Emerson, Lake & Powell – Heading For Glory (Virtuoso 091/092)

Heading For Glory (Virtuoso 091/092)

Mann Music Center, Philadelphia, PA – September 12th, 1986

Disc 1 (56:15):  The Score, Learning To Fly, Pirates, Knife Edge, Tarkus, Pictures At An Exhibition, Dream Runner, Creole Dance

Disc 2 (65:35):  Still…You Turn Me On, From The Beginning, Lucky Man, Farfare For The Common Man, Touch And Go, Mars The Bringer Of War, Welcome Back / America / Rondo.  Bonus tracks, rare studio demo recordings:  electric drum soundcheck, Mars, The Loco-Motion, Back On The Road

Emerson Lake & Powell were on the road for about a month when they played in the 14,000 capacity outdoor Mann Music Center in Philadelphia.  Heading For Glory contains an excellent stereo audience recording of the entire concert from that night.  It was issued one before on the professional CDR title Power & Glory on Ayanami, but this has been remastered and is the first silver pressed version of the show.  There is a small cut in the beginning of “Pictures At An Exhibition” but is otherwise complete.

The set list is the same as a majority of the tour, beginning with the two new songs “The Score” and “Learning To Fly” before the epic “Pirates.”  The arrangement is a pretty as ever, but misses Palmer’s jazz sensibilites.  Cozy Powell brings a much heavier approach to the older material. 

Afterwards Emerson says they’ll “carry on with a few for you ELP veterans out there” before “Knife Edge.”  Emerson replaces the strong Hammond organ for a more delicate, eighties synthesizer sound.  “Tarkus” has a spacey beginning.  It’s played up to the “Manticore” section before the segue into “Pictures At An Exhibition,” which is merely one “Promenade” and “The Great Gates Of Kiev.”

The old ELP warhorses sound dated and tired compared to the gorgeous “Dream Runner.”  Emerson describes “Creole Dance” as a fun tune to play because of all the time changes and as an adaptation of a piece by Ginastera.  “You might remember him from Brain Salad Surgery.”

Lake’s section of the show starts off with “Still…You Turn Me On” played at a quicker tempo than on past tours.  “From The Beginning,” a song not played much during their heyday, is given a fantastic live arrangement and is one of the highlights of the set.  “Lucky Man” is played with an all-band arrangement including Emerson duplicating the famous moog solo at the end.

“Touch & Go,” their big hit, was played late in the set for dramatic effect.  The final song of the night is the fifteen minute arrangement of Holst’s “Mars, Bringer Of War” including Cozy Powell’s drum solo.  

The only encore is a medley starting with a brief snippet of “Karn Evil 9 (1st Impression, Part 2),” Leonard Bernstein’s “America” and “Rondo.”

Like their other Emerson Lake & Powell release Fabulous Show (Virtuoso-073/074), Virtuoso fill the rest of disc two with demos from Cozy Powell’s personal tapes.  This recording contains rare rehearsal tracks Powell practicing on the electric drums, band rehearsals of “Mars” and “The Loco-Motion” from their only LP Emerson, Lake & Powell, and finally another take of the unreleased song “Back On The Road.”

Heading For Glory is another excellent title by Virtuoso and, for ELP collectors, worth having. 

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