Emerson Lake & Palmer Catalog Reissues Continueby Best Classic Bands Staff
Progressive rock titans Emerson, Lake & Palmer are seeing their extensive studio and live album catalog get a well-deserved facelift in 2016 and 2017. BMG is re-releasing the recordings with a comprehensive reissue program of ELP’s nine studio albums as well as their live recordings and compilations. Phase two arrives on September 30 featuring Trilogy, Brain Salad Surgery and Welcome Back, My Friends to the Show That Never Ends – Ladies and Gentlemen… Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
The trio – keyboardist Keith Emerson, who died on March 10, 2016, singer/guitarist/bassist Greg Lake and drummer/percussionist Carl Palmer – were known for their wildly spectacular concerts that incorporated advanced technology and showmanship. Their music combined original compositions with rock, jazz, folk and classical influences.
ELP – chosen by the alphabetical listing – formed in 1970 and were one of many “supergroups” that were formed in that era. Emerson had spent three years as a co-founder of another British prog rock band, The Nice. Lake had been a member of King Crimson; Palmer had been in several bands, most notably The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.
They achieved massive international appeal, as they headlined stadium tours throughout the 1970s and 1990s and achieved sales of over 40 million albums.
Related: Best Classic Bands‘ interview with Carl Palmer about Keith Emerson
1972’s Trilogy (pre-order here) was the group’s third studio album and reached #2 in the U.K and #5 in the U.S. It has eight classical-rock numbers, including a version of Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown” that would become the band’s signature tune, “From The Beginning,” which at #39 was their highest-charting U.S. single, and Emerson’s ragtime piano performance on “The Sheriff.”
Disc one has the original 9-track album, as remastered in 2015. Disc two is an 11-track “alternate album” utilizing Jakko M. Jakszyk’s 2015 stereo mixes, with an alternate version of “From The Beginning” and a live “Hoedown” from 1972. The LP version is cut from 2014 remastered files.
Brain Salad Surgery (pre-order here) is well known for its cover as well as its extended concept piece “Karn Evil 9,” which featured the “Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends” lyric.
Disc one of the 2-CD set has the original 8-track 1973 album, presented in its 2014 re-mastered version which also includes the hymn “Jerusalem” and the ballad “Still…You Turn Me On.”
Disc two is again the “alternate album with Jakszyk’s 2014 stereo mixes of 13 tracks including b-side single versions of the tongue in cheek “When The Apple Blossoms Bloom In The Windmills Of Your Mind I’ll Be Your Valentine” and “Brain Salad Surgery.” There are also alternate versions of “Karn Evil 9” and an extract from a rare NME flexi disc.
The vinyl LP is cut for the first time from 2014 re-mastered files and the elaborate original sleeve is reproduced with a die-cut gatefold sleeve and fold out poster.
1974’s Welcome Back My Friends… was the group’s highest charting U.S. album, reaching #4 and represented a career retrospective of ELP’s work, during the band’s marathon 1973-74 “Get Me A Ladder” world tour. (Pre-order here.)
The 2-CD set features a new 24/96 2016 remaster of the original 1974 release taken from the master tapes. The vinyl version is a 2016 remaster of the original album and the original LP artwork is faithfully reproduced, with a die-cut triple gatefold sleeve and embossed logo.
At Lake’s request, the LPs are presented on 140 gsm vinyl to endure a “superior, high quality sound.”
The group’s first three albums – 1970’s Emerson, Lake & Palmer, 1971’s Tarkus and 1971’s live Pictures at an Exhibition – were re-released on July 29 in phase one of the campaign.