The Sprocket Sessions

Emerson, Lake & Powell

Emerson, Lake and Powell were a noble attempt to replicate the 70s grandeur and pomp of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Despite the coincidental “P” to maintain the logo, its timing was ill advised. Anchored by Cozy Powell’s heavier bottom end, the group couldn’t successively assimilate themselves with the new wave and heavy metal acts of 1986. Whether they could have potentially built on the legacy if they had chosen to carry on will forever be a mystery. As it was, ELPowell was a one-trick pony with a self-titled album and a moderately received single called “Touch And Go.” The Sprocket Sessions is over 75 minutes of rehearsals for the group’s one and only tour, mixing songs from their debut with older Emerson, Lake and Palmer “hits.” If you’re a die-hard ELP fanatic, there’s plenty here to appreciate and absorb. The three lock in solidly for their own “The Score,” “Learning To Fly” and “The Miracle” before stepping back and taking aim at classics like “Tarkus,” Lucky Man” and “Pirates.” Powell’s rapid-fire percussion gives the sessions an urgent and energetic pace. Perhaps this is why Emerson and Lake are both in such fine form, far hungrier and aggressive than they would be for the 90s reunion with Palmer. Oh well, it was nice while it lasted.

~ Shawn Perry

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