Emerson, Lake, and Palmer – Once Upon a Time in South America (Rock Beat, 2017)
For fans of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and keyboards in general, Once Upon a Time in South America is a real treat. The 4-CD (also available on vinyl) collection features live performances in South America by the legendary progressive rock band Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.
The majority of the concerts took place in 1993 in Chile and Argentina. Even though most of the pieces that appear on Once Upon a Time in South America are familiar compositions by the band, there is a lot to discover.
One of the great qualities about Keith Emerson was that he used a wide range of keyboards and his variations and improvisations on familiar melodies made his music highly enjoyable and refreshing.
This album features two versions of Pictures at an Exhibition, one of their most iconic works that has rarely appeared on other recordings.
Throughout the album, Keith Emerson delivers stellar keyboard performances. As I mentioned earlier, he liked to modify familiar melodies with new solos and other variations, switching keyboards and sometimes embedding familiar melodies from movies and other sources.
Carl Palmer is an impressive rhythm machine. He is renowned for his creative, varied and powerful drumming style.
Greg Lake also delivered masterful performances, although his voice suffered a little throughout the tour. In addition to his unmistakable vocals, he also played guitars and some great bass lines.
The tracks selected cover the band’s entire musical history, from their early hits Lucky Man and From the Beginning to Hoedown, Pictures at an Exhibition, Tarkus, Karn Evil 9 and Fanfare for the Common Man.