CD Review: Emerson Lake & Palmer “Live In Montreal, 1977”

Live_in_MontrealEmerson Lake & Palmer
Live In Montreal, 1977”
Shout Factory
Tracks: 13

Our Score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The 70’s super group Emerson Lake & Palmer are back with a new edition to their already impressive live CD catalog. “Live in Montreal, 1977” captures the band during the last show of their “Works” tour which featured a 70 piece orchestra. The re-mastered 2 disc album is the first official recording from this widely popular performance which is being release via Shout Factory.

Over the last few years a number of these live releases have become available to the public. For me they almost always miss their mark and this one was no exception. Emerson Lake & Palmer’s “Live in Montreal, 1977 is cluttered mix of crowd noise and over instrumentation. At several points throughout my listen I needed to stop and ask myself just what was I listening to? Knowing ELP’s history as an experimental 70’s jam band I had somewhat of an idea of what to expect but I definitely was not fully prepared. The 70 piece orchestra concept certainly adds to this performance but for me it was just too much. The overall sound of the album is quite tinny and lacking in bottom end however I did enjoy the performance of “Lucky Man” which features a cool shimmery chorus type guitar sound that compliments Greg Lake’s vocals.

If you are a big Emerson Lake & Palmer fan or attended this specific show you most likely will want to pick up a copy of this album as it serves a great example for 70’s experimental music. However if you’re looking for an album to throw on and kick back to then this probably isn’t the record for you.

Track Listing:
Disc 1:
1.) Abaddon’s Bolero
2.) Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression Part 2
3.) The Enemy God Dances with The Black Spirits
4.) C’est La Vie
5.) Lucky Man
6.) Picture at an Exhibition
7.) Piano Concerto No. 1, 3rd Movement
8.) Closer to Believing

Disc 2:
1.) Knife Edge
2.) Tank
3.) Nutrocker
4.) Pirates
5.) Fanfare For the Common Man (Including Rondo)


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