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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Works Vol. 1 CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

2.96 | 898 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Worth getting for the Piano Concerto.

While Emerson is an awesome organ player, I always enjoyed his piano playing even more. His solo on the live 'Take a Pebble' (from Welcome Back..), for example, is the highlight of that album. And his 18-minute Piano Concerto No. 1, the first side of this double album, is for me the highlight of Works 1. I am not sure why some other reviewers seem dismissive of this. Emerson is such an amazing pianist, and it is clear he put his heart into writing this piano concerto. And, it is really so good! Of course, many can look at Works vol. 1 as the beginning of the end of the classic ELP, as they were not getting along that well by this point. Well, sure. And in that case, perhaps the best option IS to record the album as a series of solo contributions? I actually think this album works better than many naysayers, at least in terms of containing good new music. Not only is Emerson's Piano Concerto excellent, but some of the Lake pieces ("C'est La Vie", "Hallowed..." ) are decent, as well as the solo Palmer pieces ("The Enemy God Dances Within", his "Invention Part II", "Food for the Soul", the cover of "Tank"). The fourth side contains the only group recordings, and I have to say, it is not any better than the solo sides. ELP's version here of "Fanfare for the Common Man" is actually pretty bad. "Pirates", recorded with a full orchestra, is better, but no where near as good as Emerson's Piano Concerto. So, it is not clear that if the band had made the album a full-on group effort it would have been better than what we have here. On balance, averaging across all the tracks, I give this mixed bag a score of 6.0 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to mid 3 PA stars. The best track here is Emerson's wonderful Piano Concerto.

Walkscore | 3/5 |


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