First Greg Lake solo album in nearly 30 years on the way, even as new tour begins

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Greg Lake is at work on his first solo project since 1983’s Manoeuvres, with plans to set a release date of either later in 2012 or early next year. Beyond that, though, the founding member of King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer is offering precious few details.

Meanwhile, look for him on a 28-date solo track through North America — starting tonight in Quebec City — that continues through May 26 in La Quinta, Calif. The concert series, called Songs of a Lifetime, is presented in an interactive, storytelling format. Lake is also compiling a forthcoming autobiography, to be titled “Lucky Man” after Lake’s early ELP hit.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REVIEW: Here’s our review of King Crimson/ELP founder Greg Lake’s terrific 2013 album souvenir from this tour, also called ‘Songs of a Lifetime.’]

A new catalog reissue deal for those classic Emerson Lake and Palmer recordings was recently struck with Razor & Tie, as well, with newly expanded, remastered versions to come of ELP’s first six albums — 1970’s Emerson Lake and Palmer; 1971’s Tarkus and Pictures at an Art Exhibition; 1972’s Trilogy; 1973’s Brain Salad Surgery; and 1974’s Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends. The reissue series started with The Best of Emerson Lake and Palmer: Comes and See the Show, available now in stores and on iTunes. The 14-song compilation features the trio’s most memorable songs, including “Lucky Man,” “From The Beginning,” “I Believe In Father Christmas,” and a full 9-minute edition of “Fanfare For The Common Man.”

What you shouldn’t expect, Lake tells, is another reunion concert from ELP anytime soon. The trio last performed together at 2010’s High Voltage Festival, their first joint appearance since 1998.

“I would never say never, you know, but … working with the band was a little difficult because everybody’s a bit old in the tooth now,” Lake said. “My own philosophy of music has always been that I’m only here because a lot of people were good enough to buy my records and the records of ELP. In a way, I feel a sense of duty to play or perform that music for those people. That is my personal view. I don’t think Keith (Emerson) and Carl (Palmer) feel the same way, and I don’t think they are particularly keen on touring with ELP again. But you never know; people change their minds, and one day they may. And if they do, then I would be more than happy to play with them and tour with ELP purely because I think people would enjoy hearing the music.”

Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Click through the titles for complete reviews …

SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: KING CRIMSON/ EMERSON LAKE AND PALMER COFOUNDER GREG LAKE: Greg Lake is going it alone on an upcoming U.S. tour – playing songs and sharing stories of his time with King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer and as a solo artist. Fans can expect a generous dose of acoustic favorites from across his lengthy career in rock – including “Lucky Man,” “Still … You Turn Me On” and “From the Beginning” – but Lake says the concert experience will expand out from there to include personal memories and key cover tunes, as well. “Things that had a big influence upon me,” Lake told us.

ONE TRACK MIND: CARL PALMER, “FANFARE: DRUM SOLO” (2004; 2011 reissue): This tune begins, in its familiar way, with a soaring keyboard signature we’ve all come to associate so fully with Keith Emerson’s opening of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” as interpreted in 1977 by Emerson, Lake and Palmer. But then the Carl Palmer Band, led by the drummer from that concept-rock trio, goes into a new place … and it’s loud. No, not loud. Make that furiously, bashingly, skull-crackingly loud.

KEITH EMERSON – THE KEITH EMERSON BAND FEATURING MARC BONILLA (2008) For vintage prog-rock fans, Keith Emerson is an icon for his trailblazing virtuosic and often flamboyant keyboard work that broke ground in the rock world. He made it possible for other rock keyboardists like Rick Wakeman to become stars in their own right. Beyond his work with The Nice, and more vitally, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Emerson has had an on-again, off-again solo career that’s focused more on soundtrack work, detours into jazz and classical, and other diversions that has attempted to show other facets of his artistry. Here, Emerson seems to finally be fully embracing his prog-rock past outside his association with those two bands where he first made a name for himself.

ONE TRACK MIND: GREG LAKE ON “LUCKY MAN,” “COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING,” “TOUCH AND GO,” OTHERS: Prog-rock legend Greg Lake, co-founder of King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer, describes what made Crimson’s initial lineup such an endlessly interesting amalgam, the special chemistry that Carl Palmer brings to Emerson Lake and Palmer, and how the legendary keyboard solo on ELP’s most memorable song almost got erased before anyone ever heard it. Lake also shares his memories his memorable initial encounter with ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore.

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