Album review: CARL PALMER – Do Ya Wanna Play Carl? The Carl Palmer Anthology

Carl Palmer - Anthology

Wienerworld [Released 24.03.14]

This two disc set is a compilation of drummer Carl Palmer’s work (a different version and tracklist was released on the Sanctuary label back in 2001) and it covers his more well known bands like ELP and Asia, through to some lesser known appearances like on the 60’s pop of ‘I Must Be Mad’ by Craig.

All the songs on here feature Carl Palmer’s drumming and percussion skill often in extended drum work outs like on the Asia classic ‘Wildest Dreams’ or ELP’s ‘Fanfare For The Common Man’.

It’s good to see the band 3 (basically ELP with Robert Berry replacing Greg Lake) represented with two songs, albeit one is a Byrds cover ‘Eight Miles High’ and perhaps not that band’s finest moment. However the epic ‘Desda Le Vida’ is on here and that again shows off Carl Palmer’s drumming skills.

The epic ‘Concerto for Percussion’ composed with Joseph Horowitz kicks off the first disc in style coming across as a mix of Tangerine Dream and the Enid mixed with classical arrangements. I had never heard this before and it really is a treat for fans of Carl Palmer’s work and those who like prog rock with a classical leaning.

There are a few live tracks too from his solo shows including more ELP workouts on ‘Hoedown’ (although I think this is the short lived supergroup Quango’s version) and ‘Pictures At An Exhibition’.

Good introduction to the various bands and solo works Carl Palmer has been involved in.  ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie


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