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Emerson Lake & Palmer

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Emerson Lake & Palmer Beyond The Beginning album cover
3.83 | 79 ratings | 17 reviews | 29% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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DVD/Video, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

ELP in Pictures:
1. Take A Pebble (1970, The Beat Club TV show)
2. Knife Edge (1971, Brussels concert)
3. Rondo / Pictures At An Exhibition (1970, montage from Isle of Wight performances)
4. Rondo (1971, Brussels concert)
5. Tarkus - Eruption (1972, Tokyo concert)
6. Hoedown (1973, Milan concert)
7. Tank (1973, Milan concert)
8. Lucky Man (1974, California Jam)
9. Karn Evil 9, 3rd Impression (1974, California Jam)
10. Toccata (1974, Aquarius TV show)
11. I Believe In Father Christmas (1975, promo video)
12. Honky Tonk Train Blues (1976, Oscar Peterson Piano Party TV show)
13. Fanfare For The Common Man (1977, promo video)
14. Pirates (1977, Montreal concert)
15. Tiger In The Spotlight (1977, Pop Rock TV show)
16. Watching Over You (1978, Memphis concert)
17. Tarkus (1992, Royal Albert Hall concert)
18. Touch And Go (1997, Budapest concert)

Promo Videos:
1. America (THE NICE) - 1968 Beat Club TV show
2. Fire (THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN) - 1968 Beat Club TV show
3. 21st Century Schizoid Man (KING CRIMSON) - 1969 Hyde Park concert (edit)

Bonus Footage:
1. ELP in rehearsal 1973
2. "The story of the album covers" documentary
3. ELP at Brands Hatch 1973
4. Interview with Bob Moog

California Jam 1974, 44-minute performance:
1. Toccata
2. Still You Turn Me On
3. Lucky Man
4. Piano improvisations
5. Take A Pebble
6. Karn Evil 9, 1st impression part 2
7. Karn Evil 9, 3rd impression
8. Spinning Piano
9. Great Gates of Kiev

"Beyond the beginning" documentary (1 hour)

Total Time: approx. 250 minutes

Line-up / Musicians

- Keith Emerson / keyboards
- Greg Lake / vocals, guitars, bass
- Carl Palmer / drums, assorted percussion

Releases information

2DVD Sanctuary Visual Entertainment SVE4007
Double DVD issue plus 24-page booklet

Thanks to Fitzcarraldo for the addition
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Buy EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Beyond The Beginning Music

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Beyond The Beginning ratings distribution

(79 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(58%)
Good, but non-essential (9%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Beyond The Beginning reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Fitzcarraldo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This 2-DVD set, with a total of circa 250 minutes of video, is a must-have for fans of the band. I would also recommend it to any progressive rock fan interested in the genre's history, and to those who do not realise (or who doubt) how popular the band was. I'm not going to reel off all the facts and statistics mentioned, but by the time you've watched the documentary and the excerpts from the various concerts you will realise that this band was huge back in the 1970s, and real innovators.

To newcomers to the band or genre, and to those sitting on the fence, I would strongly recommend watching Disc 2 first: there is an hour-long, informative documentary including interviews with the band members, their past and present managers, the band's publicist and even the well-known promoter Harvey Goldsmith ("When they got on stage they were mind-blowing").

You can select sub-titles in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

Apart from the documentary, Disc 2 has 44 minutes from the California Jam festival in 1974, where the band headlined with Deep Purple to an audience of 350,000 people. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed watching the footage of this concert, especially Keith Emerson's lengthy piano solo (no, I'm not talking about the famous - and brief - piano stunt, which is also shown but was only a gimmick).

After watching Disc 2, you can put in Disc 1 and watch 18 performances over the band's life, ranging from TV studio appearances to videos and concerts, plus a performance of each member of ELP in a previous band. A couple of the very early recordings are historically interesting albeit annoying because TV producers and cameramen in those days felt that it was not sufficient to just show the band playing: it was important to zoom in and out constantly, change shot constantly, superimpose coloured boxes and strips, invert the image, and mess around in other senseless ways. So much so that you cannot see what the band is doing half the time. Thirty-seven years down the line, precisely what is important is to see the band performing, as they were, not stupid visual effects. OK, rant over: there is still plenty of good footage on Disc 1, so do not let me put you off.

The list of ELP tracks is historically diverse (although some are only excerpts): 'Take A Pebble' (German TV, 1970); 'Knife Edge' (Brussels concert, 1971); 'Rondo'/'Pictures at an Exhibition' (snippets from Isle of Wight festival, 1970), 'Rondo' (Brussels concert, 1971); 'Tarkus, Eruption' (snippets from Tokyo concert, 1972); 'Hoedown' (Milan concert, 1973); 'Tank' (snippet from Milan concert, 1973); 'Lucky Man' (California Jam, 1974); 'Karn Evil 9, Third Impression' (California Jam, 1974); 'Toccata' (Aquarius TV show, 1974) [Palmer only, and very good]; 'I Believe In Father Christmas' (Greg Lake's excellent 1975 video); 'Honky Tonk Train Blues' (Oscar Peterson's Piano Party on TV, 1976); 'Fanfare For The Common Man' (1977 video); 'Pirates' (Montreal concert, 1977) [not a piece I like, but it sounds and looks great live with a full orchestra accompanying, making the whole thing very slick]; 'Tiger In A Spotlight' (Pop Rock TV show, 1977); 'Watching Over You' (Memphis concert, 1978); 'Tarkus' (Royal Albert Hall concert, 1992) [boy, the guys look old in this one, and I don't enjoy much the way they turn the piece into a slow, funky, jazzed up number part way through]; 'Touch And Go' (Budapest concert, 1997).

Disc 1 also has "bonus footage": mostly-B&W footage of the band rehearsing in 1973, which is initially boring but then becomes interesting; a short documentary about the album covers, with interviews; a B&W film of the band racing saloon cars with other celebrities at Brands Hatch in 1973; "How It All Began", a new interview with Bob Moog, which I found very interesting (and further proof of how innovatory the band was). And, if that is not enough, three more B&W tracks: 'Fire', performed by THE CRAZY WORLD OF ARTHUR BROWN (1968 TV performance, suffering from gratuitous, very dated and hugely irritating camera effects) with Carl Palmer; 'America', performed by THE NICE (1968 TV performance, also suffering from the same very dated and irritating camera effects) with Keith Emerson; a snippet of Greg Lake in KING CRIMSON performing '21st Century Schizoid Man' in Hyde Park in 1969 (the sound is superimposed, but the sync with Lake's lips is perfect and the snippet is interesting).

Oh, and there's a 24-page booklet with some nice photos and background information.

The track list for Disc 1 on the back of the DVD case is wrong; the list above is in the correct order (as it is in the booklet) and one track less than stated on the case.

The sound quality is good. The video quality is generally good too; some of the early stuff is grainy, as you'd expect, but overall the image quality is very acceptable. The tracks look and sound great on my large TV set.

Well, what are you waiting for? Grab a few beers and some snacks, kick everyone who is not a progressive rock fan out of the room, and settle down for 250 minutes of rock history. And don't forget: watch Disc 2 first!

Review by erik neuteboom
5 stars INCREDIBLE, AMAZING, OUTSTANDING, ETC. ETC. .....WHAT A SPLENDID 2-DVD BOX SET!!! All the wild, bombastic, virtuosic and megalomanic stage antics from Keith Emerson can be seen, from the abusing of his Hammond organ and the 'flying piano' to the sensational play on his Yamaha GX-1 synthesizer (in the empty and snowy Olympic Stadium of Montreal) and boogie woogie piano play in a tv show, what a trhill to watch Keith Emerson, the 'Jimi Hendrix from the progrock'! Palmer got a hot spot in "Toccata" during a drum solo in a tv show and in "Lucky man" and "I believe in Father Christmas" we can enjoy Greg Lake on his acoustic guitar. There are lots of bonus features, including 17 minute rehearsal, an hour long histroy of the band and a Bob Moog (unfortunately very ill, I read on this site) interview. THIS IS ESSENTIAL PROGROCK HISTORY, NOT TO BE MISSED IN ANY SERIOUS COLLECTION!!!!!
Review by richardh
4 stars Should have been the dogs bollocks but isn't really.Its an interesting collection of video and concert performances by one the best prog bands of the seventies.ELP had a spirit of adventure and were incredibly extrovert as a live band and this DVD gets that across well.The highlights:

Take a Pebble -exceptional extended acoustic peice.ELP were more than just an electronic keyboards driven band and this proves it.

Rondo (Brussels)- great camera work especially focusing on Emerson's brilliant keys work.

Karn Evil 9 3rd Impression - Superb footage from Cal Jam 1974.

