Monday, January 25, 2010

Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Welcome Back My Friends to the Show that Never Ends

7/10

This triple LP/double CD is a pretty good live summary of the band's classic period, containing material from every studio album they'd recorded up to then. Karn Evil 9 is here in all of its glory, and it's a fine rendition for the most part (although Lake sounds more than a little bored at the end, and Palmer's solo didn't have to be six minutes long). Unfortunately, the production leaves quite a bit to be desired- this album was recorded in an arena setting, and there's a washed-out feel to all the songs. Even worse, there's virtually no low end at all. It's a shame that the sound quality isn't better, because the performances are fine all around, the synth tones have a more primitive quality than the studio version that I enjoy, there's a quote from King Crimson's Epitaph in the middle of Tarkus (the crowd goes wild over that) and even the twelve minutes of piano improvisations by Emerson are enjoyable. It just could have sounded considerably better.

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