Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Huge in the 1970s, Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) were trailblazers of the pre-punk prog-rock period built around a crescendo of keyboards and huge, ambitious neo-classical, thematic music. They had their roots in two earlier bands, The Nice (featuring Keith Emerson on keyboards) and King Crimson (with Greg Lake on bass) who shared the bill at several events and started jamming together. It felt so natural that they decided to throw in their lot together, recruiting Carl Palmer of Atomic Rooster to play drums. At one point there was talk of Jimi Hendrix joining (which would have made them HELP) but they achieved an instant breakthrough as a trio with their self-titled 1970 debut album. Emerson's background in classical music soon came to the fore, with a rock interpretation of Mussorgsky's Pictures At An Exhibition, although its release was delayed by a sceptical record company which only put it out after ELP proved their popularity with early concept album Tarkus. They went on to become one of the first stadium bands in the wake of more hugely successful albums Brain Salad Surgery (1973) and the triple live album Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends (1974). The group took a break before returning with the four-sided Works LP, including a heavily synthesized cover of Aaron Copeland's Fanfare For The Common Man. As punk took a grip, ELP's popularity faded and they split in 1979. Emerson and Lake formed a new ELP (Emerson, Lake & Powell with drummer Cozy Powell in 1985 - by which time Palmer was a member of Asia - but the original line-up returned with the Black Moon album (1992) and In The Hot Seat (1994). In 2010 they played a 40th anniversary concert in London's Victoria Park, captured on the live album High Voltage.

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Stations Featuring Emerson, Lake & Palmer

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