Keith Emerson - keyboards; Greg Lake - lead vocals, bass, guitars; Carl Palmer - drums, percussion
ELP vocalist/guitarist/bassist Greg Lake has often told music journalists that the very first song he learned on guitar at age 12 was Duane Eddy's rock version of the Henry Mancini TV detective theme, "Peter Gunn." That is probably why Emerson Lake & Palmer chose to open their 1977 Works tour.
Although portions of this disc were released as one of the King Biscuit Flower Hour Records releases, this is the complete show of all songs featured when ELP performed the concert in Wheeling, WV. Many of the band's best loved hits are featured in the show, although this was far from a greatest hits package.
Much of the material was new to the audience and is taken from the band's ambitious Works Vol 1 and Works Vol 2 albums, which merged band tracks and solo studio recordings over a span of three albums. "Tiger In The Spotlight," the beautiful Lake acoustic lullaby, "Watching Over You," and the ominous Emerson/Palmer opus "Medley: Tank / Enemy God," are among the highlights here from the Works material. But the audience really comes to life when the band plays their best known hits, especially "Fanfare For The Common Man," "Lucky Man" (the song that launched the band to a platinum debut), and "Karn Evil 9."
This Works tour began with a 65-piece orchestra and choir that the group took on the road. Arguably one of the biggest undertakings in rock history, after three weeks of performing to great reviews the band had to drop the massive entourage; even with most of the shows selling out, the enterprise had already cost the band four million dollars. In the end, it was decided they would carry on with their usual three-piece format, and the remaining three weeks of the U.S./Canada tour featured this lineup.
Emerson Lake & Palmer would make one more studio album (the lackluster Love Beach) in 1978, before taking a 12-year hiatus. They returned from 1992 through 1998, and are currently considering another reunion.
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