Classic Rock

Carl Palmer

Fanfare For The Common Man

- John Aizlewood

BMG Three CDs, one Blu-ray disc, a200-page book. Why? Why not, more like.

Now the leader of (the keyboardsf­ree) ELP Legacy, Carl Palmer can still wallop out a drum solo that would exhaust someone decades his junior. That said, at the age of 74, after 60 years on the drum stool, it’s probably time to take some kind of stock. Hence this smorgasbor­d of delights.

There’s a disc of Emerson, Lake & Palmer, of course, Beyond Fanfare For The Common Man, and quite rightly it’s the more percussive fare, and in the shape of the overlooked but whizzbang Canario there’s even something from Love Beach. Four of the six tracks that comprised Palmer’s side of Works Volume One are included, and he’s truly startling on L.A. Nights.

There’s another disc of more recent Carl Palmer Band and

ELP Legacy material, which shows he can still breathe new life into the ELP canon. Is it better? Of course not. Is it a worthy parallel? Absolutely.

In between there are tracks featuring Palmer, from 1966’s IMust Be Mad by The Craig (his first single), to a joyful guest slot with his hero Buddy Rich. Taking the scenic route, we get to Asia, Mike Oldfield, Atomic Rooster, P.M., Chris Farlowe and 3. The Blu-ray disc is an “audio visual documentar­y”, and the book is the closest we’ll get to an autobiogra­phy.

Overshadow­ed by bickering, excess and daftness, ELP don’t quite have the respect they deserve. And even there, Palmer was always regarded as the third of three. Fanfare For The Common Man should right that particular wrong. ■■■■■■■■■■

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