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Keith Emerson - Changing States CD (album) cover


Keith Emerson


Crossover Prog

3.25 | 23 ratings

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Symphonic Team
2 stars The Black Moon demos

In my opinion, Emerson Lake & Palmer's 1992 come-back album Black Moon is (contrary to common opinion) a very solid album and easily the best the band had produced since they peaked with Brain Salad Surgery in 1973. Indeed, I think that Black Moon ranks as one of ELP's best studio albums ever, surpassed only by Brain Salad Surgery, Trilogy, and the self-titled debut. I also think it is better than the other things that Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer did in the interim period, including the album Keith and Greg did with Cozy Powell in 1986 (under the name Emerson Lake & Powell), the album Keith and Carl did with Robert Berry in 1988 (under the name 3), the albums Carl did with Asia, as well as Greg's and Keith's respective solo albums.

The present album was recorded in 1989 but not released until 1995. It includes early versions of several songs that ended up on the Black Moon album. Somewhat confusingly, the title of this album, Changing States, is also the title of a song from Black Moon that here goes under the alternative name of Another Frontier. The track that was called Romeo And Juliet on Black Moon is an adaptation of Prokiev's Montagues And Capulets and appears here under the latter title. Finally, Black Moon's Close To Home is here called Ballade. Both versions of all three of these tracks are great. Ballade is notable for having some acoustic guitar by Kevin Gilbert.

Another track on Changing States that is already going to be familiar to ELP fans is Abaddons Bolero which appears here in an orchestral version featuring the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Personally I prefer the original adaptation from 1972's Trilogy album. While all of the above mentioned tracks are available elsewhere, the rest of this album is a mixed bag. The best of the lot is Church, a heavy progressive rocker drenched in organ in trademark Emerson style. Shelter From The Rain and The Band Keeps Playing are passable Hard Rock numbers with little or nothing indicating that this is a Keith Emerson album. They could indeed have come from Whitesnake. The real low point of the album, however, is definitely the jazzy version of Summertime. A complete embarrassment and waste of space.

There are some very good moments here, but as I've said they are mostly available elsewhere in better versions. If you already have Black Moon, you don't need this. And if you don't have Black Moon, get it first. Only fans and collectors need both albums.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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