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Emerson Lake & Palmer - History Of Rock CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

3.17 | 4 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Review Nš 715

"History Of Rock" is a compilation album of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and that was released in 2001. It has tracks from seven studio albums of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It has two tracks from their eponymous debut studio album, one track from their second studio album "Tarkus", three tracks from their third studio album "Trilogy", two tracks from their fourth studio album "Brain Salad Surgery", two tracks from their fifth studio album "Works Vol. 1", two tracks from their sixth studio album "Works Vol. 2" and one track from their ninth studio album "Black Moon". So, their albums "Pictures At An Exhibition", "In The Hot Seat" and the Emerson, Lake & Powell's album aren't represented here with any track.

So, "History Of Rock" is a compilation album with thirteen tracks. "From The Beginning" is from "Trilogy". It's a beautiful acoustic song featuring Lake on vocals and guitar with some participation of Emerson on the end of the track. It's a song with a simple structure. We can say this is one of the best compositions written by Lake for the band. "Still... You Turn Me On" is from "Brain Salad Surgery". It's the obligatory acoustic number on that album. It's a Lake's classic acoustic ballad in the vein of "Lucky Man" and "From The Beginning". It's one of Lake's best ballads. It was a big radio hit in U.S.A. "Fanfare For The Common Man" is from "Works Vol. 1". This is a great interpretation of a classical piece of Aaron Copland re-arranged for rock. Copland's original is great and ELP didn't make a bad job with the arrangements. Synths are heavily used, especially in the later sections. It sounds like early ELP, being experimental and heroic. "Knife-Edge" is from "Emerson, Lake & Palmer". It's based on the first movement of the Leos Janacek's "Sinfonietta" classical piece. This is another piece with a great showcase by all band's members, with the particular emphasis on great bass lines. "Tarkus" is from "Tarkus". It's divided into "Eruption", "Stones Of Years", "Iconoclast", "Mass", "Manticore", "Battlefield" and "Aquatarkus". This is a very complex fantastic piece with great creativity, experimental, and certainly, avant-garde for those times. This great epic is their lengthiest studio song until "Karn Evil 9" of "Brain Salad Surgery". It remains a favourite song for the fans and was consistently played live by the band. "Karn Evil 9" is from "Brain Salad Surgery". "Karn Evil 9" is a great opus that is divided into three movements or impressions. This is an instrumental epic track featuring Emerson on piano sounding like jazz and Palmer's drumming showing his percussion skills. "C'Est La Vie" is from "Works Vol. 1". This is a very well known acoustic song. It's probably the most similar in style to Lake's ballads on their earlier albums. I like it a lot, especially the amazing voice of him. "Hoedown" is from "Trilogy". It's an interpretation of the band from the ballet "Rodeo" of Aaron Copland. Instead of violins we have Emerson's Hammond and synthesizers taking the lead. It's a fantastic piece, a perfect way to bring the classical to rock. It was one of their most popular songs when performed live. "Trilogy" is from "Trilogy". It's one of the highest moments on that album and it's also one of their best and most beautiful compositions. It's largely an instrumental piece very much over piano in the beginning, heavily influenced by the classical music. In the middle, the music blasts with all instruments playing in continuo. "Honky Tonk Train Blues {Meade (Lux) Lewis}" is from "Works Vol. 2". It was written by Meade Lux Lewis and it's in the same vein of "Barrelhouse Shake-Down" of that album. This is Emerson having fun with the grand piano in a boogie-woogie style while the rest plays in a swing jazz style. "Black Moon" is from "Black Moon". It was inspired by the Gulf War with the burning Iraqi oil fields. It opens with a tense dark atmosphere created mostly by Emerson's shimmering keyboard choices, including a brief crashing piano solo. The lyrics are biting and the synths give a certain strut to the political lyrics. "Lucky Man" is from "Emerson, Lake & Palmer". It's a ballad for acoustic guitar. It's a song with acoustic guitar, beautiful singing and a great synthesizer solo towards the end. It's one of the best songs written by Lake. It became as one of the band's most commercial and accessible tracks in their career. "I Believe In Father Christmas" is from "Works Vol. 2". It's a beautiful song, a ballad based on the Sergei Prokofiev's theme with great arrangements and also with good, ironic and controversial lyrics about the negative effects of commercial Christmas.

Conclusion: "History Of Rock" is another great compilation album of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It's very similar to other compilation album from the band named "The Best Of Emerson, Lake & Palmer", which was released in 1994. It has almost the same tracks and even the alignment of the tracks is also very identical. Thus, as happened with that compilation album, "History Of Rock" is also interesting and has tracks that belong to some of their most iconic, best and most progressive albums. The four first, best and most progressive studio albums of the band are all represented here at least with one track. My only regret is the non inclusion of any of the tracks of their debut live album "Pictures At An Exhibition". Anyway, this is a compilation album without weak points, really. So, we can say that "History Of Rock" is a well representative compilation album and a good starting point for those who aren't familiar with the band.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 3/5 |


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