Wednesday, February 10, 2010

3 - To the Power of Three


Another ELP not-quite-reunion, 3 consisted of some no-name called Robert Berry replacing Lake as frontman. I have NO idea how he talked his way into this, but the fact that the band name downplayed Emerson and Palmer's participation suggests that they were embarrassed to be involved. And it's not surprising- To the Power of Three has nearly all of ELPowell's problems in more acute incarnations.
The synthesizers are terrible, Berry's singing is generic in the most terrible 80's way possible, the production is about as lame as was par for the course in 1988, and there's a cover of the Byrds' "Eight Miles High" which is about as bad as you'd expect. Virtually none of it sounds anything like ELP, which shouldn't be surprising because Berry had the majority of the songwriting credits here. (He would later go on to an illustrious career recording tribute albums.)
It's not hard to imagine that this is the unholy result of some rock and roll fantasy camp that somehow resulted in an album actually getting released, but from what I've heard, it was recorded because Asia broke up and all the members (including Carl Palmer) had to perform on other albums to get out of their contracts. I've only given out a 1 once before, but it just feels necessary to do so again for this pile of crap that makes Love Beach look like a masterpiece. That 1 was for Queen + Paul Rodgers' The Cosmos Rocks, which was similar to this in that it features two members of a legendary band whose performances are so dull that they might as well be sessions musicians. I guess that Emerson + Palmer at least had the foresight not to evoke the ELP name, but May and Taylor were smart enough to hire someone who wasn't a total no-name. The results sucked equally, though. Highest recommendation to avoid.

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