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Various Artists (Tributes) - Encores, Legends & Paradox - A Tribute To The Music Of ELP  CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Tributes)


Various Genres

3.65 | 37 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars This was the first tribute album I bought, as I was somewhat suspicious of them. However, when I saw this one in a London shop I was intrigued - not only by the music but also by the list of musicians appearing on the CD cover - and I've never regretted my purchase. As a matter of fact, I listen to this record quite often, alongside (obviously!) 'the real thing'. Unlike many other tribute albums, which dumbly imitate the originals without even trying to breathe any new life in them, "Encores, Legends and Paradox" (a brilliant title indeed!) offers some genuinely exciting reworkings of classic ELP tracks.

One of the album's masterminds is Robert Berry, who actually worked with Emerson and Palmer in the short-lived Three project, so he knows a thing or two about the originals and the way they were conceived. Berry plays on most of the tracks and sings on the opening "Karn Evil 9": his voice is pleasant but somehow nondescript, and certainly no match for Lake's. The other vocalists are Magellan's Trent Gardner, to which more or less the same applies; Dream Theater's James La Brie, who performs, of all tracks, on the immortal "Tarkus", one of Lake's strong points; Lake's clone himself, John Wetton, who sort of struggles with the difficult "Bitches Crystal"; and, last but not least, Glenn Hughes, one of the very few vocalists who can match Lake's talents, and whose performance on "Knife Edge" gave me goose pimples the first time I heard it. Although Hughes's voice is usually higher-pitched than Lake's, here he adopts a baritone range and the results are nothing short of astounding!

Instrumentally speaking, the album gathers some of the best musicians in the world of progressive and hard rock, including legendary session drummer Simon Phillips (listen to his brilliant work on "Karn Evil 9"), Jethro Tull's Martin Barre and Doane Perry and three outstanding keyboardists such as Igor Khoroshev, Derek Sherinian and Jordan Rudess. Some of the tracks turn out to be rather different from the originals, as is the case of "Toccata" and "A Time and A Place", which is much faster, with swirling keyboards and LaBrie's wailing vocals.

A very strong record overall, and a recommended purchase for all prog fans (unless they happen to really hate ELP with a passion!).

Raff | 4/5 |


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