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Then & Now Box set, Original recording remastered

2 customer reviews

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Amazon's Emerson, Lake & Palmer Store

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Biography

Considered by many to be one of rock's original first super-groups, Emerson Lake & Palmer formed in England in 1970 consisting of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (bass guitar, vocals, guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums, percussion). The band created a brand new world of music, combining classical and symphonic rock fused with beautiful vocals. Their penchant for appropriating themes ... Read more in Amazon's Emerson, Lake & Palmer Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (26 Feb. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sanctuary
  • ASIN: B000F3T88M
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 429,896 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Toccata
2. Take A Pebble Excerpts
3. Karn Evil 9
4. A Time And A Place
5. Piano Concerto No.1 - Third Movement
6. From The Beginning
Disc: 2
1. Karn Evil 9 (First Impression Part 2)
2. Tiger In The Spotlight
3. Hoedown
4. Touch And Go
5. Knife Edge
6. Bitches Crystal
7. Honky Tonk Train Blues
8. Take A Pebble
9. Lucky Man
10. Fanfare For The Common Man/ Blue Rondo A La Turk
See all 11 tracks on this disc

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By coca-ebola on 26 Feb. 2005
Format: Audio CD
This is the complete collection of the 1974/1997 live recordings plundered for innumerable budget-price compilations. This, at least, isn't a tacky and exploitative package to fleece the uninitiate - so if you need this material, THEN & NOW is the format in which to buy it. But - uninitiates beware! This is not a very satisfactory listening experience, and certainly not the best way to discover ELP. (For that, consult either the 2-CD compilations or, better still, the debut, "the album with the bird on the cover").
Sound quality for the California Jam performance is soundboard-bootleg standard, but a bigger problem is the erratic editing. `Toccata' is lacking its theme statement - all you get is the drum-dominated second half. The mid-Take-A-Pebble piano solo is famous for being the solo that, when it was televised, alerted Oscar Peterson and Count Basie to Emerson's talents (!) It's one of the better examples of this routine, i.e not as overloaded with musical quotations as some I've heard - but the omission of the first part of the medley is cruel! As is the editing of Karn Evil 9 - even if they couldn't make room for the entire suite, why not a complete First Impression (Castle and Rhino do it on their compilations!)
Though the 1997 material is better recorded and better edited, new problems present themselves. Though rare opportunities to hear A Time And A Place and Bitches Crystal are much appreciated, Greg Lake's ageing vocal cords become a problem on well-documented material such as Lucky Man and the Karn Evil 9 excerpt. Emerson was recovering from RSI at the time of the tour and it's possible to hear him trip over his fingers at times (e.g on Hoedown and Honky Tonk Train Blues) - and his synrhesizer timbres are often ill-chosen (e.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "lauridsen_s" on 8 Jun. 2003
Format: Audio CD
When i first saw this published i was very glad, it looked like a serius live cd, with lots of improvisaitions.
I bought it, and was very pleased when the first numbers came out of my speekers.
Espeacielly the fantastic improvisations by Keith Emerson overrumbbled me.
But sadly - the cd is not very stabil in its quality, and some numbers are not offering the sound quality they should.
But that does'nt ruin this dubbel album which is a must-have for all ELP-fans.
Buy it!
Ps. Sorry if my english is to bad... I am just an old dane...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Some moments of brilliance, but not enough 12 Aug. 2001
By Laon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
From my point of view the main interest in this collection was going to be the "Then" material. Not out of nostaligia, but simply because in the 70s ELP were a great band: awesomely creative, risk-taking, energetic but humanised by Lake's acoustic playing and pure-and-powerful tenor voice (as it then was). Odd, in a way, that they were so reviled during the punk revolution: the virtuosity may have been unfashionable, but the speed thrills, the noise, and the occasional humour were very much part of that spirit.
And the 1974 "Then" material doesn't disappoint; it includes probably the best versions of Karn Evil 9 Part 3 released, for accuracy, energy and conviction. It's also possibly the only one in which Emerson's "voice of the computer" interjections sound genuinely dangerous rather than slightly silly.
Unlike the previous reviewer (who writes a fair review) I don't have a problem with the sound of the 70s recording: good enough is good enough, in my book. What I do have a problem with is the selection. For example we get Carl Palmer's drum solo from _Toccata_, without getting _Toccata_ itself. A fade in to a drum solo, fading out at the end, is not a smart decision, no matter how good the drum solo might be.
And we only get the last half of _Take a Pebble_. It starts at Lake's mid-song acoustic break, for _Still, You Turn me On_ and _Lucky Man_, for which Lake is in fine form both vocally and on guitar. Though I miss the classical-influenced acoustic guitar solo from the original studio version. The track moves on to Emerson's piano improvisations, which are also excellent, and interesting to compare to the improvisations on the _Welcome Back My Friends_ live set, recorded a year earlier. Then we get one verse of _Take a Pebble_, on to the finish.
That "half a song" seems more than a little careless. I'd readily swap getting the whole song for Carl's drum solo. In fact, ideally we'd have got the whole of _Toccatta_ AND all of of _Take a Pebble_, and if something had to go, we could easily have shed some of the "Now" material.
The "Now" performances are inferior at every level. Emerson is intent in showing he can still play fast, which he certainly can; but at the speed he chooses he murders his Piano Concerto 1 movement 3, giving it a high-speed run without expression or feeling. Honky Tonk Train Blues likewise sacrifices everything else in favour of speed. Emerson's speed can be exhilarating, but only if there's also a feeling of control, that we're still getting music and not just a downhill race.
Another problem is that Lake's songs have been re-arranged to minimise or eliminate what used to be opportunities to shine on guitar. And that's odd. A voice can go with age, if it's not looked after, but why shouldn't Lake have got _better_ on his instrument, after 30 years?
