Set 1: Anaheim Convention Centre, CA. USA 10th February 1974 - Wheeling Colosseum 1977. No less than five discs serve up four phenomenal ELP concerts in the final installment of a series that remains one of the most audaciously brilliant in any band's catalog. We begin with excerpts from shows recorded at the Anaheim Stadium in 1974 as the band toured Brain Salad Surgery and Wheeling Colosseum in 1977 on the Works tour – a longer look at both would have been preferable, of course, but we're dealing with original bootleg releases here, the source of every recording in this series, so what you see is what you get.
Set 1: Hartford Civic Centre, CT - July 10th, 1977. 2008 repressing of this deluxe eight CD box set, subtitled From The Manticore Vaults. Four epic concerts make up this suitably extravagant box set by the unchallenged kings of Pomp-Rock, whose majestic three-way instrumental interplay laid down the blueprint for the Progressive '70s. Features shows from Hartford Civic Center (1977), Chicago (1978), Pennsylvania and Jones Beach (both from 1992), 61 tracks. Volume #4 seemed to have completely caught me by suprise. Out Of The blue[excuse the unintended pun]. I was indeed unprepared; Since I own volumes I-III; I had no choice but to buy this ELP set. Volume IV contrasts dodgy to somewhat good -great audio performances of ELP specifically comparing/contrasting the ELP years of 1977/1978/1992. It is a true sucessor to volumes I-III.
Set 1: "Stomping Encore" - Gaelic Park N.Y. Sep. 1st 1971 - The Stratasphere vs. The Spectre." This set and its companion, the eight-CD volume two, display all the strengths that made Emerson, Lake & Palmer one of the world's most popular bands during the '70s, and the weakness that comes with a trio's attempt to play complicated music. Keith Emerson was a virtuoso keyboard player, Greg Lake supplied a pleasant voice and flair for writing melodic songs, and Carl Palmer played drums as though he would perish if he stopped. But the group lacked the depth of fellow progressive rock bands, such as Yes and King Crimson. Those groups supplied multiple lead instrumentalists – Yes with their guitar/keyboard tandem and Crimson with their venerable guitarist, Robert Fripp, and a series of cohorts who played saxophone, violin, or second guitar.
Set 1: "A Right Cordial Shocker"- Hammersmith Odeon in London on November 26, 1972. Another batch of cleaned-up bootlegs chronicles some of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's finest shows. This eight-CD box set includes four complete concerts, each taking up two discs. In all, the two-volume Original Bootleg Series is comprised of eight shows covering 15 discs. Listeners should expect a lo-fi experience. The set is priced accordingly, about 45 dollars per volume. To be fair, the sound quality is for the most part decent to good. The first show in this collection was recorded at Hammersmith Odean in London on November 26, 1972. Subtitled "A Right Cordial Shocker," it runs 100 minutes. ELP had returned triumphantly to their home turf after touring the world behind Trilogy.