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Blu-ray Review: Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Live At Montreux 1997

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer are a British progressive rock group that formed in 1970 and consisted of Keith Emerson on keyboards, Greg Lake on bass guitar, and Carl Palmer on drums. Early on during their formation, there was some interest by guitarist Jimi Hendrix being involved in the band before his untimely death.

During the 1970's the band, also known as ELP, had a string of six albums that were released over a four year period that secured the band's position as superstars of the time. While they disbanded in 1979, there were later incarnations that continued to perform, but it was not until 1991 that they reformed as a whole and began recording again. Their final tours were in 1996, 1997, and 1998.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Live At Monteux 1997 was recorded at the Monteux Jazz Festival that takes place in Switzerland every year in July. Obviously this is not the ELP from their heyday, but the band and the quality of their music is very good and they are still able to bring it to the stage.

As it seems with every aging band who has not been continually touring, ELP has what I call the mini-skirt moment when, like the grandmother who wears a skirt too short for her age, they look a little silly. Keith Emerson pulling his old broken down Hammond organ down on top of himself to play it backwards is one of those moments. Yes, it is cool to see him playing it backwards, but it just seems out of place.

The video is recorded in 1080i/60 and presented in 1.78:1 with an AVC/MPEG-4 encoding. While it may not be the sharpest in high defintion, the overall presentation is very clear for a recording from this time period. The sound is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and to me it sounded quite clear. The keyboards perhaps could have been blended a little back into the mix, but since they are the overall central focus, I can live with it.

As far as any extras, this to me was a disappointment. It seems that over the last 30 years there could have been some interviews, out-takes, or other such material that could have presented a more well-rounded picture of the band.

That being said, I found Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Live At Montreux 1997 to be a very enjoyable experience and will definitely watch it when the mood hits. If you are a fan of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer and want to experience the live feel that Blu-ray provides, then I think that this presentation is worth the time.


1. IntroductionBy Claudie Nobs
2. Karn Evil 9 – 1st Impression Part 2,
3. Tiger In The Spot Light,
4. Hoedown,
5. Touch And Go,
6. From The Beginning,
7. Knife Edge,
8. Bitches Chrystal,
9. Dance Creole,
10. Honky Tonk Train Blues,
11. Take A Pebble,
12. Lucky Man,
13. Tarkus / Pictures At An Exhibition
14. Medley:
Fanfare For The Common Man
Carmina Burana
Tocatta In D Minor

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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