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Reelin’ In the Years 119: RIP Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson who died earlier this week was one of the arch proponents of Prog Rock. I’ve already featured several of his recordings with that most unlikely of progenitors of the form, P P Arnold’s backing band The Nice. America, where his reworkings of classical pieces in a rock style perhaps began and which has a good claim, in its extravagance, to be the first truly prog track, its B-side, The Diamond Hard Blue Apples Of The Moon and their first single The Thoughts Of Emerlist Davjack.

It was, though, Emerson’s work with Greg Lake and Carl Palmer as Emerson Lake and Palmer (aka ELP) that solidified his reputation as one of the “rock dinosaurs” that punk rock sought to consign to oblivion.

Here’s a live performance of part of ELP’s take on Moussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Promenade and the Gnome

Keith Noel Emerson: 2/11/1944 – 10/3/2016. So it goes.

Reelin’ In the Years 91: Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)

This is an absolutely pitch perfect pop song. It’s the sort of thing that (for a while) was swept away by the advent of punk rock.

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel – Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me)

Reelin’ In The Years 65: Ça Plane Pour Moi

I was never much into punk but I confess to a soft spot for Plastic Bertrand – mainly because he’s one of those famous Belgians there are supposed to be none of.

(Well he’s famous if you were around in the 70s.)

I was shocked on loading this video to discover the song was nothing to do with him; being both sung and composed by its producer Lou Deprijck.

Plastic Bertrand: Ça Plane Pour Moi

Reelin’ In The Years 39: 2-4-6-8 Motorway

This is one of the few songs from the latter end of the 70s that will make it here as I never much went for punk and its aftermath.

However Tom Robinson partly surfed the punk wave and I was predisposed to his work as I had actually seen him performing on-stage at the Apollo in Glasgow when he was supporting someone or other – exactly whom I now forget – as part of an acoustic trio named Café Society (not, I think, the South African band Wiki links to.) The Café Society Tom was in were good, very good indeed. I wasn’t surprised when he went on to success.

The Tom Robinson Band was harder edged as this live performance attests.

Tom Robinson Band: 2-4-6-8 Motorway

I’m A Boy

It wasn’t till I caught this clip on You Tube that I realised how much this song resembles punk.

Or should that be how much punk owed to the Who?

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