Carl Palmer Gets Career-Spanning Box Set

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Carl Palmer has received a career-spanning box set, Fanfare For the Common Man. The 3-CD/Blu-ray collection, featuring music and visuals, arrived April 5, 2024, via BMG. The set includes recordings by the Carl Palmer Band, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Asia and various other Palmer-affiliated bands and artists. See the complete track listing below. The Blu-ray disc, The Rhythm of Life, is an audio-visual documentary, narrated by Palmer with live and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage featuring: ELP, Asia, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Carl Palmer Band & ELP Legacy. Also included is a 200-page autobiography which is illustrated with photos from his personal archive. The set is available for order in the U.S. here and in the U.K. here.

From the Feb. announcement: Carl Frederik Kendall Palmer was born on March 20, 1950, in Birmingham, England. His upbringing was far from smooth, his real father passed away when Carl was only two years old. Raised by his step father in a very music minded family, Palmer received his first drum on his 10th birthday and thus began a 60-year career.

Growing up in 1960s Birmingham to a soundtrack of Elvis, Gene Krupa, Dave Brubeck and Buddy Rich, it was a really innovative and exciting time for young Carl. He joined his first band The King Bees when he was just 15 and, after renaming themselves The Craig, Carl got his first taste of chart success with the explosive freakbeat single, “I Must Be Mad,” which appears in this collection. After stints with Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster (which he founded with Vincent Crane), he joined forces with the Nice’s Keith Emerson and King Crimson’s Greg Lake and ELP were born. Emerson, Lake and Palmer released many acclaimed studio and live albums but the trio stopped working together in 1979. Palmer went on to form yet another supergroup, this time joining forces with Steve Howe and Geoff Downes of Yes alongside King Crimson’s John Wetton to form Asia. The band scored big immediately with the smash, “Heat of the Moment,” that ruled the FM airwaves and the newly launched MTV.

After his success with Asia, Palmer reunited with Emerson and with vocalist Robert Berry formed the band, 3. Two of their songs, “Desda La Vida” and a prog-pop version of the Byrds’ psychedelic classic “Eight Miles High” appear in this collection. In 1992, ELP reunited for three albums and several tours before making their final live appearance at the 2010 High Voltage Festival held in front of 30,000 adoring fans in London’s Victoria Park.

Between 2001 and 2021, Palmer has played in his own trio with Paul Bielatowicz on guitar and Simon Fitzpatrick on bass/Chapman stick. Under the name ELP Legacy they have continued to reinvent the ground-breaking work of ELP which features throughout Disc 3.

Palmer has several 2024 tour dates in the U.S., with the Return of Emerson, Lake & Palmer show, which combines rare footage of Emerson and Lake from ELP’s 1992 Royal Albert Hall shows with Palmer and his Legacy band live on stage all playing together. Tickets are available here. Palmer hopes to bring it to the U.K. and other countries in the near future.

As Palmer recently celebrated his 74th birthday on March 20, he shows no sign of resting on his laurels. Aside from all his ELP-related work, he continues to make innovative art through his Carl Palmer ‘Art of Giving’ foundation, raising money for charity in the process.

Carl Palmer Fanfare For the Common Man Box Set Track Listing

CD1: Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Carl Palmer & Joseph Horovitz
1. Carl Palmer & Joseph Horovitz – Concerto For Percussion (Part Rock)
2. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – The Enemy God Dances With The Black Spirits
3. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Bullfrog
4. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Toccata
5. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Close But Not Touching
6. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – LA Nights
7. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Canario
8. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Tank
9. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Karn Evil 9 1st Impression, Part 2
10. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Two Part Invention In D Minor
11. Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Fanfare For The Common Man

CD2: Carl Palmer various other band recordings
1. The Craig – I Must Be Mad
2. The Craig – Suspense
3. Chris Farlowe – Everyone Makes A Mistake
4. Atomic Rooster – Friday The 13th
5. Atomic Rooster – Decline And Fall
6. Carl Palmer’s PM – You’ve Got Me Rockin’
7. Mike Oldfield – Mount Teidi
8. Mike Oldfield – Ready Mix
9. Asia – Heat Of The Moment
10. Asia – Wildest Dreams
11. Asia – Time Again
12. Asia – Tomorrow The World
13. 3 – Desda La Vida (I. La Vista, II. Frontera, III. Sangre De Toro)
14. 3 – Eight Miles High
15. Carl Palmer and the Buddy Rich Orchestra – Shawnee (Live)

CD3: Carl Palmer Band ‘Working Live’ & Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy ‘Live’
1. Carl Palmer Band – Carl Palmer Band – Bullfrog
2. Carl Palmer Band – Canario
3. Carl Palmer Band – Carmina Burana
4. Carl Palmer Band – Trilogy
5. Carl Palmer Band – Hoedown
6. Carl Palmer Band – Carl Palmer Band – Romeo And Juliet
7. Carl Palmer Band – In A Moroccan Market
8. Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy – Toccata and Fugue in D minor
9. Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy – Jerusalem
10. Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy – Fanfare For The Common Man / Drum Solo

Disc 4: Blu-Ray Video The Rhythm of Life
Carl Palmer discusses his career featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and images featuring Frank Sinatra, Carmine Appice, Buddy Rich, Tommy Iommi, Alice Cooper and more.

Related: Our interview with Carl Palmer

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. José
    #1 José 22 February, 2024, 14:16

    Congratulations! In my opinion, as an amateur drummer and a fan rock for all my life, the most skillful drummer in history, with an exquisite and quite personal style.

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