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EMERSON LAKE & PALMER

Symphonic Prog • United Kingdom


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Emerson Lake & Palmer picture
Emerson Lake & Palmer biography
Emerson, Lake & Palmer

ELP revolutionized the 70's rock scene by introducing a new line-up format. This fact really mattered due to each musician's geniality and unlimited talent that, put together, generated a level of music never achieved by anybody else as of yet. All of the musicians came from established bands before joining forces together: Greg LAKE came from KING CRIMSON, Carl PALMER came from ATOMIC ROOSTER, and Keith EMERSON came from THE NICE.

They explored their capabilities to an extreme, even with the technology limitations of the early 70's, breaking ground, setting the new parameters for a new vein in the english pop music (at the time) which would be called progressive music. ELP released 10 outstanding albums during the 70's, and after a long break, they got back in the 90's with a new approach, but still making good music. In 1986 Cozy POWELL replaced PALMER and they put together EMERSON, LAKE and POWELL, a good effort as well.

They've pushed their ambitions over-the-edge. On "Tarkus" the title suite was an inventive and edgy suite revolving around jazzy textures. Their most popular album "Brain Salad Surgery", was their most grandiose and refined. Next, the more adventurous listener might try "Trilogy" or ELP's self-titled first album. In my opinion, these four albums form the core of ELP's best material. Other good ELP albums include "Pictures at an Exhibition", their provocative, fiery and intense take on a classical work. and "Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends", a triple-live album (now on double-CD) with some absolutely stunning playing.

2016 was a sad year for Prog fans, because Keith and Greg left us, Rest in Peace and thank you for everything


Being that some albums belong to a different band with only two members of ELP, we have to make this addition:


Emerson, Lake & Powell

Emerson, Lake & Powell, often abbreviated to ELPowell, were an offshoot of a classic prog band Emerson, Lake & Palmer with Cozy Powell taking over the drumming duites in place of Carl Palmer which released one self-titled album in 1986.

After releasing Love Beach in 1978 Emerson, Lake & Palm...
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Emerson Lake & Palmer official website

