Purple Pyramid Records is releasing London '81, a live album featuring King Crimson and ELP vocalist and bassist Greg Lake. Taken from a show at Hammersmith Odeon in London on November 5, 1981, guitar great Gary Moore joined Lake and his band for Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson tracks like “Lucky Man,” “Karn Evil 9,” “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “In The Court of The Crimson King,” as well as songs from his self-titled debut album from 1981.
The Greg Lake Band made its live debut at the annual Reading Festival in England in August 1981. Much of the set was new to the audience – Greg's first solo album would not be released for another month. But the band received a wild reception regardless, and there were enough old favorites on display to ensure the fans remained happy…including the show opener “Fanfare for the Common Man,” truly one of the most effective showstoppers ever to have opened a concert.
The band's full tour kicked off in October. Purposefully, Lake demanded smaller venues, the theaters and universities that truly represented a refreshing change from the monster domes he'd visited the last time he hit the road in 1977 with ELP. The string of shows launched in Wales, at Aberystwyth University, then moved onto Cardiff University, Dunstable Queensway Hall, Norwich University, Liverpool Royal Court Theatre, Newcastle Mayfair, Glasgow University, Edinburgh Playhouse, Sheffield Lyceum, University of Kent Canterbury, Birmingham Odeon, Leicester Polytechnic, Bournemouth Winter Gardens, Exeter University, St Austell Cornwall Coliseum, Crawley Leisure Centre and, finally, London's Hammersmith Odeon.
There were no lasers, no levitating keyboards, no priceless Persian carpets. The myths and legends that surrounded ELP when they toured were all firmly locked away. The Greg Lake Band toured like a band, and on stage they simply took up their positions and played.
That last date on the tour is where this disc was recorded, in front of 2,000 fans. There's a snatch of “Karn Evil 9” that eases out of the opening “Fanfare”; “Love You Too Much,” the song Lake co-wrote with Bob Dylan in what remains another of the tantalizing collaborations of the age;
“Retribution Drive” and “The Lie” from Greg Lake. “21st Century Schizoid Man” and “The Court Of The Crimson King,” from Lake’s stint with King Crimson, wrapped up the evening in positively rhapsodic fashion, and, finally, “C'est La Vie,” from ELP's Works. (The version of this track included on the CD is taken from a show in New York City 1981)
Medley: Fanfare For The Common Man / Karn Evil 9
You Really Got A Hold On Me
Love You Too Much
21st Century Schizoid Man
In The Court Of The Crimson King
Bonus Track: C'est La Vie (Live in NYC 1981)
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Greg Lake's official website: www.greglake.com