Greg Lake

Nuclear Attack

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The voluminous archives of the King Biscuit Flower Hour has yielded yet another edition of Greg Lake (bass/guitar/vocals) at the Hammersmith Odeon in London on November 5, 1981. Nuclear Attack (2004) finds Lake on an extended hiatus from Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) . During this time the artist recorded a pair of solo efforts. The show captured here comes circa his self-titled debut, Greg Lake (1981) and features the artist leading an impressive backing band with Gary Moore (guitar), Ted McKenna (drums), Tommy Eyre (keyboards), and Tristian Margetts (bass). Understandably, the original play list was heavy on material from the new album. Standouts among the lot are the slightly synth sounding "Retribution Drive," the edgy '80s power rockers "The Lie," and "Nuclear Attack." Also worth mentioning is the upbeat and agile "Love You Too Much," which Lake co-wrote with Bob Dylan. The show is interspersed with indisputable classics dating back to a pair of pre-ELP King Crimson cuts, as "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "In the Court of the Crimson King" conclude this collection. While not as taut as ELP's renderings, both "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "Karn Evil 9" are given workouts that seem to lumber a bit in places. For many, the sole acoustic side "Lucky Man" could be considered the highlight with Lake's skills as a performer and songwriter at their most prominent. While die-hard enthusiasts should be on board, those looking for a solid compilation of Lake's most memorable material are advised to try the double-disc From the Beginning: Retrospective (1997). Or, for the more adventuresome, From the Underground: The Official Bootleg (1998) is a single-CD companion of essential stops in Lake's musical legacy.

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