Tag Archives: keith emerson

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.


The Press Release:

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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Progressive Rock Legend Keith Emerson Passes Away (1944-2016)

I’m really getting tired of these sort of announcements but alas there has been need to do it again for it was just making the rounds on the web that Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s legendary keyboardist/composer Keith Emerson had passed away. The master musician was 71 years old.

Photo - Keith Emerson

The announcement was made via the band’s Official Facebook page and official website and very simply reads….

“We regret to announce that Keith Emerson died last night at his home in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, aged 71. We ask that the family’s privacy and grief be respected”.

There’s far too much to note about the level of accomplished musician that Emerson was so I’ll just mention that I have personally been a fan of his work for many years now and actually am well into the third decade and closing in on the fourth. My Stepfather had a copy of “Brain Salad Surgery” in his record collection and while I didn’t hear this work at the time of its initial 1973 release (I think it was closer to 1979-90), it quickly became one of my very favorite albums based on the overall musical acrobatics being performed by Emerson and Palmer all over it. Sadly, I never got to witness ELP in concert nor see Emerson performing as a soloist and it was mostly due to the availability of those gigs in my overall life. ELP originally disbanded in 1979 and while they reformed some years later, the gigs for my part of the world were few and far between. Fortunately, the world of mass media has given us numerous albums and video releases to enjoy so many of us can relive the very classic years over and over in the comforts of our own home. Upon hearing the news about Keith’s passing I began spinning my “Essential Emerson, Lake and Palmer” to help me deal with yet another giant loss for the music world. The great thing about Emerson is that you always knew it was him based on his innovative and iconic sound. He was truly the master of any keyboard that he touched and his developments in composition with the creations of Dr. Moog inspired generations of players. On behalf of the PiercingMetal outlet, I send heartfelt condolences to Keith’s family, band mates, friends and worldwide fans. The great band in the sky has officially become a supergroup now that Emerson joins the likes of David Bowie, Chris Squire, Paul Kantner, Lemmy and so many other amazing talents. Each of them left us just a little too soon. Goodnight Mr. Emerson and thank you for the sounds that took us to realms previously uncharted.

UPDATE: Several hours after this memorial reflection went online it was disclosed that Emerson had died from a self-inflicted single gunshot wound to the head. Suicide. Reports state that a degenerative nerve disease in his hands had compromised his abilities and left him despondent. What a shame that he took this route as opposed to continuing to inspire the masses. It sucks learning this was the case.

Official Artist Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Emerson

“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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