Exposé Online banner

Various Artists (Billy Sherwood) — A Tribute to Keith Emerson & Greg Lake
(Cleopatra no#, 2020, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-06-26

A Tribute to Keith Emerson & Greg Lake Cover art

There is no shortage of progressive rock tribute albums available, and with the recent deaths of many giants of the field, current musicians have been joining together with veterans to pay homage to those who have passed. Billy Sherwood has assembled this all-star salute to Keith Emerson and Greg Lake. The set of course consists primarily of ELP tracks — “A Time and a Place,” “The Sheriff,” “C’est la Vie,” “From the Beginning,” “Hoedown,” “Still… You Turn Me On,” “Lucky Man,” “Fanfare for the Common Man,” “Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression Part 2,” as well as a suite encompassing parts of “Tarkus” — along with King Crimson’s “21st Century Schizoid Man,” which was originally sung by Lake. I suppose these choices are no surprise, covering some of the band’s best known songs, but my favorite ELP has always skewed towards their less poppish material — I’d have loved to hear “Toccata,” “Knife-Edge,” or “Take a Pebble” — but I know not everyone feels that way. “Schizoid” gets an interesting treatment, with the middle instrumental section quoting Emerson’s arrangement of “America” from his days with The Nice, and Todd Rundgren’s distorted vocal is spot on, while Brian Auger’s organ does indeed sound rather like what Emerson might have done. “C’est la Vie” gets an orchestration that, depending on your taste, may fall just sort of sappy or just beyond. Thijs van Leer contributes flute to “From the Beginning” in a version that otherwise hews closely to the original. Patrick Moraz handles “Hoedown” well, ripping off a great synthesizer solo in addition to the main organ part. Sonja Kristina sings “Still… You Turn Me On,” and while I like her voice, it doesn’t seem well suited to this particular song. The album finishes with an orchestral suite performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra featuring parts of “Tarkus” and “From the Beginning,” which is fairly enjoyable. With its modern production, this tribute in general sounds cleaner and more polite than the ELP originals, but most current listeners might not find that to be a drawback. To my ear, the slightly ragged and edgy sound of the 70s provides more of a human touch. That being said, this is a fine tribute to two greats who have left us.


Filed under: New releases, 2020 releases

Related artist(s): King Crimson, Sonja Kristina Linwood, Todd Rundgren, Arthur Brown, Larry Fast (Synergy), Patrick Moraz, Billy Sherwood, Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, David Sancious, Various Artists, Brian Auger / Oblivion Express / Trinity, Geoff Downes, Martin Turner, Thijs van Leer

More info
http://purplepyramid.bandcamp.com/album/tribute-to-keith-emerson-greg-lake

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Porcupine Tree - Voyage 34: The Complete Trip – History: In 1992, Porcupine Tree was a little-noticed solo project of Steven Wilson. The first album had made little splash on the progressive psychedelic scene. Wilson decided to bring a little less...  (2002) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues