Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Tiger in a Spotlight

Song Review by

The leading track off Emerson, Lake & Palmer's 1977 Works, Vol. 2, "Tiger in a Spotlight" packed more energy and excitement than most of what was found on Works, Vol. 1. In the early '70s, such spirited, light-hearted swinging riffs had a tendency to annoy when they popped up among epic prog rock tracks. By 1977 they were welcomed as the last shards of group efforts remaining in Emerson, Lake & Palmer's output. This song has enjoyed a surprising amount of visibility. An important part of ELP's 1977 tour, it was included on the LP In Concert (reissued on CD as Works Live) and turned up on the group's first (and most influential) "best of" collection, the 1980 Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It also appeared on a number of British rock and prog rock compilation albums. That being said, in its studio version it sounds surprisingly unfinished. The song is actually made of a single riff -- a verse without a chorus. Lake repeats the last verse, running out of lyrics to sing. Periodically, the music falls into a black hole that sounds more like a work-in-progress missing a bridge section than an intentional stripped-down, free-form solo section. In any case, "Tiger in a Spotlight" remains, along with "Pirates" and "Fanfare for the Common Man," one of the very few worthy group songs ELP recorded after the album Brain Salad Surgery.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Works, Vol. 2 1977 Shout! Factory 4:36
The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer [Atlantic] 1980 Atlantic 4:34
The Return of the Manticore 1993 Rhino 4:32
In the Hot Seat 1994 Victory Records 0:00
Legends of Rock: Progressive Rockers 1999
Various Artists
Petrock Music 4:07
The Best of British Rock [Center Stage] 1999
Various Artists
Center Stage Productions 4:07
The Best of Progressive Rock [Center Stage] 1999
Various Artists
Center Stage Productions 4:05
The Original Bootleg Series From Manticore Vaults, Vol. 2 2001 Castle / Windsong 4:30
The Show That Never Ends 2001 Recall (UK) 3:34
Gold 2003 Retro Music 3:35
An Introduction To... 2004 Sanctuary 4:34
Ultimate Collection 2004 Sanctuary 4:35
The Essential Emerson, Lake & Palmer 2007 Shout! Factory 0:00
Works, Vols. 1-2 2009 Sanctuary / Universal 4:36
The Everlasting: Best of ELP 2017 Victor Entertainment 4:36