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Pictures At An ExhibitionPictures At An Exhibition
BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd 2016
Audio CD$12.58
$12.34 (used)
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EMERSON LAKE & PALMER TARKUS ATLANTIC P-10126A Japan Vinyl LP USD $0.99 [1 bids]
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Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Beyond the Beginning USD $20.99 Buy It Now 25m 43s
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49m 17s
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Emerson Lake & Palmer Pictures At An Exhibition LP album '72 Atlantic ELP vinyl! USD $12.00 Buy It Now 57m 30s
Emerson Lake & Palmer 7" Vinyl Single 'Fanfare For The Common Man ' 1977Atlantic USD $2.55 [0 bids]
1h 2m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER, The Best Of... LP, Atlantic Records, 1980, NM/VG+/VG! USD $4.99 [0 bids]
1h 13m
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Jerusalem/When The Apple Blossoms..1973 7" Single USD $1.27 [0 bids]
1h 16m
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8 TRACK EMERSON LAKE & PALMER LOVE BEACH 255 USD $8.99 Buy It Now 2h 5m
EMERSON LAKE PALMER Pictures at an Exhibition P10112 OBI LP GN1267 USD $1.04 [3 bids]
2h 14m
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2h 14m
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2h 14m
Emerson, Lake & Palmer "Works Volume 1" LP Atlantic SD 2-7000 VG+/EX Tri-Fold USD $3.99 [0 bids]
2h 16m
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Emerson Lake & Palmer "Pictures at an Exhibition" LP Cotillion ELP 66666 VG+/VG+ USD $3.99 [0 bids]
2h 17m
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER The Best Of El&P VICP-45011 CD JAPAN 2009 NEW USD $359.12 Buy It Now 2h 23m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER PART ONE & TWO VINTAGE 8 TRACK TAPES USD $9.99 [0 bids]
2h 56m
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EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER: Tarkus LP (Italy, small writing on back cover, small co USD $25.00 Buy It Now 3h 32m
Emerson Lake & Palmer Works Volume 2 JAPAN SHM MINI LP CD VICP-64571 USD $18.99 Buy It Now 3h 41m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER "Works" 1979 Vinyl 2LP Atlantic SD2-7000 USD $15.99 Buy It Now 3h 50m
Time Life Sounds Of The 70's Hit Wonders 2 Cd Emerson Lake & Palmer Peppers USD $8.51 [2 bids]
3h 59m
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER Emerson, Lake & Palmer VICP-5442 CD JAPAN OBI USD $123.81 Buy It Now 4h 14m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER ELP BRAIN SALAD SURGERY 1973 MANTICORE RECORDS MC66669 VG+ USD $14.89 Buy It Now 5h 3m
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER LUCKY MAN / KNIFE-EDGE 7"/45 PORTUGAL ISLAND Records RARE USD $65.00 Buy It Now 5h 7m
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER Works (Limited Edition) VICP-60640~41 CD JAPAN 1999 OBI USD $112.83 Buy It Now 5h 11m
ELP Live CD, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Royal Albert Hall 1993, plus BONUS card, NM USD $10.85 [0 bids]
5h 15m
Emerson Lake & Palmer "Works Vol 2" Record 1977 Atlantic SD 19147 USD $14.98 Buy It Now 6h 28m
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER Brain Salad Surgery VICP-64644~5 CD JAPAN 2009 NEW USD $261.00 Buy It Now 7h 27m
Emerson Lake & Palmer Welcome Back My Friends Rare Side Loaders 1974 2 Cassettes USD $19.95 Buy It Now 7h 41m
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Emerson, Lake & Palmer-Welcome Back My Friends to the (UK IMPORT) VINYL NEW USD $37.75 Buy It Now 7h 47m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER - WORKS VOL.2 ( LP ATLANTIC ) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 7h 51m
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EMERSON LAKE & PALMER - EMERSON LAKE & PALMER (LP 1977) USD $4.99 Buy It Now 7h 51m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER trilogy Lp RECORD GATEFOLD COTILLION EMERSON LAKE AND USD $7.99 Buy It Now 8h 27m
Record Album Emerson Lake & Palmer Works Vol 1 1977 Atlantic SD - 2-7000 USD $24.99 Buy It Now 8h 39m
Record Album Emerson, Lake & Palmer Self Titled 1970 ST CTN 702074 MO USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8h 39m
Record Album Emerson, Lake & Palmer Trilogy 1972 Cotillion SD 9903 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8h 40m
Record Album Emerson, Lake & Palmer Tarkus 1971 Cotillion SD 9900 USD $19.99 Buy It Now 8h 40m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER By Emerson Lake & Palmer Japan Mini LP CD 2005 NEW Sealed USD $24.99 Buy It Now 8h 58m
EMERSON LAKE & PALMER - The Essential 3.0 Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Eco-Friendly P USD $136.95 Buy It Now 9h 34m
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER TRILOGY LP 1972 ORIGINAL PRESS GREAT COND! VG+/VG!!A USD $10.99 Buy It Now 10h 45m
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER TRILOGY LP 1972 ORIGINAL PRESS GREAT COND! VG+/VG+!!B USD $10.99 Buy It Now 10h 51m
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER - PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION - VINYL ALBUM - 1972 - LIVE USD $13.99 [0 bids]
11h 57m
Emerson, Lake & Palmer ?- The Best Of...LP, Aus USD $8.93 Buy It Now 13h 15m
Emerson lake & palmer - TRILOGY - Gatefold vinyl record 12" LP USD $6.38 Buy It Now 13h 22m

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EMERSON LAKE & PALMER discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.24 | 1835 ratings
Emerson Lake & Palmer
1970
4.06 | 1614 ratings
Tarkus
1971
4.10 | 1427 ratings
Trilogy
1972
4.13 | 1661 ratings
Brain Salad Surgery
1973
2.88 | 672 ratings
Works Vol. 1
1977
2.39 | 555 ratings
Works Vol. 2
1977
2.06 | 601 ratings
Love Beach
1978
3.12 | 416 ratings
Emerson, Lake & Powell: Emerson, Lake & Powell
1986
2.86 | 419 ratings
Black Moon
1992
1.77 | 345 ratings
In The Hot Seat
1994

