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Thread: ELP: The Live Albums. Which are your favorites?

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    Member StevegSr's Avatar
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    ELP: The Live Albums. Which are your favorites?

    Starting with Pictures at an Exhibition, going over Welcome Back My Friends, Works Live and then off to the numerous official Manticore Live "Bootlegs", which are your favorite live ELP albums?
    To be or not to be? That is the point. - Harry Nilsson.

  2. #2
    Personal faves are

    Live at the Mar Y sol '72
    Best of the Bootlegs [the bootleg releases where a mixed bag sonically wise but this puts together a nice compilation that is listenable]
    Live at the RAH
    EL&Powell in concert

    PS, I just wish someone would release a good audio of the 'full' Montreal concert. The one that has been released is terrible and deserves better treatment.

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    Welcome Back... is pretty definitive, I'd say. I've never been that keen on much of what was the 4th side of the album, but otherwise it's magnificent. I think the version of 'Tarkus' on there is superb, with the 'Aquatarkus' being one of the best things they put to tape. The only disappointment is that the tour encore of 'Pictures...' has not been added to CDs. It has also been said that the album mix is a fold-down mix from quadrophonic...I wonder if it could sound better if it got a proper stereo mix.

    Works Live is not something I listen to very often. I don't feel that the definitive version of this tour has been realised; I find it mindboggling that 'Pirates' wasn't included. But in any case, I'm not fond of the synth choices or the Alembic bass tone used on these recordings. And 'Pictures...' is very messily arranged, being more of a collision course between the band/orchestra than a fusion.

    I've only heard some of the 90s shows...I never liked that they put some of their best songs in medleys, or only played bits of them.
    Last edited by JJ88; 04-04-2016 at 03:39 PM.

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    One other thing...I hope that more of the live footage briefly seen in the Manticore Special appears one day. What's there is superb, albeit with hyper-speed tempos! It's not out of the question, as things like that run-through of Karn Evil 9 2nd Impression have turned up in longer form than what made the film.

  5. #5
    Mar Y sol '72

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    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Pictures

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    i like Pictures as well but wish for an orchestra show apart from works live or the recent live in montreal 1977. supposedly there was a problem with the recording equipment in montreal but i wonder if there are rehearsal recordings that could be released like the ELPowell sprocket sessions cd. i would imagine with Keith gone there will be releases upcoming so the record company can cash in on his legacy and if i recall Sony has the rights to the ELP back catalog now?

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    Member jefftiger's Avatar
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    This is probably an outlier, but I really like their 1978 Nassau Coliseum show that finally got an official CD release a few years ago. I saw them a few days before at the Spectrum in Philadelphia and I really loved that show. They seemed a lot more comfortable than during their summer 1977 show at the Spectrum which took place just days after dropping the orchestra. So, darn, I never did see them with the fabled orchestra on the Works tour.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post

    Works Live is not something I listen to very often. I don't feel that the definitive version of this tour has been realised; I find it mindboggling that 'Pirates' wasn't included. But in any case, I'm not fond of the synth choices or the Alembic bass tone used on these recordings. .
    Stop blaming the Alembic bass. It's the bass' fault. It's more likely either the fault of the bassist who couldn't be bothered to dial in a decent tone, or whoever mixed Works Live. But there's plenty of bassists who've used Alembics and got great tones from them, so stop blaming Alembic!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    One other thing...I hope that more of the live footage briefly seen in the Manticore Special appears one day. What's there is superb, albeit with hyper-speed tempos! It's not out of the question, as things like that run-through of Karn Evil 9 2nd Impression have turned up in longer form than what made the film.
    Wasn't some of the stuff on the Behind The Beginning from the same show(s) that was shot for the Manticore Special? Do we know there's much more in existence from those shows? A lot of times, back in those days, whatever didn't get used in those kind of things got scrapped. So there may not be much more that can be released.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Welcome Back... is pretty definitive, I'd say. I've never been that keen on much of what was the 4th side of the album, but otherwise it's magnificent. I think the version of 'Tarkus' on there is superb, with the 'Aquatarkus' being one of the best things they put to tape. The only disappointment is that the tour encore of 'Pictures...' has not been added to CDs. It has also been said that the album mix is a fold-down mix from quadrophonic...I wonder if it could sound better if it got a proper stereo mix.
    Back in the 90's, there was a double CD put out compiling material from the band's two King Biscuit Flower Hour shows, one from 74, the other from 77. I think it's been said the majority of the material was the very same versions of the songs that had been used on Welcome Back My Friends To The SHow That Never Ends and ELP In Concert/Works Live. But the mixes are very different from was used on those two albums. So you can hear how let's say Karn Evil 9 sounded when given a proper stereo mix.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_B...test_Hits_Live

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Back in the 90's, there was a double CD put out compiling material from the band's two King Biscuit Flower Hour shows, one from 74, the other from 77. I think it's been said the majority of the material was the very same versions of the songs that had been used on Welcome Back My Friends To The SHow That Never Ends and ELP In Concert/Works Live. But the mixes are very different from was used on those two albums. So you can hear how let's say Karn Evil 9 sounded when given a proper stereo mix.
    WB was mixed in quad for an intended vinyl release which did not happen (although I believe it was released on tape). So, the rear channels were added to the fronts for the record. KB received the same quad mix and it was aired in quad in some cities. KB either dropped the rears or mixed them in at a lower level for their stereo version. I wouldn't refer to that as a proper stereo mix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Wasn't some of the stuff on the Behind The Beginning from the same show(s) that was shot for the Manticore Special? Do we know there's much more in existence from those shows? A lot of times, back in those days, whatever didn't get used in those kind of things got scrapped. So there may not be much more that can be released.
    There was nothing much new from those shows in Beyond The Beginning that I know of- 'Hoedown' was in the Manticore Special in full anyway. There was a longer cut of the KE9 rehearsal- which I've already mentioned, as an extra feature. So I'm hoping more live footage is around somewhere.

