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Return of the Manticore Box set, Original recording reissued

22 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording reissued, November 21, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

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From the ashes of England's late '60s psychedelic pop scene came a group of bands that tried to expand rock's boundaries by incorporating visionary lyrics, arrangements that mimicked the scope of classical symphonies and lengthy instrumentals that showcased the players' technical prowess. In retrospect, the limitations of such a bloated approach seem obvious. By the end of the '70s, the so-called progressive rockers were considered comical dinosaurs, and none of these bands was as reviled as ELP. Keyboardist Keith Emerson, bassist-vocalist Greg Lake and drummer Carl Palmer deserved much of the derision: They were often pompous and humorless. But the group's box set proves that ELP did create some enduring music-though certainly not enough to justify four CDs. The set takes its name from the "mythical beast" that first appeared on the cover of Tarkus, and the material is divided between "the classic recordings" and new recordings by the recently reunited group. ELP was at its best when it combined Emerson and Palmer's over-the-top playing with simple pop melodies: The synth solo erupts from Lake's modest folk ballad, "Lucky Man," and the trio's take on "The Peter Gunn Theme" is inspired. Other highlights include the creepily seductive "Still... You Turn Me On," a previously unreleased tune called "Bo Diddley" and an Emerson arrangement of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man." --Jim DeRogatis

Disc: 1
1. Touch And Go
2. Hang On To A Dream
3. 21st Century Schizoid Man
4. Fire
5. Pictures At An Exhibition: Promenade/The Gnome/Promenade/The Sage/The Hut Of Baba Yaga...
See all 12 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Tarkus: Eruption/Stones Of Years/Iconoclast/Mass/Manticore/Battlefield/Aquatarkas
2. From The Beginning
3. Take A Pebble-Live Version: Take A Pebble/Lucky Man/Piano Improvisations/Take A Pebble (Conclusion)
4. Knife Edge
5. Paper Blood
See all 7 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. The Barbarian
2. Still...You Turn Me On
3. The Endless Enigma: The Endless Enigma Pt.1/Fugue/The Endless Enigma Pt.2
4. C'est La Vie
5. The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits
See all 11 tracks on this disc
Disc: 4
1. Jerusalem
2. Fanfare For The Common Man
3. Black Moon
4. Watching Over You
5. Piano Concerto No.1 Third Movement: Toccata Con Fuoco
See all 10 tracks on this disc

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 21, 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Format: Box set, Original recording reissued
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0000033PA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,967 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. L. MILLER on September 30, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Any "vinylsaur" like me will tell you that it was frustrating to head for the turntable in the middle of "Impression 1" and flip the damn album over. The fact that hearing Emerson's sequenced-filter pattern on his old Moog 900 gave you the cue to get a head start only made it a bit easier to take. A bit--which was cold comfort indeed, given the fact that the half-hour"KE9" was their magnum opus equivalent to Beethoven's Ninth. So now I don't have to do the listener-interactive intermission routine anymore. All of their other big numbers are here as well ("Take a Pebble", Tarkus", "Pirates"), but the appearance of the rather weak "Officer and a Gentleman" proves that length isn't necessarily a measure of worth, even in prog. Also here is one of two studio versions of Moussorgsky's "Pictures At an Exhibition" The other is on "In the Hot Seat", and in my opinion, both are a waste of tape--the raw spontaneity of the live version from the album of the same name simply cannot be matched. The studio versions come across sterile, dry. As do the remakes of the hit song "Touch and Go", the Arthur Brown number "Fire" (from Palmer's time with him), The Nice's "Hang On To a Dream" (from Emerson's time with them) and King Crimson's "21st Century Schizoid Man" (from Lake's time with them). I don't necessarily agree that there had to be ELP versions of those numbers. In contrast, though, ELP have been playing "Rondo" for years on the road--I'm glad to see a version of that here. Also here is the single version of Lake's "I Believe In Father Christmas" (it has a stronger ending than the album version on "Works 2"). So why spend 67 bucks on a set that duplicates a lot of their best material? In my case, as I suggested earlier, most of my earlier ELP is on vinyl. For want of a better reason, that's why.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. E FELL on February 8, 2003
Format: Audio CD
ELP was formed in 1970 as one of rock's first supergroups. Keyboard wizard Keith Emerson came from the Nice. Bassist/vocalist Greg Lake had previously been employed by King Crimson, while Carl Palmer had manned the sticks for Atomic Rooster. Each member was an expert at their respective instruments and Keith Emerson was one of the first keyboardists to experiment with the Moog synthesizer. The band's second gig was the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. Their music ranged from Greg Lake's more subdued pop numbers like "Lucky Man" and "C'set La Vie" to Emerson's bombastic showstoppers like "Karn Evil Number 9", "Trilogy", "Tank" and "Tarkus". The band also recorded their own versions of many cover tunes and adaptions of classical pieces like "Peter Gunn", Aaron Copeland's "Hoedown" and "Fanfare For The Common Man" and Bartok's "The Barbarian". Emerson was also equally adept a piano as witnessed by the version of Meade Lux Lewis' "Honky Tonk Train Blues" included here. The set contains a few great unissued tracks like a live version of Dave Brubeck's "Rondo" and the uptempo "Bo Diddley". The first disk contains a number of rerecorded pieces like new versions of "Pictures At An Exhibition" , "I Believe In Father Christmas" and "Touch And Go" with Carl Palmer on drums instead of Cozy Powell.
The set is great but I would have organized the material chronologically instead of the haphazard way it is organized here. The booklet included is not very comprehensive for a set of this size. In addition a few tracks I like were missed such as "Nutrocker", "Jeremy Bender", "The Sheriff" and "Brain Salad Surgery". It also would have been nice if they added a disk of unissued live material. However, this is the most comprehensive (1970-1992) anthology available of ELP one of the best and most influential progressive rock bands.
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35 of 44 people found the following review helpful By J. Jones on July 13, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I think people have clouded judgment when evaluating a group that has made a great impact on rock music (progressive rock, at any rate) as ELP has. In my opinion, they were highly influential in their reworkings of classical music in a modern, rocking format. However, the body of their own creative work is light, hence, I wouldn't recommend that anyone waste a dime on a 4-CD set, when they can capture the group at their peak of artistry and consistency simply by purchasing their truly great albums (ELP, Trilogy, and Brain Salad Surgery) and perhaps their other descent album (Tarkus). This set is shameless by diluting the cohesion of the tracks from their wonderful albums by hodge-podging them with a bunch of uneven garbage that they made later in their careers, specifically the several pieces from 'Love Beach' and 'Black Moon.' The CD booklets are unsubstantial and add very little insight into the group. So, as my review heading suggests, you can spend about 30 bucks to get their three remastered classics, or you can spend the almost 70 bucks here and keep hitting the 'Skip' button to get over the weak selections.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grigory's Girl on May 31, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This is a great box set, but if you're looking for unreleased ELP tracks, you're going to be disappointed. Most of their albums are represented here, except for In the Hot Seat (which hadn't been recorded yet), the first (and best) recording of Pictures, the Emerson, Lake, and Powell album (which is a shame, as it is very good), and the "3" album (which was garbage for the most part). The new tracks are good (especially the new version of Touch and Go, which is much more dynamic than the original), but there are only 3 unreleased tracks, "Bo Diddley", a live version of "Rondo", and "Prelude and Fugue". The latter is a studio version that was part of Emerson's Piano Improvisations off the triple live album. The Rondo rendition is pretty good, but not as tight as The Nice's previous versions (though Palmer has a furious drum workout). Most of ELP's unreleased stuff went onto Works Vol. 2, which perhaps would explain the lack of unreleased tracks. If you have all the ELP albums, you can skip this. If you're a completist, pick it up. Good liner notes, too.
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