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Thread: ELP Works Vol. 2

  1. #1
    Moderator Sean's Avatar
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    ELP Works Vol. 2

    What do you all think of this one?

    I think Pt. 1 gets more attention but this is actually as cool. Maybe a little more diverse too. Just got it after years of hearing it was weak. It's not bad for a batch of leftovers, methinks.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    What do you all think of this one?

    I think Pt. 1 gets more attention but this is actually as cool. Maybe a little more diverse too. Just got it after years of hearing it was weak. It's not bad for a batch of leftovers, methinks.
    I saw ELP twice on the Works tour (about 6 mts apart) .. both times without the orchestra.. second time was about the same time Works 2 came out and they played a few selections from it. I've always enjoyed both volumes..

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    It's not bad as such, no. I can't single out anything as being terrible. But it does betray its origins IMHO- a ragbag of outtakes, some already released B sides and solo tracks. ('I Believe In Father Christmas' is at least different to the single in that it's a version by ELP and doesn't have the heavy orchestration.)

    Did the packaging ever state that it was an 'odds and ends' collection, recorded over several years? I guess completists would have been aware given some tracks had been on singles. Some of the 1973 tracks were also later included as extra tracks on CDs of BSS.

    There is the live King Biscuit CD which was partially from this album's tour. It's quite good, I'd have put that out instead of In Concert or the later Works Live. I think the whole show (Wheeling, West Virginia) is 'around'.

  4. #4
    Always enjoyed the wide mix on this album , things like So Far to Fall could have been a direction to take in the late 70s, shorter piece but with ELP spirit, bit bluesy like Tiger. If only more Bullfrog and Close but not Touching from CP , and to think I thought 1PM might cover a similar style !!!!

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    Emerson and Palmer had enough material to have released fully solo albums at the time. Outside of the two Works albums, Palmer had some more tracks recorded in this period released on that Do You Wanna Play Carl? anthology. Emerson also recorded some more jazz covers ('Walter L', 'Au Privave') finally released on his Off The Shelf collection.

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    Member jefftiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    It's not bad for a batch of leftovers, methinks.
    I recall buying it within a day or two of its release and being pretty disappointed. I was not aware that it was going to be a grab-bag of leftovers. Some of them are indeed very good. I've always loved So Far to Fall. But, I never really got into Tiger in a Spotlight, apparently recorded around the time of BSS. The album is certainly diverse; the solo tracks are mostly fun and the Lake ballad is good. It was nice to get the song, Brain Salad Surgery, on an album. A friend at college had it on a bootleg tape, which was how I first heard it.

    As another poster mentioned, they did perform some material from this album during the winter 1978 leg of the Works tour. I think that Show Me The Way To Go Home closed the set and I recall that both Tiger In A Spotlight and Watching Over You were on the setlist.

  7. #7
    It's the only ELP album I only have on vinyl and have never bought on CD. I don't have all their CD's though.

  8. #8
    Is there a comprehensive list anywhere of where all of the material comes from and full credits

    I have an original LP of it but there's no info on it at all (maybe they did that on purpose to give them impression that it was a "proper" ELP album)

    There's some good bits on it. ELP were v hit and miss after they came back from the mid 70's break though, although I loved ELPowell

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by revporl View Post
    Is there a comprehensive list anywhere of where all of the material comes from and full credits

    I have an original LP of it but there's no info on it at all (maybe they did that on purpose to give them impression that it was a "proper" ELP album)

    There's some good bits on it. ELP were v hit and miss after they came back from the mid 70's break though, although I loved ELPowell
    After purchasing Works 1 it was fair to assume Vol 2 was coming next.. but like others it turned out to be "leftovers" which makes me wonder it that was the plan all along or was the band planning on sitting down and coming up with a full album of new material..

  10. #10
    Member jefftiger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revporl View Post
    Is there a comprehensive list anywhere of where all of the material comes from and full credits
    The Wikipedia entry for Works 2 provides info on where some of the material comes from.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_Volume_2

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    After purchasing Works 1 it was fair to assume Vol 2 was coming next.. but like others it turned out to be "leftovers" which makes me wonder it that was the plan all along or was the band planning on sitting down and coming up with a full album of new material..
    The Works lp that I bought in 1978 already had the wee "Volume 1" note at the top corner of the album cover, which implies that you're right in your assuming. I think I may also still have a copy of the flexi-disc that was attached to the cover of one of the music mags, which contained the track "Brain Salad Surgery".

    Just recently, I made a compilation "Complete Works" for my mp3 player, blending in the various solo & band tracks from Vol 2 with the 4 sides of vol 1 - it actually makes for a pretty satisfying listening experience.

    The whole "Works" thing - like Opus 1, or whatever, for classical composers - seems to me to encapsulate where Emerson had, somehow, lost his way: on the one hand, it seems clear that he was "hearing" how a track like Pirates should sound fully orchestrated, & that this orchestral "sound" was something that he'd more & more wanted to achieve;' but, on the other, this was paralleled by something like a need to be recognised as a "serious" composer - & everything about the Works packaging gestures towards that need. But what had always made his writing & playing exciting was not in "aping" classical music - but in fusing the most progressive elements of rock with jazz & aspects of classical, to create a more or less wholly new musical soundspace - further augmented by his experiments with "noise", first with Hammond distortion, then with the Moog.

    It is perhaps not so uncommon - that we don't recognise what we are best at, & at the same time, seek to be recognised for what we are not best at.

  12. #12
    When you look at "Works Vol 1" and how it was conceived and packaged as a grand offering of masterworks, "Vol 2" really spoke that they had dropped that idea and instead only had time to give us some odd cuts. From my perspective Vol 2 was the end of ELP, even before Love Beach. I do like some of the tracks on Vol 2, but I never felt it was actually an album written as a whole, like all the other albums in their catalog. It would have made more sense to call it "Extra Works" rather than 'Vol 2", because it never lived up to that title.

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    Just pulled this out to listen for the first time in a very long time. I know there would have been no way the record company would have allowed it after WBMF... but I think if Works would have been released all at once as a three record set anchored by the piano concerto, Fanfare, and Pirates, I would have more readily accepted the rest. As it was, though, Works V2, while having a few good moments, has nothing extended (as we were used to from ELP) and really nothing of very much substance, IMO. Lots of blues-based stuff, some AmTrad, and ragtime. There is some decent orchestral arranging from Emerson, but it's obscured by the lack of mention (anywhere) of who the orchestral or (in the case of Palmer's Close But Not Touching) big band musicians were.

    As a side note, I was fortunate enough to see them twice within 8 days in June '77: Soldier Field and then Des Moines, which (if I'm not mistaken) was the last show with the orchestra. Des Moines was the better show by far, perhaps in part due to the limitations of the outdoor venue in amplifying the orchestra. In retrospect, I wish I would have chosen only to attend the Des Moines show, as the fact that I'd just traveled to Chicago for ELP (at age 16) meant my folks woldn't let me go again to see the Pink Floyd Animals show a month later. I'd swap those two shows in a heartbeat today!
    David
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  14. #14
    An OK collection of outtakes. There are a few tracks here I like, Apple Blossoms, Bullfrog, BSS, a couple of others. So Far to Fall is cool, but doesn't quite work, feels like it needed a bit more 'honing.' Reminds me of Zeppelin's Coda, not one I spin much either, despite having a few good tracks. I made a compilation on CDR with the best of Works 1 and 2, and that is what I usually spin.

    Bill

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    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Any one of the tracks could have served as the "cute" filler piece we usually got on proper ELP albums. So we were left with a whole album's worth of "Are You Ready Eddie"s. Or as I called it in a previous thread, 12 bonus tracks in search of an album.
    Crappy old album that you wouldn't want to listen to anyway THE HIPCRIME VOCAB available now!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Any one of the tracks could have served as the "cute" filler piece we usually got on proper ELP albums. So we were left with a whole album's worth of "Are You Ready Eddie"s. Or as I called it in a previous thread, 12 bonus tracks in search of an album.
    Sums it up, nicely.

  17. #17
    Two tracks are includes as bonustracks on Brain Salad Surgery.

  18. #18
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    Very underrated. The "Works" that I have on my MP3 player is Vol. 1 without side 2, and all of Vol. 2. Apple Blossoms and Close But Not Touching are a couple of my favorite ELP tracks. Come to think of it, I think I also took Show Me The Way To Go Home off the list, too.
    Last edited by Dave (in MA); 12-01-2020 at 11:47 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jefftiger View Post
    I recall buying it within a day or two of its release and being pretty disappointed. I was not aware that it was going to be a grab-bag of leftovers.
    Yes, this is what I was wondering. There's not much indication on the cover of this that I can see. I guess if you'd kept up with the singles you'd know, but they were more of an albums band.

    I got the whiny 'does it really matter if they were outtakes' from a fanboy on here some years ago. And even if you're not bothered about that, it's also like the first one in that there's a lot of solo material and not that much by them as a group. Most of the tracks are good in themselves, but it doesn't remotely hang together as an album IMHO.

    An outtakes album followed by the ropey Love Beach, and then a thoroughly desultory, badly mixed live album did their legacy a fair bit of damage IMHO.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by happytheman View Post
    After purchasing Works 1 it was fair to assume Vol 2 was coming next.. but like others it turned out to be "leftovers" which makes me wonder it that was the plan all along or was the band planning on sitting down and coming up with a full album of new material..
    Indeed. Do we know if there was some original plan other than what we got?

    I enjoy the album, a ragtag mix though it is.

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    How many ELP-as-a-group songs did they actually record in 1976? 'Fanfare...', 'Pirates', 'So Far To Fall' and 'Show Me...'. Is that it, or am I missing something?

    I'd have probably done an album with those and 'Tiger In A Spotlight' (which was seemingly recorded earlier but hadn't been used on anything). And failing the release of individual solo albums, maybe had the more solo recordings as a 'Volume 2'.

    Quote Originally Posted by proggy_jazzer View Post
    or (in the case of Palmer's Close But Not Touching) big band musicians were.
    This and 'Food For Your Soul' has a co-credit for Harry South so I'm guessing they were from the same sessions. South is probably best known for the theme tune of a UK police series, The Sweeney.
    Last edited by JJ88; 12-01-2020 at 12:14 PM.

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    Absolutely terrible in every sense. I actually prefer Love Beach...
    Prog's Not Dead

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    I collected the BMG double disc re-issues including Works II. I should have stopped after the live album. But never hearing Vol 2 I wanted to give it a shot. It's pretty sad considering what they'd done in the past. And Vol. 1 is a lesser album than I remembered as a teenager.

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    They should have put Palmers concerto for percussion on it and left off some of the other stuff

  25. #25
    It really sounded like what it was, a bunch of leftovers. Anyone who was an ELP fan would've had five of the 12 tracks already, for a couple of years by then. The solo Lake and Palmer tracks were nowhere near as good as their tracks on Works I. The only really top-shelf new tracks were "So Far to Fall" and the Joplin rag.

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