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Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Pictures At An Exhibition [Import]
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This DVD/CD Combination Disc features the film and soundtrack from the original 1970 live "Pictures at an Exhibition" concert. Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer are all superb musicians; together they formed one of Classic Rock's most influential bands! Songs: Promenade, Gnome, The Sage, The Old Castle, Blues Variation, The Hut of Baba Yaga, The Curse of Baba Yaga. DVD/CD Combination Disc: Side 1 (DVD) - The film; Side 2 (CD) - Bonus CD; Side 2 playable on any DVD or CD player.
Top Customer Reviews
This is not easy listening stuff; the best way to listen is with a good, properly set up sound system. Imagine yourself in the first row balcony seat of a small (2-3 thousand seat) theater. The drum work goes from mundane to holy cow, Lakes young voice is lovely at times, and we get a taste of his wonky lyrics (a weak point of the band for years to come). The final track is a throw away encore for a young band still learning new material. The album was recorded in March of 1971; the band was still working on original material for their first studio releases. All in all a daring rendition of a classic and the wall of sound these three men manage to create is impressive. To quote Carl Palmer: "We're not a straight forward rock band- we are a saber-rattling band!"
I've been a fan of ELP since I first heard Tarkus in the early '70s. Saber rattling, aggressive, over the top rock-n-roll. ELP was at the forefront of progressive rock, blending classical, jazz and rock in a frantic keyboard driven fusion. They are as dark as Pink Floyd could ever be and just a touch more complex and grand in scope than the best work by Yes. With this album, they just took it just a bit further.
ELP was critisized as pompus and pretentious. And with this album, they peaked in that regard. Ravel's orchestration of "Pictures" is one of those classical pieces which is perfect without any further adaptation. It is one thing to tackle great classical pieces such as Alberto Ginastera's 1st Piano Concerto ("Tocotta" on Brain Salad Surgery) or Bartok or Janacek ("The Barbarian" and "Knife Edge" on ELP's first album). But Mussourgsky! Glad ELP violated that holy cow! Rock-n-Roll!
If you have a good stereo and turntable, I highly recommend trying to find the audiophile half speed master pressing on the Mobile High Fidelity label. The fidelity is much better than with a CD, and this is one piece of music which is worth it!
There are some groovy psychedelic effects in the middle part of the show that both both enhance the viewing experience and illustrate what ELP is all about. The swirls turn into comic-book images (not cartoons). These are Marvel comics characters from the 60's by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko-- two artistic visionaries that were doing with pen and ink what ELP did with sound. The visuals are thus a perfect match! Dr. Strange and the Fantastic Four in particular are well suited to ELPs music.
Some people may be annoyed that they can't see the band clearly the whole time, but there is plenty of unadulterated footage of the band doing its thing. By the time the visuals start you ought to be in the proper state of mind to enjoy them them anyway. They wash over you just like the music does.
This is certainly one of the best concert DVDs available.
In any case, the group never even wanted to release "Pictures" at all, live or studio (considering it merely a cover that they used to warm themselves up on in the early days, albeit one they liked very much), and when they did it was only as a budget release. Which makes its quality even more amazing, because this is one of the most ambitious and well-recorded live works of its day. The album opens with the "Promenade" theme stated religiously on church organ, before moving into "The Gnome",
an early synth-fest with Lake and Palmer providing excellent support. Things quiet down for the second "Promenade" and "The Sage", perhaps the most enjoyable part of the album, with Lake
singing angelically to quiet organ and acoustic guitar accompaniment. His acoustic guitar work in "The Sage" is extraordinary and marks an early high point of both the album and his career with ELP; even detractors of the album find this
piece soothing and atmospheric.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
For a long time, this was my least favorite of Emerson, Lake & Palmers albums (Until the likes of Love Beach embarrassed us all). Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2006 by S. Andersen
I'm not a huge ELP fan but I do like a lot of their stuff. However this just didn't cut it for me. Mussorgsky's original piece is a work of geniuses, and Ravel's version is good... Read morePublished on June 7 2004 by Polypterus
No surprise so many fans think this is a "difficult" album -as it is a pretty close rendition of Mussorgsky's original work. Read morePublished on April 6 2004 by Big Kahuna
I've always liked ELP's Trilogy, Tarkus, and Brain Salad Surgery, but this album usually gave me a headache. Read morePublished on Jan. 16 2004 by Random Reviewer
If you do not love ELP, but you like them, do not buy this CD. If you are looking for a good rendition of Mussorsky, then do not buy this album. Read morePublished on June 16 2003 by Connecticut Rooster
"They call us pretentious and pompous - so we are!" Indeed. One must be quite adventurous to put one's name next to Mussorgsky's, co-authoring his masterpiece acclaimed for more... Read morePublished on April 8 2003 by MMM
Myself and two other buddies aged 16 at the time went to see this at a midnight showing in Anchorage, Alaska - I think in 1977. Read morePublished on Dec 14 2002 by Douglas R. Tooley
It's almost perfect,even if this re-arrangement of the Mussorsky's classical opera is a bit "uncomfortable", above all if We consider the point of view of some critics/reviewers of... Read morePublished on Dec 6 2002 by Lethe