Monday, June 12, 2017
This is a special gift to Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) fans around the world: the Laserdisc extended version (90 minutes!) of the legendary “Pictures at an Exhibition” show, at the Lyceum Theatre, London, December 9th, 1970. Plus a Bonus!
The 90-minute show version is still unavailable on DVD and Blu-Ray and it seems things are going to keep that way. It was officially released only on Laserdisc in 1990, and in this one you will get such edition captured to DVD discs in top quality.
Disc 1 — 90 minutes LD version (1990) [Side 1, CLV*]
02-Take a Pebble [including Lake's "Ballad of Blue", Emerson's "High Level Fugue" (from The Nice's "Five Bridges Suite"), a pre-"Eruption" (Tarkus) and "Tank"]
03-Pictures at an Exhibition
b) The Gnome
d) The Sage
e) The Old Castle
f) Blues Variation
Disc 2 — 90 minutes LD version (1990) [Side 2, CLV]
03-Pictures at an Exhibition (Conclusion)
h) The Hut of Baba Yaga
i) The Curse of Baba Yaga
j) The Hut of Baba Yaga
k) The Great Gates of Kiev
05-Rondo (not credited on Laserdisc back cover)
A word on the ELP 12-09-1970 show at the Lyceum Theatre.
This is the ELP from the beginning. The first show from the group ever was in August 23th, 1970 at Plymouth Guildhall (six days before their show at the gigantic Isle of Wight Festival). So the Lyceum show was from a time the group had been playing live only for about 3 months. Their first album was released on 11-20-1970 in the UK and on 01-13-1971 in the USA, so by the time they did the Lyceum show the album was a fresh new release, still unavailable in the US.
The Lyceum Theatre is a 2,000-seat West End theatre (opened in 14th July, 1834) located in the City of Westminster, on Wellington Street, just off the Strand. In such a place and occasion, one can see an ELP completely apart from the supergroup stigma created by the idiotic critics. They were simply playing there to a small audience, in a kind of intimate show to their standards.
Pay attention to the audience, which is very interesting in itself. Many times you can see it soundless, some people even eyes closed, contemplating the band playing.
Moreover, the band mood is excellent. They seem to be good pals and the magic they can do together is still news even to them. More than once, you see a member watching the other play with an interest comparable to the audience's. One can understand why: the musical technique of Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer has made ELP a legend, and already then their live playing could be as flawless as a studio album (Emerson piano solo in "The Barbarian" is a good proof of that)! Just watch it!
Pioneer CLD-S104 (Laserdisc player)
Philips DVDR-3350H/55 (DVD set-top recorder, in HQ mode, approx. 60 minutes capacity in single layer media)
Laserdisc Audio configuration used: