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

THE RETURN OF THE MANTICORE

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.59 | 74 ratings

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ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer
3 stars ELP released a great compilation in 1992. A two CD set called "The Atlantic Years" and featuring most of their legendary tracks. So, what's the heck of putting this one on the market ?

Some historical tracks are interesting : the covers from their previous respective bands. Although I didn't know "Hang On To A Dream" from "The Nice" (Keith's previous band), this is a very good song. I have to say that the version of "Schizoid" is average. A full keyboards oriented version. It's a bit a pity that it only lasts for about three minutes though. Drumming are not so wild than Bruford's ones The beat being less rhythmy, heavier. I guess that KC purists won't find this one very interesting.

My fave of these is "Fire". Of course, it reminds me my youth... I remember the special video clip released for the TV promotion. A "crazy" moment (but with Arthur Brown would you really imagine something normal ?).

But frankly, even if it is nice to listen to these versions, one can hardly say that they are essential. As the syrupous and edulcorate studio version for "Pictures...". It was already available on the disgusting "In The Hot Seat". I prefer the shortened version available on "The Atlantic Years". But again, this song reminds me too many souvenirs while I was thirteen. It was the first ELP album I purchased and I am always keener in listening to the live original version than to anything else.

The real problem with this four CD compilation, is that too many poor to average tracks are featured. "I Believe In Father Christmas" starts the long, very long list of those. If you have read my individual review for the sh..y "Works" (whatever version), it is obvious that none of "Peter Gunn", "Tiger...", "The Enemy God Dances", "Honky Tonk Train Blues", or " Piano Concerto" are not appreciated at all. Since "Pirates" was not as weak as the rest, it is bearable to have it featured on this compilation work.

To feature "Bo Diddley", "Bitches Crystal" (on the B-side of "Tarkus" - I guess that you know what it means), " Affairs Of The Heart", or "Black Moon" was probably not the best idea either.

Of course, there are memorable moments as well, but most of them were them were featured on "Atlantic". "Tarkus" the greatest, as well as "Karn Evil 9" the great. The more discutable "Memoirs Of An Officer And A Gentleman" is also featured which means that their four epics (even if "Pictures" has been emasculated) are sitting here.

Still my recommendation is to stick to the great "Atlantic Years" compilation. This one holds too many fillers. Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |

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