Palmer also disappoints. There's a drum sound that dominates a lot of very boring music made in the 80s: that style where the drummer does little but come in with a deep "WHACK!" just a moment behind the beat, to sort of kick the song along. It was quite effective when the style was first developed (I think that Nick Mason may have originated the style in the mid-70s, or at least that Pink Floyd was one of the very first bands to use it, from _Obscured by Clouds_ onwards.) At the time it had a pleasantly laid-back, marijuana feel to it. Then it became a cliche, an integral part of the sound of every boring 80s big-hair stadium act, who went through the 80s and 90s putting out ghastly ballads while pretending to RAWK! also chanting a lot of tedious Rock Anthems, As If Punk (among other things) Never Happened. That plodding drummer's cliche has infected Carl's drumming too, turning an inventive percussionist into a minimalist, and threatening to drag otherwise interesting songs into a MOR morass.
Still, there are compensations. Lake manages the vocals on the 90s shortened version of _Take a Pebble_ well enough; it's not as interesting a voice now it's roughened, but it's passable, and he improves for _Lucky Man_. I like the last section best, with Emerson storming his way through _Fanfare_, _Blue Rondo a la Turk_ (where Emerson includes references to the original, Mozart's _Rondo a la Turque_, in places where Brubeck's "blue" version doesn't), America and so on, on the way quoting bits of Shostakovich, Ginastera, himself (Abbadon's Bolero), Bernstein and any number of other people. It's not quite great music (and I agree with the previous reviewer on Emerson's choice of synth sound: it undermines a lot of what he plays) but it IS a lot of fun.
My 3-star rating is mostly for the "Then" material, and even that is flawed by poor selection. The "Now" stuff would be lucky to get two stars. I'm probably being kind, awarding 3 stars to the whole. So this is one for serious fans only. There are some rewards here, but it's not a good place to begin acquaintance with ELP.
Cheers!
Laon
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
The fires still burn!! ELP hasn't lost a thing!! 7 Mar. 1999
By Eric Scott <captainfossil@netscape.net> - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Emerson, Lake & Palmer consider themselves to be primarily a "live-performance" band, which probably accounts for the number of live albums they've released through the years (6). "Then & Now" shows that even in their later years, the trio has lost little of their energy. The CD cover art harks back to the band's "Brain Salad Surgery" days with a nicely-rendered Giger-esque painting. The "Then" portion on CD#1 contains material that differs little from the group's 1974 "Welcome Back My Friends..." release, save that the "Toccata" track on the current CD features only Carl Palmer's percussion solo and leaves out the rest of the song. The track is unfortunately abortive and should have been either expanded or left off. More satisfying is the "Now" portion of the CD, which yields live performances of "A Time and a Place," "From the Beginning" and "Bitches Crystal" that have never been released on any of the band's live CDs. These tracks alone are worth the price of the CD. "Then & Now" also features a complete live version of "Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Part 2" that has been sadly missing from the groups' other recent live releases, and it's nice to hear it once again. On the down side, some numbers -- particularly "Knife Edge" -- have been performed so many times before on previous live albums that the inclusion of this track seems utterly unnecessary, and seems intended to fill space rather than to contribute anything new or different. This is a pity, in that so little of ELP's recent studio material (particularly from their "Black Moon" release, but not forgetting their "In the Hot Seat" CD) has made it to live albums. Granted that the fans want to hear the classics, nevertheless some of the more recent studio material is equally exciting and deserves to be released live. Unfortunately the band has recently disbanded, so the possibility of this is more remote than ever. In any event, the two final tracks of "Then & Now" -- "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "21st Century Schizoid Man" -- manage to capture all of the power, drive and virtuosity that have been the hallmarks of this band since the early 1970s. "Fanfare" in particular showcases Emerson and Palmer at the top of their respective games. Though not without flaws, this album is a must for any ELP fan!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
"Stocking you with the same Stuffing" 9 May 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Then & Now is re-hashed material from ELP that we've already heard before. It contains 2 cds of live music. The 1st is 2/3s filled with the California Jam concert from the seventies then 1 1/3 disks of good material recently recorded (but nothing new). The sound recording from the 70s is muddled and on both CDs at the end of each song the sound is faded out. This really takes away from the excitment that really could have been. My advice if you only want one live ELP CD set, go with the King Buscuit set that one also has CD-Rom interactive videos and pictures.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
No Garlands of Martian Fire Flowers For Anybody Here 22 Sept. 2004
By Peter K. Geddes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I don't know how this album got past ELP's Quality Control. I remember enjoying the '97-'98 shows that form the more recent part of this set, but I didn't enjoy these recordings. Greg Lake either had a cold when these recordings were made or else he is losing his voice. Either way, why put out an album to document the fact? The recent material also duplicates alot of the older material from the first part, which is performed alot better and with alot more energy and enthusiasm. So the newer stuff pales in comparison the the older stuff, even with the dodgy sound quality (it sounds like somebody put a cassette player up to the speaker of his/her TV in 1974 -- it's sound quality that I would expect on a bootleg) and bad edits.

So you have well-recorded but poorly performed material from 1997-8 and well-performed but poorly recorded material from 1974. I don't think anyone is well-served by this effort. No garlands of Martian fire flowers for anyone involved in the making of this ablum!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
a good compilation 6 Feb. 2001
By A. Garland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is probably the best compilation that I have heard. I have been a faithful ELP fan since the 1970's, and have bought most if not all of the releases. The excerpts from the California Jam are worth the cost of this CD. This was probably one of their best performances when everything was firing on all cyclinders as they say. The releases from a smaller label company such as this one seem to be better than releases from the major companies. Anyway the California Jam stuff most notably Toccatta have excellent sound quality and make this CD a must buy for the avid ELP fan.
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