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5.0 out of 5 stars fitting epitaph of an unique progrockgroup
final studiorecordering of the original ELP members, who lend their name to the band. After disbanding at the end of the seventies they had an whole carriere and paved the way for many other progrockacts. In the eighties they regrouped more or less (Emerson wih Lake and Cozy Powell, Emerson with Palmer in "3" and Lake had a stint with Palmer in Asia) before finally...
Published on 13 Dec. 2010 by J. Talsma

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Real Shame
I saw this cd in HMV when it came out. It was really good to see ELP proudly displayed in a mainstream shop. Now the bad news. The album shows that ELP had sunk even as this cd appeared. This was due to health problems with Keiths arm and Carl Palmer having hand trouble too. The project was scuppered by the record company needing a hit album because they were in financial...
Published on 18 July 2009 by 70s


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Real Shame, 18 July 2009
By 
70s "arrow" (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: In The Hot Seat (Audio CD)
I saw this cd in HMV when it came out. It was really good to see ELP proudly displayed in a mainstream shop. Now the bad news. The album shows that ELP had sunk even as this cd appeared. This was due to health problems with Keiths arm and Carl Palmer having hand trouble too. The project was scuppered by the record company needing a hit album because they were in financial trouble, and dissent over writing and producing the album. Corporate power ruined any chances of this being a true ELP album and the result is weak and shallow. Best avoid this one, I really wanted to like it but it isnt worth getting even to complete a set
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A shoddy end for a great band, 30 April 2007
By 
N. Mason (Taunton, Somerset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: In The Hot Seat (Audio CD)
After ELP reformed with the excellent 'Black Moon' I felt confident that this time they would be over their quarrels and go on to produce a few more top class albums. The first time I heard this I imagined that it would grow on me as many albums do. However, after 15-20 listens I knew that it never would and I realised why - it isn't any good!! in fact it is a dull, bland and boring album with not even a couple of decent tracks to save it.

I hear that there may have been problems with managers, record companies and the like but for the this to be the last album that a superb and innovative band records is a great shame. If you want to listen to ELP choose the aforementioned 'Black Moon' or go for their earlier material such as 'Trilogy' or 'Brain Salad Surgery'.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost There............., 16 Oct. 2007
This review is from: In The Hot Seat (Audio CD)
I have listened to this off and on since I bought it, and I kinda think it's almost there but not quite, mind you Love Beach is like that. "Hand of Truth" sounds like an out take, "Daddy" worth a listen, "One by One" Nearly out of the cocoon, "Heart on Ice" Nice song that Greg gravels through, "Thin Line" Think they must have been at lunch and passing musicians played, 'Man in The Black Coat" could have been a real classic, had the dark overtone been developed into a real blast...............and so the album went on until a studio version of pictures iwhich is also on the return of the manticore box set. The album is listenable but it just ain't ELP and that from a diehard fan who has put up with all the other tosh that has been released in their name(sometimes think us ELP fans have carried the dust of a journey). I am aware of the history that dogged the album, but that said........buy it for the history aspect, play it on a journey where you don't concentrate on the music and vocals too much and it will just about past muster. Don't expect too much and you wont be disappointed. 3 stars because they were great once!!!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing epic to see here ..... move along., 10 July 2010
By 
Cartimand (Hampshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: In The Hot Seat (Audio CD)
Whilst Black Moon wasn't quite the Tarkus 2 or Karn Evil 10 that the ELP fans /really/ wanted, it did still recapture moments of the grandiose brilliance that characterised this erstwhile megagroup.

In The Hot Seat, however, is aiming far too much at the mainstream bland pop/rock genre to generate much interest outside of compulsive ELP collectors' circles.

In fact, my heart sank when I saw how short each of the 10 tracks were. Without even listening, I knew there wouldn't be a Tarkus, Endless Enigma, Karn Evil or even a Pirates on this CD. But, hope springs eternal and, sucker that I am, I bought it anyway.

The opening track - Hand of Truth, is actually pretty good, with a decent theme and memorable swirly synth-break towards the end. Daddy - a Lake ballad about child abduction and murder, is well written and moving, but just too depressing for repeat listenings. One by One, although liked by some, just sounds dischordant with no decent tune to me. Some quite trippy lyrics though. Heart on Ice is a maudlin and almost cringingly embarassing love song that is just made for the CD skip button. Thin Line is instantly forgettable. The cover of Dylan's Man in the Long Black Coat is one of the (few) highlights here though. Greg's ageing and abused vocal chords sound suitably dark and menacing on this atmospheric track and, for once, the accompaniment comes together pretty well. Change is just bland disposable pop muzak with an irritating rather than catchy "hook". Give me a Reason to Stay is in the same vein as Heart on Ice, but slightly more upbeat. Gone too Soon doesn't go soon enough, but Street War goes some way to redeeming this generally uninspired collection, with some strong lyrics over a good rocking beat. Finally, there is a crisp, clear (but strangely truncated) cut of Pictures at an Exhibition, which is pleasant enough, but pretty superfluous when most ELP fans will have a couple of better versions already in their collection.

