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Emerson Lake & Palmer - The Return Of The Manticore CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

3.59 | 74 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
3 stars Prelude and Fugue

The Return Of The Manticore is a four disc box set celebrating the career of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The most interesting part of the set is clearly the first half of the first disc which features a number of tracks that are unique to this collection. The collection opens with some re-recorded versions of songs that were originally recorded by The Nice (Keith Emerson's pre-ELP band), King Crimson (Greg Lake's pre-ELP band), The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown (one of Carl Palmer's pre-ELP bands), and Emerson Lake & Powell (the 80's version of ELP in which Palmer was replaced by Cozy Powell). Some of these songs were milestones in the history of progressive Rock and all of these re-recorded versions are good and very interesting for fans of ELP.

Next up is a studio version of Pictures At An Exhibition, which I think is the ultimate version. Based on original music by Classical composer Mussorgsky, ELP's take on it was first recorded live in the early 70's and released as the band's first live album. For this collection the band recorded the piece for the first time in the studio and this studio version outshines the original live version in my opinion. This is an excellent track and the highlight of the whole collection. It has subsequently been made available elsewhere too: as a bonus track on In The Hot Seat CD and also on the remastered CD version of the original 1972 live album. These later albums are both easier to find and cheaper than The Return Of The Manticore set.

I Believe In Father Christmas is featured here in a re-recorded version which is fairly good but hardly essential. Bo Diddley and Prelude and Fugue are previously unreleased instrumentals that will be of interest primarily to fans. Everything else here is the album versions that you will already have if you have the band's regular studio and live albums. Yet, there is enough material not available elsewhere to make this a good collection.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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