I am writing this publication with tears in my eyes but I really felt like saying a little something to the person whose voice and music brought me so much comfort and joy when I really needed them. Greg Lake passed away on the 8th of December 2016 (age 69) after he lost a long battle with cancer. He was the frontman of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer – two bands that defined progressive rock and completely changed the course of music history with their extraordinary musicianship, experimentation with hard rock and symphonic elements, profound lyrics and never-seen before technicality. Two unbelievably talented bands, both led by Greg Lake – one of the most emotionally-fueled voices of rock music; a voice that always found a way to touch people’s souls and make them fly. I cannot believe we lost him…
My progressive rock journey started with ELP and in particular the song “Still…You Turn Me On”. I will always remember how immensely captivated I was by the bizarre, but gorgeous instrumentation, stunning lyrics and of course, Greg’s vocals that just sent me to another dimension. I felt so attracted to this song; my body, my mind instantly reacted and by the time I knew it, I was already listening to their entire discography. ELP opened a new chapter of my life and for that I will always love them. “Brain Salad Surgery”, “Trilogy”, “Pictures at an Exhibition” – all albums that showed me the true depth of music. One reason why I connected so much with the band was of course Greg Lake. His tender, calming voice was there to help me fall asleep while I was going through some tough times and couldn’t even close my eyes; his music guided me through the dark roads of despair and stress. They say that music helps the pain fade; for me, it was the music of ELP, fronted by Greg that helped me fight my demons and made me feel alive again.
After ELP, I moved on to the debut album of King Crimson – “In the Court of the Crimson King” which many people refer to as “the birth of progressive rock”. In songs such as “Epitaph”, Greg perfectly demonstrates how immensely talented he is. I could listen to that song for ages and never get tired of hearing his mind-altering delicate voice. Just listen to his isolated vocals – that’s the kind of experience you will never get from music, being released nowadays. Greg Lake delivered sadness, comfort, happiness, sorrow…the whole rainbow of emotions trough his singing and believe me, for that he will always be appraised and loved.
Keith Emerson died earlier in 2016 and now we lost Greg Lake in the last month of 2016. Carl Palmer remains the third and final member of ELP to be alive. I am still in shock and refuse to believe that one of my favorite bands is down to its final piece. 2016 took so many lives and in my book it’s simply going to be remembered as “the year music died”.
No one is ever prepared and the loss is huge but I am glad that the world was able to witness his musical creativity, passion and vision. Greg Lake will be remembered as a first-class producer with a heavenly voice and an unforgettable approach to music. I will remember him as the artist who lovingly brought harmony and peace in my life. Thank you so much for your music! Rest in peace, my love….
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Keith Emerson – the keyboardist of the progressive rock supergroup Emerson, Lake & Palmer has died today at the age of 71. It’s only March, but 2016 already took the lives of so many notable and legendary figures of rock music – I don’t really know what to say, except feel sad about it and pay tribute to those artists who made such a huge difference…
Emerson, Lake and Palmer are probably the first progressive rock supergroup, formed back in the 70s. With their distinctive approach, sustainability, innovation and if I may say rather classical approach to rock music established them as a radio phenomenon and gained them a solid fanbase. Their enormous commercial success opened up the doors to numerous progressive rock bands, such as YES. Progressive rock was never easy to sell to mainstream audiences, however ELP were one of those exceptions as they found a way to gain the love of millions of fans. I don’t consider ELP as one of those progressive rock bands that have a clear cut rock vision or like to stay within the boundaries of safe rock. On the contrary, in comparison to other progressive rock bands, such as YES or Pink Floyd, ELP often choose to go with more classical music adaptations, in combination with jazz and symphonic rock elements. For instance, Keith Emerson was famous for excessive use of the Hammond organ and piano, in addition to the synthesizer.
As a result, their first few albums enjoyed a massive success during the 70s – apparently mixing classical elements with rock music was their recipe for fame. They simply proved that classically-trained musicians can also be rockstars and compete for the arena-scale audiences.
The success of the band is largely credited to Keith Emerson, who was not afraid or worried with what was happening in the industry or how will people respond to their progressive musicianship. “Keith was a gentle soul whose love for music and passion for his performance as a keyboard player will remain unmatched for many years to come. He was a pioneer and an innovator whose musical genius touched all of us in the worlds of rock, classical and jazz,” says Carl Palmer.
Needless to say, Keith was a keyboard virtuoso and a music genius to whom we owe a lot. As a tribute to him, I decided to dedicate a publication to the super trio and pick up 10 of their most famous and loved songs throughout the years. It’s unfortunate that we lost another great artist but he will always be remembered and respected for his music and contributions. Let us not remember such rock icons only when they leave this world – let’s cherish and appreciate their music throughout eternity …
Lucky Man (1970)
From The Beginning (1972)
“Karn Evil 9” (1973)
Knife Edge (1970)
C’est La Vie (1997)
Peter Gunn Theme (1979) [Live]
Fanfare for the Common Man (1977)
Still…You Turn Me On (1973)
Rest in peace, Keith Emerson!
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners and/or publishers.