Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
To celebrate the 40th Anniversary reunion of ELP, this two CD collection brings together all those works and pieces that made ELP the legends they are today. Compiled by the band, High Voltage is both an introduction and celebration of the ELP canon. Disc One provides the band at their most overly experimental and progressive as they blend their virtuoso and classically trained chops to celebrated works by Mussorgsky ("Pictures At An Exhibition") and their very own seven movement piece titled, "Tarkus" taken from their groundbreaking second album of the same name, first released in 1971. Disc Two offers a clutch of tracks ranging from Greg Lake’s "Lucky Man" and "Take A Pebble", along with the Bartok modified "Barbarian"--all taken from the band’s first album. Also featued is "Touch And Go" with Cozy Powell as replacement drummer for Carl Palmer, and of course, no ELP collection could ever be complete without their signature Aaron Copland re-working of "Fanfare For The Common Man" first released on the Works Volume 1 album in 1977.
The recently reanimated corpse of 1970s prog giants Emerson, Lake & Palmer has been picked over numerous times, the trio's iconic logo appearing on no fewer than five best-of releases. High Voltage is another to add to the pile, issued to coincide with the band's 40th anniversary appearance at the London festival of the same name. But while it's sold as being based on the group's setlist at the late-July two-dayer held in Victoria Park, fans are advised to save their money.
For one thing, this is not the set played by ELP at High Voltage. No Karn Evil: First Impression Part II, the band's opener on the night of July 25, makes that clear. And with nothing here taken from said track's parent LP, 1973's Brain Salad Surgery–their best album alongside an eponymous debut of 1970–High Voltage doesn't even qualify as a recommended entry-point for any newcomers.
There are a handful of cuts from the debut: three of disc two's five tracks–Lucky Man, Take a Pebble and The Barbarian–are drawn from the supergroup's well-received first record. Although very much a band in their own right, the nature of ELP's formation–members came from The Nice (Emerson), King Crimson (Lake) and The Crazy World of Arthur Brown (Palmer); each has quite the CV–means that these early songs are notable for usually being the work of just one man. As such they're a lot less theatrical and compositionally complex than what followed–Lake's Take a Pebble is a little drawn-out, but its fast piano lines are charming rather than confusing.
Disc one is home to just three 'songs'–but numbers one and two are divided into seven and 11 movements respectively. Tarkus is the entire 20-minute title-track of the band's second album of 1971, a dizzying concoction with keyboardist Emerson on particularly dazzling form; Pictures at an Exhibition and Nutrocker comprise the whole of their live LP of the same year. Pictures... is an example of the band's incorporating of classical music into their own, many movements interpretations of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's 1874 piano suite. Nutrocker, a cover of B Bumble and the Stingers' 1962 number one hit, takes its cues from Tchaikovsky's March of the Wooden Soldiers (from The Nutcracker).
With nothing here from beyond 1977–the group's 1990s efforts are sensibly ignored–there's no doubt High Voltage offers a snapshot of a band at its prime. But this era is already well documented, and this double-disc affair comes across as a fourth-hand retelling of a story best heard elsewhere.--Mike Diver
Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window
Top customer reviews
It will certainly confuse people, but that doesn't take away from the magnificent lunacy on display here. The first CD takes in "Tarkus" and "Pictures At An Exhibition". And by takes in, I mean Side 1 of the "Tarkus" album and the whole of "Pictures...". With 'Nutrocker'. Well, I did say it was a peculiar compilation. And that takes care of 1971, dealing nicely "reverse evolution" and and an interpretation of Modest Mussorgsky's work of the same name. Hey, it was the seventies!
Over on Disc 2, there is a brief foray into the eighties with the Palmerless 'Touch & Go' from when ELP stood for Emerson, Lake & (Cozy) Powell. It's a great tune, but then it's right back into the seventies for more symphonic rock majesty. 'The Barbarian' is one of three tunes from their 1970 debut, alongside 'Lucky Man' and 'Take A Pebble'. Which just leaves 'Fanfare For The Common Man' from "Works Vol 1" to round up the rest of their output.
It's a bizarre notion for a record, being neither souvenir nor best of, but I absolutely loved it. It makes no sense, but then the neo-classical heavy rock of Emerson, Lake & Palmer never made sense either. However, sometimes you need a little crazy in your life, and this is a stonkingly good, bargain priced, way to go about it, if you've never dipped into their world. Long time fans, however, will be taking extreme umbrage.
OK, now you know.
What do you get?
1) Side one of Tarkus in its entirety. (This is the 20+ minute progressive suite that stands proudly as one of the best extended pieces of the genre).
2) You get the entirety of the live Pictures at an Exhibition album.
3) You get about 1/2 of their debut album, including the best tracks, and including the 12+ minute extended opus from that album, Take a Pebble.
4) You get one of the two group showpieces from the Works Vol 1 album, Fanfare for the Common Man
5) You get the minor late-era hit Touch and Go
That's it. And taken just in terms of music, that's a pretty good list. Strangely, you get absolutely nothing from their biggest album, Brain Salad Surgery. But side one of Tarkus and all of Pictures, plus the three tracks from the debut album constitute something of a generous best-of of the first three albums. Combine this with a cheap copy of Brain Salad Surgery and you'll have a pretty good cheap starter collection--although you'll have nothing from the worthy Trilogy.
If they had only released five albums that might be the case. It's another embarassing release full of regurgitated stuff we've heard a million times before.
And I'm what they used to call a fan.
There are enough opportunities for people to Troll/insult ELP fans/product as it is, without their record company joining in. On the heels of the recent, pathetic "legacy" re-issues, this is ridiculous.
Either find worthwhile, archive material or come up with new product. Otherwise, please stop.
Who is this exactly meant to cater to? For newbies, there are glaring omissions, for fans there is NOTHING new.
I'm sure Brucie will have a field day.....
This will lead you to a wrong buying.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Look for similar items by category