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

Emerson, Lake & Palmer – The Anthology

Rating: A

Of the three most known Prog bands -ELP, Jethro Tull and Yes- Emerson, Lake & Palmer were the most Proggy.  Yes came close, but unlike ELP, Yes had a guitar player making them ever so more rock.  Occasionally, bass player/vocalist Greg Lake would play a six-string here and there, but ELP was that ‘rock’ band with no guitarist for the most part.  Just imagine if, as legend holds, Jimi Hendrix had lived and joined them to form HELP… all one can say is ‘wow’!

BMG is releasing the band’s first three albums remastered with all sorts of goodies and in cool new packaging, but it is the 39-track Anthology produced by Greg Lake that we are chatting up here.

For starters, this is so full of Prog Rock that one can’t be cool listening to it—but… guess what?  If you love creative music, performed with the skill of any damn orchestra out there, then ELP now and will always be amazing to you.  Carl Palmer is a drummer’s drummer.  He plays along at times in the pocket, and at other times it seems he’s playing a different song than the other two... but he always impresses.  Lake, who came from a Prog pedigree with King Crimson, has that smooth, deep voice that can be strong as an ox, eerie as Halloween or as soothing as grandfather. He thumps the low end and leaves all of the room for the late, great Keith Emerson to work his magic.

Keith was an amazing man and musician.  He took classical music, stabbed it literally with daggers given to him by Lemmy, and somehow gave it a rock ‘n’ roll energy.  ELP, as cliché as this sounds, was so far ahead of the curve that they can’t be compared to any other band.  Many have followed, but there is only one Emerson, Lake & Palmer. From “The Barbarian” to “Tarkus” to “Hoedown” this band never rested on its laurels.  Sure, they spent the money, but they were successful despite pop music. They made their mark out of true musicianship and craftsmenship. They were one of a kind.

The Anthology is beautifully packaged in a case-bound book with liner notes written by acclaimed rock journalist Chris Welsh.  It is full of photos of the band and is a nice reminder of the good old days when an entire physical product was demanded by the music loving public.

Emerson may no longer be with us, but the music he made will live on forever.

The band may no longer exist, but the music they made will go on forever.  So without further ado… when you buy this one, smile and prepare to be amazed….

This is a most excellent reissue campaign with The Anthology having everything required in one spot.

“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends… come inside… come inside.“

Emerson, Lake & Palmer: The Anthology
Disc 1

    The Barbarian
    Take A Pebble
    Knife Edge
    Lucky Man
    i. Eruption
    ii. Stones Of Years
    iii. Iconoclast
    iv. Mass
    v. Manticore
    vi. Battlefield
    vii. Aquatarkus
    Bitches Crystal
    The Only Way (Hymn)
    Infinite Space (Conclusion)
    A Time And A Place

Disc 2
    The Sage (Live)
    The Great Gates Of Kiev (Live)
    Nutrocker (Live)
    The Endless Enigma (Part 1)
    From The Beginning
    The Sheriff
    Abaddon's Bolero
    Still... You Turn Me On
    Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 1
    Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2
    Toccata (Live)

Disc 3
    Piano Concerto No.1 (1st Movement) (Allegro Giojoso)
    Fanfare For The Common Man
    Brain Salad Surgery
    I Believe In Father Christmas
    Honky Tonk Train Blues
    Peter Gunn (Live)
    C'est La Vie (Live)
    Love Beach
    The Pirates (Live)
    Affairs Of The Heart
    Romeo And Juliet
    Hand Of Truth
    Paper Blood (Live)
    Tiger In A Spotlight (Live)

By Jeb “The Sage” Wright