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 868 ratings
Pictures At An Exhibition
1971
4.23 | 500 ratings
Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends
1974
2.68 | 187 ratings
Emerson Lake & Palmer In Concert
1979
2.92 | 149 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall
1993
3.30 | 138 ratings
Works Live
1993
3.33 | 49 ratings
Emerson,Lake & Palmer - King Biscuit Flower Hour (AKA "Live")
1997
3.37 | 65 ratings
Live At The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
1997
2.74 | 66 ratings
Then And Now
1998
2.83 | 15 ratings
The Show That Never Ends
2001
4.06 | 32 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 1
2001
3.73 | 28 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 2
2001
3.27 | 22 ratings
Original Bootleg Series From The Manticore Vaults Vol. 3
2001
3.25 | 42 ratings
Live In Poland
2001
2.24 | 18 ratings
Best of the Bootlegs
2002
2.91 | 10 ratings
Lucky Man (Live) (Re-released as " Fanfare: The 1997 World Tour")
2002
3.71 | 19 ratings
Emerson Lake and Powell: Live In Concert - Lakeland Florida, 1986 (An official bootleg)
2003
3.12 | 15 ratings
Emerson Lake and Powell: The Sprocket Sessions (An Official Bootleg)
2003
2.37 | 10 ratings
The Best Of Emerson Lake & Palmer
2003
2.79 | 15 ratings
Original Bootleg Series from the Manticore Vaults, Vol. 4
2006
3.36 | 24 ratings
A Time And A Place
2010
2.59 | 36 ratings
Live at High Voltage 2010
2010
3.68 | 38 ratings
Live At Nassau Coliseum '78
2011
4.19 | 50 ratings
Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival '72
2011
3.88 | 8 ratings
Emerson, Lake and Powell - Live In Concert and More...
2012
2.39 | 14 ratings
Live in Montreal 1977
2013
2.25 | 4 ratings
Once Upon A Time In South America
2015
4.00 | 6 ratings
Live at Montreux 1997
2015

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.75 | 19 ratings
Welcome Back
1992
3.76 | 37 ratings
Live At The Royal Albert Hall (DVD)
2001
3.54 | 82 ratings
Pictures At An Exhibition - 35th Anniversary Collectors Edition
2002
3.19 | 17 ratings
Inside Emerson, Lake & Palmer 1970-1995
2003
4.56 | 31 ratings
Works Orchestral Tour/Manticore Special
2003
3.60 | 52 ratings
Live At Montreux 1997 (DVD)
2004
4.09 | 30 ratings
Masters From The Vaults
2004
3.50 | 2 ratings
Live In Concert (DVD)
2004
3.83 | 72 ratings
Beyond The Beginning
2005
2.63 | 31 ratings
The Birth Of A Band - Isle Of Wight Festival 1970
2006
4.40 | 10 ratings
Rare Broadcasts
2007
3.89 | 48 ratings
40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (High Voltage Festival 2010)
2011

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.38 | 61 ratings
The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of ELP
1984
4.22 | 45 ratings
The Atlantic Years
1992
3.59 | 65 ratings
The Return Of The Manticore
1993
1.73 | 9 ratings
Classic Rock Featuring "Lucky Man"
1994
3.89 | 37 ratings
The Best Of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1994
1.42 | 13 ratings
Extended Versions: The Encore Collection
2000
2.53 | 13 ratings
The very Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2001
3.44 | 13 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man [The Anthology]
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
History Of Rock
2001
1.38 | 23 ratings
Re-Works
2003
3.71 | 12 ratings
The Ultimate Collection
2004
3.50 | 12 ratings
An Introduction To... Emerson Lake & Palmer
2004
4.50 | 20 ratings
From The Beginning (5CD+DVD)
2007
3.55 | 13 ratings
The Essential Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2007
3.29 | 9 ratings
Come And See The Show: The Best Of Emerson Lake & Palmer
2008
2.11 | 8 ratings
High Voltage
2010
2.69 | 7 ratings
The Essential Emerson, Lake & Palmer
2011
1.20 | 5 ratings
From the Beginning - The Best of ELP
2011
4.60 | 5 ratings
The Anthology
2016

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.39 | 18 ratings
Lucky Man / Knife Edge
1971
3.38 | 17 ratings
From the Beginning
1972
4.30 | 30 ratings
Jerusalem
1973
2.68 | 13 ratings
Brain Salad Surgery/ Excerpt From Brain Salad Surgery
1973
3.07 | 10 ratings
C'est La Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name
1977
2.43 | 9 ratings
Tiger in a Spotlight / So Far to Fall
1977
2.94 | 16 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man
1977
1.77 | 12 ratings
Canario
1978
3.80 | 10 ratings
Peter Gunn
1980
3.43 | 13 ratings
Touch and Go
1986
1.90 | 10 ratings
Affairs of the Heart
1992
2.45 | 10 ratings
Black Moon
1992
4.25 | 4 ratings
Farewell to Arms (promo)
1992
1.64 | 6 ratings
Affairs of the Heart
1992
2.75 | 4 ratings
Affairs Of The Heart (limited edition collectors doublepack)
1992
4.00 | 4 ratings
Gone too Soon (promo)
1994
2.46 | 23 ratings
I Believe In Father Christmas
1995
4.00 | 8 ratings
Fanfare For The Common Man
2002

