After Greg Lake’s passing last week, I decided to pick up another Emerson Lake & Palmer record for my collection. I went with the group’s big live album, clumsily titled… Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends ~ Ladies and Gentlemen.
I chose this one for a few reasons: One, I love live recording, even when they come with terrible titles in tow. Two, the album was newly reissued on vinyl with a proper remastering earlier this year, which hopefully means the muddiness of earlier releases will have been mitigated to a certain degree. Three, vintage editions of this record are basically impossible to find in decent condition, because the band decided to publish it as a three-LP edition with a triple gatefold, and each record sits behind a die-cut letter corresponding to a different band member’s name (E, L, and P). Die-cut panels do not hold up well to the ravages of time. And, finally, I originally received this album as a tape cassette for Christmas 25 years ago this month, and I was feeling a little nostalgic.
I haven’t had a chance to listen to the records yet — I’m currently working my way through Data Discs’s ridiculously plush two-LP 45rpm issue of Panzer Dragoon for review — but I did open it up and was honestly a bit crushed to see a newly added note inside the sleeve:
So… the record I bought as a memorial to the band member who just died was already published a memorial to the band member who passed earlier this year. Man. That’s rough.