Tag Archives: carl palmer

“Gold” by Asia

Artist: Asia
Title: “Gold”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 6/14/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

The idea of taking members of Yes, ELP and The Buggles might strike you as potentially bringing about the greatest Progressive Rock outfit of all time but the end result would be a far different project and the media splash that would surround it become nothing less than historic. That was pretty much the end result when Carl Palmer, Steve Howe, John Wetton and Geoff Downes formed this group with the assistance of Brian Lane (manager of Yes). The players and their legendary bands all had the support of the die hard Progressive fans but the music of Asia was so far from Prog and instead more a borderline commercial Rock outfit. In 1982 being “commercial” was not necessarily a bad thing and just guaranteed the group a more consistent level of radio play. At the time Rock radio ruled the airwaves and you would continually hear ELP, Yes and Triumph along with Zeppelin, Who and Stones. Disco had moved from a full movement to a scattering of supporters and Rock music was again on the rise. Soon “Hair Metal” and “Thrash Metal” would rise but now we find ourselves in ’82 (sorry I could not resist). To call the self-titled debut of Asia a blockbuster would be an understatement and the first single from the album “Heat Of The Moment” would be a chart-topping phenomena. The main reason for this occurrence would be the wide spread appeal that their music offered to the listener. Instead of long-winded displays of musical precision there were tasty hooks and catchy lyrics that just brought a wider audience into the bands camp. The other interesting thing would be the sizable female audience that this band won over for at the time Progressive styling was hardly something that the gender found much interest in. No less than half of the first album made it to regular rotation on stations and the album itself sold millions of copies giving the members the highest chart positions as Asia than they ever received in their other bands.
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Carl Palmer @ B.B. King Blues Club (6/6/2006)

Logo - Carl Palmer

Artist: Carl Palmer
Venue: B.B. King Blues Club (New York, NY)
Opener: n/a
Date: 6/6/2006
Label: Sanctuary Records

If you grew up in the Seventies and followed Progressive Rock music then you certainly would have been aware of the band Emerson, Lake & Palmer. For years they tested the limits of how Prog-Rock could be delivered and are held as legends in the genre for their accomplishments. Keith Emerson was super-human on his synthesizers while Greg Lake sang and played bass, the three-piece puzzle was complimented by the one and only Carl Palmer who was nothing short of a drumming genius. The mere mention of his name causes most percussionists to bow their heads and mumble utterances as to their lack of worthiness – all of it well deserved. Like most bands, people move on and ELP has not been around for about 10 years – allowing the individuals who made up the group to explore their own artistic direction and continue on the musical path. Tonight at B.B. King Blues Club, the legendary drummer Carl Palmer would be bringing a set of music to a sold-out room. Walking in we found tables for this one, and it was a shame since I know many people who were not able to get tickets for this. Seeing a drummer such as Carl perform in such an intimate venue is not something one would expect to do sitting down, so I snared a spot on the side and began to enjoy myself. The band would simply be Carl Palmer on drums and commentary, Stuart Clayton on bass and Paul Bielatowicz handling the guitar duties. Right off the bat I knew this would be interesting, as there is no keyboard player in the touring band. With so much of this in ELP music it would have to be piped in on tapes or performed somehow by the guitar player. The latter would be the case and the audience would find themselves treated to an amazing player on the axe with an almost Alan Holdsworth/Steve Vai level of skill. Song after song, he translated the Keith Emerson keyboard runs into guitar parts and the biggest surprise of all – he is 16 years old. Yes, Carl Palmer’s guitarist was the age of some of the kids who attended the show with their parents tonight and this kid was incredible to say the least. Despite the young man’s talent, everyone was there to see Carl, and he would be both drummer and emcee this evening. Sitting behind his blue vistalite Ludwig’s Carl would show everyone in attendance the level of play he is capable of and it is nothing short of astounding. Oddly enough it would be a much smaller kit than he ever used with both ELP and Asia, yet it worked on all levels for the set he would play with the band tonight.
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“Do You Wanna Play, Carl? – Anthology” by Carl Palmer

Artist: Carl Palmer
Title: “Do You Wanna Play, Carl? – Anthology”
Label: Sanctuary Records
Release Date: 10/9/2001
Genre: Progressive
Rating: 7/10

Carl Palmer is one of the most amazing drummers to ever sit behind the drum kit and this Anthology gives the listener a little different approach to the man and his very inspirational career. Comprised of several songs by mega Progressive genius’ Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP for short) as well Asia, Mike Oldfield and more it’s a decades spanning listen to some of his best work. Given the different bands featured we will review a little bit about each one for better appreciation of the piece. ELP was among the more unique of bands every to come out of the Progressive Rock scene in the early 70’s. Known for over the top displays of instrumental adventure and above par musicianship it was easy to see why the level of appeal for this band was so great. Keyboardist Keith Emerson was a wizard on his numerous level setups and keeping it interesting throughout each song was Carl Palmer. Carl gave new meaning to the words drum set using a mega-sized percussive setup that would make the gear head drummers drool with glee every time they saw it. Carl was also a master on this drum set and treated them as individual instruments proving to the world that the drummer was not always someone who simply kept time during the song. Every effort by ELP was as much a contained solo expression as much as a demonstration of their song-writing. The first twelve songs are ELP tracks but not the ones you would expect to find on an Anthology. Instead of the popular vocal numbers like “Karn Evil” and the rest you are treated to the instrumental displays like “Toccata” and “Concierto for Percussion”. Great stuff that you would not normally find unless you looked deeper into the bands catalog.
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