Emerson, Lake & Powell

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Emerson, Lake & Powell
Emerson Lake and Powell.jpg
Emerson, Lake & Powell, 1986. L-R: Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Cozy Powell.
Background information
OriginLondon, England, United Kingdom
GenresProgressive rock
Years active1985–1986
LabelsPolydor, Manticore
Associated actsEmerson, Lake & Palmer
Past membersKeith Emerson
Greg Lake
Cozy Powell

Emerson, Lake & Powell, sometimes abbreviated as ELPowell or ELP2, were an English progressive rock band, an offshoot or variant lineup of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, that released one official studio album in 1986.[1] The album's debut single was "Touch and Go" which peaked at number 60 on the Billboard charts on July 19, 1986.[2]

Keith Emerson and Greg Lake had planned to re-form the original ELP in 1985 but drummer Carl Palmer was unavailable because of contractual obligations to Asia. After auditioning a series of drummers unwilling to commit to the band, they approached Cozy Powell, a longtime friend of Emerson's, to replace him. The band have always insisted that it was a coincidence that his surname also happened to start with a P, thus allowing the band to retain its original initials, although they also joked about looking for a "Gene Prupa" and having approached "Phil Pollins" and "Ringo Parr" before Powell agreed to join. Shortly into recording, Emerson's barn studio was destroyed by a runaway tractor, requiring some parts of the album to be rerecorded, leading him to joke, "Perhaps we should have called it 'Emerson, Lake & Plow!'"[3]

The band's self-titled studio album was a return to the familiar ELP style, with long progressive rock suites, mellow ballads and a classical theme ("Mars, the Bringer of War" by Gustav Holst, a piece previously performed by Lake during his tenure in King Crimson). One song, "The Score", even references the lyric "Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends" from ELP's "Karn Evil 9: First Impression" (on the album Brain Salad Surgery). Initially, when the record company suggested that the group perform "Mars," Emerson refused, saying it would be like ELP Plays the Classics or Richard Clayderman Plays 'Clair de Lune'.[4] After Powell showed him a video of one of his former bands playing the number, however, Emerson agreed to try it.

In live performance the band also performed classic ELP and Nice material.


The band's live tour was marred by a dispute which led to the band firing its management, and "ELPowell" disbanded without recording a second album. Emerson rejoined Palmer and with Robert Berry formed the band 3 in 1988, before the original ELP lineup reformed for 1992's album Black Moon, which bears some stylistic similarities to the Emerson, Lake & Powell album.

Some Emerson, Lake & Powell studio rehearsals and live recordings found their way onto bootlegs in the 1990s. The material was subsequently remastered and given an official release on two 2003 CDs, available via the ELP website.

All three members of the group have since died. Cozy Powell died at age 50 on 5 April 1998, following a car crash.[5] Keith Emerson died at age 71 on 11 March 2016, from a gunshot to the head ruled as suicide.[6] Greg Lake died of cancer at age 69 on 7 December 2016.[7]

Band members[edit]

Final line-up
  • Keith Emerson – keyboards (1985-1986; died 2016)
  • Greg Lake – bass, guitar, vocals, production (1985-1986; died 2016)
  • Cozy Powell – drums, percussion (1985-1986; died 1998)


Studio albums
Compilation albums
  • The Sprocket Sessions (2003)
  • "Touch and Go" (1986)


  1. ^ "Emerson, Lake & Powell Biography". Billboard.
  2. ^ "Emerson, Lake & Powell Chart History". Billboard.
  3. ^ Keyboard, July 1986, 12 (7): 39.
  4. ^ Keyboard, 12 (7): 44
  5. ^ "Cozy Powell, 50, Drummer in Rock Bands". The New York Times. 15 April 1998.
  6. ^ Grinberg, Emanuella (12 March 2016). "Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer Dead at 71". CNN.com. CNN. Archived from the original on 8 April 2016. Retrieved 12 December 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ Grimes, William (8 December 2016). "Greg Lake, of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Dies at 69".

External links[edit]