Emerson, Lake & Palmer
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Emerson, Lake & Palmer
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Hot on the heels of their famous, critically acclaimed performance to 600,000 people at the Isle Of Wight Festival in August 1970, came ELP’s ground-breaking debut album ‘Emerson, Lake & Palmer’ (1970) ‘ELP’ comprised their strongest early originals and two dazzling classical adaptations filled with rippling piano and synthesizer playing by Emerson alongside lightning-fast drumming by Palmer, anchored around Lake's excellent bass work. ‘ELP’ was a huge, instant success, reaching No.4 on the U.K. albums chart / U.S. No.18, and setting the group well on the road to global stardom. Disc One is the 24 bit / High Density 2012 remaster of original 1970 album by highly renowned rock mastering engineer Andy Pearce Disc Two contains the Steven Wilson 2012 Stereo Mix (of the 2012 Remaster) of the original album, including four extra bonus tracks from the original albums sessions and four 4 alternate versions of original album tracks CD booklet features extensive notes of new 2016 interview with band members Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, by legendary rock journalist Chris Welch The LP is the original 1970 album, newly cut for the first time from the 24 Bit / High Density 2012 remaster, with faithfully reproduced original LP artwork Digital versions are: Standard, Made for iTunes and Hi Density, all taken from the 2012 remasters www.emersonlakepalmer.com https://www.facebook.com/EmersonLakePalmer?fref=ts
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 12.48 x 12.32 x 0.28 inches; 8.11 Ounces
- Manufacturer : BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd
- Original Release Date : 2016
- Date First Available : June 15, 2016
- Label : BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd
- ASIN : B01H2ROW0W
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #25,069 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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On their 1970 debut, Emerson, Lake & Palmer has made up some energetic music which could be tender, mind-blowing and festive all at once. With just six songs, some lengthy, this makes the album worthwhile just by listening alone. Originality counts on this effort save for two songs, "The Barbarian"[The lead-off track] and "Knife's Edge[My main favorite], which the group has adapted. The former actually composed by Bela Bartok and the latter was composed by Leos Janacek with lyrics by Richard Fraser. Greg Lake's masterpieces here are "Take A Pebble" and "Lucky Man"[The closing track and my other main favorite as well]. The album's second half opens off with an epic masterpiece by Keith Emerson "The Three Fates", which combines i)"Clotho"-Royal Festival Hall Organ; ii) "Lachesis"-Piano Solo; iii)"Atropos"-Piano Trio for all those keyboard enthusiasts. "Tank" is an instrumental concocted by Emerson and Carl Palmer which really lets loose after a while, especially when Emerson displays his keyboard work to compliment Palmer's drumming while Lake's bass anchors it down. Also worth noting is Lake's guitar work mid-way through "Pebble" as well as "Lucky Man" not-to-mention the vocals on the latter.
For ELP fans the best place to start is right here. Get It Now, Listen & Rock On!
But... the second disk is entirely alternate versions and remixes of their original work. As such it's hard to get excited about them. Since people reading this are probably familiar with the original recordings, I'll skip the first 8 songs; you know them and you already know if you love them.
9 Knife Edge. With the crashing ending removed and replaced with... a repetitive and dull ending with a little squeaky dentist-drill like synth woven in. If this is how it was originally composed, no wonder ELP tore off the ending and put in that slow-tape-effect thundering crash for the original album. This ending is *boring*, and this song should never be boring.
10 is Promenade, which was a short filler piece used between songs on a later album. It's well recorded here, with a big cathedral sound to the organ, and it showcases Lake's voice, but it isn't and never was a standalone piece, so hearing it here in isolation just feels pointless. It's a nice rendition of what it is, but what it is is a short fragment, and so what.
11 The Three Fates: Atropos. Yes, this is just the last third of the longer work, remixed. This is a strange choice because the awesomeness of The Three Fates is found in the second movement, Lachesis That's where one of the most fascinating piano solos in all rock is found. Atropos, like Promenade, doesn't entirely make it as a standalone piece.