Fanfare For The Common Man - A video(not live) but still fascinating all the same.

Pirates - From the Montreal Olympic Stadium with a 60 peice orchestra.True progressive music realised in front of 88,000 people!

Tarkus - From The Royal Albert Hall and shows the band still had soemthing to offer even in their twilight years.

The bonus footage is ok but not great to be honest.I'm probably being over generous in giving this 4 stars but ELP is my favourite band so I can and will.I can dream that there is a complete video of a concert performance of ELP from 1974 tucked away somewhere and still in good nick.For the time being this will have to do.

Review by lor68
3 stars Well I have to remark my sense of tiredness in front of a music puzzle like this, filled in so many different and non-homogeneous fragments (think of "Tarkus" for instance, an extract from the famous performance at their gig in Tokyo dated 1972, which is not useful here in a short version.), but in the same time I'm quite excited about a splendid and simple version of "Take a pebble" (during a German TV show dated 1970), as well as for the immortal "Karn Evil 9" (within disc 2) which always makes me feel so good!. Ok sometimes such famous tunes are a little bit strident in comparison to the raw songs by the "Crazy World of Arthur Brown" and the Nice (promo videos), and it seems that's a kind of forced and unnatural testament in some circumstances!! The quality picture regarding the various gigs is uneven and the several clips- being cut- don't represent the best stuff ever seen, but at the end this is an important historical document and you can forgive the Sanctuary Visual Entertainment production for their insertion concerning for instances the tepid song "Watching Over You" or the recent execution of "Touch And Go" in their live in Budapest (1997), which cannot be regarded as must-have by ELP .instead fine songs like the instrumental "Hoedown" or also "Tank" remind us of a period which won't never come back anymore, as well as an happy period for prog music in general. Emerson nowadays is involved along with D. Kilminster in various gigs all over Europe and at the moment of my review I'm waiting for the show of Live Club in Trezzo-Bergamo (Italy), where He will execute a lot of the famous tunes I've just examined here, moreover being a constant example to be emulated for all the keyboardists like me, fond of this unique style (think also of E. Jobson or the best moments of T. Banks and Rick Wakeman with their progressive bands- Yes and the early Genesis, during the seventies.). The project regarding the reunion of ELP in the early nineties failed in a bad manner, but I'm not concerned about it too much, because the époque of the dinosaurs of progressive rock is buy this DVD- above all if you're a fan of them- and be happy!!
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Mixed feelings about this DVD as to the running order of the tracks, the choice of contents and the rockumentary on the second disc. I rented this DVD, because I had a feeling that the acquisition of it would be rather useless for someone that knows a lot about the band (furthermore having read Emerson's book Picture Of An Exhibitionist last year). So I did rent it out and was rather pleased to see some of the footage that had been selected, but do not understand why the full Belgian TV special was not included and can only remark that there is still a footage when they filmed KE9 in a TV studio, that I have yet to see released on DVD (I do not think it was ever also on VCR, either), but on the whole there are some delightful moments. Especially enjoying were some (all too short) footage of their first groups, TCWOAB, KC and The Nice (in a great version of America with O'List on guitar) as a foreplay.

The second disc is divided in a rather good but not excellent quality film of the California Jam 74 , when they topped the bill of a rather convincing performance. More of interest is the rockumentary , which traces back their career until their first demise after the awful Love Beach, which all admit it was a poor album, but also offered at Ahmed Ertegun's Atlantic label as a fulfilment of the contract they had. No mention of the next year's Live album and the rest of the career (after they reformed in 86) is kept silent and the only time you see something about those albums is a concert footage of EL & Powell 's Touch And Go on the first disc. Rather puzzling when you consider the DVD's title.

One of the things not kept under silent is the constant air of turmoil, rivalries and Lake's superstar attitude, but frustration of the musical choice ( Emerson's revenge on the choice of Lucky Man as the lead off single as Tarkus etc..) makes you wonder on how these guys managed to stand each other for so long , that you realize that if the album were not quite that successful in terms of sales, they probably would have not lasted past the third album. Emerson's showmanship and exhibitionist's nature and apparent complete lack of business sense of the music scene (the other two still remind him of the famous orchestra on tour) and Palmer's sort of useless role of arbitrating or refereeing bouts between the other two (but on his own admission he got ignored and was somewhat of a punching ball for standing in between the two) , this complete a rather not- so-illustrious portrait of a band. Yet as in Emerson's book, there is a real openness of talking about those inside quirkiness but displaying a certain lack of humility and shame, but also a great pride in their achievements. And on their whole career's achievements, who could possibly blame them for that?

