Emerson, Lake & Palmer – live at Mar y Sol Festival, Puerto Rico – April 2, 1972 – Shout! Factory Records –
Emerson, Lake & Palmer in concert tonight. Recorded live at Mar y Sol Festival in Puerto Rico on April 2, 1972.
Fans no doubt have this, along with the official box set that was released in 2007 by my pals at Shout! Factory. If you already have this, you can skip to last nights concert or any one of the hundreds that are on Past Daily right now.
But if you aren’t – and you’ve never heard of them before. Or have only vaguely heard about Emerson, Lake & Palmer or the Progressive Rock movement in general, grab a seat and have a listen.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer represented probably one of the best known, most across-the-board Rock acts of the early 1970s. They came along right around the time of Yes and qualified as stadium-filling bands during those years.
Each of the members were well known and well respected in their own right before teaming up. Keith Emerson was a founding member of The Nice, a band that had strong Prog leanings and had moderate success during the mid-late 1960s. Greg Lake had just left King Crimson, another band that became a staple in the diets of underground FM listeners from 1969 onwards (his was the lead vocal on Court Of The Crimson King). Carl Palmer was a member of The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown (who gave the world “Fire”), before forming Atomic Rooster with ex-Arthur Brown members. Not as well-known outside the UK as Arthur Brown but one of the best drummers on the scene at the time.
ELP (as they were known, for the most part) were a hit from the get-go. Their self-titled first album was such a success that it became a demonstration album for most of the big audio companies for showing the audience just how low bass notes could get to shake a room – a sure sign that concert sound was turning corners in high-tech. Walking through the corridors of an early 70s Audio Engineering Society Convention was a treatise on the virtues of Lucky Man and by sworn testimony that one’s lungs were felt rattling around in rib cages as the result. All compliments of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
Sadly, neither Lake nor Emerson are with us anymore. Carl Palmer is still alive and kicking and performing.
But to get an idea of the halcyon days of Progrock and what got people interested in exploring what became a large, primarily European movement at the time, crank up this concert and be reminded when the playing field was very open and music was all about possibilities.