Purple Pyramid Records will be releasing legendary Greg Lake’s live album from the Hammersmith Odeon in London, November 5, 1981, featuring guitar hero Gary Moore on CD & vinyl! The concert recording features ELP and King Crimson classic tracks such as “Lucky Man”, “Karn Evil 9”, “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “In The Court of The Crimson King”, as well as songs from his critically acclaimed first solo album from 1981. As a founding member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Greg Lake has been a major force in music for over 40 years. He has long been considered a legendary voice and musical powerhouse whose impact changed the landscape of rock and roll. Many simply refer to him as “The Voice”.
The Greg Lake Band made its live debut on one of the biggest stages available to it, the annual Reading Festival in England in August 1981. Much of the set was new to the audience – Greg’s first solo album would not be released for another month. But the band received a wild reception regardless, and there were enough old favourites on display to ensure the fans remained happy…including the show opener “Fanfare for the Common Man,” truly one of the most effective showstoppers ever to have opened a concert.
The band’s full tour kicked off in October. Purposefully, Lake demanded smaller venues, the theaters and universities that truly represented a refreshing change from the monster domes he’d visited the last time he hit the road in 1977 with ELP. The string of shows launched in Wales, at Aberystwyth University, then moved onto Cardiff University, Dunstable Queensway Hall, Norwich University, Liverpool Royal Court Theatre, Newcastle Mayfair, Glasgow University, Edinburgh Playhouse, Sheffield Lyceum, University of Kent Canterbury, Birmingham Odeon, Leicester Polytechnic, Bournemouth Winter Gardens, Exeter University, St Austell Cornwall Coliseum, Crawley Leisure Centre and, finally, London’s Hammersmith Odeon.
It was not an extravagant performance – no lasers, no levitating keyboards, no priceless Persian carpets. The myths and legends that surrounded ELP when they toured were all firmly locked away. The Greg Lake Band toured like a band, and on stage they simply took up their positions and played. Brilliantly.
That last date on the tour is where this disc was recorded, in front of 2,000 fans who now had every note of Greg’s new album memorised, and the rest of the set firmly entrenched in their DNA: the snatch of “Karn Evil 9” that eased out of the opening “Fanfare”; “Love You Too Much,” the song Lake co-wrote with Dylan in what remains another of the tantalising collaborations of the age; “Retribution Drive” and “The Lie” from Greg Lake. “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “The Court Of The Crimson King,” from Lake’s stint with King Crimson, wrapped up the evening in positively rhapsodic fashion, and, finally, “C’est La Vie,” from ELP’s Works. (The version of this track included on the CD is taken from a show in New York City 1981).