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Works Vol. 2 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.39 | 555 ratings

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Works Vol. 2
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Progfan97402

3 stars I was never much a fan of Works Vol. 1. That was maybe not a total trainwreck, but it clearly demonstrated ELP's fall from grace. I mean their egos must have been so big that they only bothered to perform together on exactly two songs: on side four, with each of the other sides focusing on solo material from each member. So it ends up a truly messy album, with too much messing about to make it worthwhile (and while I'm at it, I found the Beatles White Album vastly overrated, it too suffered with way too much messing about, but at least it had a lot of great classics, but bogged gown by a bunch of sappy McCartney stuff, and even Harrison's "Piggies" is easily the most insipid thing he did in the Beatles). So I compared Works Vol, 1 to the White Album, only worse (and ironically sporting a black cover). It didn't help that Keith Emerson decided to put the Moog and Hammond organ aside for this monster Yamaha GX-1 (the three keyboard predecessor to the CS series). So I didn't expect much out of Vol. 2 (truly, their "white album" as it sported a white cover). I was a bit surprised. Hardly a masterpiece, but this time just one disc to sit through, and luckily nothing as barf inducing as "Closer to Believing". "Tiger in a Spotlight", "Brain Salad Surgery", and even Greg Lake's Christmas favorite "I Believe in Father Christmas" are actually quite good, as well as "When The Apple Blossoms Bloom In The Windmills of Your Mind I'll Be Your Valentine". At least the nonsense on this album is Emereson messing about with ragtimes, including Scott Joplin's "Maple Leaf Rag". OK, so he's that skilled on piano to pull off ragtime, but it's best not wasted on an ELP record. Again, Emerson is still in love with that monster GX-1 at the expense of the Hammond organ and Moog, so if you didn't like what he did with it, you won't like it here. While hardly a masterpiece, I am in the minority that I enjoyed this one better than the first (usually Vol. 2 is regarded as inferior). So three stars (definitely nothing more) it is.
 Fanfare For The Common Man  by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1977
2.94 | 16 ratings

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Fanfare For The Common Man
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars Fanfare for brain salad

An edited version of Fanfare For The Common Man from the album Works Vol. 1 was released on this single in the same year as the album. The single version is reduced from almost 10 minutes in length to just under three minutes and ends with a rather lame fade-out just before the "noodling" begins. While it could be argued that the original version is a tad too long, this single version is surely too short.

The tune is possibly ELP's biggest "hit" and of course went on to become a live favourite and has been included on countless compilations and live albums over the years. It is however not a personal favourite of mine.

The b-side here is Brain Salad Surgery, a track that originally appeared on a special single given away for free with the magazine New Musical Express in 1973 to promote the then current album of the same name (that does not contain the song). The track appeared here for the first time on a commercial release but would later be included also on Works Vol. 2 and is now widely available as a bonus track on several of the CD reissues of the album Brain Salad Surgery.

The song itself is rather good, but it is a weird choice as a b-side for Fanfare For The Common Man given that the two songs are some four years apart.

 Live in Montreal 1977 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Live, 2013
2.39 | 14 ratings

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Live in Montreal 1977
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
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.

 Works Vol. 1 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.88 | 672 ratings

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Works Vol. 1
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Phaerdas

5 stars Outstanding, amazing, breathtaking. Album out of this world, and clearly (as you can see in reviews) to difficult for many. Propably one of the most ambitiuos efforts in music ever. So many variations in styles and moods from pure classical music to romanting ballads. This album has everything. A must buy for anyone. Ppl tend to rate the "sides" separately but in my opinion this album works perfectly as one. Each side turns another string in listiners soul and each is unique. Message to everyone - don't believe those awful reviews - give this one a try! It is worth it.
 Tarkus by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.06 | 1614 ratings

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Tarkus
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by aglasshouse

2 stars The snag.

"Jumping the shark" is a common phrase that references when a television show, in danger of losing it's audience to the ever-decreasing quality of the program, does something ridiculous to rekindle interest. Named after a moment in an episode of Happy Days in 1977 where Fonzie, clad impractically in his signature leather jacket, takes a water- ski jump over a lake-area in which swims a shark. In the long-run the show didn't have much to worry about because it took seven more years to kill the damn thing, nonetheless the term stuck around and was subsequently applied to pieces of entertainment which acted similarly.