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is a documentary DVD that casts the joined forces of three talented musicians Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer as a successful and unique progressive rock trio the world has ever had. The period of 1970 to 1978 was the golden years of the band. This is the period where materials of the DVD were taken from. Featuring performances from every stage of their career, including 44 minutes of ELP headlining the massive California Jam Festival in 1974 on Disc Two which also showcase the much sought after footage of the famous spinning piano sequence. The DVD also contains Beyond The Beginning - an hour long documentary which tells the story of this remarkable band with refreshing honesty and candor. [DVD jewel case notes].

What do you expect from documentary DVD? Complete story of the band? Yes, if that is the case, you can find it here. It's not how the band was taking shape at first formation but it's more on where and when they performed the show and how they performed it. The good things about this documentary is that it is also provided with complete 22-page booklet in color with band photos and .. most importantly .. the description of each cast in the DVD. It's so informative so that each ELP fan can easily find out the information pertinent to any cast in the DVD. That's enough to say that you don't need to read this review as the track-by-track review has been professionally provided by the producer of this DVD. So, my advice is: just purchase this DVD!

If you are quite troublesome with picture and audio quality - you would definitely be disappointed. But, HELLO!!! This is seventies man .! Don't expect something with dolby surround or DTS kind of thing, just enjoy the quality as is. Feel it as you were there in the show and you would be satisfied with this documentary DVD! Have you ever seen the spinning piano attraction? Yeah .. it's here with this DVD! Highly recommended. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Roll up, roll up, see the show

This lavishly presented double DVD set gathers together some excellent footage of the band from their earliest days (their first real gig at the Isle of Wight festival) through to the trio's final appearance together in 1997.

The track selections are, presumably through necessity, a bit of a mixed bag. We have for example two selections called "Tarkus", but neither is a complete rendition of the suite. Likewise, the pre ELP "Rondo" features twice, but the "Trilogy" album is all but ignored.

Disc 1 comes across as rather fragmented, with favourites such as "Tank" and "Pictures at an exhibition" being ruthlessly edited. On the other hand, the opening "Take a pebble" seems to last for an eternity as the band wander off on a number of tangents. A full version of "Pirates" from the Montreal leg of the orchestra tour is interesting, if only because it demonstrates all too clearly how the band had dropped the ball.

Elsewhere, "Tiger in a spotlight" features a tethered tiger on stage with the band(!), while "Honky Tonk train blues" sees Emerson dueting with the legendary Oscar Peterson creating one of the highlights of the DVD.

Disc 2 features the band's performance at the 1974 "California jam", the audio from which has been previously available for some time on releases such as "Now and then". This set is the more satisfying of the discs, as it effectively offers an ELP gig as it would have been live. The performance includes the now infamous spinning piano sequence.

The presentation is completed by a number of extras, including early rehearsal footage, an interview with synthesiser pioneer Bob Moog, a lengthy documentary on the band and brief footage of the three members previous bands.

The accompanying booklet offers useful commentaries on the origins of the recordings, although it appears to have been compiled before the track listing had been finalised.

In all, a fine audio/visual experience for fans of the band. The quality and availability of material can be a tad frustrating, but that is a minor grumble given the unique nature of much of what is on offer here.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A visual treat, as good as it gets, capturing all that is great about ELP.

I have many ELP DVDs but they do not get better than this. Most of the best material and footage of the band is here, and a few rarities for completists. It is great to see excellent quality recordings of the best performances from TV shows such as Take A Pebble from The Beat Club TV show, and Toccata from the Aquarius TV show. It in interesting how the compilation DVD doubles up by having sections from California jam, yet the full concert is here on the bonus disc. The Rondo / Pictures At An Exhibition montage from Isle of Wight performance is a great addition, though the full concert is still worth tracking down. There are many concerts represented here such as Milan, Montreal, Budapest and Memphis.

The lowlights are taken from the Works phase such as the appalling I Believe In Father Christmas, and Tiger In The Spotlight, though that is worth a look just to see the terrified tiger lurking in the foreground.

Highlights include the early footage plus the extended promo for Fanfare For The Common Man from 1977, I had only seen the edited single version on TV. A recent Tarkus performance from 1992, at the Royal Albert Hall concert is an excellent tour de force from the group, and it was great to see Touch And Go live from 1997.

