[Review] Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Works Volume 2 (1977)

Beats and pisses all glommed together into a pretty globe.

Kronomyth 8.0: Prog inkarnate.

After nearly being sucked in by the gravity of the first Works, Captain Mebyl narrowly averts slamming into the second: an uneven, floating mass of space junk stuck together. Masquerading as a planet, Works Volume 2 is really an asteroid. Bits of the Karn system congealed into a single, substantial sphere: brain salad and apple blossom (km 5.0), ghosts of christmas (last seen in the vicinity of km 6.0), satellites from the neighboring constellation of Keith Emerson and undiscovered chunks of rock from the original ELP system.

Yet far from being a garbage planet, Works Volume 2 turned out to be a land of interesting, little discoveries. As before, the source can sometimes be distilled to a single element (“Watching Over You,” “Bullfrog,” “Maple Leaf Rag”) and sometimes to a trilogy of them (“So Far to Fall,” “Tiger in a Spotlight”). Collectors in the Karn system saved themselves a good deal of spelunkering when these artifacts were unearthed. Of course, it isn’t the first place to visit, but considering that the air gets a little thin after this point, you might find Works Volume 2 more lush and habitable than the later, “legitimate” destination of Love Beach.

Original elpee version

A1. Tiger in a Spotlight (Keith Emerson/Greg Lake/Carl Palmer/Peter Sinfield) (4:32)
A2. When the Apple Blossoms Bloom in the Windmills of Your Mind I’ll Be Your Valentine (Keith Emerson/Greg Lake/Carl Palmer) (3:56)
A3. Bullfrog (Carl Palmer/Ron Aspery/Mick Hogdkinson, arr. by Carl Palmer) (3:49)
A4. Brain Salad Surgery (Keith Emerson/Greg Lake/Carl Palmer) (3:07)
A5. Barrelhouse Shake-Down (Keith Emerson) (3:47)
A6. Watching Over You (Greg Lake/Peter Sinfield) (3:54)
B1. So Far to Fall (Keith Emerson/Greg Lake/Carl Palmer) (4:55)
B2. Maple Leaf Rag (Scott Joplin, arr. by Keith Emerson) (2:00)
B3. I Believe in Father Christmas (Greg Lake/Peter Sinfeld) (3:17)
B4. Close But Not Touching (Carl Palmer/Harry South) (3:18)
B5. Honky Tonk Train Blues (Meade “Lux” Lewis) (3:09)
B6. Show Me the Way to Go Home (Irving King, arr. by Keith Emerson) (3:30)

2001 CD reissue bonus tracks
13. Tiger in a Spotlight (live)
14. Watching Over You (live)
15. Show Me the Way to Go Home (live)

The Players

Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, Carl Palmer with Alan Cohen (orchestrations), Tony Harris (orchestration on B1) and Godfrey Salmon (orchestration on B6). Produced by Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, CVarl Palmer, Peter Sinfield.

The Pictures

Photography by Mike Putland/Retna.

The Plastic

Released on elpee and cassette on November 10, 1977 in the UK (Atlantic, K50422), the US (Atlantic, SD/CS 19147), Australia (Atlantic, SD/M5A 19147), Canada (Atlantic, KSD 19147), Germany (Ariola, 25553XOT), Japan (Atlantic, P-10438A) and Mexico (Atlantic, GWEA5283). Reached #20 on the UK charts and #37 on the US charts (RIAA-certified gold record).

  1. Re-issued on elpee in 1980 in Japan (Warner/Pioneer, P-6403A).
  2. Re-issued on compact disc in 1993 in the US (Victory, VC2 0025), Germany (Victory, 828473) and Japan (Victory, VICP-23106).
  3. Re-released on remastered compact disc in 1996 in the UK (Essential, ESMCD 361) and on may 21, 1996 in the US (Rhino, R2 72230).
  4. Re-released on expanded compact disc in 2001 in the UK (Castle, CMRCD225) with 3 bonus tracks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *