Tag Archives: emerson lake and palmer

PiercingMetal Talks To Carl Palmer (11/11/2016)

Carl Palmer is an icon in the world of Progressive Rock having contributed to the overall success of both, but not limited to, Asia and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. His drumming style is often described as unique in the way that he incorporates speed, finesse, and maintains an aura of sophistication. On Friday night, fans from across the continental US filled South Orange Performing Arts Center in musical celebration of Palmer’s tribute to the late Keith Emerson, Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy. Our own Katie N. briefly spoke to the legendary musician shortly after the performance.

carl palmer, carl palmer concert photos
Carl Palmer by Ken Pierce (2014)

PiercingMetal: Emerson, Lake and Palmer is notorious for their use of keyboards. In your band, you omit them. How does that change the musical dynamic?

Carl Palmer: We use two guitars. Paul Bielatowicz on the lead guitar and there is Simon Fitzpatrick who plays the Chapman Stick, which is a 10 stringed instrument. He also plays the 6-stringed bass. It’s the three of us- what you would consider to be a power trio I suppose. It’s completely different because we’re using stringed instruments as opposed to synthesizers. Some of the dynamic changes in such a way where it can be more exciting in certain areas, and there are certain areas where the music might not be quite as strong, or possibly stronger in a different way. It’s difficult to explain. Music is very difficult to talk about. It’s better to listen to it and hear it. But I didn’t really want to have keyboards in the group. I wanted to present music in a different way using guitar and just show how versatile the music is and how great the players are today because they can properly represent this music on guitars which probably wouldn’t have happened years ago because the players weren’t good enough.
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Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Legendary Bassist Greg Lake Has Died (1947-2016)

greg lake

I awoke to the news this morning that legendary Emerson, Lake and Palmer bassist/vocalist Greg Lake had passed away sometime during the evening before and what a terrible loss for music lovers worldwide this is. 2016 has been a cruel year for music fans with the likes of David Bowie, Glen Frey and even Keith Emerson himself leaving us and there were so many others that I have not listed. Greg Lake was something special to many and Progressive Rock fans first knew him well as being instrumental in the early years of King Crimson where he recorded “In The Court Of The Crimson King” along with many of its other notable tunes like “20th Century Schizoid Man” and “Epitaph”. Personally speaking I was not one of those who followed the Crimson stuff and first heard the golden melodies of his voice on the “Brain Salad Surgery” album by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. My Dad had the album and its Giger cover fascinated me so as a younger lad that I began to play it over and over and over again. I was a fan of the band ever since and though I would follow them for many releases afterward I would never get to see them performing in concert. I had always wanted to and hoped that some sort of reunion/farewell would be mapped out but that thought ended when Keith passed and now we only have the countless albums and performances of their material in Carl Palmer’s project.
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Get Excited For Emerson, Lake & Palmer Classic Album Re-Issues

I love so many songs by the great Emerson, Lake and Palmer. They were my first introduction to the Progressive Rock music of the 70’s and while I wouldn’t actually hear them until many years after their debut, my first album was “Brain Salad Surgery” which belonged to my Dad. Its cover was wild as hell and spoke to the weird horror movie and comic book loving kid. To this day its remained a favorite. The other day it was announced that some classic albums are getting a remastered treatment and I’ve got the whole press release down below for you to absorb. I’ll return at the close with some additional thoughts.

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The Press Release:
EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER: A TREASURE CHEST OF CLASSIC ALBUMS

Emerson, Lake & Palmer were one of the most successful, innovative and ground breaking British groups of the golden age of Progressive Rock. As well as creating spectacular ‘live’ shows that incorporated advanced technology and showmanship, they also recorded a cascade of powerful albums that sold in millions around the world. During 2016 and 2017 the band’s musical legacy will be celebrated by BMG with an important and comprehensive re-issue programme that will put the spotlight on ELP’s nine studio albums as well as their ‘live’ recordings and compilations. The trio’s remarkable style, combining original compositions with rock, jazz, folk and classical influences, was performed with passion and integrity by the founder members:

Keyboard maestro – the late great, Keith Emerson
Singer, guitarist and bass player – Greg Lake
Drummer and percussionist – Carl Palmer

