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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Live At The Royal Albert Hall CD (album) cover

LIVE AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

2.92 | 147 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars "You've got to see this show, it's Rock 'n' Roll!"

1992's Black Moon was a great comeback album for ELP and a triumphant return to form after some weaker albums in the late 70's followed by a long period of silence during the 80's (though there was Emerson, Lake & Powell and 3 in the interim). Here the band returns to the stage performing a strong set of songs in the famous Royal Albert Hall in London in the wake of Black Moon.

The show begins with an unusually brief snippet of Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression, Part 2) that clocks in at under two minutes (which is quite a reduction having in mind that the original version is around 30 minutes long). Tarkus too is reduced to less than half its original running time and there is some noisy parts towards the end of it that I learned from the video version of this concert recording is caused by Keith running around the stage and even into the audience with one of his electronic gadgets. This was somehow lost on me on this CD version. This then leads straight into a rocking version of Knife Edge with which the show really takes off.

The show then continues with Paper Blood on which Greg plays the harmonica. Apart from Paper Blood, two further selections from the Black Moon album are present here in Romeo And Juliet (based on original music by Prokiev) and the title track (the latter is only included on this CD and not on the video version of Live At The Royal Albert Hall). Both of these are very good and I wouldn't have minded hearing further songs from the underrated Black Moon album live.

Creole Dance is a rapid piano number showcasing Keith's incredible skills on that instrument. Greg gets to shine on his trademark Lucky Man and Still... You Turn Me On. (The latter is another song that is only included here and not on the video version. Songs that were on the video but that are absent from the CD include From The Beginning, Pictures At An Exhibition, and Honky Tonk Train Blues.)

The absolute highlight for me is Pirates which I think sounds better here than it did on Works Vol. 2. This epic composition works much better without the orchestra in my opinion. It has been given a much needed edge here and it is less bombastic. The show closes with a medley taking in Fanfare For The Common Man and some adaptations of Classical works that Keith originally performed with The Nice.

Overall a very good live record, though the video version is even better in my view.

SouthSideoftheSky | 4/5 |

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