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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Works Vol. 2 CD (album) cover

WORKS VOL. 2

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

2.44 | 617 ratings

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TCat
4 stars While Works Vol. 1 was more organized and featured each of the individuals contributing to a side each and leaving side 4 for two long group tracks. The album was a great showcase for the individuals and the band, most of the songs accompanied by a full orchestra, but it's biggest drawback was the lack of the band performing together. Works Vol. 2 is the companion album to this. It has a few outtakes from the first volume and also unused tracks from previous albums. The entire band work together more in these songs than on the first volume. You do get quite a mish mash of styles here which seems even more disjointed than the first volume because they are not organized like that album was. To me, however, that's okay. The performances are top rate, most of the songs are great, but unfortunately, most of them are not progressive. I love the variety on this one also. They tackle all styles here, and again, it becomes a showcase of talent from the band.

I have my definite favorites here, including "Bullfrog" which is a crazy, sometimes chaotic, jazz fusion instrumental from Palmer. I absolutely love this track and consider it one of my favorites in ELP's repertoire. Great percussion and excellent keyboard sound effects abound here. "Tiger in the Spotlight" is a great sock hop style song done ELP style with Lake on vocals. There are three mostly piano instrumentals here by Emerson which are mostly retro jazz styles that are a lot of fun to listen to. You get Boogie, Honky Tonk and Ragtime with full bands/orchestra alongside. "I Believe in Father Christmas" is on this album, which has become a staple in malls and stores everywhere during Christmastime, but the funny thing about this song is it is soooooo Anti- Christmas/Chirstian, and people don't realize it because they only hear the word Christmas and don't pay attention to the lyrics at all. Everything else here is interesting, but not spectacular.

This is still far better than the schlock that would become "Love Beach" which was their next album. This was the last great album by ELP, and they might have a good song here and there after this, but nothing matching their previous material after this album. I still consider this an excellent album, and I accept it as ELP's swan song to their best material. I put Vol 1 and 2 together and end up with a collection full of variety and fun.

TCat | 4/5 |

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