RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Carl Palmer – Anthology: Do Ya Wanna Play Carl?
MVD Audio


Rating: B

Carl Palmer is best known as the drummer for Emerson, Lake & Palmer and the band Asia.  He has, however, produced many other musical gems as this collection proves.

Let’s do this review backward, and start with Disc 2, where Carl takes us to his past, the early days with the Who-influenced band The Craig.  In fact, the tune “I Must Be Mad” has one waiting for Pete to smash his guitar and Keith to dump over his drums. 

While The Craig never made it anywhere near as big as the Who, and these songs are far from the experimental and daring work he would later create, Carl did the right thing including them in this anthology. Not surprisingly, they sound pretty damn good.

Anthology is full of surprises.  Palmer includes a dozen ELP songs on Disc 1, but none of their huge hits.  There are many classics such as “Tank,” “Fanfare for the Common Man” and “Toccata,” but there is no “Lucky Man” or “Karn Evil #9.”  Instead, Palmer displays what he feels is his best work in the band, as this is his anthology, not ELP’s. 

He touches on the band Asia, but all one really has to do in order to celebrate that band is buy their debut album.  Carl includes three great tunes from that album here with “Heat of the Moment,” “Widest Dreams” and “Time Again.”  Also of interest are his tunes with Mike Oldfield and the classic Atomic Rooster.

With this release Palmer gives us a quick look back at where he has been.  One can see the progression of his playing from the early pop days to the complexity of ELP and his other progressive bands. 

Disc: 1
1. Concerto For Percussion – ELP
2. The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits – ELP
3. The Pancha Suite – ELP
4. Bullfrog – ELP
5. Toccata – ELP
6. Close But Not Touching – ELP
7. LA Nights – ELP
8. Canario – ELP
9. Tank – ELP
10. Two Part Invention In D Minor – ELP
11. Fanfare For The Common Man – ELP
12. March Militaire – ELP

Disc: 2
1. I Must Be Mad - The Craig
2. Suspense - The Craig
3. Love Light - The Chants
4. Decline And Fall - Atomic Rooster
5. You've Got Me Rockin' - Carl Palmer's PM
6. Dynamite - Carl Palmer's PM
7. Mount Teidi - Mike Oldfield
8. Ready Mix - Mike Oldfield
9. Heat Of The Moment – Asia
10. Wildest Dreams – Asia
11. Time Again – Asia
12. Desda La Vida: La Vista/Frontera/Sangre De Toro – 3
13. Eight Miles High – 3
14. Hoedown (Live) – Qango
15. Shawnee (Live) - Carl Palmer/Buddy Rich Orchestra

By Jeb Wright