The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Friday, December 12, 2008

Emerson, Lake & Palmer


12-12-08 Emerson, Lake & Palmer – (debut album)


EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER ISLAND FR 6339 026 LP 1970 6 TRKS

Original French issue

EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER ISLAND UK ILPS 9123 LP 1970 6 TRKS

Original UK issue

EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER kami JVC JPN VICP-63171 CD 1970 6 TRKS

('05 issue) kami sleeve

EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER re-issue MANTICORE UK K 43503 LP 1970 6 TRKS

UK re-issue


I just got an SHM-CD of the debut album by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, touting re-mastering and “Super High Materials” (i.e. hard CD). I suppose I would likely buy it yet another time, whenever they come up with whatever is the next ‘sound gimmick’, as SHM-CD would seem to be.


I started with this album at the end of 1970 – I knew the bass player & singer came from King Crimson, a group I was very into. I knew of both The Nice and Atomic Rooster – but King Crimson was the draw for me. In my previous incarnation (as a teenaged record collector), I had an Ampex 8-track tape of it, then an Ampex cassette of it. I graduated to a US Cotillion label LP of it, before finding an Island UK original pressing. The original French LP pressing came later – it looks very cool, and has the ‘good sound’ that the UK original has. UK re-issue came last. I dumped all of my Cotillion copies (stock and promo) – as they do not sound so great.


In the CD era, I began with an Atlantic US CD of it, followed by a European CD of it that was actually on the Manticore label! (I kept my German Manticore “Tarkus” CD, however). Always after the ‘good sound’, I opted for the first Japanese CD I ever saw of it – probably a JVC, but…it’s long gone now. When ‘kami sleeves’ gained momentum in ’05, I opted for one of those – lovely 24bit re-mastering from JVC Japan, in a gorgeously re-produced miniature album sleeve. So, no need for either the Rhino US edition or the more recent Shout Factory version. The JVC Japan mastering beats ‘em every time.


And of all the ELP albums, this is the one I still have special patience for. “The Barbarian” couldn’t be any cooler. “Take A Pebble”, the track where previous poor mastering showed up, now always sounds great. “Knife Edge” is great, has that ‘loud sound’ (that the US vinyl never seemed to have). “The Three Fates” – always majestic-sounding. “Tank” – about as good as a ‘drum solo’ track ever gets. “Lucky Man”, a good single and a nice closer to a strong debut LP.


It’s the end of 2008, and my SHM-CD of it arrived yesterday. As it has been re-mastered yet again – and theoretically placed upon a CD made of higher-quality materials – I can bet on the ‘good sound’ being there.


Labels:

3 Comments:

Blogger Warren Bowman said...

That is the first LP I ever bought. Since I did not yet have my license, Ken borrowed his mom's car, and drove us to the nearest record store. The Wherehouse on Whittier Blvd. It was next to a Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, and another place that sold hot dogs cooked in beer. This was a big excursion, since there were no record stores in Hacienda Heights. I bought a lot of singles at the local drug store, but no LP's. I still have a nice pile of picture sleeve singles, all off them with giant holes in them from the metal rod that the drug store used to prevent theft of 45's.

Anyway, Ken and I browsed the Wherehouse, and I bought the first LP by ELP. Punch line? I had no idea who they were, or what the record sounded like. I just liked the cover! This led to many other musical sins. Still dig that first ELP album though.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Warren:

The hotdogs cooked in beer place would have been Lums! Which we called "Slum's" back in grade school. Not a bad 1st album. I was 10 when I picked up my first LP - Three Dog's Night's "Naturally." Not quite as good as the ELP debut. But TDN sure picked the cream of the crop as for songwriters. But whoever put that band together obviously didn't get rich on publishing...

11:02 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

I think my first ELP LP came from a hippie record store, where it was $3 or less. I knew that Greg Lake came from King Crimson, but not about the other two; I quickly learned. My '71 I had heard both The Nice and Atomic Rooster - I like "Death Walks Behind You" by AR (but Mr. Palmer does not appear on that LP!). The Nice's albums were in all the cut-out bins in '70 / '71, so were easy to find etc.

6:14 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home