Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Live [Disky]

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Sporting meticulously remastered 24-bit/96-kHz and 24-bit/48-kHz Dolby Digital 5.1 DVD audio, this disc presents music taken from a pair of Emerson, Lake & Palmer performances on March 7, 1974, in Tulsa, OK, and November 12, 1977, in Wheeling, WV, respectively. Both initially surfaced on the King Biscuit Flower Hour syndicated radio series that ran primarily on FM AOR stations beginning in 1973. The exact same set -- albeit in a truncated form -- has likewise been issued in a variety of incarnations, such as 2003's Greatest Hits Live and 1997's King Biscuit Flower Hour: Greatest Hits Live. If ever a band were meant to be experienced in the all-encompassing atmosphere of Surround Sound, it would be the supergroup trio of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (bass and vocals), and Carl Palmer (percussion). Chronologically, the first of the two shows find ELP in support of their concurrent effort, 1973's Brain Salad Surgery, which also yielded the 30-plus-minute epic "Karn Evil 9" and Lake's acoustic ballad "Still, You Turn Me On." Their high-energy reading of Aaron Copland's "Hoedown," Lake's intimate "Lucky Man," and one of two piano improvisations courtesy of Emerson were also gleaned from the 1974 date. However, the meat of this package comes by way of the ambitious Works project released in 1977. The excursion nearly bankrupted ELP with expenses topping over $20,000 a day, yet thankfully garnered favorable reviews. If their stop in Wheeling, WV, was any indication, it is easy to understand why enthusiasts and critics had been impressed. Works produced another stunning and gorgeous Lake ballad, titled "C'est la Vie," a striking interpretation of Prokofiev's The Enemy God, and a fiery reading of one more Copland Americana classic, Fanfare for the Common Man, not to mention an exciting version of the extended and dramatic "Pirates" and a decidedly straightforward affair on the upbeat and playful "Tiger in a Spotlight." As anticipated, the fidelity is spectacular and properly calibrated audio systems will reveal every nuance in Lake's unplugged guitar strumming all the way through to the rich vibrancy of the full ensemble.

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