EMERSON LAKE and PALMER – ” Out Of This World: Live (1970-1997) “

Posted: October 23, 2021 in MUSIC
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Prog legends Emerson, Land & Palmer will release a new 10 LP/seven disc live box set in October.

Prog legends Emerson Lake & Palmer were one of the early supergroups (formed from the roots of The Nice, King Crimson and Atomic Rooster in 1970) and cemented their legacy in the first half of the 70s. Often overblown, they stripped away much of the blues, soul and psychedelia from rock music, playing classical music like an insane robot. Immensely popular and rightfully so . ELP split at the end of the decade and reformed a number of times.

There is quite a live legacy, as the number of official live albums show. And while the 4 multi-disc box sets in the Official Bootleg series filled many a gap, the quality was often ropey at best. This album is just wonderful from the moment you open it up. Out of the box comes a booklet and five live albums in card sleeves, all gatefold, two of them double sets. That’s the weekend’s listening sorted then.

Out Of This World: Live (1970-1997)” will be released through BMG Records on October 29 as part of Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

The new set pulls together five of the biggest and most important shows ELP played across their 50 illustrious years, including their performances at the Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970 and their headline show at the 1974 California Jam. You can view the new artwork and full track lisitng below.

“I could not think of a better way to celebrate this anniversary period for ELP. The box set is one of my proudest moments,” says only surviving member Carl Palmer. “I know Keith and Greg would agree with me! “Out Of This World” is something I will remember for a long time to come. For me, this shows ELP at their very best throughout years of touring and recording. The box set represents the lifeline of our music in our time.” 

Each album has been reimagined with impressive new artwork, reflecting various aspects of the band and their epic, ground-breaking music. The LP box contains 5 x deluxe gatefold double LPs with high quality, fully-restored audio mastering.

Most of the LPs are previously unreleased on vinyl; Phoenix 1997 has never been released. The CDs have been out of print for many years and never released to this standard of artwork and audio. Each set comes complete with a 32-page, glossy photobook, featuring many intimate, rare and unseen images of the band from legendary photographers including Lynn Goldsmith and Neil Preston. Liner notes are provided by Prog Magazine Editor Jerry Ewing.

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The Box Set:

Isle of White Festival 1970 The first set is the band’s debut performance at the August 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival (the DVD now long out of print).

The first set is the band’s debut performance at the August 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival (the DVD now long out of print). Opening track “The Barbarian” (from their eponymous debut) showcases the classical leanings, as much as the band’s technical craft. It’s fast and aggressive. As with much of their music, it is Keith Emerson’s keyboards take the lead. There’s a jazz metal element to Carl Palmer’s drumming too. The second track “Take A Pebble” is a gentler track, featuring vocalist and guitarist/bassist Greg Lake.

The audience response is muted, largely due to the fact that while the names were known, the band and music weren’t, it was a learning experience for everyone. Next up is a 35 minute run-through of Mussorgsky’s “Picture’s At An Exhibition” (which was the basis of a live album in it’s own right a year or two later). It’s a track that has everything; from folky whimsical sections to, at the heavier end, imagine a robot having an epileptic fit while playing rock’n’roll. Marvellous. A take on “Rondo” (The Nice) and a cover of “Nutrocker” close the set. “Rondo” is take from The Nice’s debut a few years earlier, which is often considered the first bone fide progressive rock album. And the disc here is completed by a band interview.

Isle Of Wight Festival, Newport, UK, 29 August 1970
1. The Barbarian
2. Take A Pebble
3. Pictures At An Exhibition: Promenade Part 1 / The Gnome / Promenade Part 2 / The Sage / The Old Castle / Blues Variation                
4. Pictures At An Exhibition (Continued): Promenade Part 3 / The Hut Of Baba Yaga / The Curse Of Baba Yaga / The Hut Of Baba Yaga / The Great Gates Of Kiev
5. Rondo
6. Nutrocker
7. Interview

California Jam 1974 The second set is the band’s performance at the 1974 Opening track “Toccata” is pretty much a drum solo, then the gentler “Still You Turn Me On“, featuring some nice acoustic guitar from Lake. “Lucky Man” follows suit, and clearly a loved track from the audience cheer. There’s the usual Emerson piano improvisation before the highlight of 2 segments of “Karn Evil 9” (the full track comes form the Brain Salad Surgery album, a staple of any decent record collection).

