EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER — Black Moon

Jazz music community with review and forums

EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER - Black Moon cover
3.60 | 6 ratings | 1 review
Buy this album from MMA partners

Album · 1992

Tracklist

A1 Black Moon
A2 Paper Blood
A3 Affairs Of The Heart
A4 Romeo And Juliet
A5 Farewell To Arms
B1 Changing States
B2 Burning Bridges
B3 Close To Home
B4 Better Days
B5 Footprints In The Snow

Line-up/Musicians

Drums – Carl Palmer
Guitar – Greg Lake
Keyboards, Piano, Synthesizer – Keith Emerson

About this release

Victory Music – 828 318-1 (UK)

Recording studios: Marcus Studios and Front Page Recorders

Thanks to snobb for the addition

Buy EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER - BLACK MOON music

More places to buy metal & EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER music

  • CDUniverse - Specializing in the sale of domestic and imported music CDs and Imports

EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER BLACK MOON reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

EntertheLemming
- Emerson v Emerson with Victory Records as the Loser -

I was really surprised at how low people rate this album given that it is probably the strongest ELP studio release since 'Brian Salad Surgery' appeared in 1973.

Given that a reunion was completely unexpected and that our three heroes now found themselves aboard a sinking ship adrift on the choppy high seas of corporate 'rawk'(HMS Victory Records, who went under) they deserve great credit for producing a record as good as this one. Stories abound that Victory originally approached Emerson to compose a soundtrack for a movie and 'suggested' that he get Lake and Palmer on board. The fact that no-one involved can even name the film in question begs some questions. There are many others who view this version of events as apocryphal and would consider more plausible, Emerson's urgent need of huge amounts of cash after a vicious divorce had 'cleaned him out'

Go figure....

Short pieces are the order of the day here, with no extended suites as in days of yore. Some reviewers are convinced that the band were 'under instructions' to write concise, sharp and snappy radio fodder for this but Emerson's version of events is quite different. He has stated that he had 'carte blanche' from the record label to write and record whatever he wanted, irrespective of genre or track length.

OK, this AIN'T 'Trilogy' or 'Tarkus' but neither is it 'Love Beach' or 'In the Hot Seat' either. There is not a bad track on the album and although rather bereft of any obvious ELP instant classics, we have a very fine collection of symphonic prog tunes where a welcome 'modern' economy is evident.

The only real niggles I have are that Carl Palmer appears to have decided that in 1992 there is no place for 'interactive' drumming anymore, so his contributions are no more than a very elaborate 'click track' for Lake and Emerson to keep time. Although this adds considerable weight and power to the rhythm, and is consistent with a desired contemporary feel, much of the previous subtlety and interplay between the trio is lost as a result.

Also, Greg's voice has understandably lost much of its range and tone down the years, but I do miss that unique 'tenor sings rock' texture that only he and say, John Wetton seemed to possess.

BLACK MOON - A real 'grower' this one, as on first hearing I relegated it to 'stadium grunt' due to its use of the 'We Will Rock You' drum beat (are you squirming yet Carl?) but after repeated listens, the overall structure and complexity reveals itself, layer by layer. Check out the closing organ solo over the very inspired 'folky' bridge chord progression. True killer. Why, even fatboy has honed a social conscience for this one with his depiction of the planet ravaged by eco unfriendly nations etc

PAPER BLOOD - a simple 'rocker' but damn fine for all that. Greasy organ open fifths from Emo hammer out the deceptively simple riff over which Lake intones a tale of the futility of the acquisition of wealth (Right on sister! Greg's tits appear to have been firmly in the wringer when they booked the studio?) Rather refreshing 'solo' from Mr E, which consists of some incredible stabbing of an ambiguous 'cluster' chord over the incessant rhythm (You have to hear it)

AFFAIRS OF THE HEART - Greg's first contribution to the album, and a very fine acoustic ballad it is too with Emerson playing a very minimalistic (by his standards) and beautiful accompaniment on ethereal piano and synths. Like so much of his 'background' work on this record, the textures and timbres are exquisite. From memory, a version of this song was recorded by Lake and Geoff Downes?

