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Emerson, Lake & Palmer Videos on DVD


b_3guy

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I bought "Beyond the Beginning" two weeks ago.

 

First, I have to say that I was a huge ELP fan during their heyday. Emerson was a fantastic keyboard hero to a young guy like me, a classical organist with too much testosterone coursing through his veins. Emerson's work with the Moog synthesizer inspired me to become a rock/pop synthesist, and I still play some of his licks during organ solos.

 

That said, I find "Beyond the Beginning," as well as the two other ELP dvds I own (Albert Hall and Montreal) to be a little on the disappointing side, musically. I love being able to see concert footage, and there's plenty of it on this collection, but...

 

Emerson rushes like a motherf*cker. He always has. Poor Palmer had to spend much of his set watching Emerson to determine where to place downbeats. No fun for any drummer. So there's never a comfortable groove in their live performance. Their albums were always tighter. It's hard for me to watch the dvds for any length of time because of this. I find myself fast forwarding , or just skipping past songs.

 

On the other hand, the hour-long documentary with current interviews with all three guys was wonderful, and the interview with Bob Moog was a welcome addition, though Bob looked particularly uncomfortable. (Get the Moog movie for a better picture of Bob.) The audio is as good as I think it could be, and the video has been cleaned up nicely. I'm delighted to finally have a real copy of the California Jam.

 

So, if you're a fan, buy it and cherish it. If you're simply curious, rent or borrow it.

 

k.

9 Moog things, 3 Roland things, 2 Hammond things and a computer with stuff on it

 

 

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Originally posted by ksoper:

I bought "Beyond the Beginning" two weeks ago.

 

First, I have to say that I was a huge ELP fan during their heyday. Emerson was a fantastic keyboard hero to a young guy like me, a classical organist with too much testosterone coursing through his veins. Emerson's work with the Moog synthesizer inspired me to become a rock/pop synthesist, and I still play some of his licks during organ solos.

 

That said, I find "Beyond the Beginning," as well as the two other ELP dvds I own (Albert Hall and Montreal) to be a little on the disappointing side, musically. I love being able to see concert footage, and there's plenty of it on this collection, but...

 

Emerson rushes like a motherf*cker. He always has. Poor Palmer had to spend much of his set watching Emerson to determine where to place downbeats. No fun for any drummer. So there's never a comfortable groove in their live performance. Their albums were always tighter. It's hard for me to watch the dvds for any length of time because of this. I find myself fast forwarding , or just skipping past songs.

 

On the other hand, the hour-long documentary with current interviews with all three guys was wonderful, and the interview with Bob Moog was a welcome addition, though Bob looked particularly uncomfortable. (Get the Moog movie for a better picture of Bob.) The audio is as good as I think it could be, and the video has been cleaned up nicely. I'm delighted to finally have a real copy of the California Jam.

 

So, if you're a fan, buy it and cherish it. If you're simply curious, rent or borrow it.

 

k.

Thanks for the great critique. I'm a fan so I think I'll buy it. Do you find that on the live album Welcome Back My Friends To the Show That Never Ends Emerson is rushing like these DVD's? Although he's rushing on these albums I don't find it objectionable. Thanks again.

Steve

 

www.seagullphotodesign.com

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I bought Beyond the Beginning last week. I thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the highlights for me was seeing Emerson's rig in the California Jam video. I've never seen his setup in a live video from this time frame. It was great to see him play the prototype Moog Constellation (Apollo and Lyra, I believe). That thing sounded great! He also had a Minimoog, as well as the modular, and the Hammonds.

 

I do wish that the other video clips (1st disc?) would have been complete takes, but ya can't have everything I guess.

 

The rushing (as on the Welcome Back album) never bothered me either, but I'm the type that enjoys seeing mistakes/wrong notes, etc. played during live concerts. It puts everything in perpective for me (they ARE human after all! ;) ). In a way, it even raises the intensity and emotion of the performance knowing that these musicians aren't just pressing start on a sequencer (nothing wrong with that either), but are hashing their way through a difficult performance. Whatcha see is whatcha get! :)

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I have to agree with Odyssian - I am a friend of Keiths (being a huge fan first, I never ceases to amaze me that I can now say that - one of the biggest perks of my career in this industry!), so I find it difficult to critique him in a public forum.

 

But as I developed as a musician and a ELP fan I too noticed the timing issues. When I was younger I used to think it was all Carl, but now it is clear that Keith contributed to this. But as Odyssian states, this is a result of live performance, and given the thrills, and spectacle of their performances I find that I can "forgive" it. I never thought of ELP as a "deep pocket", grooving band, even on the albums.

 

The bigger shame to me was the increasing tempos - the original version of Hoedown rocked, but as the years progressed it turned into a chops spectacle, that lost the feel in place of sheer speed. I wish to this day that Keith would relax and try not to impress with chops, and focus on the feel and great compositions he performs/writes. They are what is timeless, not the technique.