The promo videos are a nice addition especially America by The Nice from 1968 Beat Club TV show and the insane Fire by TCWOAB. I was looking forward to seeing the early King Crimson with 21st Century Schizoid Man but the whole clip is heavily edited and the entire instrumental section is omitted which is a major disappointment.

There are some great bonus features such as ELP kanoodling in rehearsals during 1973 and the wonderful "The story of the album covers" documentary, which is great because it exposes the albums and how the band feels about them. Love Beach is mentioned as a massive flop, and we all knew that. ELP at Brands Hatch 1973 is a waste that I won't bother watching again as it is just a doco on some car race track really. The Interview with Bob Moog is OK but a bit boring just hearing the old guy ratlle on about keyboards.

The second disk is a revelation featuring the full California Jam in 1974, the 44-minute performance. Highlights of the performance are Toccata, Take A Pebble, Karn Evil 9, 1st impression part 2, Karn Evil 9, 3rd impression and it even includes rare footage of Emerson's Spinning Piano. This concert is worth the price alone as it captures the dynamic energy of the group in their heyday.

The "Beyond the beginning" documentary is the icing on the cake, a 1 hour look inside what makes these three guys tick, and much is revealed in the one hour. Overall this compilation is a must for ELP fans, and spans the entire music career of one of the most innovative prog bands in music history... the awesome irreplaceable ELP!

Latest members reviews

4 stars First off, if you're an ELP fan then you have to get this DVD. Along with the unofficial Belgian concert disc and the Lyceum Pictures at an Exhibition DVD it contains much of the best extant live footage of the band. Good points: Film from the Isle of Wight performance that established the ban ... (read more)

Report this review (#205751) | Posted by Cactus Choir | Sunday, March 8, 2009 | Review Permanlink

2 stars With absolutely brutal sound quality, sloppy live playing, audio/video timing issues, and repeated footage, this DVD doesn't really make up to be a worthwhile journey. I was quite excited when I took this out of the library, and was extremely disappointed at the silly edits of classics - including ... (read more)

Report this review (#131696) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, August 4, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This wonderful two DVD set is the definitive historical reference on ELP. it features all members of the band, present day, commenting on various happenings and developments in the history of ELP, from their birth to the less than stellar reunions of the early nineties. It contains several clips ... (read more)

Report this review (#115310) | Posted by OGTL | Thursday, March 15, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Perfect? No...Absolutely essential? YES!!! This dvd is one of the few that I tend to throw in the DVD night after night and watch. If you are an ELP fan and dont have this DVD, make it a priority. The cover is a well put together and attractive holder of this epic presentation. We are treat ... (read more)

Report this review (#84183) | Posted by endlessepic | Wednesday, July 19, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This video collection has some disappointments. To quote the background music on the menus (The Endless Enigma), "Why do you think I believe what you say...?" That's exactly the message this DVD is trying to provide. First of all, those Tarkus segments from the Japan concert are VERY BAD. The ... (read more)

Report this review (#59043) | Posted by | Saturday, December 3, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This two DVD set is a disappointment. It has some high points but the general quality of the footage is poor. Fans have long awaited this DVD because of the footage from Cal Jam in 1974. This concert footage chronicled the band at their high point, when they headlined the three day concert ... (read more)

Report this review (#52943) | Posted by | Sunday, October 23, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I'm sorry to have to say this about this long awaited DVD, but "What were the producers thinking?" On disc one we get Lucky Man and Karn Evil 9 #3 from Cal Jam exactly the same as the on Disc 2. What up wid dat? I saw the whole California Jam in 1974 when a friend of mine's dad working for a ... (read more)

Report this review (#48492) | Posted by | Monday, September 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Good, but also disappointing and severely lacking quality! GOOD.... ... because there's a wealth of clips from various performances. Best part is the 12+ minute version of Take A Pebble from the now legendary German Beat club TV programme. Some other clips may be found on other releases a ... (read more)

Report this review (#42991) | Posted by | Monday, August 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a great collection and shows ELP changing through the 70's; from looking young, hungry and mean, setting off canons at the IOW festival through to them becoming - at least musically - rather tired and middle aged with "Pirates" and "Tiger in the Spotlight". No wonder punk pushed them asid ... (read more)

Report this review (#41277) | Posted by Phil | Tuesday, August 2, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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