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What an amazing body of work he, along with others, has left as a legacy.

Music Review: Greg Lake – Greg Lake

Greg Lake is the live concert CD that was recorded during the Greg Lake tour in 2005 at the Stevenage Concert Hall in November 2005. It is the counter part to the DVD I reviewed called Welcome Backstage that had been recorded in September 2005.

To review for a minute, Greg Lake was the founder; along with Robert Fripp, of the progressive rock band King Crimson in 1969 which recorded the classic album "In the Court of the Crimson King." In 1970, Lake left King Crimson to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer which had huge success in the 70's.

After a short stint with Asia in the 80's, and some reunions with ELP in the 90's, Greg Lake formed the Greg Lake Band in 2005. This band consists of Lake on guitar, David Arch on keyboards, Trevor Barry on bass, Bret Morgan on drums and Florian Opahle on lead guitar. For the tour they also added Josh Grafton on 2nd Keyboard and Jai Ramage and Bekki Carpenter on backing vocals.

My take on the DVD was, and still is, that it was good. Greg Lake, is great! Of course this is really a greatest hits live of Greg Lake/King Crimson/ELP. But it is really great!

It starts out with the classic King Crimson song "In the Court of the Crimson King" which is well done. This is pretty much your standard version with the notable exception that Lake's voice is deeper; noticeably deeper. It is still remarkably clear and he still sings as well as he did then, it's just deeper. This song is one of my favorites from the CD. "Paper Blood" is a song off of the 1992 ELP reunion album Black Moon. It is hard and driving and you start to get the feel of Opahle's guitar work.

Another hard driving song "Touch and Go" from 1985's different ELP; this one being Emerson, Lake and Powell, featuring heavy metal drummer Cozy Powell (Jeff Beck Group, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Whitesnake). This would be another favorite. "Take a Pebble," from the album Emerson, Lake and Palmer might be in the top two best songs on the CD. Here you truly see Florian Opahle shine on the last half of this song.

By the time "Farewell to Arms" and "Fanfare to the Common Man" are played, you really begin to notice the influence of Opahle on the sound of the music. It is not over powering, rather it is directed.

"Lucky Man" from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer ranks high in my favorites on this CD. Again Opahle intricate workings bring out the best in this also. "21st Century Schizoid Man" is another great rendition of the King Crimson classic. If I were to have a least favorite, it would be "Pictures at an Exhibition" from the album of the same name, but it still is really, really good. Finally, tying for my top favorite is Karn Evil 9." I would buy this CD for this song alone!

What you will find your self doing after listening only once to this album, is having a particular song hanging in your mind for days. For me it is a either Karn Evil 9, 21st Century Schizoid Man, or Lucky Man. Somewhere along the line, you realize what a great writer/producer that Greg Lake is and when you consider all of those songs that are not included here, what an amazing body of work he; along with others, has left as a legacy.

About T. Michael Testi

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

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