Let's face it, Greg's voice is shot. It sounds throughout that he needs a good cough. Keith was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome and his playing is far more subdued than usual. Carl - normally the stalwart dependable workhorse of the trio, also sounds like he's just going through the motions.

So, IMHO, perhaps three tracks actually worth listening to and the fact that the best of them is a cover rather than an ELP composition, just about sums this up. Get it at a clearance sale, skip the dead wood and I'd up my rating to 2 and a half stars. Maybe.

To listen to music that genuinely captures the excitement and energy of what ELP used to stand for, I recommend you try Carl Palmer's "Working Live" album, which is far more inventive and enjoyable than this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A truly sad recording, 3 Mar. 2010
By 
Francis King "Frank King" (Calgary, AB, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Hot Seat (Audio CD)
This was the second CD recorded by ELP after they reunited in the '90s. After a strong start with 1992's Black Moon, this was a HUGE step back. According to the book, Emerson, Lake & Palmer: The Show that Never Ends, Emerson was having hand problems before & during the recording of In the Hot Seat.
As well, the band's label, Victory, was in financial trouble 'cause two of their biggest acts, Yes & David Bowie's Tin Machine, delivered flop albums. So, the book recounts, the label put pressure on ELP to deliver a commercial success and brought in producer Keith Olsen (Whitesnake, Fleetwood Mac, Heart) to help. Talk about a bad choice.
The results, just about any true ELP fan can tell you, were DISASTROUS. This CD sounds like second rate Chicago...and not the good Chicago from the early 1970s, either. There's almost no progressive rock to be found, just one forgettable pop song after another.
Sure, there's a bonus song on this, a studio recording of the epic Pictures at An Exhibition, originally recorded for the ELP box set compilation. But even though the band apparently liked that recording (according to the ELP book), it is absolutely lifeless when compared to the previous live-in-concert versions.
Avoid this recording at all costs. It's far worse than ELP's often-slagged "Love Beach" recording from 1978. At least that album had a very interesting concept piece (Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentlemen). In the Hot Seat doesn't even have that.
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1.0 out of 5 stars In the Hot seat...No thanx!, 3 Jun. 2011
This review is from: In The Hot Seat (Audio CD)
I don't even know how to say how bad this album is, both as an ELP album or as an album on its own! I had bought Black Moon when it came out, and hadn't been terribly impressed, mostly because of the sound(s).
Then a bit later In the Hot Seat came out and I remember hearing it back then, but didn't think much of it.
Forward a decade and a half, I'm a bit more at peace with the mid 90's sounds and productions, so I thought I'd give In The Hot Seat a new chance.
Bought it for a few $ on amazon.
But it ain't worth even a $!
I tried to listen to the whole thing but after a decent opener (Hand of truth), already came what I would probably call the worst song I have ever heard: Daddy. This is such a depressing subject approached with so little class and poorly put in music!
I almost stopped there, but went on to the third song, only to hear some type of pop-ish post classical bullcrap!
I had to stop there.
Next day I gave the rest of the album a spin...How sad. Only the last song of the album showed some type of an improvement (Street war).
And then the album goes on with a new recording of Pictures of an Exhibition...My soul! What a poor version! Lifeless to say the least.
Overall: poor writing, very poor singing, un-inspired playing (and I can understand that you don't wanna play while having hands problems, but then just don't record!), poor production (even when put in perspective).
What a way to end...Seriously Love Beach is a blessing compare to ItHS, ELPowell was great, THREE was a fantastic album (I thought), Black Moon was okay (although not to ELP standards).
This is really too bad, because I always thought ELP were a fantastic band, and if you listen to their earlier work, you will realize it instantly.
This is nowhere near representative of ELP capabilities at pretty much any time in their carreer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars fitting epitaph of an unique progrockgroup, 13 Dec. 2010
By 
J. Talsma (Amsterdam, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Hot Seat (Audio CD)
final studiorecordering of the original ELP members, who lend their name to the band. After disbanding at the end of the seventies they had an whole carriere and paved the way for many other progrockacts. In the eighties they regrouped more or less (Emerson wih Lake and Cozy Powell, Emerson with Palmer in "3" and Lake had a stint with Palmer in Asia) before finally reunite and come back with the excellent "Black Moon"-album, and a world tour, ample documented on the CD and DVD "Live at the Royal Albert Hall". While working on an overview, the 4 CD box "Return of the Manticore", for which they rerecorderd some songs from before ELP and after, among which a shortened studioversion of "Pictures at an Exhibition" with the help of outside producer Keith Olsen (normally one of the duties of Greg Lake) they also recorded the bulk of a new album. The band showed afterwards signs of discontentment with "In the Hot Seat" but I think they do them self injustice. It has several outstanding songs, some of them in the same way as on the Emerson, Lake and Powell-album, strong melodies with plenty of keyboards, drumming and the unmistakenble voice of Greg Lake. ELP composed their earlier material self or adapted classical works in a rockvariation. Only during Brain Salad Surgery, Works Voliume I and II, Long Beach-albums they teamed up with former King Crimson lyricist Pete Sinfield, but for "In the Hot Seat" they worked together with several people outside the band, among who producer Olsen, who cowrote a few songs (not unlikely on "Black Moon" which has also a song written by the producer of that album). Wether completely there own songs or co-compositions, it doesn't matter, all of them are very good, including the adaption of Bob Dylans "Man in the long black coat". Punchier than before, with new vigor, energy and dynamics. I've listened many times to this album, which to me is a sort of musical trilogy, together with "Emerson, Lake and Powell"-album and "Black Moon" (the album "3" is much less ELP). Later versions of the CD has added a bonus, the aforementioned studiorecordering of "Pictures at an exhibition". Although I don't think many people will take this album as a first listen to ELP they nor long time fans will be disappointed. Regretable further albums were not made. So in the end this stays a nice piece of music. At the time of its release it could not profit from the band reunion and little was done to promote it by touring. ELP continued to play a couple of years afterwards but performed mainly songs from the first decade.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not to Earlier Standards., 14 Jun. 2011
This review is from: In The Hot Seat (Audio CD)
Well I recently purchased this album as it was at a decent price and having also heard it on a streaming site a year ago or so. I had previously read that the album was quite poor by ELP standards and that is why I stayed clear, but after hearing once, my mind was changed. After buying the album, it took me three days before I would get round to playing it, but after giving it a spin a couple of times, I have found that even though it is not up to ELP's heyday it is not as bad as it was painted. Out of the ten main songs, there are five that pass muster and they do have some exciting moments, but there are not enough of those moments to make the album stand out. It seems that there were few risks taken and that by playing safe, having too many ballads and not having the right producer, it has reduced what could have been a great album to just an ordinary album. The last track is the 15 minute studio version of "Pictures At An Exhibition". I already have this twice on other releases and find this version to be very tame and poor. I would recommend this album for ELP completists as it is a pleasant listening experience, but don't expect any of the fireworks that ELP once had.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Okay - NOT classic ELP, 15 Nov. 2013
By 
Ben Bottle (Gloucestershire) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In The Hot Seat (MP3 Download)
Having read the damning reviews thus far, I can understand why this has been lampooned.
BUT - I think it has something. It boils down to expectations and after "Black Moon" I had some idea what might be dished up.
It is more soft AOR and has a "rock/pop" feel, but I find quite a few of the tracks quite engaging.
I find it hard to say this as a age long ELP fan, but it has catchy hooks and 'hummability'.
The opener "Hand of Truth" has strong ELP elements but perhaps not of old!!!
Then we get increasingly into the soft AOR I previously referred to. "Thin Line" is a good example of that 'pop hook' feel, as is "Gone Too Soon".
It is NOT classic ELP absolutely - but I find it mildly refreshing and easy to listen to.
No bombastic musical exercises here; no extended solo indulgences. Just four minute runs of relatively easy going music.
However, it IS topped off with a re-working of "Pictures at an Exhibition", which, I must say, I have mixed feelings about.
All I can say is - DO NOT expect "Tarkus" or "Trilogy"; this is a lighter ELP.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Curates Egg, 16 Jun. 2010
By 
Graham Mccarthy "gmccarthy15" (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In The Hot Seat (Audio CD)
Unfair - desperately unfair. I've read the other review of this album but `In The Hot Seat' is something of a curate's egg of an album, it has it's weaknesses sure, but, it also has it's gems.

