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Cherry Pop

Title - Emerson, Lake & Palmer - 2016 Reissues (#2) [BMG]
Artist - Emerson, Lake & Palmer

For any one truly still not in the know, Emerson, Lake & Palmer were an English progressive rock supergroup formed in London in 1970. The band consisted of keyboardist, the late, great Keith Emerson, singer, bassist, and producer Greg Lake, and drummer and percussionist Carl Palmer.

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).

ELP were also one of the most successful, innovative and ground breaking British groups of the golden age of Progressive Rock. As well as creating spectacular ‘live’ shows that incorporated advanced technology and showmanship, they also recorded en masse of powerful albums that sold in millions around the world.

After forming in early 1970, 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 Atlantic Records and released Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1970) and Tarkus (1971), both of which reached the United Kingdom top five.

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

Now during 2016 and 2017, the band’s musical legacy will be celebrated by BMG with an important and comprehensive re-issue program that will put the spotlight on ELP’s nine studio albums as well as their ‘live’ recordings and compilations. Already released earlier this year were the first three (3) in the series: the self-titled Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1970), Tarkus (1971), and Pictures at an Exhibition (1972). Add to that a brand new 39-track, three-CD Anthology with material approved by all three band members, and BMG were off to a great start.

And so up next in this second wave are the group’s next three albums - Trilogy (1972), 1973's Brain Salad Surgery, and 1974's Welcome Back, My Friends, to The Show that Never Ends. All released on September 30th, 2016, they are all 2CD Deluxe Editions, inclusive of updated and enhanced booklets featuring rare band photos and so much more!

The reissue campaign is dedicated to ELP keyboardist Keith Emerson, who committed suicide in March of this year at the age of 71. "The best tribute to Keith and to ELP is these albums that are now being released," Lake himself has said "They do contain the very essence, the very heart and soul of all three of those people."

Trilogy was the group’s third studio album that shot to number 2 in the U.K and number 5 in the U.S. album charts in 1972. It has eight classical-rock numbers, including a joyful version of Aaron Copland’s 'Hoedown' that would become the band’s signature tune, as well as Greg Lake’s U.S. Top 40 hit single ballad 'From The Beginning'.

All that aside, for a second, I always loved the actual cover are. Designed by Hipgnosis, it depicts the band attached at the shoulders, while the interior of the original gatefold sleeve features a photomontage of the three in Epping Forest. Fascinating to me, as a young kid, and something that has stuck with me all these years later. Anyway, moving on and Trilogy was actually one of the group’s very own favorite albums.

Packed with exciting, challenging music, and full of stunning musicianship, with Keith Emerson playing grand piano, organ and synthesizer with commanding expertise, the under-rated album (in my mind) is getting a wonderful show in the spotlight now with this Deluxe Edition, trust me. Inclusive of the 2015 Remaster of the Original 1972 album, plus Jakko M Jakszyk 2015 Stereo Mixes, this new release is now chock full of goodness.

Disc 1: (Trilogy, The Original 1972 Album – The 2015 Remaster)
The Endless Enigma (Part One)
The Endless Enigma (Part Two)
From The Beginning
The Sheriff
Living Sin
Abaddon’s Bolero

Disc 2: (The Alternate Album (Jakko M Jaksyzk 2015 stereo mixes))
From The Beginning (alternate version)
The Endless Enigma (Part One)
The Endless Enigma (Part Two)
From The Beginning
The Sheriff
Living Sin
Abaddon’s Bolero
Hoedown (Live, 1972)

As for stats, well, the album reached #5 on the Billboard 200 and peaked at #2 on the UK album charts. It also appeared in the Top 10 in Denmark for 4 non-consecutive weeks, peaking at #6.

Brain Salad Surgery was, for all intents and purposes, ELP’s boldest and most popular album. A massive bestseller it represented the group at its best in terms of playing, production and creativity. The first release on their own label Manticore Records it dominated the charts and airwaves, reaching number 2 in the U.K. and number 11 in the U.S. album charts.

The first disc of this 2-CD Deluxe Edition set has the original 8 track 1973 album, presented in its 2014 re-mastered version, whilst the second disc features the Alternate Album from Jakko M Jakszyk's 2014 Stereo Mixes.

