Emerson, Lake & Palmer how are they remembered these days? Did they leave any legacy in music?

Pretentious is the word most often associated with ELP and many of their college crowd fans. I was a bit younger and heard many older cool kids playing ELP and claiming it was great music. They turned their noses up at CCR. :wink: I never quite saw the appeal of ELP.

I haven’t heard ELP on any classic rock stations. I’d guess their old music is posted on youtube. I have no interest in looking for their stuff. I heard it enough in the 70’s.

Are they just an odd footnote in early 70’s progressive rock? Did they leave any legacy at all?

Palmer later was a member of Asia.

Another progressive rock group that I didn’t really get. But I’d listen to Asia before I would ELP. *Heat of the Moment *is on my mp3 player. Good song.

I was over at a friend’s house last week and we had the need to test out his new 70’s-style stereo system and…he put on Brain Salad Surgery, an album I haven’t listened to in the past decade.
We turned it up to 11 and sat in the sweet spot between the speakers in easy chairs, enjoying the musical ride.

What an amazing work!

YMMV, of course.

Their Discography is interesting. ELP’s albums went Gold. They never sold enough for Platinum.

Trilogy was their highest charting album. #5 in 1972. None of the band’s singles charted well. From the Beginning charted #39 in 1972. That was from the *Trilogy *album.

Brain Salad Surgery charted #11 in 1973. ELP had fans.


Pretentious claptrap…

…that I really like. Well, some of their stuff. Generally Lake’s stuff, as it turns out. Or Copland’s. :wink:

The band is generally not well treated by posterity, largely because the critics always hated them, but also because they shot themselves in the collective foot by putting out a string of embarrassing albums after their brilliant first five. Doing a board search, I see I’ve done this rundown twice before:



The biggest problem with E.L.P. is that they couldn’t replace any member without changing the name of the band. There was that one album with Cozy Powell instead of Palmer but they got lucky with that one.

Their early albums were great, but they got caught in the anti prog backlash, exacerbated by the fact their later albums weren’t all that good.

In the mid-70s, it became cool to snark on progressive rock, calling it “self-indulgent” (which boiled down to “they’re doing long solos”). Punk developed as the antithesis, but the ambition of progressive rock was something to admire; the idea of using classical themes and ideas was showing that rock was growing up (which punks didn’t want to happen).

I’ve been told that in their heyday, they put on a spectacular live show, which usually ended with Keith Emerson blowing up his piano.

(One of my teenage nieces is a big prog fan. She can pick Steve Howe’s guitar playing out of a crowd, and her favorite band is Queen, which I realize weren’t full-fledged prog, but close enough.)

Uh…not really. He did manhandle a Hammond organ around the stage, doing stupid stunts including vaulting over it and sticking daggers in the keyboard, and he did have a Moog ribbon controller rigged to shoot sparks after he “masturbated” it. For a group that was supposed to be the acme of pretentiousness, they were actually pretty goofy–the Three Stooges of prog rock.

Not in time for the edit cutoff: She actually discovered Mr. Howe via Asia, and was very impressed when she found out that her daddy and I saw them shortly after their first album came out.

The show was memorable because the band that opened for them on most of the tour was rescheduled at a bar in a nearby town, so instead, we got a magician - the type that performs at kids’ birthday parties. :confused: Said magician was solidly booed, except when a scantily clad female assistant walked onstage, at which time the women booed louder and the men cheered, and then the reverse happened when she left, etc. :stuck_out_tongue:

Hang on now. The piano also levitated up above the stage, and did a somersault. I’m not kidding! Though they stopped because he kept hurting himself.

I loved ELP by the way, and they also helped me discover that I loved some classical music.

As far as I know they only did that stunt once, at the California Jam. And of course Emerson wasn’t really playing it–it probably was just the shell of a piano–he was miming to a tape.

I noticed during ELP’s '90s reunion shows that Emerson had two Hammonds onstage: the “proper” one that he played through most of the show, and the one that he abused at the end. Much like Ian Anderson with Jethro Tull, who would come onstage twirling his flute like a baton and tossing it in the air, but would deftly substitute it for another when it came time to actually play!

What a lucky band they were.

Man, part of my personal holy trinity in high school (The Queen, Rush, and the ELP). Saw them in concert several times, including Soldier field with full orchestra and choir. I wish remembered much more of that decade…

Don’t know why, but random lyrics from Benny, Karn Evil, and Lucky Man seen to come to mind as often as just about any other songs…

Seven virgins and a mule, keep it cool… :smiley:

I still hear Lucky Man and From the Beginning on classic rock stations from time to time. I saw the summersault piano act on TV many years ago. Even though I was only 16 I remember thinking jeez what a silly act.
In my opinion, their music has not aged as well as many of the other prog-rock acts. I can still listen to Tull (just saw them recently, in fact) and Yes and Rundgren’s Initiation and enjoy them, but ELP sounds dated and gimmicky.

As a keyboard player, I can say that Emerson is widely recognized as the unchallenged master virtuoso pianist of the genre.

I was a kid when Brain Salad Surgery came out. I remember being really creeped out by the cover. I was amazed when, over twenty years later, I found out it was done by *Alien *artist H.R. Giger…

I loved ELP back in the day, but eventually got over it. I still like Karn Evil 9, Second Impression; it grates a bit after so long, but the piano/drums/bass is tightish and fun. The rest of KE9 is bombastic and tiresome.

My older brother was a roadie for the ELP “Works Vol 1” (Fanfare for the Common Man) tour. Full orchestra and all! He had a blast rigging lights for a summer.

Even in the prog community, their popularity has decreased over the years. The current 100 “best” prog albums of all time, as based on numerous reviews on the ProgArchives site, contains only one ELP album (“ELP”), in contrast with e.g. their contemporaries Genesis (5), Yes, Pink Floyd, Van der Graaf Generator (4), King Crimson, Camel (3).