However even before Happy Days and the Fonz, new shining stars of the progressive rock scene Emerson, Lake & Palmer decided to jump the proverbial shark with Tarkus in 1971. For many progressive rock bands, jumping the shark was a common thing to do...in the eighties. Exhausting their creative muscle in the 70s, many bands got burnt out and fell back upon the 80s pop-rock music scene instead, and as many saw it went inadvertently into retirement from the business. However this wasn't the 80's -- as mentioned before Tarkus was in 1971, a period where albums like Meddle by Pink Floyd and Nursery Cryme by Genesis continued to emerge with gusto. Appearing less than seven months after their debut and following a European tour, Tarkus came to a young and craving fan-base happy with almost anything the band produced at the time. For all intents and purposes the album could not have been timed better, but timing is a factor that rarely has bearing on quality. In quality-terms however, Tarkus is vastly inferior to it's predecessor.

One glaring and inadmissible trait the album has is it's VERY obvious pompous nature. ELP went from a mild release with a bit of grandstanding to a overblown and ultimately ridiculous concept album in one fell swoop. Tarkus, and by that I mean the 20 minute title-track suite, follows the adventure of a sentient armadillo tank as he battles his way through a universe filled with ludicrous characters, spotlit ones including a manticore and an aquamarine version of Tarkus himself, so cleverly referred to as "Aquatarkus", the latter to which he ultimately loses against. This concept sounding ridiculous on paper is unsurprising, but what really matters is how the band adapts this concept to sound good. And if you were envisioning something tough, explosive, and chivalrous to depict such a surrealist battleground, you'll be disappointed. On the other hand however if you yearned for an overbearing collection of synthesizer, constant and sometimes heavy guitar noodling and lackluster vocals, then consider yourself acquainted with Tarkus. In simple terms, 'Tarkus' is an out-and-out mess. The song, while mostly being a fast-paced journey riddled with inconsistent progressive ramblings with Carl Palmer rattling around much more flamboyantly than necessary, does have it's odd enjoyable moments. For instance in the latter half there is a short-lived space rock section, but it's quickly pushed aside in order for misplaced quirky keyboard. A dichotomy I mentioned in my review for ELP's self-titled was where each band member seemed like they were trying to out-do each-other with their respective medium. If that was prominent on the first album, then it is even more so on Tarkus. Each member practically trips over eachother, almost like their playing different songs at the same time. It creates an unpleasant mishmash of half-baked ideas that becomes a drag after listening to the same inconsistency for 20 whole minutes.

What's this? A second side? It almost seems strange that there even exists a second side, but even after Tarkus seemed to have gone through each checkbox, ELP continued the album anyway. Unsurprisingly, the second side is just as if not more monotonous than the title-track. Not much is different, other than that Emerson uses some sort of Barrelhouse-esque piano on a few of the early songs, which sounds absolutely horrendous because of a tendency of ELP to turn the keyboard up higher than the rest of the instruments until it becomes overpowering. There is one exception to the second side, however. 'A Time and a Place' is a bit of a throwback to the self-titled, along the lines of the 'The Barbarian' or 'Knife-Edge'. Heavy and atmospheric, this track is so powerful that I've listened to it multiple times with continued interest. Greg Lake's vocals are at their best on this track, his blistering screams channeling Burton Cummings of the Guess Who with their raw intensity. It is truly a memorable piece of music, but unfortunately remains solitary on the second side as the only one noteworthy.

Tarkus is not only a big disappointment, but is also an excuse for ELP to continue to become more and more vapid and self-aggrandizing than they already are with it's widespread success. Some hope still remains, however. The next album may be able to rectify the problems created with this one. Right?

 Emerson Lake & Palmer by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.24 | 1835 ratings

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Emerson Lake & Palmer
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by aglasshouse

4 stars The Carousel Ballroom, a San Francisco-based music venue that mainly held blues performers such as B.B. King and other African American jazz artists in the 1960s, found itself under the control of a musical conglomerate composed of bands like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, among others in 1968. These bands intended the venue to be a socio-musical experiment to attract audiences in the San Fran/Haight-Ashbury area. Needless to say, the idea wasn't too successful. Former promoter, Bill Graham, took the reigns in '68, hoping to achieve some success similarly with the hall. However the seating capacity of the hall was lackluster at best, and was not nearly grandiose enough to attract the atrophying community surrounding it. In New York City, Graham owned a similar auditorium by the name of Fillmore East which he had acquired not four months earlier. Deciding to seek a better location, the newly-born Fillmore West was born less than a mile away from the original Carousel Ballroom's location.