 

regards,

 

Jerry

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Originally posted by jerrythek:

I have to agree with Odyssian - I am a friend of Keith's (being a huge fan first, it never ceases to amaze me that I can now say that - one of the biggest perks of my career in this industry!), so I find it difficult to critique him in a public forum.

 

But as I developed as a musician and a ELP fan I too noticed the timing issues. When I was younger I used to think it was all Carl, but now it is clear that Keith contributed to this. But as Odyssian states, this is a result of live performance, and given the thrills, and spectacle of their performances I find that I can "forgive" it. I never thought of ELP as a "deep pocket", grooving band, even on the albums.

 

The bigger shame to me was the increasing tempos - the original version of Hoedown rocked, but as the years progressed it turned into a chops spectacle, that lost the feel in place of sheer speed. I wish to this day that Keith would relax and try not to impress with chops, and focus on the feel and great compositions he performs/writes. They are what is timeless, not the technique.

 

regards,

 

Jerry

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I don't know man...I can't say I have heard much ELP live stuff other than the "Welcome Back" album...but if anyone rushes like his ass is on fire on the studio stuff, it's Palmer. Listen to his break in Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Part 2. Once he starts going it's like he's heading downhill and can't stop!

 

And some of his fills on Tarkus are...well...awful. Keith was the timekeeper in that band, if you ask me.

My band Thousand Houses: www.thousandhouses.com
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Rushing is a problem that comes with repitition.

 

I rush Eruption and Benny the Bouncer. Can't help it. It's not a showing off chops thing more like a habit.

 

Probably because when I was learning these tunes I had to take it very slow, well below tempo and bring them up. So, faster and faster I played them until I had them up to speed, but by then I couldn't stop.

 

When I try to slow down either Tarkus or BtB I make mistakes.

 

I liken it to trying to rein in a team of horses that are raring to gallop at top speed.

 

Carl

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Back in the day, Musician magazine used to do a regular feature where they would interview an artist, play him/her 5 or 10 songs, and the artist would try to identify and critique them (Kind of fun huh?). One month, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull was the artist. They played him Asia's "Wildest Dreams." He nailed Asia right away, and then went on to tell the story of Carl Palmer's (then) recent audition for Tull. While I can't remember it verbatim, and am too darned lazy to go through my boxes of mags to find it, the gist was "Oh, Carl did try out for us, but his timing was atrocious, very below par; this piece here is a prime example of it."
Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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  • 3 months later...

I watched it yesterday, and I find it to be the best thing available in terms of ELP video.

 

PROS:

1) Nice selection of concert footage/musical choices. Broad range of material.

2) Cameras manage to stay on Emerson when 'we' want them to.

3) Picture and sound quality are great.

4) Navigation and design of DVD is very good.

5) Not much rehash in terms of the complete live performances; we already have the Montreal concert and the '92 Royal Albert Hall shows on DVD...and I don't need to see 'yet another version of Pictures at an Exhibition'.

6) The interviews. I was dying for more interview segments. I would have loved another hour!

7) The version on 'Take A Pebble' that includes some of 'Tank'. Loved it!

8) The 'Piano Improvisations' from the triple live album - at last a video!

9) The rehearsal footage. I don't know how they worked out some of that music with a rehearsal process like that...!

 

CONS

1) Goofy '70s video 'tricks' and editing on archival footage - especially on 'Take A Pebble'.

2) Interviews not long enough!

3) Complete omission of the fact that they reunited in the 90s (at least in the history/interview section; concert footage is included), & E.L. Powell.

 

I STILL WISH FOR:

1) A complete live peformance of 'Karn Evil 9' - all three parts - from the '74 tour.

2) A live version of 'Trilogy' - even just audio!!!

3) Live E.L.&Powell video!

4) Direct explanation from all parties on the ultimate demise of '90s ELP' in '98 - '99, or even some interviews devoted to that era!

5) Same as #4 with regard to E.L. Powell.

6) Video of Emerson & Palmer (w/Robert Berry) at the Atlantic records 40th anniversary concert playing 'Rondo' and 'America' (I saw this live on HBO).

7) Video of Emerson on Letterman playing 'America'.

 

OBSERVATIONS:

I loved this DVD. I thought it was sad to see how ego and mismanagement got in the way of great music. It was frustrating to have some of my suspicions confirmed about why the band failed, and conversely affirming to see firsthand how huge they were. Amazing that they have been so largely forgotten, but what a great five/six years they enjoyed.

 

I love the large-scale works (KE9, pictures, Tarkus, Pirates, etc), but watching this DVD reminded me of how well ELP worked in smaller-scale pieces, too - like 'Knife Edge', 'Hoedown', 'Bitches Crystal', 'A Time and a Place', 'The Barbarian', '

Tank', 'Jeremy Bender', 'The Sheriff', 'From The Beginning', 'Still You Turn Me on', 'Benny The Bouncer', etc.

