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Published On: Thu, Oct 15th, 2015

Emerson Lake & Palmer: Live At Montreux 1997

live elpEmerson Lake & Palmer
Live at Montreux 1997

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Seventies mega-group Emerson Lake & Palmer reunited in 1992, and through studio album releases and world tours, managed to stay at it near through to the end of the decade. Live At Montreux 1997 captures the prog trio in one of their later performances. The 13-song collection begins with arguably the band’s most recognizable hit, “Karn Evil 9-1st Impression.” Yes the boys sound older here (and wiser?) but Greg Lake’s voice is still pretty much up-to-snuff and drummer Carl Palmer wails. Hot on its heels, the jazzy “Tiger In a Spotlight” from the trio’s Works Volume 2 album fares even better. The band’s acoustic guitar-based hit “From the Beginning” is spot-on (Palmer’s percussion particularly very tasty) and “Bitches Crystal” showcases that, when they wanted to, Palmer and keyboard king Keith Emerson could battle it out at a kinetic speed. Emerson is best in his piano moments on “Honky Tonk Train Blues,” the less-is-more, middle of “Take a Pebble,” and his solo spot “Creole Dance.” I am a bit confused though by the messy last two mash-ups, “Tarkus/Pictures at an Exhibition” (just too sloppy, really) and an albeit stronger, but very been-there-done-that concert ender “Fanfare For the Common Man/Rondo/Carmina Burana /Toccata in D Minor.” Live At Montreux 1997 is a decent historic testament of what a live Emerson Lake & Palmer show was about in 1997. But I dare say, check YouTube videos of this band from the mid 70’s or better yet get yourself some of their albums. You’ll be happy you did.

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Emerson Lake & Palmer: Live At Montreux 1997