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ELP - At The Surgery

(Code: 20574)
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ELP - At The SurgeryEarly European shows in Rome and Milan during the Brain Salad Surgery tour in May 1973
Format: CD / Cat No: XRYCD015 / Released: 23/05/2022

Track Listing: 1. Intro (1:04) / 2. Karn Evil 9, Ist Impression Part 1 (8:05) / 3. Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression Part 2 (5:12) / 4. Still...You Turn Me On (6:51) / 5. Lucky Man (2:53) / 6. Piano Improvisations (10:15) / 7. Take A Pebble (2:24) / 8. Hoedown (3:48) / 9. Pictures At An Exhibition (18:50) / 10. Drum Solo/Rondo (17.29)

More information: In early 1973, Emerson, Lake & Palmer formed their own record label, Manticore Records, and purchased an abandoned cinema as their own rehearsal hall in the London area of Fulham. In June 1973, the group began recording Brain Salad Surgery in London at Advision and Olympic Studios which lasted until September that year. Their regular Engineer, Eddy Offord was not present for the recording sessions as he was working with Yes, leaving engineering and mixing duties to Chris Kimsey and Geoff Young. Lake wrote the album's lyrics with Peter Sinfield and its sleeve was designed by H. R. Giger and includes the band's new logo. Formed of five tracks, the record includes a new rendition of ‘Jerusalem’ which features the debut of the Moog Apollo, a prototype polyphonic synthesizer. ‘Toccata’ is a cover of the fourth movement of Piano Concerto No. 1 by Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera and contains synthesised percussion in the form of an acoustic drum kit fitted with pick-ups that triggered electronic sounds. The 29-minute track ‘Karn Evil 9’ is the longest song recorded by the group. Brain Salad Surgery was released in November 1973 and reached No. 2 in the UK and No. 11 in the US.

From April 1973 to September 1974, the band toured North America and Europe which included a headline spot at the inaugural California Jam Festival on 6 April 1974 at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, California, to an attendance of 250,000 people. Their performance was broadcast across the US. The band's live shows exhibited an unorthodox mix of virtuoso musicianship and over-the-top performances which received much criticism. Their theatrics included Emerson playing a piano as it spun, suspended, end-over-end; Palmer playing on a rotating drum platform; and a Hammond organ thrown around the stage to create feedback. Emerson often used a knife, given to him by Lemmy Kilmister who had roadied for the Nice, to force the keys on the organ to stay down. Emerson used a large Moog modular synthesizer on stage but it was unreliable as heat affected its sound. The band carried almost 40 tons of equipment for the tour. ELP were one of the top world concert draws during 1973-74.

During the European leg of the tour in April and May 1973, some of the finest concerts the band played were in Italy, notably two shows from 2nd and 4th of May in Rome and Milan respectively, both of which were recorded for live broadcast. These shows are now both featured on this new CD collection.