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3 - Live Boston '88 CD (album) cover

LIVE BOSTON '88

3

 

Crossover Prog

2.18 | 3 ratings

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SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars From the life

After Emerson and Lake had done an album a couple of years prior with Cozy Powell replacing Palmer, it then was Lake's turn to take a break from the band. In stepped Robert Berry. Since Berry's last name doesn't begin with the letter "L" the ELP moniker could not be maintained this time and they opted for the shorter "3" as their band name. They released their only studio album under this name entitled To The Power Of Three in 1988 and then embarked on a tour. The present live disc documents a show recorded in Boston.

Interestingly the set list is as if Lake had never existed and we do not get to hear Berry sing any song that was originally sung by Lake. There are several classic tunes with which all ELP fans will certainly be familiar, but they are all instrumentals and written by others, such as Leonard Bernstein's America, Dave Brubeck's Rondo (both originally adapted and performed by Emerson in The Nice), Alberto Ginastera's Creole Dance, and Aaron Copland's Fanfare For The Common Man and Hoedown.

With the exception of Standing In The Shadows Of Love (another cover song I believe), the rest of the set list consists of songs from To The Power Of Three album. All but one of the eight tracks from that album are recreated in this live concert. The best of these is definitely Desde La Vida ("meaning from the life", as Emerson explains to the audience), a three-part epic mainly written by Emerson with some help from Berry and Palmer. This is the most progressive song from To The Power Of Three and it is performed here in a slightly elongated version compared to the studio counterpart. Another good song from that album is On My Way Home written by Emerson.

Songs like Talkin' Bout, Runaway, You Do or You Don't (all written by Berry alone), and Lover To Lover (co- written with Emerson and Palmer), are rather straightforward melodic Rock songs with catchy choruses and little or no surprises. These songs brought the studio album down and they do not enhance this live album either. The show ends with Eight Miles High which is a Byrds cover.

Overall, despite some really good moments, this live album fails to be a sufficient improvement over the To The Power Of Three studio disc to deserve a higher rating. The concentration of songs from that album is too heavy and there is too much focus on material written by other people.

Recommended primarily to ELP fans and collectors.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |

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