A truly sad recording,
This review is from: In the Hot Seat (Audio CD)
This was the second CD recorded by ELP after they reunited in the '90s. After a strong start with 1992's Black Moon, this was a HUGE step back. According to the book, Emerson, Lake & Palmer: The Show that Never Ends, Emerson was having hand problems before & during the recording of In the Hot Seat.
As well, the band's label, Victory, was in financial trouble 'cause two of their biggest acts, Yes & David Bowie's Tin Machine, delivered flop albums. So, the book recounts, the label put pressure on ELP to deliver a commercial success and brought in producer Keith Olsen (Whitesnake, Fleetwood Mac, Heart) to help. Talk about a bad choice.
The results, just about any true ELP fan can tell you, were DISASTROUS. This CD sounds like second rate Chicago...and not the good Chicago from the early 1970s, either. There's almost no progressive rock to be found, just one forgettable pop song after another.
Sure, there's a bonus song on this, a studio recording of the epic Pictures at An Exhibition, originally recorded for the ELP box set compilation. But even though the band apparently liked that recording (according to the ELP book), it is absolutely lifeless when compared to the previous live-in-concert versions.
Avoid this recording at all costs. It's far worse than ELP's often-slagged "Love Beach" recording from 1978. At least that album had a very interesting concept piece (Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentlemen). In the Hot Seat doesn't even have that.