Nearly nine years ago, Eagle Rock Entertainment struck a deal with Montreux Sounds that since that time has led to the release of innumerable concerts from the famed festival’s decades-long history. That number includes performances from acts across the musical spectrum and years. One of the earliest of those releases came on November 16th, 2004 in the form of Emerson, Lake & Palmers (ELP as the band is also known) performance at the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival. It was released on DVD. Six years after its release, the concert was re-issued on Blu-ray by Eagle Rock Entertainment. Now almost eleven years after the release of that first DVD, Eagle Rock Entertainment has finally finished it off with the release of the concert in question on a double-disc CD set. The very fact that the concert has finally been released in an audio-only presentation is the central reason that it proves to be one that any ELP fan will appreciate. That will be discussed at more length shortly. The show’s set list is another reason that ELP fans everywhere will appreciate this new release/re-issue. It features some of the band’s biggest hits to date over the course of thirteen tracks and roughly hour and a half run time. Last but hardly least of note to this recording’s positives is its liner notes. The recording’s liner notes were penned by the members of the band themselves versus by an outsider. This adds a certain extra enjoyment to the recording as it gives the band members’ own thoughts as opposed to personal thoughts and suppositions from any outside sources. That final element set against the show’s set list (and the band’s performance by connection), and the recording’s platform makes it one welcome piece for any ELP fan’s collection regardless of whether or not he or she already owns the performance in either of its previous releases. All three elements together also show once again why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.
Earlier this month, Eagle Rock Entertainment released ELP’s classic 1997 performance at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival. The performance, released on a double-disc CD platform, marks the third time that performance has seen the light of day. It was originally released on DVD almost eleven years ago by Eagle Rock Entertainment. Its second release, roughly five years ago, was on Blu-ray also via Eagle Rock Entertainment. Now, with its release earlier this month on 2 CD set Eagle Rock Entertainment it would seem that Eagle Rock has finally completed releasing the concert on each of its platforms. To the untrained eye (and ear) this is not very significant. However the reality is far different. Ever since Eagle Rock and Montreux Sounds first partnered to release the innumerable performances from the famed festival Eagle Rock has gone on to make a habit of releasing each recording on its multiple formats at once instead of making audiences wait. That is a big change in comparison to the company’s earliest recordings, this recording included. While it likely is not the last of the companies’ earlier recordings that have needed to be finished off, it is nice to know that both companies have strived to keep from making audiences wait since then. It’s just one way in which this new release/re-issue shows itself to be such a welcome recording for ELP’s fans and one more example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings. The show’s set list and the band’s performance of said set list is just as important to its overall enjoyment and success as its audio-only presentation.
The set list featured in this presentation of ELP’s ’97 Montreux show and the band’s performance thereof are just as important to the presentation’s enjoyment and success as its presentation. The central reason for this is that the set list is the same as in the concert’s previous pair of releases going all the way back to its original DVD release in 2004. This is so important because despite what some might believe there are some companies out there that will and do present the same concert with set lists that vary from one platform to the other. It’s sad but true. The variances commonly appear in the set lists’ orders. In other cases, songs have in fact been known to be deleted depending on the platform and recording. Luckily that hasn’t happened here nor has the set list’s order been altered. The band’s performance of the show’s songs is just as important as the set list itself. From beginning to end of the show’s roughly ninety-minute run time the band gives its all, keeping listeners engaged and entertained. This is the case even in the show’s longer pieces, one of which runs just short of the twenty-minute mark. The band keeps listeners so entertained that they will not even realize that so much time has passed by the show’s end. It is yet another reason that this latest release of ELP’s classic Montreux show proves to be as enjoyable as the concert’s previous releases. In simpler terms, it proves even more through its set list and the band’s performance of said set list to be one more welcome piece for any ELP fan.
ELP’s newly re-issued ’97 Montreux show proves through its very presentation on double-disc DC set to be a welcome addition to any ELP fan’s personal collection. This is regardless of whether or not fans already own the concert in its previous DVD and Blu-ray presentations. The fact that the set list from the concert’s original presentation has been held in tact here makes it all the more impressive. The band’s performance of said songs adds a whole extra level of enjoyment to this recording for ELP’s fans. While all of the recording’s noted elements do plenty to make it enjoyable for ELP fans of all ages, they are not the only factors that make it such a worthwhile addition to any ELP fan’s collection. The liner notes included in the recording’s companion booklet add even more reason for the band’s fans. That is because all three of the band’s members share their own thoughts on the group’s performance at the festival as well as on its founder Claud Nobs and the town of Montreux. The trio’s sentiments in regards to Nobs are deeply moving in their respect for him. All three men also paint a picture of the town of Montreux as something right out of a classical work of art. All of the descriptions are of a town that during most of the year is a sleepy little hollow that is a dream come true for anyone wanting an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. But during the annual festival time things really ramp up. It’s such an interesting juxtaposition to see in one’s own mind. On a separate but related note, writer Michael Heatley notes ahead of the band members’ own thoughts a brief but concise history of the band’s rise to fame and eventual inclusion at the Montreux Festival. Audiences that might not be so familiar with the band’s history will be interested to learn that ELP actually got its start at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. Ironically enough, Eagle Rock Entertainment just recently released what would be the last major concert by Rory Gallagher and his band mates in Taste at that same festival on Blu-ray and DVD. Even more interesting is that where ELP got its start would be the last major mark for one Jimi Hendrix before his untimely death only weeks later. It’s an interesting six degrees of separation to consider that makes this addition to the recording’s liner notes that much more important to the whole of its presentation. One can’t help but stop in considering this to think for a moment: the very festival and year where ELP got its start (according to Heatley) is the same festival that essentially was the last blast for two other acts’ careers. Together with the concert’s presentation here in a double-disc CD platform and the show’s set alongside the band’s performance of said set, the whole of these elements completes the recording and shows once and for all why any ELP fan will want to have this potentially final installment from the band’s ’97 Montreux show in his or her own home music library.
ELP’s newly released double-disc CD presentation of its performance at the 1997 Montreux Jazz Festival is more than likely the final installment of said performance from the legendary progressive rock band. That is because the concert has already been released both on DVD and Blu-ray previously in separate years. That being the case, the CD set’s release this summer in itself is reason enough for the band’s fans to add it to their own home music libraries. This applies both to those with the concert’s previous releases and those without. The fact that the set list was kept intact in its presentation makes the recording even more enjoyable. Add in an equally solid performance from the band from start to finish and some rather insightful liner notes in the recording’s companion booklet and ELP fans get one more presentation of its 1997 Montreux show that each will agree is a completely welcome addition to their own personal music library. Fans will be happy to know considering all of this that Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Live at Montreux 1997 is available no in stores and online in its new double-disc CD presentation. More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:
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