ROMEO AND JULIET - Prokofiev gets thrust into the ELP blender and comes out screaming. The beat has a real 'Hendrix' vibe and the synth sound used for the main melody is spine-tingling. Emerson has stated in an interview that before arranging this piece for the band he played the original piano score over and over again until he got it down perfectly...then threw the manuscript paper away (Prokofiev might have thrown it back, but who cares?) This track was a particular standout on the subsequent world tour.

FAREWELL TO ARMS - Perhaps the first 'baby clanger' on the album. Quite a decent tune but spoiled by Lake's rather mannered vocal (you know those really irritating instances when he 'speaks' the tagline of a song?) and the feel is not dissimilar to a rather sluggish adaptation of 'Elgar' The closing synth solo almost saves the day however, and there is more than a passing nod in the direction of 'Lucky Man Moog' here.

CHANGING STATES - this is an ELP version of a tune that Emo composed for a solo album (where it was called 'Another Frontier') Not really that different until the slowed down bridge section appears that precedes the ending. I actually prefer the solo album version but the superior organ, bass and drum sounds here make this a real treat. 'Bach' is the obvious inspiration here and Emerson whips up a real storm with his own inimitable appropriation of what the 'fugue' form should sound like.

BURNING BRIDGES - Surprisingly, this was a song written with ELP in mind, by the album's producer Mark Mancina and very fine it is too, replete with a strong melody and memorable chorus to boot. The organ sound and melodic shape employed throughout is redolent of 'Procul Harum' and never fails to summon the hairs on the back of my neck to attention. Exhilarating. (Mr Mancina is now a very successful and prolific composer of movie soundtracks).

CLOSE TO HOME - Emerson's solo piano piece and unfortunately not one of his best. Not a stinker by any stretch of the imagination, but this tune has always struck me as having 'odd' phrasing in the main hook and fails to satisfy despite some masterful playing and an interesting developmental section in the middle. Perhaps 'A Blade of Grass' would have made a better choice. (I think this alternative solo piano track was included as a bonus track on subsequent reissues of the CD?)

BETTER DAYS - Mercy! this is almost funky?, with staccato clavinet and as close as Carl will ever get to approaching an 'urban' vibe on his kit. This type of modernity had been attempted before by ELP, but compared to other (atrocious) efforts on 'In the Hot Seat' and 'Love Beach' it proves they COULD assimilate contemporary developments within the broader context of a progressive style. I am advised that the storyline was inspired by an incident in Emerson's life where he (anonymously) gave a considerable amount of cash to a homeless person in the street.(NOT his ex wife presumably) The ending section to the fade out is magnificent. No pyrotechnics or 200 notes a minute here, just fantastic use of timbre, texture and dynamics to get the job done. Breathtaking (and simple)

FOOT PRINTS IN THE SNOW - Emerson must have loosened the reins to give Greg TWO solo pieces on the one record? Anyway, this is another fine acoustic song with a particularly memorable hook and although very understated, rather surprisingly provides the album with a satisfactory conclusion. (ELP usually started with a hurricane and built up to a climax)

So in summation: This album is NOT even remotely AOR or POP and I am puzzled by the charges of same levelled against it from previous appraisals. Certainly, the tracks are shorter than we have come to expect and there is no overriding 'concept' piece upon which to focus our attention. So what?

I just wish that those anodyne and soulless charlatans like Marillion, IQ, Pallas et al get the chance to hear what their own mutant baby christened 'Neo Progressive' COULD have been if put in the hands of the masters.

Members reviews

No EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER BLACK MOON reviews posted by members yet.

Ratings only

  • MoogHead
  • Fant0mas
  • KK58
  • Vano
  • Lynx33

Write/edit review

You must be logged in to write or edit review

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

L'Impact Du Silence Third Stream
FRANÇOIS BOURASSA
Buy this album from MMA partners
Inheritance Latin Jazz
ALI BELLO
Buy this album from MMA partners
Live at Padova Jazz Related Improv/Composition
LAUROSHILAU
Buy this album from MMA partners
Chaos Magick Eclectic Fusion
JOHN ZORN
Buy this album from MMA partners
What If? Pop/Art Song/Folk
KRISTIN KORB
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Lauroshilau
LAUROSHILAU
js· 17 hours ago
Studio Session: Andy James "Call Me"
ANDY JAMES
js· 2 days ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us