Look, somebody please watch over Carl Palmer. During this tragic 2016 (for all too many reasons), Palmer has lost both of his former Emerson, Lake and Palmer bandmates. Keyboard wizard Keith Emerson passed away March 16, and now Palmer has had to say goodbye to bassist and vocalist extraordinaire Greg Lake on December 7th.
Lake was a remarkable talent, first identified by Robert Fripp for King Crimson, where he stood out on In the Court of the Crimson King. After singing on Crimson’s second album, he left to become one of the three pillars of ELP. He played guitar in addition to his bass and vocal duties. Those Emerson, Lake and Palmer albums were legendary, their concert performances even more so. Think Pictures at an Exhibition, “Nutrocker,” or the many brilliant original compositions they performed such as those on Tarkus, Trilogy and Works Volume 1.
After the band split up in 1979, Lake joined Asia briefly. ELP would reunite in the ’90s, finally disbanding some dozen years later. Lake also made a mark with several fine solo albums; he is most remembered for “I Believe in Father Christmas,” which will sound all the more sentimental this season.