Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Live at Nassau Coliseum '78

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Recorded in February of 1978, this performance was only available as a bootleg until the folks at Shout! Factory expertly cleaned it up for an official release by going back to the original tapes and creating one of the best-sounding live ELP records on the market. The two-disc live set captures Emerson, Lake & Palmer at a crucial point in their careers: they were on their final tour, and though things would soon turn sour, these recordings show that on-stage they were still at the peak of their powers. The previous year, they released the two-volume Works, which exemplified the degree to which the three men were moving in different directions by giving each member an LP side to himself. At the end of 1978, they would release the universally reviled Love Beach album to fulfill their contractual obligation and would disband soon after, not performing together again until 1992. Regardless of these tribulations, on the night in question, they delivered a phenomenal performance of material from all across their career. There are the Greg Lake-centric melodic ballads, like "Take a Pebble" and "Lucky Man," where the singer's big, bold voice sounds unassailably excellent; instrumentals like "Hoedown," where Keith Emerson stretches out and shows his keyboard mastery in no uncertain terms, and perhaps most impressive, we get such epics as "Tarkus," "Pictures at an Exhibition," and "Pirates," where all three players shine both individually and as an ensemble. When they were playing off of and responding to each other the way they do here, there was no finer band in all of prog rock, and the obvious TLC that was taken in preparing these recordings for release gives listeners the chance to experience ELP's awesome interplay with an unprecedented level of vividness.

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