California Jam, Ontario Motor Speedway, Ontario, California, USA, 6 April 1974
1. Toccata
2. Still … You Turn Me On
3. Lucky Man
4. Piano Improvisations (Including ‘Fugue’ And ‘Little Rock Getaway’)
5. Take A Pebble
6. Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2
7. Karn Evil 9 3rd Impression
8. Pictures At An Exhibition: The Great Gates Of Kiev

Works Live 1977 The 3rd set is the double disc Works Live. Although previously released, it has been long out of print. It is the full and expanded show from which the original live set In Concert was taken. This concert is with an orchestra and is stunning

The 3rd set is the double disc “Works Live”. Although previously released, it has been long out of print. It is the full and expanded show from which the original live set “In Concert” was taken. There’s a selection of the usual and classic Emerson Lake & Palmer, coupled with tracks from the two “Works” sets. “C’Est La Vie” is the band although it is effectively a Greg Lake solo track, and the “Peter Gunn Theme” is always good. “Tiger In A Spotlight” gets the head nodding, and Keith Emerson’s take on Scott Joplin’s “Maple Leaf Rag” is excellent too. The sound and mix are good. A highlight is the cover of “Fanfare For The Common Man” (an unlikely hit single for the band). And several tracks feature a 70 piece orchestral.

‘Works Live’, Stade Olympique De Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 26 August 1977
1. Introductory Fanfare
2. Peter Gunn
3. Tiger In A Spotlight
4. C’est La Vie
5. Watching Over You
6. Maple Leaf Rag
7. The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits
8. Fanfare For The Common Man
9. Knife-Edge
10. Show Me The Way To Go Home
11. Abaddon’s Bolero
12. Pictures At An Exhibition: Promenade Part 1 / The Gnome / Promenade Part 2 / The Hut Of Baba Yaga /
The Curse Of Baba Yaga / The Hut Of Baba Yaga / The Great Gates Of Kiev
13.Closer To Believing
14. Piano Concerto, Third Movement: Toccata Con Fuoco
15. Tank

Royal Albert Hall 1992 Set 4 is a nicely packaged gig at the Royal Albert Hall, 1992. Newer tracks “Black Moon”, “Paper Blood” and “Romeo & Juliet” sit nicely next to “Tarkus”, “Pirates” and “Fanfare For The Common Man“. Set 4 is a nicely packaged gig at the Royal Albert Hall, 1992, when the band had reformed for an excellent studio album or two. This show I had wanted to go to but it soon sold out. The band are solid, tight and it’s well recorded.

The Royal Albert Hall, London, UK October 1992
1. Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2
2. Tarkus: Eruption / Stones Of Years / Iconoclast
3. Knife-Edge
4. Paper Blood
5. Romeo And Juliet
6. Creole Dance
7. Still … You Turn Me On
8. Lucky Man
9. Black Moon
10. Pirates
11. Fanfare For The Common Man / America / Rondo

Union Hall Phoenix 1997 (unreleased) The final set here is the 2CD Phoenix Arizona 1997, which showed that ELP still had a solid fanbase. The production is solid and modern,

The final set here is the 2CD Phoenix Arizona 1997, which showed that ELP still had a solid fanbase. The production is solid and modern, although as a general rule the tracks weren’t as long. “Honky Tonk Train Blues” gets a blast, “Take A Pebble” is the longest track on disc one at 8 minutes, and Emerson Lake & Powell’s Touch And Go gets a run out. Disc two is more classic ELP with “Tarkus” running to 12 minutes and “Pictures At An Exhibition” to 24. This is the kind of music prog rock fans live for. And a gem and highlight is the closing track, a medley of “21st Century Schizoid Man” (King Crimson) and “Rondo” (the Nice). This is music you can drink wine and chill out or rock out to, with ease.

Union Hall, Phoenix, Arizona, USA, 23 September, 1997
1. Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2
2. Hoedown
3. Touch And Go
4. From The Beginning
5. Knife-Edge
6. Bitches Crystal
7. Creole Dance
8. Honky Tonk Train Blues
9. Take A Pebble
10. Lucky Man
11.Tarkus: Eruption / Stones Of Years / Iconoclast / Mass 
12. Pictures At An Exhibition: The Hut Of Baba Yaga / The Great Gates Of Kiev
13. Fanfare For The Common Man (including drum solo) / Blue Rondo A La Turk
14. 21st Century Schizoid Man / America

Emerson Lake And Palmer were both classic and classical prog rock and this set is to be really enjoyed. Overblown, self-indulgent and marvellous all the way.

Much of this material has been officially released previously, some in a different format and all long out of print. The packaging is top-notch and there’s a colourful booklet with it too. Well worth your money, and a few hours listening too. A little bit more previously unreleased recorded to the same quality would have been the icing on the cake.

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