Byte-Sized Review: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Debut Album)

Album cover retrieved as a thumbnail for this video.

Today marks the 49th anniversary of the release of the first Emerson, Lake & Palmer album in the U.K. Though they had been performing beforehand, this album was the first chance many had to hear them.

And boy does it deliver. Of the six pieces, four became concert staples and a fifth saw a restructuring for Works Volume I. Among these hits were the rocking “Knife-Edge”, the gentle “Take a Pebble”, and their one of their biggest hits, “Lucky Man”. Keith Emerson puts his considerable talent on display on this album; he handles the Hammond organ, pipe organ, grand piano, and even Moog Synthesizer with equal dexterity.

Greg Lake, meanwhile, provides some of his most legendary bass riffs and sings from the bottom of his heart. That a piece he wrote at twelve years old which was thrown on as a last-minute addition, featuring an instrument not often touched upon in the ELP’s work, went on to become one of the most famous songs in their canon speaks to his talent.

And Carl Palmer proves, beyond a doubt, that he’s a force to be reckoned with, capable of keeping up with any mood with his own fire and flare.

And thus, in triumph, began the Show that Never Ends.

In honor of this day, I would like to ask all of you the following: How did you first hear of this band? What did you think the first time you heard their work? And if you haven’t heard it yet, please avail yourself of the opportunity!

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  • Note: this originally appeared on the blog forever-elp in 2017. It appears here modified from its original format.
  • Edit on 2020-09-03: Removed alamy stock photos. Optimized for new site.

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