Fillmore West would go on to host a variety of performances, such as Californian regulars the Grateful Dead, as well as Santana, Quicksilver Messenger Service, etc. It should be noted that this performance hall came at a very special time, one known to birth many prolific rock bands all across Europe and North America -- the late '60's. Taking place well into what was colloquially referred to as the Psychedelic Era, rock bands of the time were keen on trekking the globe on large extensive tours, where droves of audiences happened to follow them wherever they went. One of the younger of these acts was King Crimson, who, in December of 1969, co-headlined concerts at Fillmore West with London-based jazz rockers The Nice, a band apart of a similar progressive mindset as Crimson. It was there that keyboardist Keith Emerson from The Nice and bassist Greg Lake from King Crimson met and struck up a quick and steadfast friendship. As their series of performances came to a close, Emerson and Lake were already discussing the prospect of forming a new group. The one musician the band the two needed was a drummer, and after a series of unsuccessful tryouts and careful consideration, the band decided on Carl Palmer, known for his work in both The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster. The trio was now set in stone, and a debut album was set in motion. Lake, similarly to how he had in King Crimson, acted as producer, began collecting songs performed previously in the band's gigs, and began executing them in the studio format. Thus, in November 1970, the band's self-titled studio work was born.

Emerson Lake & Palmer, and by that I do mean the album, is perhaps the purest form of skill, intelligence, and understanding of zeitgeist the band ever cared to show. With a 6-track runtime (par for the course for any semi- self-conscious progressive rock band in 1970), the album doesn't exude any overbearing smugness that the band would come to be criticized for. From beginning to end the album is very poignant musically, aside from hitting a few snags and some inopportune times. Starting with the crunching proto-metallic surge of 'The Barbarian', a rock arrangement of ethnomusicologist Béla Bartók's 'Allegro barbaro', ELP manages to pack a big punch in a short amount of time. Unlike many latter releases, ELP's debut does not contain huge quasi-orchestral suites, instead opting for simply semi-lengthy tracks. The majority of the tracks tend to be a mix of clear songwriting and extensive jams. This is clear from the second track, the epic 'Take a Pebble'. Also clear is a certain dichotomy that only got more pronounced as the band aged; because the band is comprised of only 3 admittedly skilled musicians, each member makes what is almost a silent effort to outdo each-other in terms of unabashed bravado. This especially rings true for Keith Emerson, who not only has a luxuriously no-holds-barred piano solo what seems like every 3 minutes, but also permeates the rest of the album with a multitude of synthesized soundscapes that, with multiple listens, can get extremely grating. This relationship between the band members also can create unenjoyable pandemonium, which it seems the band is blissfully unaware is in fact unenjoyable, especially on songs like 'The Three Fates' (said pandemonium occurring funnily enough directly after one of Emerson's solos). This is all prone to subjectivity though, as the band still manages to hit some rather great points. The heavy riffs that the band occasionally pumps out like on the aforementioned 'The Barbarian' and 'Knife-Edge' are much in the vein of Greg Lake's parent band Atomic Rooster, and are thus very well received. 'Tank' may pleasure me with a bias -- as a drummer and a certain fan of Greg Lakes work I'm easily enraptured by a drum solo from the man coincided with some bouncy synth. 'Lucky Man' seems to hold a certain amount of bad blood with prog-fans, however I personally found myself rather warm towards the track's cheesy qualities, not to mention I'm a sucker for some good vocal harmonies.

Upon release, this album was hailed as a mighty fine one, and it's not hard to see why. Right out of the gate Emerson, Lake & Palmer is passionate and alight with unbridled genius. ELP now had a tight grasp on the attention of the outside world, and nearly everything was set up in anticipation for the band's next big hit.

 Tarkus by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.06 | 1614 ratings

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Tarkus
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Luqueasaur

5 stars AQUATARKUS BEST TARKUS

TARKUS (song) features the amazing tale about an armadillo-tank war machine born of an egg from an eruption that goes on a... killing spree. Apparently. After destroying a "building-monster", Tarkus proceeds to face Iconoclast - a war-pterodactyl- airplane, only to be destroyed by Tarkus' turrets. His next foe, Mass, a lizard-armoured-rocket-launcher has the same destiny of Tarkus' earlier foe. Next, Tarkus is faced by Manticore, who manages to overwhelm the hybrid monster and kill it, its staggering body falls into a river. However... his cannons are still functional, so is Tarkus truly dead... or is he to be reborn as a transcending form of his self, the aquatic Aquatarkus?