 

As for the rushing - I like faster tempos live for the most part. I think Emerson and Palmer were probably fairly equal in their rushing capability!!! Anyway - it was painfully obvious watching Emerson play 'Honky Tonk Train Blues' with Oscar Peterson...when Oscar's quartet kicked in (they trade fours with Emerson's group) you could tell they almost chuckled at how solid thier timing was - then Emerson comes back in and you go 'whoa'...

 

It was depressing to see how bitter Emerson is. I will say I got a new appreciation for Lake watching the video. He seemed sensible and fairly candid about his feelings, musically and otherwise. But boy, he's packed on the pounds!!! Palmer seemed in good shape and kind of shook his head at the ego battles. It was also awful to see the footage from '97 and watching Emerson rub his right wrist like mad and try to play 'Eruption', and how rough he looked in '98 (he looked like a 100 year old slow-moving wizard...very depressing). I will say that he looks like he feels better now, and from the pics I've seen from the recent Nice tours looks like he's fine.

 

Anyway, go get it, Its good.

Weasels ripped my flesh. Rzzzzzzz.
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A few weeks ago I bought the Live at Montreux 1997 DVD.

 

Not their best offering. Good shots of Emo's hands in action but Lake acted like he'd rather be somewhere else. It wasn't long after that when Lake left ELP.

 

Royal Albert Hall was much better. I'm gonna look for Beyond the Beginning.

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...this is the best ELP documentary I've seen to date.

Beyond the Beginning probably won't change any minds about Emerson or the band in general, but it will (by volume alone) give you more to think about. There's a lot of stuff to watch throughout; a lot I hadn't seen before.

If you like them and want a good look at them for whatever reason, then buy "Beyond the Beginning" before you buy any other

ELP selections...

We will not waiver; we will not tire; we will not falter; and we will not fail!

George W. Bush

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ELP71,

You had mentioned wishing for a live version of Trilogy, but I don't think they ever played it live. In his autobiography, Emo says they tried it several times and finally decided it was too difficult to do it live (strange hearing that from him!).

 

Anyhootle, if you haven't read the autobio, I recommend it. Emerson provides a lot of insight into what was gong on, but for me not enough music and too much sex, drugs and rock-n-roll. One thing I did get out of it was that his relationships with Lake and Palmer were very diffent. With Lake, it was very professional, but he seemed to have a genuine affection for Palmer.

 

Regards,

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Originally posted by HCMF:

All these ELP shows are great, but I still think The Nice 'Colour Me Pop' concert from 1968 is Emerson at his finest form. I wish there were more concerts available from that period.

I would love to see more 'Nice' stuff. I still think 'Five Bridges Suite' is Emerson's best attempt at orchestral writing, as derivitave as it may be.

 

And 'Country Pie' remains my favorite Emerson organ outing. The solo to the 'Karella Suite' is still one of the best rock organ solos, period, IMO.

Weasels ripped my flesh. Rzzzzzzz.
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I used to do a jazz gig over in Sussex many years ago in a country pub. It turns out that the drummer knew Keith Emerson who lived nearby and invited him to the gig one Sunday lunch time. He sat in and I recall him playing Honkey Tonk Train Blues but from a manuscript that he'd brought with him! Can't recall if he rushed it or not :eek: . Anyway, I'd not heard of him at that time (too much into Jazz and nothing else :rolleyes: ) and had no idea why the audience were raving so much :freak: .

 

Dave

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...HCMF, if they're a 4-piece; then there's probably more guitar in it than if they were a 3-piece.

I saw the video clip of the Nice featuring "America" and per usual, the focus was on O'Lost (ha-ha-ah) rather than Emerson. If that's what "Color Me Pop" is; yet another guitar-focused production, I think I"ll pass.

Thanks for bringing it to my attention; if any others are out there, let us know!!!

We will not waiver; we will not tire; we will not falter; and we will not fail!

George W. Bush

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Funny thing about the Colour Me Pop show PianoJazz.

O'Lost is literally left in the dark, no spot lights on him. :D

 

You could tell he was already on his way out by that time. The main attraction is clearly Emo. I strongly recommend that show.

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I picked up all three DVD's (Montreux, Royal Albert & Beyond), and I watched the first two. I think in the Royal Albert, I couldn't believe Emo was playing Eruption on two different keyboards at times (180 degrees apart?). Also, I was interested to see if he crossed over on any of the Tarkus 10 note patterns, and he didn't. The way he played one particular pattern I found to be stunning. After the gong crash in Eruption the pattern starts up again on C in the left hand and B flat in the right. For me, I can just about make the C pattern without crossing over, but the B flat pattern I can't manage to play fast enough or smooth enough without crossing over. Emo played the B flat pattern without crossing over, and so he completed it with his thumb on the B natural, and then just stepped his hand down a half-step to the B flat to start the pattern again. All perfectly smooth and fast. I couldn't believe it.

