Works Volume 1

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Works, Volume 1
Studio album by Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Released 17 March 1977
Recorded 1976 at Mountain Recording Studios, Montreux, Switzerland and EMI Studios, Paris, France
Genre Progressive rock, symphonic rock
Length 87:23
Label Atlantic
Producer Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Carl Palmer & Peter Sinfield
Emerson, Lake & Palmer chronology
Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends... Ladies and Gentlemen
Works, Volume I
Works, Volume II

Works Volume 1 is the fifth studio album by progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released in 1977. It is a double album (2 LPs, later on 2 CDs) divided into four major sections, one each highlighting each band member, and one for combined works.


The album was highly anticipated, as it had been almost three-and-a-half years since the release of ELP's last studio album, Brain Salad Surgery. However, it was different from the synthesizer-driven music that most fans had expected and received a mixed reaction from fans and press.

Side 1 is the Keith Emerson side, a concerto for piano and orchestra. On the documentary DVD Beyond the Beginning, Greg Lake says that Leonard Bernstein walked into the studio in Paris where this piece was being mixed because Keith wanted Bernstein to listen to it. Bernstein´s reaction was: "It reminds me of Grandma Moses".

Side 2 is the Greg Lake side, and consists of acoustic ballads, all of which were written by Lake and Peter Sinfield.

Side 3, the Carl Palmer side, includes a remake of "Tank" (from ELP's eponymous first album), with orchestral accompaniment and without the drum solo. Another track on Palmer's side is the rocker "L.A. Nights", featuring Eagles guitarist Joe Walsh on lead and slide guitar and scat vocal. Also, two arrangements of outside composers' pieces figure on the Palmer side: one of Johann Sebastian Bach's baroque D Minor Invention No. 4, BWV 775, and a piece titled 'The Enemy God Dances With the Black Spirits', an excerpt of the 2nd movement of "The Scythian Suite" by Sergei Prokofiev (1891–1953), written in 1915.

Side 4 features the entire band, and consists of a modern piece re-arranged for rock band, Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man", and the long-form song "Pirates", which features lyrics added to music Emerson had written, based on the opening minutes of the Samuel Kaylin and R.H. Bassett soundtrack for the "["Think Fast, Mr. MOTO]" soundtrack, for his soundtrack for a cancelled film version of Frederick Forsyth's book The Dogs of War. Aaron Copland found ELP's version of his piece appealing although he was puzzled at the inclusion of a modal solo between two fairly straight renditions of his piece. Both "Fanfare For The Common Man" and "Pirates" feature Keith Emerson's extensive use of the Yamaha GX-1 synthesizer.[1]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[2]
Classic Rock 2/5 stars[3]
Rolling Stone (favorable)[4]

Allmusic's retrospective review was mixed. They particularly criticised the solo sides of Keith Emerson ("on the level of a good music-student piece, without much original language") and Greg Lake (""C'est la Vie," the featured single, says little that "Still...You Turn Me On," from their previous album, didn't say better and shorter"). They offered some praise for the Carl Palmer and group sides, but concluded that the group songs "cover a lot of old ground, albeit in ornate and stylish fashion."[2]

Track listing[edit]

Side one: Keith Emerson
No. Title Length
1. "Piano Concerto No. 1" (Keith Emerson)
  • I. First Movement: Allegro giojoso
  • II. Second Movement: Andante molto cantabile
  • III. Third Movement: Toccata con fuoco)
Side two: Greg Lake
No. Title Length
1. "Lend Your Love to Me Tonight" (Greg Lake, Peter Sinfield) 4:01
2. "C'est la Vie" (Lake, Sinfield) 4:16
3. "Hallowed Be Thy Name" (Lake, Sinfield) 4:35
4. "Nobody Loves You Like I Do" (Lake, Sinfield) 3:56
5. "Closer to Believing" (Lake, Sinfield) 5:33
Side three: Carl Palmer
No. Title Length
1. "The Enemy God Dances with the Black Spirits" (Sergei Prokofiev, arr. Emerson, Lake, Carl Palmer) 3:20
2. "L.A. Nights" (Palmer; features Joe Walsh on guitars and scat vocal and Keith Emerson on keyboards) 5:42
3. "New Orleans" (Palmer) 2:45
4. "Two Part Invention in D Minor" (J. S. Bach, arr. Palmer) 1:54
5. "Food for Your Soul" (Palmer) 3:57
6. "Tank" (Emerson, Palmer) 5:08
Side four: Emerson, Lake and Palmer
No. Title Length
1. "Fanfare for the Common Man" (Aaron Copland, arr. Emerson, Lake, Palmer) 9:40
2. "Pirates" (Emerson, Lake, Sinfield) 13:18
Bonus Tracks (2004, Sanctuary release)
No. Title Length
1. "Tank (Live in Indiana, 24 January 1978)"   9:49
2. "The Enemy God Dances with the Black Spirits (Live in Indiana, 24 January 1978)"   3:13
3. "Nutrocker (Live in Indiana, 24 January 1978)" (Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Kim Fowley) 4:18


  • Fanfare for the Common Man / Brain Salad Surgery
  • C'est la Vie / Hallowed Be Thy Name

Cover versions[edit]

"C'est la Vie" was covered in 1978 in French language by French rock singer Johnny Hallyday, with lyrics "Tant pis... C'est la Vie", and it is possibly the inspiration for a song released in 1995 in Serbian language by pop-folk group Divlji kesten with lyrics "Svrati ponekad".


  1. ^ Aaron Copland, "Interview With Aaron Copland 1997". Emerson Lake & Palmer, From The Beginning (box set, 5 CDs, 1 DVD), 2007 Sanctuary Records Group, Ltd.
  2. ^ a b Eder, Bruce. "Works Vol. 1 – Emerson, Lake & Palmer". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Fielder, Hugh (February 2005). "Eight by Three". Classic Rock 76. London, UK: Future Publishing Ltd. p. 104. 
  4. ^ Walters, Charley (2 June 1977). "Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Works, Vol. 1 : Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 10 November 2007. Retrieved 3 September 2012.