Few progressive gems have brought such original characters and literally epic (and weird!) tales. Tarkus' adventure is delightfully nonsensical even if introduced in movies, let alone as a concept for a music. It's not that weird if you consider TARKUS' creation process, though - just a bunch of unrelated work produced by the trio during six days until LAKE wrote the lyrics & EMERSON thought "we should call this Tarkus" & WILLIAM NAIL arrived with this mechanical freak as an album cover.

In fact, the song has little if anything at all to do with Tarkus. LAKE explains: "The album cover art lent a sort of visual concept to an album which didn't really have a bonding concept at all. Before the album sleeve was conceived the whole thing was just a string of various musical and lyrical concepts weaved together into one continuous arrangement". Once you put this in perspective, the apparently unrelated art is actually an efficient adhesive to the "various musical concepts" into a single, homogenous idea.

The three lads agree - TARKUS is their greatest work, or to cite GREG LAKE, "It is one of the best examples of the musical genius of Keith Emerson as a composer and of the band ELP working and performing together at the very top of their game".

That is true. KEITH EMERSON's geniality with the Moog is what brings Tarkus so many different feelings and sounds and actually manages to illustrate the situation of the album sleeve if you imagine the instrumental parts to be Tarkus and his enemies. It's one song with unique features on each piece, both calm and rapid passages, with swift and aggressive parts followed by slow, melodramatic weeping for Tarkus' death (the Battlefield section. Personally, I consider Aquatarkus the best piece. The effects EMERSON used made his Moog quack, quack, and quack into one of the most creative arrangements for the instrument I've ever seen.

And LAKE hasn't gotten any love in this review yet. Well, his voice sounds just about right for this album. It's not too acute, not too deep, not to feminine nor not too masculine. It's kinda like "generic but with identity" to me.

I hardly think there's any fan of progressive rock to underrate or dislike this song, so it's quite guaranteed roughly everyone will love this. Moog or fans of synthesisers in general will orgasm to this, as the highlight is undoubtfully EMERSON's instrument.

Now, there's the bad part: the second side.

The biggest problem with the musical arrangement is that after the brilliance & consequent hype TARKUS brings, you're left with generally unfit songs to accompany the title-track. This is the reason why there's so much backlash. You see, TARKUS is a highly progressive, synthesised song, antagonistic to folk music - which is exactly the second part. However, I can't cree just how melodramatic the folks at ProgArchives are. It's nowhere nearly as "unlistenable" or "downright horrifying" as they're claiming - yes, it is bad, but not THAT UNBELIEVABLY & HOMOGENOUSLY BAD - assuming the second side has six tracks of which three are horrible (and deservedly criticised), two are fine and one is indeed good.

Jeremy Bender, the first track, is a complete buzzkill. It's literally a boogie-woogie song. For those who don't know this genre, it's basically what you'd think of 20's piano songs, the type that'd be played on old cartoons & seem like a slow version of western saloon music.

Bitches Crystal is another boogie-woogie song, but this time on the fast, ecstatic fast form we know it by (western saloon music) on a progressive structure, with occasional Moog sweeps. Better than JEREMY BENDER, but still disappointing.

The Only Way & Infinite Space are much more pleasant songs, the first being an organ that develops into an energetic classical piano & vocal slow emotional duo; the second featuring a structurally complex piece with a good solo accompanied by potent bass line.

A Time and Space is the highlight of the second side. It is composed in the same vein of TARKUS, being perhaps the only track adequate to the first side.

Are you Ready, Eddy? is a blasphemy. EMERSON is an amazing keyboardist, but this song is horribly boogie- woogie/rockabilly to me. It's a joke. Like, literally. But it's also a joke as a song.

In general, TARKUS itself is in my top-five of "best progressive songs" and I can't imagine anyone who says "I'm a prog fan" without listening to this wanting to be taken seriously. The title-track alone is enough to make the whole album worth it (hell, it's 38 minutes long, and Tarkus is more than half of that), even though the second side features some tracks that aren't despicable (A TIME AND SPACE especially). So in the end, Tarkus is prog's most famous double-edged sword. With one edge, you can cut through diamond. With the another, it truly depends on your taste. Maybe you'll cut wood, maybe you'll cut paper, maybe the edge will be too dull to you. What better way to find out than to test it?

