Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends ~ Ladies and Gentlemen

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Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends ~ Ladies and Gentlemen
ELP Welcome Back My Friends.jpg
Live album by
Released19 August 1974
RecordedFebruary 1974 at the Anaheim Convention Centre, Anaheim, California
GenreProgressive rock
Length109:41
LabelManticore
ProducerGreg Lake
Emerson, Lake & Palmer chronology
Brain Salad Surgery
(1973)
Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends ~ Ladies and Gentlemen
(1974)
Works Volume 1
(1977)

Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends ~ Ladies and Gentlemen is the second live album by the English progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released as a triple album in August 1974 on Manticore Records. It was recorded in February 1974 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California during the group's 1973–74 world tour in support of their fourth studio album, Brain Salad Surgery (1973).

The album was a commercial success, reaching number 4 on the Billboard 200, the band's highest charting album in the US.[1] In the UK, the album peaked at number 6. The album is certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for 500,000 copies sold in the US. Following its release, Emerson, Lake & Palmer took an extended break from writing and recording.

Recording[edit]

The album was recorded in February 1974 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California during the group's 1973–74 world tour in support of their fourth studio album, Brain Salad Surgery (1973). Its title comes from the introduction to the show spoken by the show's Master of Ceremonies (Pete Murray, the UK disc jockey) and the opening line of "Karn Evil 9: First Impression, Part 2".

To record the album, staff and equipment were brought in from Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles, including a 24-track mobile recording unit and a 40-input console. Peter Granet, one of the engineers, called it "the finest recording experience I've ever had".[2] The band used a Quadrophonic PA system on the tour, allowing a Quadrophonic mix of the album to be released on three 8-track cartridges. A four-channel sound LP, known as Quadradisc, was planned for release but it was scrapped due to engineering issues with master recording which prevented JVC, the manufacturer, from cutting a stable master to meet the format's specifications.

Most of the recordings on the album were first used for broadcast on the American rock music radio show, The King Biscuit Flower Hour. In 1999, the radio recordings were released on CD.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3/5 stars[3]
Sea of Tranquility5/5 stars[4]

AllMusic gave the album a mixed retrospective review, saying that it "makes one realise how accomplished these musicians were, and how well they worked together when the going was good." They praised the set for including all but one song from Brain Salad Surgery, and particularly commended the performance of "Karn Evil 9" as being far superior to the studio rendition. However, they noted that unlike most live albums of the era, Welcome Back did not incorporate studio overdubs, limiting the band's ability to recreate moments from their albums and resulting in poor sound quality: "Even the most recent remastered editions could not fix the feedback, the occasionally leakages, the echo, the seeming distance – the listener often gets the impression of being seated in the upper mezzanine of an arena."[3]

Track listing[edit]

Vinyl[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."Hoedown"Aaron Copland; arranged by Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer4:27
2."Jerusalem"Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, William Blake; arr. Emerson, Lake, and Palmer3:20
3."Toccata" (an adaptation of Ginastera's 1st piano concerto, 4th movement)Alberto Ginastera; arr. Emerson7:21
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
4."Tarkus"
  • 1. "Eruption"
  • 2. "Stones of Years"
  • 3. "Iconoclast"
  • 4. "Mass"
  • 5. "Manticore"
  • 6. "Battlefield" / "Epitaph"
Emerson, Lake
  • Emerson
  • Emerson, Lake
  • Emerson
  • Emerson, Lake
  • Emerson
  • Lake
  • Emerson / Lake, Robert Fripp, Ian McDonald, Michael Giles, Peter Sinfield
  • 16:42
    Side three
    No.TitleWriter(s)Length
    5."Tarkus (Conclusion)"
    • 7. "Aquatarkus"
    Emerson
  • Emerson
  • 10:42
  • 10:42
  • 6."Take a Pebble" (including "Still...You Turn Me On" / "Lucky Man")Lake11:06
    Side four
    No.TitleWriter(s)Length
    7."Piano Improvisations" (including Friedrich Gulda's "Fugue" and Joe Sullivan's "Little Rock Getaway")Emerson11:54
    8."Take a Pebble (Conclusion)"Lake3:14
    9."Jeremy Bender" / "The Sheriff"Emerson, Lake5:26
    Side five
    No.TitleWriter(s)Length
    10."Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression" (including "Percussion Solo (Con Brio)")Emerson, Lake, Palmer17:26
    Side six
    No.TitleWriter(s)Length
    11."Karn Evil 9: 2nd Impression"Emerson7:36
    12."Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression"Emerson, Lake, Sinfield10:17
    Total length:109:41

    CD reissue[edit]

    Personnel[edit]

    Emerson, Lake & Palmer
    Production
    • Greg Lake – producer
    • Andy Hendriksen – engineer
    • Peter Granet – engineer
    • Michael Ross – package concept and design
    • Carl Dun – photography

    Certifications[edit]

    Organization Level Date
    RIAA – US Gold 19 September 1974

    References[edit]

    1. ^ "Billboard Hot 200 via AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 15 February 2012.
    2. ^ "Circus Raves". Circus. August 1974. Retrieved 8 October 2016.
    3. ^ a b Bruce Eder, François Couture & (2011). "Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends: Ladies & Gentlemen, Emerson Lake & – Emerson, Lake & Palmer | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
    4. ^ Pardo, Pete. "Emerson Lake & Palmer: Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends-Ladies and Gentleman (remastered)". Sea of Tranquility. Retrieved 3 December 2018.