Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Fanfare for the Common Man

positive musicEmerson, Lake & Palmer – Fanfare for the Common Man

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About Emerson, Lake & Palmer:

Emerson, Lake & Palmer, also known as ELP, are a sporadically active English progressive rock supergroup. They found success in the 1970s and have sold over forty million albums and headlined large stadium concerts. The band consists of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (bass guitar, vocals, guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums, percussion). They are one of the most popular and commercially successful progressive rock bands. Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, both exploring options outside of their existing bands, met at Fillmore West in San Francisco. On working together they found their styles to be compatible and complementary. Their debut album was simply titled Emerson, Lake & Palmer, and was released in late 1970.

The Emerson, Lake & Palmer sound is dominated by the Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer of the flamboyant Emerson. The band’s compositions are heavily influenced by classical music in addition to jazz and – at least in their early years – hard rock. Many of their pieces are arrangements of, or contain quotations from, classical music, and they can be said to fit into the sub-genre of symphonic rock. However, Lake ensured that their albums contained a regular stream of simple, accessible acoustic ballads, many of which received heavy radio airplay.

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Lake, besides providing vocals, bass guitar, electric guitar and lyrics, also produced the band’s first five albums. By the end of 1974, Emerson, Lake & Palmer were just about tied with Led Zeppelin as the highest grossing live band in the world. Emerson, Lake & Palmer then took a three-year break to re-invent their music, but lost contact with the changing musical scene. They eventually released the double album, Works (later renamed Works, Volume I), in which each member had a side to himself. Side 4 contained ‘full band’ pieces, including a highly synthesised cover of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”.


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