Emerson, Lake & Palmer

The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer [Atlantic]

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Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends. Well, such is the idea for an Emerson, Lake & Palmer compilation, but this one does tend to fall a bit short, literally. After all, since it was originally released as an LP, the disc comes in at less than 40 minutes. Certainly with a catalog as rich as Emerson, Lake & Palmer's it is extremely difficult for one CD (especially a short one) to truly capture the essence of the group. This one fails both as a chronological compilation and as the best-of that it is billed as being. That said, there are some good points here. "Lucky Man," "Peter Gunn," and "Still You Turn Me On" are all essential Emerson, Lake & Palmer cuts that truly work well here. "Karn Evil 9" suffers, as it would have to, from the fact that only one movement of the piece can be presented on the disc. "Fanfare for the Common Man" is a similar situation, with just the single rendition being able to fit on the album. If you really want a compilation as a starting point for your Emerson, Lake & Palmer collection, you would be well advised to hold out for the more comprehensive two-CD set The Atlantic Years.

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