Saturday, August 4, 2018

Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Extended Versions - The Encore Collection (2000) Bootleg

(U.K 1970-1979, 1991-1998, 2010-2016)
Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) were an English progressive rock supergroup formed in London in 1970. The band consisted of keyboardist Keith Emerson; singer, bassist and producer Greg Lake; and drummer and percussionist Carl Palmer. With nine RIAA-certified gold record albums in the US, and an estimated 48 million records sold worldwide, they were one of the most popular and commercially successful progressive rock bands in the 1970s, with a musical sound including adaptations of classical music with jazz and symphonic rock elements, dominated by Emerson's flamboyant use of the Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, and piano (although Lake wrote several acoustic songs for the group).

The band came to prominence following their performance at the Isle of Wight Festival in August 1970. In their first year, the group signed with E.G. Records (who distributed the band's records through Island Records in the United Kingdom, and Atlantic Records in North America), and released Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1970) and Tarkus (1971), both of which reached the UK top five.

The band's success continued with Pictures at an Exhibition (1971), Trilogy (1972), and Brain Salad Surgery (1973, released on ELP's own Manticore Records label). After a three-year break, Emerson, Lake & Palmer released Works Volume 1 (1977) and Works Volume 2 (1977). After Love Beach (1978), the group disbanded in 1979.

Greg Lake
The band reformed partially in the 1980s as Emerson, Lake & Powell featuring Cozy Powell in place of Palmer. Robert Berry then replaced Lake while Palmer returned, forming 3. In 1991, the original trio reformed and released two more albums, Black Moon (1992) and In the Hot Seat (1994), and toured at various times between 1992 and 1998. Their final performance took place in 2010 at the High Voltage Festival in London to commemorate the band's 40th anniversary. Both Emerson and Lake died in 2016, leaving Palmer as the only surviving member of the band. [extract from wikipedia]

Carl Palmer
For a concert recording of ELP, nothing quite beats the recordings made by the King Biscuit Flower Hour. This version is a Canadian release from 2000 on the BMG label, entitled "Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Extended Version - The Encore Collection". This is a single disc collection, which omits Pirates,  C'est La Vie, the longer Piano Improvisation, Drum Solo and Karn Evil 9. However, because the total length of this bootleg is barely over 40mins, I have chosen to add the popular Karn Evil 9 as a bonus.

This bootleg is derived from two shows on separate tours during the 1970s, effectively makes the official 'Welcome Back My Friends' live set superfluous. The group were caught in their early-'70s prime, doing the best numbers off of Brain Salad Surgery when they were fresh and challenging; additionally, the group was in excellent form on both shows that are represented, so the listener gets the trio doing their best work at their tightest. "Karn Evil Nine" is done complete with all three parts clocking in at over 34 minutes, and comes off twice as urgent and effective as the studio version; the rest is just as well executed. The sound is also superior to the audio quality on 'Welcome Back My Friends'.
Keith Emerson
Emerson, Lake & Palmer 'live releases' are notorious for overlapping with each other, and this is no exception. Unlike most King Biscuit releases, the tracks included here are not always unique. The 1974 recordings, which include the aforementioned "Karn Evil 9" plus "Lucky Man" and "Still You Turn Me On" are from the Tulsa USA performance. They previously appeared on the bands' first live album "Welcome back my friends..".

The 1977 recordings are from the "Works" tour, but contrary to some reports elsewhere, they are not taken from the "In concert" album. These versions were recorded at The Coliseum, Wheeling, West Virginia USA without an orchestra.

In terms of recording quality, the sound here is excellent, Greg Lake's acoustic guitar passage sounding particularly clear. The bias of the song selection towards the "Works" (Volumes 1 and 2) albums means that some older favourites are missing, such as Tarkus and Knife Edge. The "Piano improvisation" included here is rather clumsily extracted from the "Take A Pebble" suite, and certainly does not benefit from being presented in isolation.

Sadly, the version of "Fanfare" included here is a performance without the orchestra the band used on some concerts during the tour, and so is missing that special sound we are so accustomed to. 

However, it is better than the numerous bootlegs which the band have recently gathered together and their given official releases, so make sure you grab it now.
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from CD and includes full album artwork. As mentioned already, I have chosen to include the 34 min version of "Karn Evil 9" as a bonus track, which was released with the derivative King Biscuit Flower Hour bootleg in 1997 (see cover below).
Track List
01 Peter Gunn Theme 3:44
02 Tiger In A Spotlight 4:22
03 The Enemy God 2:46
04 Still...You Turn Me On 3:02
05 Lucky Man 3:09
06 Watching Over You 4:13
07 Fanfare For Common Man 8:21
08 Hoedown 4:24
09 Piano Improvisation 5:40
10 Maple Leaf Rag 1:17
11 Karn Evil 9 (Bonus) 34:37
Line-up / Musicians
- Keith Emerson / keyboards
- Greg Lake / vocals, bass, guitar 
- Carl Palmer / drums, percussion 

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