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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970 CD (album) cover

LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL 1970

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.44 | 77 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
4 stars As Keith will confirm in the interview available at the end of these Wight tracks, it was their SECOND show. Actually, six days earlier, ELP appeared in Plymouth (Guildhall). Lake even recalls that they were paid 500 !

Lake tells us that the band did not had a long time to rehearse. Four to six weeks in total and there you go for the Isle Of Wight music festival ! They were not particularly stressed since they were already experienced musicians.

Palmer recalls that they played around 3:30 PM (they were far from the top of the bill). Actually, they were the third band to go on stage. After "Spirit" : you know the ones who were at the origin of "Stairway To Heaven" and ... Mungo Jerry ! The rest of the day will look rather appealing : John Sebastian, Free, Sly & The Family Stones, The Who, Joni Mitchell and Ther Doors. Rather impressive, I must say.

They were already in the recording sessions from their album and several tracks were already under construction. "Barbarian" and "Take A Pebble" are two of them. Although "Barbarian" still need to be polished, this version of "Take A Pebble" is pretty well acomplished.

According to Plamer, they decided to play the suite "Pictures At An Exhibition" because Emerson already was interested in this work during "The Nice" period. They had already rehearsed it quite extensively but did not consider to play it live because of its complexity. I guess that since they did not have a lot of numbers to chose from, this very long number (over thirty-five minutes) was the central part of this live set.

Emerson had the idea of bying two antique canons and to use them to punctuate PAAE at the Isle Of Whight. He still needed to test them out. He did pick-up London Heathrow to do so ! Just before showtime, he asked one roddie to double the charge. So the explosion WAS huge.

"Rondo" is a bit noisy, with no real structure. It sounds a bit as a jam. It was the last number of this short set. As an encore, they will play "Nutrocker" which will be later on be included as the finale of "PAAE". I have always loved this song. Great track.

From this show, 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 do not agree with him. I strongly believe that this live performance is precursory of their legendary live sets. To have reached such a complicity in a so short period of time is quite remarkable. This is a piece of prog music history. Therefore, I add one star to the deserved three stars rating.

ZowieZiggy | 4/5 |

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