DVD review: ELP – Special Edition (Pictures At An Exhibition, Isle Of Wight Festival 1970, Live At Montreux 1997)

ELP - Special Edition

Eagle Vision [Release date 14.10.13]

If you like Emerson, Lake & Palmer  (ELP) then you are gonna love this new three DVD box set, comprising of “Pictures At An Exhibition”, “The Birth Of A Band- Isle of Wight Festival 1970” and “Live At Montreux 1997”.

Originally formed in 1970, the band was one of the first supergroups and with their brand of progressive rock went on to sell over 45 million albums.

“Pictures At An Exhibition” captures the band live at London’s Lyceum Theatre in December 1970 and features some of those early 70’s live special effects that gave birth to the massive live spectacles we now witness some 40 odd years later.

The set list includes the likes of “The Sage”, “Knife Edge”, “Take a Pebble” and “Rondo”. However, it’s the bonus feature that steals the show here, a live appearance and interview from 1971 on Belgium’s “Pop Shop” TV show.  We are also treated to the original trailer for the 1971 film.

Sticking with 1970, the second DVD “The Birth Of A Band” finds the band live at the inaugural Isle of Wight Festival in August of that year. Everyone involved, from a performer’s perspective, will tell you it was not very well organised- yet the festival had a massive audience and it was this that catapulted Emerson, Lake and Palmer into the big time.

The band admits that this was great exposure, the day before the festival they were relatively unknown- the end of the day after? Known around the world. The live footage on “Birth of a Band” shows how well the band went down on the day.

This documentary features interviews with the band members, as well as then manager John Gaydon. As you would expect from the title, it covers the story of the band. Oh, and before we move on, yes- they are real cannons used in the band’s live show.

Fast forward a quarter of a century and we get to the final DVD of the trilogy “Live at Montreux 1997”. Time has been kind to the band and they still sound great.

The 85 minute show features all the songs you would expect and particular highlights amongst the 14 tracks on offer include “Tiger In The Spotlight”, “Touch and Go”, “Knife Edge” and “Lucky Man”.

With the band appearing to be back on a hiatus, or possible retired, fans will enjoy the chance to look back over these highlights of ELP’s stellar career.  ***1/2

Review by Nikk Gunns


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Power Plays w/c 6 November


SALVATION JAYNE Juno (indie)
STRAWBS The Nails Of The Hands Of Christ (Esoteric Antenna)
7 MILES TO PITTSBURGH Same Sized Soul (indie)
ELECTRIC DUCKS Something In Your Eyes (Store For Music)


Featured Albums w/c 6 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 KEE OF HEARTS Kee Of Hearts (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 VANDENBERG’S MOONKINGS Mk II (Mascot)
14:00-16:00 SAMANTHA FISH Belle Of The West (Ruf Records)



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