All EOS blogs All Spain blogs  Start your own blog Start your own blog 

The Culture Vulture

About cultural things: music, dance, literature and theatre.

Whatever happened to ….. ELP?
Sunday, January 15, 2023 @ 9:04 AM

Remember them? Emerson, Lake and Palmer? The first prog-rock supergroup.



The group was made up of Keith Emerson from The Nice, Greg Lake from King Crimson and Carl Palmer from Atomic Rooster.

ELP came to prominence following their performance at the Isle of Wight Festival in August 1970. They released ‘Emerson, Lake and Palmer’ (1970) and ‘Tarkus’ (1971), both of which reached the UK top five.

The band's success continued with ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ (1971), ‘Trilogy’ (1972), and ‘Brain Salad Surgery’ (1973,)

After a three-year break, Emerson, Lake & Palmer released ‘Works Volume 1’ (1977) and ‘Works Volume 2’ (1977). After ‘Love Beach’ (1978), the group disbanded in 1979.


Keith Emerson

The exhibitionist keyboard player, Keith Emerson was also a pioneer on the Moog, Yamaha and Korg synthesisers. Keith apparently suffered from bouts of depression and was an alcoholic. He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in 2016, aged 72.


Greg Lake

Greg Lake was the singer and bass player. He also played acoustic guitar and was the band’s producer. He is no longer with us. He also died in 2016, of pancreatic cancer, aged 69.


Carl Palmer

Carl Palmer was the drummer and percussionist. He glued the band together. He lives on. He is now 72.



ELP took a lot of stick in their heyday for their “exhibitionist” and “ambitious” work, which often “sampled” classical pieces, such as ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. “Too clever by half!” “Who do they think they are?”

For me, I was in my early twenties when I first heard them. I liked their music. It was a change from the blues I had been obsessed with for years.

I saw them perform live at the Free Trade Hall in Manchester in my final year at university in 1973 and I was blown away.

I confess I wasn’t too keen on ‘Pictures …..’, but I loved their eponymous debut album and ‘Tarkus’. I still own all three on vinyl.

In 1991, the original trio re-formed and released two more albums, ‘Black Moon’ (1992) and ‘In the Hot Seat’ (1994) and toured at various times between 1992 and 1998. Their final performance took place in 2010 at the High Voltage Festival in London to commemorate the band's 40th anniversary.

They sold an estimated 48 million records worldwide.


Take a listen to this live performance of ‘Tarkus’


© The Culture Vulture





Tags: Atomic Rooster, Black Moon, Brain Salad Surgery, Carl Palmer, ELP, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Greg Lake, High Voltage Festival, In the Hot Seat, Keith Emerson, King Crimson, Korg, Moog, Mussorgsky, Nice, Pictures at an Exhibition, Tarkus, Trilogy, Yamaha

Like 0


Leave a comment

You don't have to be registered to leave a comment but it's quicker and easier if you are (and you also can get notified by email when others comment on the post). Please Sign In or Register now.

Name *
Spam protection: 
Your comment * (HTML not allowed)
(Items marked * are required)


This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. More information here. x