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Cherry Pop

Title - 'Live From Manticore Hall' (Manticore Records)
Artist - Keith Emerson & Greg Lake

Keith Emerson and Greg Lake are two founding members of, of course, Emerson Lake & Palmer (ELP) and this brand new live recording entitled, Live From Manticore Hall is an immense tribute to both the bands music and the inspiring musical stability of both Emerson and Lake.

'Live From Manticore Hall' captures their unique two man versions of a selection of well known material from across ELP's celebrated catalog and ensures that both old and newcomers are well satisfied come the end of this musical journey.

Sure these are old songs, your old favorites that don't exactly sound like they always used to.But that's okay, trust me. This unplugged, if you wish, electronic show has a sound that's very clear (especially given that it's just that, a live show) and to hear some new interpretations of many of their classic pieces from years past was just a joy.

The first track opens the show, and is perfectly entitled 'From the Beginning.' A piano prelude it is followed by a long, but incredibly interesting spoken 'Introduction' from Keith Emerson about the concept of some of their hits and album tracks for this live album. As the applause dies down, the piano introduces us to the delightful 'I Talk To The Wind,' before Lake talks abut, intro's and then breaks into another classic ELP song, 'Bitches Crystal.'

Emerson then intro's 'Barbarian,' and claims it is a "catchy tune" and an "annoying tune that you just can't get out of your head," before we then move into the Lake-intro'd 'Take A Pebble.' Here he tells us how the song came to be, such was his early morning walk with his dog alongside an expanse of water. Then comes 'Tarkus,' which was the title track from their second ELP album, and the two British prog legends continue with the vocally superb 'C'Est Le Vie.'

The dusky, haunting, storytelling of 'Pirates' is next, and to my mind, is one of the most tremendous songs ever recorded by ELP - and probably even from that period! The entire live album finally rounds out with the outstandingly long 'Moog Solo/Lucky Man,' which puts the full stop perfectly on this live recording.

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