I confess to hovering over this one a while, ahead of taking a bullet for the team. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Or rather, I was, and therein lies the problem.
It was nigh half a century ago that I made my first purchase of an LP record; that was none other than Pictures at an Exhibition, and boy oh boy, was I keen on the energetic bombast. It wasn’t then long before four of my first ten vinyl records were by ELP — I snapped up the eponymous debut and, then, on their release, Tarkus and Trilogy. I lapped up every inky page I could about them, relishing in my membership of an elite. Those Yes acolytes could take a jump, Emmo was king and that was that. And Lake, well, he was in the band, so, clearly, he was the tops too. How could 100,000 spotty boys be wrong? As for John Peel, custodian of the nation’s counter culture tastes: “a waste of electricity”, huh, what did he know? I even went to see them, cramming into the dismal aircraft hangar of Earls Court in London with innumerable facsimiles of myself, enduring the dire acoustics and excessive volume, telling myself, and anyone else in earshot, just how good was this.