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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

2.42 | 582 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Like the earlier Volume 1, this splits its time between group and individual contributions. It's no more eclectic than its predecessor, but by containing the experiment to a single album it may feel that way. "Works Volume 2" is essentially a catch-all compilation of old material (like the 1973 B side, "When The Apple Blossoms Bloom."), solo singles from Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, and songs that were new to listeners if not new themselves. An album of such dubious origins gave some critics (at least those intent on giving prog rock its last rites) the excuse they needed to proclaim that ELP was dead. My job (mon raison d'etre, peut-etre?) is to tell you otherwise.

Sure, it's not the paragon of prog rock that earlier albums were, but Archiva it ain't. Taken individually, tracks like "Brain Salad Surgery", "Watching Over You", "I Believe In Father Christmas" and "Maple Leaf Rag" are just fine. Compared to Emerson's tiresome classical aspirations (i.e., "Piano Concerto No. 1"), shorter showstoppers like "Barrelhouse Shake-Down" and "Honky Tonk Train Blues" are a hoot. If Carl Palmer's marching band on mescaline ("Close But Not Touching") is filler, his "Bullfrog" is fuller. And I've found myself humming this version of "Show Me The Way To Go Home" on more than one occasion.

Honestly, listening to "Works Volume 1" is usually work, "Volume 2" isn't. Given that the band didn't release a lot of material in the '70s, ELP fans are missing a piece of the puzzle if they haven't picked this one up yet. Bringing this music under the ELP aegis may have been no more than a good marketing ploy, but it still manages to live up to the band's reputation better than the albums that followed.

daveconn | 4/5 |


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