Keith Emerson was the experimental keyboard player behind the band The Nice and Greg Lake the bass player and singer of King Crimson. They met each other in 1969 at Fillmore West where both bands had a performance. In 1970 The Nice broke up and Greg left King Crimson directly after the release of the second album. Then Keith and Greg decided to form a group but needed a drummer. Mitch Mitchell from the Jimi Hendrix Experience did an audition and also Jimi Hendrix himself was interested in joining the band and wanted to try out things with them in the feature but that never realised because Jimi died at the end of 1970. By that time Greg and Keith already found a drummer called Carl Palmer who played in The Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster.
Keith in action (1970)
They started working on material for their first untitled album in London. "Take a Pebble" was the first song they made. Keith already had some ideas for some other classic music inspired songs: "The Barbarian" based on Béla Bartók's "Allegro barbaro", "Knife-Edge" based on Leos Janacek's "Sinfonietta" and included also a passage of Johan Sebastian Bach's "French Suite No.1 in D minor, BWV 812". "The Three Fates" was named after the three sisters of fate/Moirai in greek mythology. "The Barbarian", "The Three Fates" and "Tank" are instrumentals.
Lucky Man - single cover
The last song that was also released as a single was "Lucky Man". The single was very succesful in the USA, UK and the Netherlands. The album reached US#18, UK#4, NL#4.
Greg, Keith and Carl in (1970)
The first live performance of Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) was at Guildhall in Plymouth in august 1970. The second live performance made the biggest impression to the world at Isle of Wight Pop Music Festival where The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Sly & the Family Stone peformed as well. By that time the album wasn't released yet. They also performed "Pictures at an Exhibition" that would be released on their third album including new material only played live based on a painting exhibition from Modest Moessorgski. The recording of that live album was already done in december 1970. Their first album remains the most impressive of their career. One of the best symphonic rock albums ever!
Original album cover
Emerson Lake & Palmer (1970)
The Barbarian / Take A Pebble / Knife-Edge / The Three Fates / Tank / Lucky Man

Take A Pebble - live in Zürich 1970

Lucky man - promo 1970

The Barbarian - Live at the Lyceum Theatre 1970

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