Fusing rock and classical themes, as we all know by now, Greg Lake wrote the lyrics for the album with the assistance (on two tracks, 'Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression' and 'Benny the Bouncer') of former King Crimson bandmate (and, beginning with this album, frequent ELP collaborator) Peter Sinfield. This was the first Emerson, Lake & Palmer album to have no songwriting contributions from Carl Palmer. The cover art is by H. R. Giger and is as wondrous now to look at as it was back then. However, until the LP cover art back then, this one does not open. Thus H. R. Giger's clever imagery is rather lost here on this CD, in truth.

Regardless, this new 2014 Remaster contains en masse of such-now crisp and clear tracks. The highs are just that. The lows masterful. Even the separation aspects are incredible. Oh, and if you're wondering (still) about where the title came from, well, it was a lyric in Dr. John's 1973 hit, "Right Place, Wrong Time" from his In the Right Place album (released 26 January 1973): "Just need a little brain salad surgery/Got to cure this insecurity." It replaced the working title Whip Some Skull on Yer; both titles are slang expressions for fellatio!

Disc 1: (Brain Salad Surgery, The Original 1973 Album – The 2014 Remaster)
Still… You Turn Me On
Benny The Bouncer
Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 1
Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2
Karn Evil 9 2nd Impression
Karn Evil 9 3rd Impression

Disc 2: (The Alternate Album (Jakko M Jaksyzk 2014 stereo mixes)
Karn Evil 9 3rd Impression (Original Backing Track)
Jerusalem (First Mix)
Still… You Turn Me On (First Mix)
Toccata (Alternate Version)
Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 1 (Alternate Version)
Karn Evil 9 1st Impression Part 2 (Alternate Version)
Karn Evil 9 2nd Impression (Alternate Version)
Karn Evil 9 3rd Impression (Alternate Version)
Excerpts from Brain Salad Surgery (NME Flexi Disc Version)
When The Apple Blossoms Bloom In The Windmills Of Your Mind I’ll Be Your Valentine (B Side Single K13503)
Brain Salad Surgery (B Side Single K10946)
Brain Salad Surgery (Instrumental)
Karn Evil 9 3rd Impression (Different Version)

Originally released in 1974 as the first ever triple vinyl ‘live’ rock album, Welcome Back, My Friends, To The Show That Never Ends - Ladies and Gentlemen would reach number 4 on the Billboard chart, the group’s highest ever placing in America.

It was an artistic triumph, with superb in-concert performances of many of ELP’s finest compositions and arrangements capturing the adrenaline fueled atmosphere created during the band’s marathon 1973/74 Get Me A Ladder world tour.

The 2-CD Deluxe Edition set features a new 24 Bit /96 Hz 2016 remaster of the original 1974 release taken from the master tapes and that shows in just how clean these songs come across.

Disc 1:
Tarkus: Eruption / Stones Of Years / Iconoclast / Mass / Manticore / Battlefield / Aquatarkus
Take A Pebble: Take A Pebble / Still ... You Turn Me On / Lucky Man

Disc 2:
Piano Improvisations: (Piano Improvisations / Fugue / Little Rock Getaway
Take A Pebble (Conclusion)
Jeremy Bender / The Sheriff (Medley)
Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression / 2nd Impression / 3rd Impression

The album was a commercial success, reaching number 4 on the Billboard 200, the band's highest charting album in the US. In the UK, the album peaked at number 6. The album is certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for 500,000 copies sold in the US.

Interestingly enough, following its release, Emerson, Lake & Palmer took an extended break from writing and recording. Which was sad new for the fans, because the music on this 2CD is way larger than life! Spectacular, in one word! There are only 9 tracks on the whole album and yet it manages to cover ELP's best stuff. Indeed, for me, the live 'Karn Evil 9' is well worth buying this new remastered released 2CD for. If bands today had only half the imagination and stamina of ELP, the world would be a better place.

Each of the new deluxe sets includes a booklet with extensive liner notes with new band interviews by legendary rock journalist Chris Welch and the audio has been re-mastered by world renowned rock studio engineer Andy Pearce.

ELP's remarkable style, combining original compositions with rock, jazz, folk and classical influences, was always performed with passion and integrity by its founder members throughout their collective career. The albums will be reissued across different formats, including CD and newly cut vinyl LPs and HD digital downloads.