Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Works Volume 1 (2xLP Vinyl)

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This album has been remastered from the original recordings by Andy Pearce. The booklet includes extensive interviews with journalist Chris Welch, and photos from the archive of the group “Works Volume 1” is the group's fifth studio album and was published on a double LP in 1977. Following their world tour supporting Brain Salad Surgery (1973), the group took an extended break before they reconvened in 1976 to record a new album. They were now tax exiles and recorded new material in London and overseas in Montreux, Switzerland and Paris, France. Works Volume 1 features a side dedicated for each member to write and arrange their own tracks that were performed by the band, while the fourth side features songs written collectively. Keith Emerson recorded his Piano Concerto No. 1, Greg Lake wrote several songs with lyricist Peter Sinfield, and Carl Palmer recorded tracks of varied musical styles. The LP edition is remastered on 140 grams vinyl.

 



I always believed the best progressive rock albums are the ones having orchestral arrangements. This double LP has some of the best ELP tracks: the ones having a very participating orchestration: "Piano Concerto No. 1", "Pirates" and "The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits", among others.

Side one is Keith Emerson's side: "Piano Concerto No. 1", lasting around 18 minutes, has an excellent mix of piano and strings + horns arrangements, very lively, heroic, sometimes joyful and sometimes mysterious. Actually, one cannot ask more such an orchestra to participate to the overall music: GRANDEUR and NOBILITY are just normal qualifiers for that chef d'oeuvre!

Side 2 is Greg Lake's side. The tracks are shorter, they are more accessible and they have some acoustic guitar parts. Unfortunately, this side is the weakest one. "C'est la vie" is a very well known easy listening acoustic song, a bit boring but nevertheless good, ending with a very European accordion part. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" is a bit weak, being not really catchy and addictive, having some irritating dissonant classical arrangements. "Nobody Loves You Like I Do" is another mediocre track: uninspired, I think it contributes to demolish this Greg's side!! Finally, "Closer To Believing" has some very good relaxing orchestral and choir arrangements, and it is probably the best track on this side, slightly reminding me the mystical side of prog rock band Renaissance.

Side 3 is Carl Palmer's side: The tracks styles are varied, and there are still some excellent orchestral arrangements, especially on the very complex "The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits", by Prokofiev. Carl Palmer shows his skills on the percussions like xylophone, especially on "Two Part Invention In D Minor". He drums at his best on "Food for your soul": VERY impressive! The first half part of "Tank" is excellent: OUTSTANDING orchestral arrangements, followed by delightful jazzy sax parts a la Eberhard Weber (the "Silent feet" album)! "L.A. nights" is very unusual, for party people.

Side 4 has 2 tracks: "Fanfare for the common man" sounds more like early ELP, being sometimes experimental, sometimes heroic. The drums are too repetitive. The last track, "Pirates", has a delightful mix of contemporary classical epic music and lively keyboards : very melodic, progressive, dynamic, charming and complex. Even Greg Lake sings with passion on this track. The only weak point of "Pirates" is that it takes time to really start.

By; Greenback


A1 Eruption
A2 Stones Of Years
A3 Iconoclast
A4 Mass
A5 Manticore
A6 Battlefield
A7 Aquatarkus
B1 Jeremy Bender
B2 Bitches Crystal
B3 The Only Way (Hymn)
B4 Infinite Space (Conclusion)
B5 A Time And A Place
B6 Are You Ready Eddy?



- New 24 Bit/96Khz 2017 remaster of the 1977 LP
- Remastered from the original tapes
- Original artwork
- Foreword by Greg Lake