    There's also that Japan footage from 1972 and the late 70s Memphis show; I think the BBC broadcast some of these back in the 70s (and indeed, Manticore Special itself). The BTB DVD basically only used one track of each show.

  14. #14
    Pictures holds a special place for me.. with that said.. Welcome Back ranks right up there with Yessongs as an excellent document to ELP's output from the 70's

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    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    Works Live is not something I listen to very often. I don't feel that the definitive version of this tour has been realised; I find it mindboggling that 'Pirates' wasn't included.
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarGeek View Post
    Back in the 90's, there was a double CD put out compiling material from the band's two King Biscuit Flower Hour shows, one from 74, the other from 77. I think it's been said the majority of the material was the very same versions of the songs that had been used on Welcome Back My Friends To The SHow That Never Ends and ELP In Concert/Works Live. But the mixes are very different from was used on those two albums. So you can hear how let's say Karn Evil 9 sounded when given a proper stereo mix.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_B...test_Hits_Live
    FYI - this KBFH CD does include a version of Pirates that is 'missing' from the Works Live.

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    'Pirates' on that apparently does not feature the orchestra.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    'Pirates' on that apparently does not feature the orchestra.
    That is correct! Hopefully one will surface?

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    ^It doesn't need to surface, it already exists on the Montreal videotape. But I am unaware of a CD which features that performance from the multi-tracks. I think the videotape version is in mono.

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    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    Is it true that the King Biscuit release is comprised largely of Welcome Back... and Works Live tracks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Is it true that the King Biscuit release is comprised largely of Welcome Back... and Works Live tracks?
    My recollection is that the later material on the King Biscuit CD is from a non-orchestra Works-era concert from the autumn '77-winter '78 era. I thought that Works Live was taken from just the Montreal orchestra concert.

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Is it true that the King Biscuit release is comprised largely of Welcome Back... and Works Live tracks?
    Definitely yes on the Welcome Back material. Note how at the beginning of "Lucky Man" you can hear some nut in the audience yell "Get CRAZY!" That same nut is there on both WBMFTTSTNE and KBFH.

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    Member StevegSr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Definitely yes on the Welcome Back material. Note how at the beginning of "Lucky Man" you can hear some nut in the audience yell "Get CRAZY!" That same nut is there on both WBMFTTSTNE and KBFH.
    Wow! Thanks for pointing out the nut in the audience. I do remember that now.
    To be or not to be? That is the point. - Harry Nilsson.

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post
    There was nothing much new from those shows in Beyond The Beginning that I know of- 'Hoedown' was in the Manticore Special in full anyway. There was a longer cut of the KE9 rehearsal- which I've already mentioned, as an extra feature. So I'm hoping more live footage is around somewhere.
    One suspects, then, that might be all that exists. Back in those days, production companies didn't think about the possibility of using footage for anything but the project at hand. The idea that someone might need some of the other songs or whatever for another thing that might happen decades down the road certainly didn't enter into it.
    Quote Originally Posted by JJ88 View Post

    There's also that Japan footage from 1972 and the late 70s Memphis show; I think the BBC broadcast some of these back in the 70s (and indeed, Manticore Special itself). The BTB DVD basically only used one track of each show.
    They probably only used one track from each show because they probably had to license the material from the given sources. For instance, the Japan footage is probably owned by NHK (or whichever Japanese TV service it was who broadcast). My understanding was that the standard contract at the time had that the broadcaster or production company who shot the material owned it.

    Gene Simmons once bragged about how when NHK filmed a Kiss show in 1977 (which later aired Stateside as one of the first HBO concerts), he simply crossed out the clause that stipulated that NHK owned it, and wrote it one saying the band did, and nobody bothered to question this. So the contract got signed, and as a result the band owns the Budokan footage from the Rock And Roll Over tour. My impression is most bands weren't clever.

    Getting back to the ELP Japan footage, I've seen it. The thing I remember is Greg's Les Paul being out of tune during Tarkus. If I'm not mistaken, this is the open air show where a monsoon hit while they were onstage, so I think the humidity shift frelled with Greg's guitar. I'd have to watch it again to tell you about any of the other material. It's been a few years and I think I only watched it once.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    Is it true that the King Biscuit release is comprised largely of Welcome Back... and Works Live tracks?
    Pretty much. There's four "new" tracks: Pirates, Fanfare For The Common Man, one of the movements from Keith's piano concerto, and Carl's drum cadenza.

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