Emerson, Lake & Palmer
Many consider the British trio of Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer the first progressive rock supergroup. Emerson had been at the core of The Nice, while Lake left King Crimson after their first album to join the new group. The two approached Mitch Mitchell, the drummer for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, but it didn’t work out. Carl Palmer was drumming for Atomic Rooster and was eventually lured across to round out the acronym ELP. The first, self-titled album showed Emerson’s virtuoso keyboard abilities, Lake’s powerful voice, and the thunder of Palmer’s percussion. It was fresh, inventive and intense music that caught the wave of the burgeoning ‘progressive’ scene in the UK.
The first five Emerson Lake and Palmer albums are part of the core Prog curriculum, though many fans also love the sprawling double album Works, with its surprise hit single, “Fanfare For The Common Man” (Aaron Copeland, arr. ELP). The trio were always dynamic in concert, as demonstrated by a number of excellent archival releases.