Q - 11/96, pp.149-1502 Stars (out of 5)
- "...easily one of the most redundant concert LPs of all time; we've heard it all before..."
Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Keith Emerson (keyboards); Greg Lake (vocals, guitar, bass); Carl Palmer (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel includes: Diane Duguay, Jacques Lareau, Jeffrey Meyer, Claudette Roy, Yves Saint-Amant, Marjorie Sparks (vocals).
Recorded live at Olympic Stadium, Montreal, Canada.
WORKS LIVE offers an interesting concert document of ELP near the end of its initial creative tether. The two WORKS volumes were released at a time when each of the three would only occasionally deign to appear on the others' songs; however most of the selections on this live album are from those sessions, forcing each band member to participate more fully with the others.
One can almost hear the clash of egos, as Lake croons his pretty, romantic, acoustic-based ballads and Emerson demonstrates his ample keyboard chops on showcases that range from ragtime piano pieces to prog-rock barn-burners. He is, in truth, the Hendrix of the Hammond organ, with full orchestral backing. ELP were one of the few groups ambitious or profligate enough to bring an entire orchestra on tour with them. They reap the rewards of the added tonal colors on the second disc, which departs from the WORKS repertoire for "Abaddon's Bolero," and the band's adaptation of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition."