Works Volume 1

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Works Volume 1
ELP Works Volume 1.jpg
Studio album by Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Released 17 March 1977
Recorded 1976
Studio Mountain Studios
(Montreux, Switzerland)
EMI Studios
Paris, France
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 1
Works Volume 2
Singles from
Works Volume II
  1. "Fanfare for the Common Man"
    Released: 1977
  2. "C'est la Vie"
    Released: 1977

Works Volume 1, is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released as a double album in March 1977 on Atlantic Records. Following their successful 1974 world tour, the group took a break from recording and touring. They relocated to Montreux, Switzerland and Paris, France to record a new album. Each member was allocated one side of a record to write and arrange their own tracks which were performed by the group. The fourth side features songs written by the entire group. Emerson wrote his Piano Concerto No. 1, Lake wrote several songs with Peter Sinfield, and Palmer picked tracks of varied styles.


The album was the band's first in three-and-a-half years, following the release of Brain Salad Surgery in 1973. However, Works Volume 1 was far different from the synthesiser-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. Emerson was accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by John Mayer. 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 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. "Pirates" was recorded in three separate studios and featured the Orchestra of the National Opera of Paris, conducted by Godfrey Salmon. According to Sinfeld, the band had wanted Leonard Bernstein to conduct "Pirates". Bernstein walked out after hearing the music, describing it as "primitive".[1] Both "Fanfare for the Common Man" and "Pirates" feature Keith Emerson's extensive use of the Yamaha GX-1 synthesizer.[2]


Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[3]
Classic Rock2/5 stars[4]
Rolling Stone(favorable)[5]

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."[3]

Track listing[edit]

Side one: Keith Emerson
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
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
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/Harry South)3:57
6."Tank" (Emerson, Palmer)5:08
Side four: Emerson, Lake & Palmer
1."Fanfare for the Common Man" (Aaron Copland, arr. Emerson, Lake, Palmer)9:40
2."Pirates" (Emerson, Lake, Sinfield)13:18
2004 reissue bonus tracks
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 (Edited version)/Brain Salad Surgery"
  • "C'est la Vie/Hallowed Be Thy Name" (France)
  • "C'est la Vie/Jeremy Bender" (UK and US)


  1. ^ Will Romano (2014). Prog Rock FAQ: All That's Left to Know About Rock's Most Progressive Music. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 1617136204.
  2. ^ Aaron Copland, "Interview With Aaron Copland 1997". Emerson Lake & Palmer, From The Beginning (box set, 5 CDs, 1 DVD), 2007 Sanctuary Records Group, Ltd.
  3. ^ a b Eder, Bruce. "Works Vol. 1 – Emerson, Lake & Palmer". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  4. ^ Fielder, Hugh (February 2005). "Eight by Three". Classic Rock. 76. London, UK: Future Publishing Ltd. p. 104. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  5. ^ 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.