 

There are some parts you hear on the triple live album and you wonder how it is possible anybody could pull it off, with difficult passages and a multitude of keyboards, but there he was doing it live. Amazing. (And I have seen them live 3 times). It was also quite a spectacle to see him play and solo over Bitches Crystal with that bouncing octave bass line. Absolutely monstrous. My only complaint was that in both the Montreux and Royal Albert mix I thought the Hammond could have been louder. I was also surprised to see him use a Yamaha digital grand.

 

I was very excited to see them perform Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet, because my band and I do this number. I was a little disappointed to find that I had unwittingly simplified it because I missed the left hand thing he was doing on the grand, but we get the point across and it is a great number. Creole Dance is always fun to watch, and in the Royal video, it seemed he had a look of determination on his face that may have had something to do with the operation that I hadn't seen before. Also, in the Royal video I was surprised to see him reading music notation, I think it was during Pictures or maybe the Knife Edge interlude.

 

Sorry for the long post, but I thoroughly enjoyed these videos, and am looking forward to watching the Beyond video. I bought all three for $50 and change from Amazon - well worth it.

 

One major disappointment was the notable absence of a vocoder. :)

 

Regards,

Joe

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It may not count, but on the Bootleg Series from the Manticore Vaults Vol. 1, the Long Beach Arena concert from July 28, 1972 has The Endless Enigma Parts 1 and 2 on it. The only recordings I've heard of that wonderful piece live.

 

Mind you, it's bootleg quality so be warned...

 

Happy New Year everyone!

 

Jerry

 

Originally posted by Joe P:

ELP71,

You had mentioned wishing for a live version of Trilogy, but I don't think they ever played it live. In his autobiography, Emo says they tried it several times and finally decided it was too difficult to do it live (strange hearing that from him!).

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I have the Beyond the Beginning 2 DVD set. I really enjoyed it and can heartily recommend it. I don't own any other of their DVDs and feel that this is a good span of their entire career.

 

My ownly complaint is that some of the material is duplicated on the two cds, such as the Lucky Man acoustic performance. But I was happy to see lots of Hammond abuse footage :)

 

The documentary is real class and very enlightning. Go for it.

hang out with me at woody piano shack
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Originally posted by Joe P:

I picked up all three DVD's (Montreux, Royal Albert & Beyond), and I watched the first two. I think in the Royal Albert, I couldn't believe Emo was playing Eruption on two different keyboards at times (180 degrees apart?). Also, I was interested to see if he crossed over on any of the Tarkus 10 note patterns, and he didn't. The way he played one particular pattern I found to be stunning. After the gong crash in Eruption the pattern starts up again on C in the left hand and B flat in the right. For me, I can just about make the C pattern without crossing over, but the B flat pattern I can't manage to play fast enough or smooth enough without crossing over. Emo played the B flat pattern without crossing over, and so he completed it with his thumb on the B natural, and then just stepped his hand down a half-step to the B flat to start the pattern again. All perfectly smooth and fast. I couldn't believe it.

Personally, I was relieved to see Emerson not cross over on those patterns...I don't either!!! I thought I was committing a 'technique faux pas' but evidently it works for the guy who wrote it. I just can't seem to cross over on that ostinato (and I have tried doing it 'right').

 

I think not crossing over helps the phrasing; keeping the strong accent on the first note of each quartal pattern (DEEdle-deedle DEEduhdit DEEduhdit, DEEdle-deedle DEEduhdit DEEduhdit, etc.) but also forces a little 'ghosting' of the final note. Who cares I have a blast playing it pretending I'm wearing an armadillo suit...

Weasels ripped my flesh. Rzzzzzzz.
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ELP71,

Thanks for the reply. On the left hand patterns I don't cross over. Out of the F, the C and the E, I think the C is the hardest one. But I had not even THOUGHT of not crossing over on the B flat right hand pattern, and I am excited to give it a try. I agree, that it might help to provide the right dynamic on the accents, and frankly not crossing over is one less thing to think about. It may end up being easier to pull off with some practice. When Emerson played it, it was like he was merely striking a chord. Kind of a different way of thinking about it. This tune I play for my own amusement, I am not skilled enough to perform it, but I love it anyway!

Regards,

Joe

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Those passages can be played different ways with similar results, depending on hands size.

 

There's only "lively" specified in the manuscript, no legato nor accents, so one has got flexibility. No need to imitate a certain way, unless the particular fingering fits your hands.

 

As with any other piece that's got some work, it will come natural when increasing speed.

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