio recording.

"Hallowed Be Thy Name" is a song with piano, bass, acoustic guitar and drums, recorded by the whole band, with an orchestral arrangement. With somewhat strange lyrics, and heavier than "C'est La Vie".

I don't know if "C'est La Vie" was a Hit Single in France. Anyway, it was a good choice to be released as a single there, due to the musical style of the song, which maybe was inlfuenced by some popular French singers from previous decades.

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 Pictures At An Exhibition by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Live, 1971
3.85 | 805 ratings

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Pictures At An Exhibition
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle

5 stars A legendary live-cut Symphonic Prog masterpiece!

"Pictures At An Exhibition" is a collection of some shows Emerson Lake and Palmer have played in 1971. It is strongly based on Modest Mussorgsky's work of the same title, which he wrote for his close friend who had passed away. Mussorgsky's "Pictures At An Exhibition" is basically a very long ten movemental suite, a collection of tales, traditions and folk motives of eastern Europe. It is worth admiring how a 19th century piano suite has been transcribed for three instruments to create a consistant and more importantly a natural-sounding rock arangement! They featured some other tracks, not from the original work of the composer just to spice things up! On the whole album, we can hear Keith Emerson's wizard-like, well-trained, intelectual-sounding keyboard playing, characterized by a very strong, technical know-how. All of this supported by a groovin' rhythm section from Greg Lake and Carl Palmer. Mussorgsky's piece "The Old Castle" made into an upbeat tempo, Moog rocker quickly turns into band's own "Blues Variations", Emerson's tribute to jazz organ greats such as Jimmy Smith or Brother Jack McDuff. This is probably my favorite part of the album, showing a true essence of progressive rock! Another incredibly enjoyable pieces are "The Hut of Baba Yaga", "The Great Gates of Kiev", "Promenade" and "The Gnome". Most tracks are instrumental, in other cases Greg Lake's beautiful, melodic voice brings out the best of what could be sang. The album closes with "Nutrocker", a bluesy redux of Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" (worth mentioning, "Nutrocker" isn't their composition), which showcases Emerson's Chicago blues abilities on an odd-sounding Hofner Clavinet.

Overall, I think this is a must-have for every prog nut, this album is a great listening experience.

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