- Released: May 3, 2011
- Label: Camden International
Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Greg Lake (vocals, guitar); Keith Emerson (keyboards); Carl Palmer (drums).
Producers: Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Peter Sinfield, Mark Mancina, Keith Olsen.
Compilation producer: David McLees.
Recorded between 1971 and 1994. Includes liner notes by Jerry McCulley.
Digitally remastered by Bill Inglot & Dan Hersch (DigiPrep)..
Pioneering 1970s prog-rock trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer were all about epics, doing everything on a grand scale, from recording to touring. So paring their catalog down to the essentials on a single disc is no snap. Nevertheless, THE VERY BEST OF does an excellent job of narrowing things down. One moment we're treated to some of Keith Emerson's trademark Hammond organ heroics ("Knife Edge"); the next, things give way to the balladic "From the Beginning," which highlights singer/bassist/guitarist Greg Lake's troubadour side. The band's passion for reinventing the classics in a rock format is exemplified by their takes on Ginastera's "Toccata" and Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man," among others. ELP was truly at its peak when churning out extended prog-rock suites of their own though, as the presence of "Trilogy" and "Pirates" makes clear. This collection is a reminder that the all-or-nothing days of prog-rock ambition were not without their sense of exhilaration and discovery.