Works: Volume 1 Box set
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Top Customer Reviews
I have this CD in my car and I tend to listen to seperate sections then change the cd rather than listen to it all in one go. However Greg Lake's song C'est La Vie is probably one of the greatest love songs ever made and, along with the mammoth version of Fanfare for the Common Man, make it worth buying the CD for those on there own. All the other tracks are an added bonus.
I bought this album on vinyl when it was first released. My immediate impression, seeing how it was structured, was that it indicated that the band was breaking up. That may not have been their intention, but because the first three sides were presented as solo material, it looked as if they were telegraphing an intention to go their separate ways. That put a negative vibe on the album for me from the start. In fact, tensions were there and the band was to break-up after their next collaboration, Love Beach. (There was an in-fill album, Works 2, taken from these sessions that was released in between).
The four sides, to me, are like two attractive bookends with a variable collection of material in between. The first 'bookend' is Keith Emerson's piano concerto. It is enjoyable and it has improved still further with repeated performances. The first movement contains much that is pure Emerson (and some derivative sections too). The cadenza is a tad disappointing. The third movement is the strongest. It was written after his house caught fire and the anger and frustration come through, making the movement stronger for it. This recording is all very much a first outing though - the pace and the orchestral playing tend towards the cautious. But it's good, and a treat for fans of Keith Emerson. It is a serious piece which is still being performed today and it is good to see Emerson's work being adopted by other pianists.
The second side, the Greg Lake songs, contains some absolute gems. That said, for me it's too much all in one go.Read more ›
It earns a 3 star rating from me as an average - but there is some pretty good stuff here too: 'Fanfare for the Common Man', plus the rousing 'Pirates' - and I'm sure that Keith's Piano Concerto 1 will grow on you too. The trouble is that those 4 star outings are let down by some of the other solo material. Worth picking up if you see it on special offer.
This album is a true demonstration of the multiple skills and influences of Greg Lake, Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer. It clearly shows off their impressive talents; Greg Lake's delicate and yet sometimes caustic, often telling song lyrics, Keith Emerson's fearless orchestrations and sheer compositional skill, and Carl Palmer's energy, wit and enthusiasm to push percussion beyond mere backing status for other instruments. Forget what you think you know about Prog Rock and allow three very talented musicians to show you that they can sucessfully bridge many musical styles and influences. Sometimes challenging and thought provoking (witness the lyrics to "Hallowed Be Thy Name"), always engaging (I dare you not to tap you feet to "Food For Your Soul"), but above all a damn good listen!
I'm a big ELP fan, and this offering is as good as any other album, it's just different.
Keith Emerson's Piano Concerto is an excellent piece of composing. Lake's and Palmer's sides I find mixed, but both have plenty of great moments nevertheless. And the two group pieces that made up the original fourth side are as fine as anything ELP produced during their dazzling and groundbreaking career. Fanfare For The Common Man has become pretty much legendary - and Aaron Copeland himself praised what the band had done with his composition. Pirates is a superb mix of rock band and orchestra. On that technical level it's a real achivement, but as a song it's full of really strong music and very evocative and powerful lyric writing.
ELP were massive in the seventies, and from this album it's clear why that was. Their skilled blending of rock and classical reached a peak here, and they proved themselves equally masters of both genres.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great Album. Keith Emerson does what he does best with the Keyboard, Greg Lake is really magical and Carl Palmer is just outstanding and when put together just brilliant.Published on 17 Jun. 2013 by Mr I Noble
An excellent album, one I have enjoyed re-listening to on CD after all the years (I revised for my school exams to the original analogue releases 30 years ago). Read morePublished on 7 Aug. 2009 by Emmett Sullivan
This was given to me as a joke present.
I actually listened to it in full and couldn't beleive someone wouild spend money on this tosh. Read more
By my own admission its the not greatest thing they have ever released, but its worth the purchase price for Greg Lakes Hallowed be thy name, "This planet of ours is a mess I bet... Read morePublished on 13 Feb. 2005 by Ian Jenkins