Greg Lake is a both a seminal leader and legend in melodic progressive rock. Yet, in his later years, rather than go quietly into the night as an iconic influence, Lake has written an autobiography, Lucky Man, and developed the Songs of a Lifetime tour and recording to support it.
Greg Lake:: sample from Songs of a Lifetime.
When writing his biography Lake discovered and returned to the many influences of his youth and subsequent musical career. Much of this is the substance of this recording. Certainly you get the larger events, participating in the great bands King Crimson and ELP, but also his solo works past and present. Lake accomplishes this by weaving personal narrative between songs.
The result is a remarkably intimate and conversational Greg Lake, discussing his life, influences, and events with honesty and, for a rock icon, astonishing humility. First, he introduces you to the concept of Songs of a Lifetime mentioned earlier, and than plays From the Beginning from ELP's Trilogy album. Next, he turns to the story of seeing Elvis, a large influence upon him and other Brits, in Las Vegas. Lake's telling is both descriptive and engaging: you can see Elvis in your mind's eye and hear Lake's emotion. Then he plays Heartbreak Hotel, which is quite enthusiastic.
He returns to his King Crimson days, telling how the In Court of Crimson King cover came to be and how it was also wrapped in tragedy, as the creator died three days later after the presentation to the band. Lake responds by playing the solemn I Talk to the Wind from the very same. It's quite touching. And so this is the flow of the album. Lake reflects on The Beatles and has the band participate on the chorus of You've Got to Hide Your Love Away. Later, he speaks of getting his first guitar at Christmas, a rather unexpected event since his mother said, because they were poor, it wouldn't happen. The rest is history, as they say.
From The Beatles cut to the end, Lake offers some classic material: Trilogy, Still You Turn Me On, Lucky Man, and a moving version of Curtis Mayfield's People Get Ready. His encore is perhaps the most famous of ELP's prog rock pieces: Karn Evil 9: Ist Impression, Pt 2. You remember, "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends, We're so glad you could attend." You'll want to attend Lake's Songs of a Lifetime tour if it comes into your town. Until then get this remarkable, intimate, and autobiographical recording; it's a true delight.
Songs of a Lifetime is a remarkably intimate and conversational Greg Lake, discussing his life, influences, and events with honesty and, for a rock icon, astonishing humility. It's a true delight!
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