Their phenomenal mix of melodic songs, dynamic arrangements, brilliant musicianship and electrifying sound broadened the audience for progressive rock and guaranteed ELP massive international appeal, as they headlined stadium tours throughout the 1970s and 1990s and achieved sales of over 40 million albums. ELP also enjoyed two major hit singles with ‘Lucky Man’ and ‘Fanfare For The Common Man’, and their 21 minute epic track ‘Tarkus’ is hailed as a milestone in Prog Rock history.
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“Live At Montreux 1997” [CD] by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Artist: Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Title: “Live At Montreux 1997”
Label: Eagle Records
Release Date: 9/11/2015
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 4/5

If you’ve owned a video copy of the 1997 concert at Montreux by the legendary Emerson, Lake & Palmer and were wondering when you were going to be able to add these sounds to your music collection, then wonder no more as for the first time ever this concert is being made available on audio CD for all the masses to enjoy. I love the “Live At Montreux” series of audio and video recordings based on their overall diversity and was happy to see this fantastic live set be given a long overdue audio release. Sometimes with Eagle Rock Entertainment releases we find the video part have a companion audio part being released simultaneously but that is not the case here as this CD comes a full eleven years after the standard DVD and five after the Blu-ray edition.

As I am reviewing the audio streaming version of this release I cannot say more than how it features all of the tracks that were initially found on the videos across its two discs which is a very good thing. Sometimes we find a track or two omitted/added when these things hit the shelves. The band sounds on point and one would expect this from the three leaders in Progressive Rock and by the time of this recording in 1997 had already been reunited for a number of years. Sadly as I pen this summation the band seems to have broken up for the final time with its membership actively touring doing sets of these classic numbers. The show starts off with a bang and the classic “Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Part 2”, and this is the one you used to hear on the radio all the time. The “Karn Evil” track as a whole is almost fourteen minutes long and worth poking around for if its somehow new to your ears. I grew up on this tune and only wish they had slammed out the whole thing. There are some scattered choices to be found as the group explores their catalog to give you both “Tiger In A Spotlight” and “Hoedown” along with the unexpected “Touch and Go”. This tune was from the short-lived Emerson, Lake and Powell years when they were partnered up with the late great Cozy Powell. Still the tune is relevant as it was played religiously on MTV and not much else from the band ever saw that networks visibility. I liked hearing Carl doing its steady four on the floor drumming but it did make me miss Powell’s presence in music all the more. He was killed in a car crash back in 1998 but I digress.
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“Then And Now” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Artist: Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Title: “Then and Now”
Label: Spitfire Records
Release Date: 11/24/1998
Genre: Progressive Rock
Rating: 3/5

Did you ever find yourself listening to a live recording and wondering what actually went into the planning process before the release came out? I sometimes do, and have to admit that these were the thoughts that went through my mind as I listened to this classic live release by legendary Progressive Rockers Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The double disc set spans two very different eras in the bands history and based on the way it is laid out, it comes across as a little disjointed. You might be wondering how this is possible for such an incredible band and I shall do my best to explain what I mean. The release begins with music from the legendary California Jam in 1974 where ELP had headlined and performed for something like 250,000 people which was quite a few for an outdoor concert of this kind at the time. Our introduction to that part of the CD begins with Carl Palmer’s drum solo after a brief portion of “Toccata” and that makes no sense. Why not bring us in from the start and skate around a bit instead of coming in at the tail end of a tune for the solo break and then letting the shaky wander down the path grow even worse. From here the show now becomes acoustic and Greg Lake sings a medley of tunes with “Still You Turn Me On” and “Lucky Man” being a part of the mix and notable highlights. Yes, he has an incredibly powerful voice that shines through but to go from blazing drum solo to acoustic tunes was just leaving me wanting more “oomph” from the respected trio. The “vintage era” of the band on this CD ends with a part of their mega-epic “Karn Evil 9”. It’s not the best version I have heard from the band and I will take the studio version or the one done on the superb live release “Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends, Ladies and Gentlemen Emerson, Lake & Palmer”. Find that one if you can remember the albums very difficult to remember title. It was remastered in 2007.
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