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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 2 CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

3.70 | 32 ratings

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Like Frank Zappa on his "Beat The Boots" releases, Emerson Lake & Palmer took bootleg recordings and released them on their own label. Like Zappa's recordings, these are of dubious quality. Unlike Zappa's recordings, there is really very little on them to give them value. And I happen to love the classic period of ELP.

The set consists of four pairs of disks, each pair a somewhat complete concert. Somewhat complete because some of the songs drop in after they had started, and some end abruptly. The albums, I presume have their original titles. They are:

"A Right Cordial Shocker" - Hammersmith Odeon, London Nov. 11 1972: The recording is very muffled sounding. You can barely make out the bass and drums. The first disk has a live version of Endless Enigma, as far as I know not on any intentional live ELP albums. Also, there is a quick rendition of a song called At The Sign Of The Swinging Cymbals, a song that had been used as the theme for an early sixties BBC radio program.

"Waiting For The Corduroy Purpose" - Henry Lewit Arena, Wichita Kansas March 26, 1974: The second best sounding set from this collection. It sounds like an audience member snuck in a tape recorder, as you can hear quite a bit of chatter during the songs. The bass and drums are slightly better than the previous album. This is basically the same set as on "Welcome Back My Friends..." with the addition of Benny The Bouncer.

"My Darling Nemesis...The Illuminati" - Rich Stadiun, Buffalo NY July 26, 1974: The worst recording of the lot. It sounds like it was recorded off of a cheap AM radio. The bass and drums are unintelligible. I can hardly bear to listen to it. Again, a similar set to "Welcome Back My Friends..." , with Pictures At An Exhibition played as an encore.

"Strangely Beneficient" - New Haven Civic Centre, New Haven CT, Nov. 30, 1977: The best sounding concert from the set. It sounds like a soundboard recording a couple of generations removed from the original. Although all the songs here can be found on real live releases, the board captures a lot of nuances from Emerson's keyboards that are not heard on other recordings.

All in all, this set shows how little the arrangements changed from concert to concert, other than occasional quoted passages in Emerson's solos. Unless you are a collector, bypass these and get "Welcome Back..." and the "Works Live" CDs to hear this great band in concert.

Evolver | 2/5 |


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