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Keith Emerson - Chord Sampler CD (album) cover


Keith Emerson


Crossover Prog

2.26 | 4 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Music for obscure movies

Released in 1984, "Chord Sampler" is a round up of Keith Emerson's soundtrack albums released on Chord Records between 1982 and 1984. The music is taken from five different films, none of which might be described as blockbusters.

Despite the sleeve illustration of Emerson twiddling with his knobs as part of an Emerson Lake and Palmer performance, these tracks are generally piano orientated with simple arrangements. "Big horn breakdown" from the "Honky" soundtrack for example is a "Honky tonk train blues" like brass backed affair.

There are variations from the keyboards dominated sounds, such as the female vocal led "No so innocent" from the film "Murderrock". Unfortunately, the song is awful in terms of both composition and rendition. The melody rambles and the cod- dramatics are forced and contrived. "Playing for keeps" from "Best revenge" has vocals by Brad Delph of Boston, the song being a decent pop rock number.

Relative highlights tend be the solo piano numbers such as the delicate "Love theme" from "Best revenge", which sounds for all the world like a Rick Wakeman piece. On "Canton stadium" and several other tracks from "Harmageddon", Emerson does a fine impression of Jean Michel Jarre, his synth style sounding like an "Oxygene" outtake.

Interestingly, a number of the tracks here, especially those from "Harmageddon", are not listed as appearing on original soundtrack albums. No explanation is offered for this, although it may be down to a simple re-titling of the instrumental themes.

With no less than 15 tracks on this album, there is no room for extended virtuoso performances by Emerson. While the music has clearly been written with the selected film in mind, there are still plenty of Emerson's signatures to be found. Not really an album for those seeking ELP though, more for those who have to have everything by the band and its members.

The majority of these tracks are now available on the 3 CD "At the movies" collection.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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