TARKUS - title track - 10/10 Second side - 6/10 (without A Time and Space 5/10, without the Hymn pt. 1 & 2, 3/10)

9/10 (because I don't care about your stupid arithmetic mean!)

 Works Vol. 1 by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Studio Album, 1977
2.88 | 672 ratings

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Works Vol. 1
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by Progfan97402

2 stars I found a used copy of this at a St. Vincent de Paul in 2017 after getting rid of my original copy in 1996 that I bought in 1994. I can see why I got rid of this. It's a messy album, to say the least. The egos of the three men must have gotten so out of hand that it took almost four years to record a followup to Brain Salad Surgery, and when it did, it was a double album. Sadly only one side was dedicated to the whole band, the rest was solo material, each side assigned to specific member. Keith Emerson's side is consumed by his "Piano Concerto", which really left me cold, even though it's thought of as one of the saving features of the album. Greg Lake's side is largely sappy acoustic ballads, the type he revisited on "Black Moon" ("Farewell to Arms" and "Footprints in the Snow" could easily fit on Lake's side of Works Vol. 1 were it not for the early '90s digital production). The worst offender is by far "Closer to Believing" and it's just as painful for me to listen now in 2017 as I did in 1994. "Lend Your Love to Me Tonight" actually isn't too bad, though. Carl Palmer's side, well, I can't remember a thing about it, and there's a rather useless remake of "Tank", talk about running out of ideas! The group side is clearly the best thing on this album with "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "Pirates". I know many will gripe about the lack of organ, mainly because Emerson fell in love with that monster three keyboard Yamaha GX-1 (which Stevie Wonder used on his then-latest album Songs in the Key of Life, as well as Led Zeppelin in 1979 with In Through the Out Door, as well as Rick van der Linden, and Jurgen Fritz on New Triumvirat's Pompeii). It may be overblown, but no more overblown than their earlier stuff. I really think this album could have greatly improved if Emerson still continued using his old Moog and Hammond organ and not treat the GX-1 like a total replacement. It would have also improved greatly if the band kept their egos in check and made a full album of group material. While I have never been a fan of punk rock, an album like this makes you understand why it happened. One listen to "Closer to Believing" and you wanna reach out for that Sex Pistols album. Works Vol. 1 has its moments, but it's definitely not essential.
 The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer  by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1980
2.38 | 61 ratings

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The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Well, some compilations are great, some others are just ok or even poor.

When it comes to talk about a legendary band whose tunes have stayed in our memories for years, it is difficult to make a good selection of tracks that can be named "best of", though the question is best of what? We could find different answers according to the field, I mean, some compilation albums feature the best tunes commercially speaking, some others choose representative songs that can work as introduction for a newbie, some others really feature the best compositions (though this might also be a subjective thing).

Judging by the short running time (38 minutes), this could never be a Best of ELP tunes, but it features cool representative tracks such as "Lucky Man", "Still... You Turn Me On", or "Hoedown" that could be appreciated by any rock fan (not strictly prog). It features a short version of "Karn Evil" and some other songs that are cool but would never make me fall in love with the band. The only massive exception is the amazing "Trilogy", that song alone can quench my musical thirst and feed my prog senses, that song is amazing, though I am not sure if that would be ideal for a newbie, since I believe this album was made for newcomers and for new label incomes, I don't know.

This is just a regular compilation album, there are some others that are much, much better. However, if you happen to have it, enjoy it!

 40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (High Voltage Festival 2010) by EMERSON LAKE & PALMER album cover DVD/Video, 2011
3.89 | 48 ratings

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40th Anniversary Reunion Concert (High Voltage Festival 2010)
Emerson Lake & Palmer Symphonic Prog

Review by berkaal

3 stars First thing: I love ELP. But this concert is soooo sad. I never saw time take its toll on musicians like with ELP. Emerson is clearly in trouble with his right hand, and keyboard parts are obviously....let's say not precise. Carl Palmer is overweight, he struggles to play but makes so many mistakes....too many....Greg Lake is over-over weight, not at ease on the stage and he doesn't remember some of his bass parts, anyway his singing is quite good, better than what I heard in other concerts. To see them like this has been a pain....Well, three stars for their music, that will live on forever.
Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to NotAProghead for the last updates

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