So there were lots of rumours about this album, did Keith Emerson really play on it due to the problems with his right hand. What was Car Palmer's contribution? Those lyrics - are they really Greg Lake's? Really, are they? The lyrics to Street War don't fit the profile one normally associates with Greg Lake.

The gems on this album are in my opinion `Hand of Truth', `One-by-One', `Man in a long black coat' and `Street War'. Daddy is a moving piece, but I find it too sad to listen to as I suspect will anybody with children. The proceeds to this piece went to charity and if memory serves, it is based upon true events.

One-by-One is my personal favourite with a particularly interesting and arresting piano riff, pure Emerson and pretty strong lyrics (Greg's rapidly fading voice actually works well on this one). Musically this one is the strongest of the bunch.

Street War has strong lyrics (sorry Greg but I'm not convinced that you wrote these) and the music captures the anarchic mood very well, this does sound like Emerson.

Keith Emerson did want to expand Bob Dylan's `Man in the Long Black Coat' into an extended prog piece. This would have worked very well me thinks and I still hope that Keith or ELP will record it. Again, Greg Lake's fading voice actually works well on this piece.

What the band thought of the album is perhaps best reflected in the title. It was originally going to be called `Best Seat in the House' but got changed to `In the Hot Seat' - perhaps as a result of the problems and pressures on the band at the time. Even the cover artwork is let's face it, poor.

The issue is that musically ELP set such a very high standard with their first five albums and this is what their fans came to expect. When they fall short of that standard, or when they try to produce radio friendly pap they sound much like other bands, but without a lead guitarist. If Keith Emerson is not on peak form, ELP don't seem to amount to much. Keith wasn't on top form with this album.

I'll award this album three stars in its own right. It's no Brain Salad Surgery for sure; it's not even a `Black Moon' but nor is at a `Love Beach'.
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