ELP's Best Albums

Opinions differ.

However, there is no dissent on their first five albums' being marvelous, among the very best rock/prog/sympho rock albums ever. These are: Emerson, Lake and Palmer ('70), Tarkus ('71), Pictures at an Exhibition ('71), Trilogy ('72), and Brain Salad Surgery ('73). Be sure to get the REMASTERED editions from VICTORY ('93) or RHINO ('96)!

Tarkus and Trilogy are also out in highly-recommended Gold editions from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs. [Note: Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs ceased operations in November 1999.]

Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends (3LP, 2CD '74) contains an even better version of the Tarkus suite. However, the Brain Salad stuff which takes up most of the album/2CD is not better.

Emerson, Lake and Powell ('86) is also very good. Don't listen to those who dislike it!

Live at the Royal Albert Hall ('93) has good live versions of a lot of pieces, especially of "Pirates" and the medley of "Fanfare for the Common Man," "America," and "Rondo."

Best of ELP ('94) gives a good overview of their career and contains some rare pieces like the original "I Believe in Father Christmas," "Fanfare for the Common Man," and "Black Moon" singles.

The Return of the Manticore (4CD box Set, '93) gives a broad presentation of all ELP albums. It contains also new (and good) versions of "Pictures at an Exhibition" (5 Channel Dolby Surround), "I Believe in Father Christmas," and "Touch and Go" (ELPowell), and pieces from their preBrown), "21st Century Schizoid Man" (King Crimson) and "Hang on to a Dream" (The Nice).

There is also a somewhat different version (or outtake?) of "Pirates," far better than the one on Works Volume 1. As well as the previously unreleased instrumental pieces "Rondo" (live Dec 9th, '70), "Prelude and Fugue" (by Gulda) and "Bo Diddely." However, nothing remarkable about these last ones.

Bjo/rn-Are Davidson, bjorn- are.davidsen@s.prosjekt98.telenor.no

Last updated: 01/02/2012