12. Rave Up, previously unreleased. This is clearly a not-quite-finished work, though it's got a neat, jazzy sound and shows where ELP could have gone if they hadn't gotten bogged down in Lake's lyrics. I'd love to have heard a polished and finished version of this because there's a lot to love in there. If there's a reason to listen to the second disc, it's this. Listen for the organ "staccato": effect that also shows up on Tarkus; it's like meeting an old friend in a new place.
13. Drum Solo. Basically, this is the drum section from Tank, almost verbatim. It's a fine solo - Palmer never fails to please - but it's not anything you haven't heard 20 minutes before.
14. Lucky Man. One of the FOUR times it appears in this collection. It's a remix, nothing more. It came out sounding nice but the original wasn't bad either.
15. Finally, something for a fan to get his teeth into! This is Take A Pebble, with significant tweaks to the melodic structure. And it's wonderful! The melody structure expands and becomes, in my opinion, much more beautiful than the original, with more emotion and... am I really going to say sweetness about an ELP song? I guess I am. If you like the original, which I do, you'll listen with rapt attention. Which is a mistake, because the song ends quite abruptly part way though, just when you're burning to see where this neat new approach is going. It's just a fragment from a studio rehearsal. It's jarring, and a nasty tease.
16. Knife Edge. Again,. Almost identical to the original, a few parts expanded slightly... and the lyrics left out, which honestly might not be a bad thing in this case. But without the distraction of the somewhat overblown lyrics, the song's repetitive nature gets emphasized. The dramatic ending is missing here, too; instead it just... stops. This simply didn't need to be here.
17 Lucky Man. Again. This is the version as first presented by Greg Lake. It's not bad, and it does have a different sound, but the reality is that Lake wrote this when he was 12, and while he was clearly deeply talented even at twelve, the version that made it onto the original album is better.
18 Lucky Man. Yet again. Electrified slightly, with a wah-wah effect on a guitar added. It sounds very period as a result. It's probably fine but having heard it three times already I found it hard to get excited about.
All in all, if you like ELP and need a copy of their first, this is a reasonable thing to buy, but given all the incompleteness and lack of improvement in the second disk, that disk isn't really anything you'll spend a lot of time with. The original music is and remains the reason to listen.
Top reviews from other countries
Emerson Lake & Palmer is the 1970 début album from the band of the same name. Three world class musicians and song writers doing what they do best with a slight hint of overkill. By that I refer to their reputation for long never ending tracks. The band’s first venture thankfully is a little bit more down to Earth than their later efforts and this is what might attract fans to this album rather than their more well known albums.
The first album from these prog rock masters is more clever than excessive. Something that sorely lacked in their later releases. Sure there is a 12 minute epic in, Take A Pebble. However like the rest of the songs on this album, they have been cleverly written so that they don’t exceed their usefulness. Most of the songs presented here are based on classical pieces. The Barbarian is based on Allegro Barbaro and Knife-Edge is based roughly on Leoš Janáček’s Sinfonietta for example. Well written and composed music that should interest classical musicians just as much as rock fans who want to rock out to that Moog and Organ solos. The three piece suite The Three Fates is perhaps the strongest of the six tracks. Three sections based on the three sisters of Greek Mythology, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos. This track was written solely by Keith Emerson and has his trademark sound all over it. Fans also get to enjoy the 7 minute drum solo known as, Tank, and the ballad finale, Lucky Man. A nice little song to finish off the album and really sticks out amongst the rest of the material presented on Emerson Lake & Palmer.
Fans of early ’70s rock will swallow this up. There is nothing presented here that you will not find on Deep Purple’s extended jams and other groups from the period. The thunderous bass, improvising jazz drumming and the roof destroying organ is classic rock through and through. Thankfully these songs do not out live their worth and drag on like others. However it is perfectly understandable if people can’t get to grips with the excessive nature of these tracks.
There is not much else to say really. After 45 years, Emerson Lake & Palmer still sounds absolutely fantastic on the original vinyl and has been treated with respect with a most excellent CD remaster. There is even a 5.1 surround mix out there for you folks with the giant sound system.
If you’re a fan of prog and don’t own this, GO BUY IT NOW. If you’re not familiar with prog rock but do enjoy a bit of Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and other jam based bands then I would give it a try. As mentioned above, you’ll find the same style from these bands on their live albums. The only difference is that Emerson Lake & Palmer recorded it in the studio instead. Great stuff!
Published by Steven Lornie
Well, not here. This first album, recorded in 1970, is a landmark of musical innovation and virtuosity born of the fresh enthusiasm of youth combining classical music motifs (Emerson was a classically trained pianist), the improvisational ideas of jazz fusion, some standard rock-genre verse-chorus song structures and even some simple folk-derived melodies to produce an enjoyable cocktail of excellence still eminently listenable after 40 years: a sure sign of greatness.
This 2012 package from Sony offers two CDs plus an audio-only DVD presented in a 4-section fold-out with the original album-cover art front-and-back. The first disk features the original album mix produced in 1970 by Greg Lake; the second a recent stereo remix adding some bonus material and the DVD is in 5.1 surround sound DTS & PCM stereo. All the remixing work was done by Grammy-winning sound wizard Steven Wilson. A 16-page booklet replete with period photos from the 1970s, full track listings and story-narrative by Chris Welch completes the package.
Of most interest to fans will probably be the extra material on CD-2 & the DVD. This includes:
* An extended version of `Knife Edge' (a reworking of Janacek's classic `Sinfonietta'), plus a wholly instrumental cut of the same track
* An early studio recording of Mussorgsky's `Promenade' from the `Pictures at an Exhibition' suite, with Greg Lake singing unaccompanied in perfect pitch
* A syncopated track titled `Rave Up' which subsequently evolved into `Mass' on `Tarkus' showcasing some awesome time-switching interplay between Emerson and Palmer
* A drum solo from Carl - probably of interest only to drummers
* Several alternate takes of `Lucky Man' and `Take a Pebble' (one wholly instrumental but unfortunately cut short)
Fusing classical and rock music has always been difficult and rarely successful, possibly managed with true panache only by ELP. The original album mix sounds as good as ever, from the lounge-jazz-feel middle section of the 12-minute `Take a Pebble' to Emerson's awesome piano and church-organ work on `The Three Fates.' Because some of the 1970 master tapes - notably of `Tank' - are lost, even a sound wizard like Wilson is unable to improve on some of the original recordings, and doubtless nit-picking audiophiles will never be satisfied. But overall the sound (especially on the DVD, if you have the equipment to exploit its qualities) is good.
If you don't have this interesting piece of rock history in your collection, then this is the one to buy. If you've only ever heard ELP's successful singles such as `Lucky Man' and `Father Christmas' and don't know their adventurous early album material, then this is where you should start. It's a purchase you're unlikely to regret and for the price, it's a steal.
BEWARE - don't assume like me that the Steven Wilson remix is a straight remix of the original album. It isn't because as the booklet points out the session tapes weren't available for Tank and parts of Fates, and instead of using the original tracks for that part they've made up an "alternative album" with stuff that would have been better as bonus tracks at the end. It's clear from the track listing on Amazon that it's something different, but you know how blind you get once you've assumed something. I've only listened to the original album on disc 1 so far and it sounded pretty good, have to criticise the package for not making it completely clear whether this was a new remastering, although it looks like it is. Anyway, it sounded better than my original CD release version, how it stacks up against the previous remaster I've no idea.
If you really prefer the SW version of the available tracks you can always burn your own mixture if it doesn't sound too jarring.
The other confusing thing is the NTSC designation for disc 3 when it's a DVD-A. Maybe it refers to a menu if you put it in your DVD player, but it could lull you into thinking you're getting video. Again, in fairness it's clear what it is from the listing.
Also not sure why the outer case has a green cast to the colour, maybe a dodgy print run, but the booklet looks authentic and it's the sort of thing that fades in importance once you listen that wonderful music.
At the end of the day, it's a great package for £10 and the original album is a definite improvement on the original CD release, but if you already have a remaster and are hoping for a complete Steven Wilson version of the album then you'll be disappointed.