Oh how I’ve changed

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved Emerson, Lake, & Palmer. I haven’t listened to them in years but a friend gave me a live compilation of them the other day and I’ve been able to re-visit some of my fav ELP tunes played live.

Now this isn’t a dig on Carl Palmer, I still think he’s a great player with some formidable chops. But maybe it’s a band issue - I just don’t feel a lot of groove going on. Granted, they came together as notable players from other famous bands so everybody was interested in what they would come up with. And a lot of the stuff they did was truly inspiring, but now at my age I’m either no longer digging how they groove, or I’ve discovered they never really grooved?

I liked what Abe Laboriel Jr. said about some of the current crop of YouTube drummers and how a lot of what those guys do is “masterbatory”. I think the same thing can be said about ELP. On this live album, they played the hits, but each member had at least a couple of spots where they played solo. I mean Keith Emerson does TWO piano improvisations and then plays “Maple Leaf Rag”, Greg Lake does a couple of solo acoustic guitar ballads and Carl gets two solos - that stuff alone is about 70 minutes of the course of the show before the band tunes. So yeah, very masterbatory.

Part of me wishes ELP hit big later in the 80s when studio technology could make easier the recording of bigger drum sounds - I think he would’ve played less notes and not been so disruptive during “Lucky Man”.

But I’m sure it’s just me. I still think they’re great, I just can’t listen to it now? Same thing happened when I watched some old Bugs Bunny cartoons - a lot of that is just no longer funny. Maybe I’m crazy. I blame 2020.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
Interesting perspective. And one that I don't disagree with. Many of my friends back in the day who listened to ELP also listened to Rush and Yes. Like you, I too didn't dislike ELP or Rush or Yes. But as a budding drummer and an opinionated teen (who wasn't at that age?) I didn't think that Palmer, Peart or White deserved all the accolades that were loaded on them. Don't get me wrong. I loved Yes with Bruford. But I had to listen to these people gush on and on about Alan White. I think Rush grooved more than ELP but that style of music wasn't necessarily music that grooved. I'm curious what your thoughts are of Rush and Yes.

* Let the bashing begin.
 
I love love love the classic Yes albums and almost the entire Genesis catalog—Bill Bruford and Phil Collins are by far my two favorite drummers ever—and am deeply in like with most of King Crimson's stuff, all of which I admire greatly. But while I could enjoy ELP in small doses, Carl Palmer's lack of timekeeping skills—on top of the band's...uneven, shall we say...songwriting—kept me from ever really liking them much. I'm a fan of a certain amount of push and pull when it comes to tempos and, like many, think the quantizing that's taken over the studio this century is not a good thing for music. But for all his technical prowess, Palmer was all over the damn map when it came to tempo to an honestly shocking degree. Add to that the fact that his drumming always seemed orchestral in nature, rather than jazz or blues or soul or even rock-oriented, as with Bruford and Collins, and as you said, it just felt stiff and unswinging to me.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Interesting perspective. And one that I don't disagree with. Many of my friends back in the day who listened to ELP also listened to Rush and Yes. Like you, I too didn't dislike ELP or Rush or Yes. But as a budding drummer and an opinionated teen (who wasn't at that age?) I didn't think that Palmer, Peart or White deserved all the accolades that were loaded on them. Don't get me wrong. I loved Yes with Bruford. But I had to listen to these people gush on and on about Alan White. I think Rush grooved more than ELP but that style of music wasn't necessarily music that grooved. I'm curious what your thoughts are of Rush and Yes.

* Let the bashing begin.
It’s not my intention to open up a bashing session here. I think I’ve just changed. And I think I’m like a lot of drummers who were initially attracted to the flash of Buddy Rich and Billy Cobham, and then realized the music was being made by Charlie and Ringo. And apparently I’m not the only one.

I suppose it is true - the band eventually makes the drummer. So Palmer, Peart, Bruford, and White are really the product of the music they make. You can’t really fault them for playing the music they make. So I hope to keep this discussion more civil than others. When I think about it, Stewart Copeland sorta falls into this category as well. His groove is no longer as attractive as it once was.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I think he would’ve played less notes and not been so disruptive during “Lucky Man”.
I'm wondering if part of that "disruptive" playing was due to an era where the visual component of flashy drumming was just as important as the music content itself. Music back in the day was a lot more live playing than studio, compared to today. That's just a logical assumption based on how technology has advanced, and is not based on any hard data, so.
 

BruceW

Senior Member
Many years ago, my first garage band did a version of Lucky Man. We simplified it, played it straight if you will, made a regular ballad of it. Dropped all the ELP trappings. Its a pretty song...

I loved listening to ELP back in the day, along with Yes, and others in the genre. Nowadays, it doesn't interest me as much, either, Bo. Amazing musicians. Top shelf. I think I yearn for a hook, and a melody, more than virtuoso demonstrations. Amazing as they may be.
 

MntnMan62

Junior Member
It’s not my intention to open up a bashing session here. I think I’ve just changed. And I think I’m like a lot of drummers who were initially attracted to the flash of Buddy Rich and Billy Cobham, and then realized the music was being made by Charlie and Ringo. And apparently I’m not the only one.

