As the saying goes, ‘It never rains, but it pours’. I have no sooner reviewed a Greg Lake DVD, when up pops a new CD from Classic Media Group by the same guy. Although the CD and DVD do share a couple of tracks ‘Farewell to Arms’ and ‘Fanfare to the Common Man’, they are quite different beasts. This CD reveals much more of the electric side of Greg Lake, and is prog rock at its very finest.

I have always been a fan of Greg Lake’s and have for many years felt that he has been overlooked as a solo performer, instead forever overshadowed by his time with Emerson Lake and Palmer. And yes, while this CD does contain some of the most notable ELP songs, it also has that unique Greg Lake flavor to it.

With David Arch (keyboards), Bret Morgan (drums), Trevor Barry (Bass), and Florian Opahle (guitar) we have a tight sounding and highly competent band. 

I particularly like the use of the synthesized horns on ‘Touch and Go’, they add a new and interesting dimension to the song. ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’ is the quintessential Greg Lake, it contains everything that you would expect, all bundled into one smooth package, great vocals, great use of electronica, and a haunting theme.

No ‘best of’ CD from this artist would be complete without a rendition of Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, and I must say this version is as good, if not better than the one from ELP in the mid 70’s.

For any ELP/Greg Lake fan this is a must have CD for your collection. You can order online from MVD.

Simon Barrett

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