ELP - When Prog Rock got all mainstream and respectable.
ELP – When Prog Rock got all mainstream and respectable.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Live at The Anaheim Convention Center – February 2, 1974 – KMET-FM

Probably the one band which would gather universal recognition as the quintessential example of ProgRock in the early 1970s would have to be Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Keith Emerson, keyboard whiz, had already established a reputation for his work with The Nice. While Greg Lake and Carl Palmer were primarily know for their work with King Crimson and Atomic Rooster respectively. Together they combined elements of Free Jazz, and Classical, and created a new dialect in the language of Rock; one which became an almost instant hit, appealing to the FM Underground audience as well as the mainstream. It was the perfect combination and they became concert favorites for years after.

This concert, from February of 1974 puts us around the time of the release of Brain Salad Surgery, which came out in November of 1973, and the wildly enthusiastic and successful tour to promote it.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer were such huge influences that they even managed to spur a goodly amount of ridicule among detractors – who considered them the epitome of pretentiousness and overly technical presentation and self-absorption. Many Punk bands of the mid-70s pointed to ELP as the reason for their existence; primarily as a reaction to the new complexity Pop Music was taking. But for the majority of people, they were a breath of fresh air and represented another avenue for Rock to travel.

Further evidence the Tent of Rock is huge enough to embrace just about everybody with an instrument.

If you missed them the first time around, here’s a chance to get caught up on another slice of music history. If you’re a fan, and from the West Coast, you no doubt went to this concert (and may or may not remember it) – and it’s a reminder of Rock’s capacity for complexity and discovery.

Play very loud – they did. My ears rang for days after this concert was over. And yeah, I remember it very well.

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