I suppose it is true - the band eventually makes the drummer. So Palmer, Peart, Bruford, and White are really the product of the music they make. You can’t really fault them for playing the music they make. So I hope to keep this discussion more civil than others. When I think about it, Stewart Copeland sorta falls into this category as well. His groove is no longer as attractive as it once was.
I don't think I disagree with you about the band making the drummer, but only to an extent. I think that was the case for Palmer, Peart, Copeland and White. I don't think either of them did anything meaningful or notable outside of the bands that helped make them famous. But saying that takes away from what each of them brings to the table. Each of them had a hand in making the band what it was so it can go both ways. And this coming from someone who wasn't a big fan of these three. However, you can't say the band made the drummer as it relates to Bruford. Bruford was involved in many incredible bands and some of his best stuff was his own solo albums. UK. Yes. Genesis. King Crimson. And One Of A Kind is one of my favorite albums of all time. And as for Copeland, he went on to do a ton of music for movies and the like. One drummer who I think totally contradicts the "band makes the drummer" statement is John Bonham. I actuallly think it was Bonham who made that band. I happen to think Bonham might have been the most talented musician in that band. Page is a good guitarist but I think Bonham was a better drummer. I wasn't trying to turn it into a bashing session. But I figured that me expressing my opinion would meet with some strong opposing opinions. And in the end, it's just my opinion. It's not really worth much because it comes from me. And I'm the only one who takes note of my opinion. To anyone else, my opinion is nothing more than verbal diarrhea.
 
I don't entirely disagree with you on the Bonham/LZ thing—Bonham was pretty clearly the most influential upon later musicians, although Plant's vocal stylings shouldn't be underestimated. But as great a guitarist as Page could be, he was a much better composer/producer. And when it comes to sheer talent, I think John Paul Jones outshone them all.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I think any successful band is probably that way because of the combination of people involved. We’d probably never have heard Bonham had Page/Plant not written any music for him to play. We only see the end product of the music. We never see the teamwork that made it.
 

Tone Laborer

Senior Member
"Lucky Man" doesn't have a hook or melody? News to me. Killer song; Lake's pure, rich vocals, an interesting marching, milataristic beat, befitting the story, and one of the best Moog solos in rock. It still holds up to me, better than most.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
"Lucky Man" doesn't have a hook or melody? News to me. Killer song; Lake's pure, rich vocals, an interesting marching, milataristic beat, befitting the story, and one of the best Moog solos in rock. It still holds up to me, better than most.
I think he was talking about enjoying the hook and song once you take out all the extraneous sounds. “Lucky Man” just on guitar sounds a lot like a beer-drinking song you’d hear in an Irish pub 😉
 

Supernoodle

Senior Member
I suppose it is true - the band eventually makes the drummer. So Palmer, Peart, Bruford, and White are really the product of the music they make. You can’t really fault them for playing the music they make. So I hope to keep this discussion more civil than others. When I think about it, Stewart Copeland sorta falls into this category as well. His groove is no longer as attractive as it once was.
Classic Prog doesn't groove, never has! It's a style that wants to be more like classical music. It was fuelled by British drummers who did not have a groove background (e.g. Palmer being classically trained). Bonham grooved, but Led Zep is not prog. Also Copeland had superb groove in the Police, but that's also far from prog.

Present day prog has finally introduced groove into the genre by using gospel chop oriented drummers. Just my two p...
 
J

jiklass

Guest
Tarkus is a cool album. There's so much going on there.

By the way, is it just me or did Mitch Mitchell have major tempo issues?
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Food! Fight!...i dig Phill Rudd but I (still) like the way Carl played on lucky man. I'm so glad it's history and that the producer didn't look at Carl and say dude! What the - - - - are you doing!. I'm ok with Carl not imitating Ringo on at least lucky man. I need Carl's perspective on it. I love Ringo by the way. There are bands that have grown out of favor with me to though.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Yeah you’ve changed it’s not the music or drummer it’s just the thrill is gone. Things don’t grab you like they use to. Heck I about decided every rock band sucked and wondered why I did like it so much. The song remained the same I changed- my taste changed and I guess all that music helped it change. I bet my wife use to think I was handsome and great-but the thrill is gone LOL.
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
I hold fast to the conviction that Peart deserved every accolade he received. His influence over several generations of drummers was enormous. His legacy is absolute. I'm not bashing you though -- just stating my opinion.
What I like about Peart and Rush was they took the listeners experience into account when writing and recording. Peart said he wanted to indulge his like of busy drumming but not to the point which it became a mess of overplaying that bludgeoned listeners. (I’m paraphrasing but that’s what I got from his early interviews)
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
Food! Fight!...i dig Phill Rudd but I (still) like the way Carl played on lucky man. I'm so glad it's history and that the producer didn't look at Carl and say dude! What the - - - - are you doing!. I'm ok with Carl not imitating Ringo on at least lucky man. I need Carl's perspective on it. I love Ringo by the way. There are bands that have grown out of favor with me to though.
I’m with you. There are times when Phil’s bouncy—air between the notes feel, just hits the spot. There are times when guys like Palmer a Bruford hit the spot.
 
Top