Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Live in Montreal 1977 CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

2.59 | 20 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
2 stars C'est La Vie

The 2011 Shout! Factory archival release Live At Nassau Coliseum '78 totally blew me away! At the point of that recording the band had ditched the orchestra accompaniment and were back to the traditional trio format. And completely contrary to what you would expect judging from the three Works releases (Works Vol. 1, Works Vol. 2, and Works Live), Emerson, Lake & Palmer were still a brilliant live act in 1978 and showed no signs whatsoever of having declined since Welcome Back My Friends To the Show That Never Ends!

In 2013 the same label released another archival live ELP album recorded in Montreal, Canada in the year before Live At Nassau. On this occasion the full orchestra is featured and the difference is striking. Some of these tracks were previously included on Works Live (originally released as In Concert in 1979). The sound quality here is not so good, but for that we cannot blame the band. But the performances are stale, without much passion. Comparing this show with the one captured at Nassau the songs are played slower and without the massive energy that permeated the Naussau show.

It is my firm belief that the band was held back considerably by the presence of the orchestra. Playing in time with the orchestra was constraining and left little rooms for any spontaneity. The decision to tour and record with a full orchestra during the Works years marred the band both artistically and financially. Greg Lake has said as much in interviews that he wishes they had never done that and that they might have survived longer as a band had they abstained for this expensive endeavour.

Compared to Works Live, at least Live in Montreal 1977 offers a more accurate representation of the actual show with the original set list retained in the track order. Sadly, these versions do not compare favourably to other versions of the same pieces. Had the sound quality been better I would have given this three stars, but as it stands it must be recommended primarily to fans and collectors. Make sure you get the fantastic Live At Nassau Coliseum '78 first as it is far, far superior to this one.

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this EMERSON LAKE & PALMER review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives