Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Greg Lake

@ Greg Lake Official Web Site

“For me as a writer, the only music worth creating is music that comes from the heart.

As a producer, the challenge will always be to capture great performances, without losing the essence of feeling contained within the original inspiration.”
Greg Lake, 2002

One of the most important and popular British musicians of the last 50 years, Greg Lake has continued to push the boundaries of contemporary popular music both as a solo artist and within legendary bands - notably King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Well known to millions for his classic solo Christmas hit, "I Believe In Father Christmas," which continues to be one of the top festive radio hits across the world, and also for the ELP smash "Fanfare For The Common Man," Greg's work over four decades has always been innovative, vital and much-loved by a global fanbase of millions.

From his initial days in the explosive London music scene of the late 1960s, through his time with rock innovators King Crimson, and as lead singer and guitarist for the legendary British rock band, Emerson, Lake and Palmer; Greg Lake has continually made records that have endured the test of time.

Today, nearly four decades after he was first introduced to the international music scene, Greg Lake remains committed to creating vital and contemporary music. As with the classic recordings of his past, he continues to explore the marriage of sophisticated pop and rock music with his deeply European musical heritage.

“I suppose when I come to think about it, my musical roots are probably more European, when perhaps compared to most American rock musicians, whose roots are mostly based in the blues or R&B,” says Lake. “I certainly have a great deal of respect for the artists and writers who, over the course of time, have made the genres of blues, rock and R&B into the popular musical styles they remain today, but when it comes to creating my own music, my influence has always been the music that stems from Europe's golden age of classical music and period when the early acoustic minstrels were so much a part of England's cultural history.”

Since he last worked with ELP in 1998, Lake has focused his creative energy into discovering his own musical identity. His fascination with record production, guitars, and contemporary music dates back to the late 1950’s and early 60’s when Lake, like many of his peers at the time, were immersed in the pioneering rock records of Little Richard, Elvis, Cliff Richard, and guitar legend Hank Marvin.

Born and raised in Dorset, England, Lake made a name for himself in a series of London-based club bands, including The Shame and Shy Limbs. In 1968, he formed (with guitar virtuoso Robert Fripp) the experimental King Crimson. The two had been childhood friends and shared the same guitar teacher as pre-teens and teenagers, Don Strike. Greg fronted the innovative King Crimson as lead singer, bassist and co-songwriter.

King Crimson's debut album, In The Court Of The Crimson King (Atlantic Records, 1969), a huge international hit, featured,"21st Century Schizoid Man,” the nihilistic anthem and FM radio staple. It is regarded by most rock historians as one of the most pivotal albums of all time since it effectively blended hard rock, jazz, and classical music into a cohesive, commercial context.

In The Court Of The Crimson King is also regarded as the birth of the progressive rock movement that paved the way for such other acts as Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd and Lake’s next project, the supergroup: Emerson Lake & Palmer.

Lake remained with King Crimson completing a tour of the U S A, and contributed to its second album (In The Wake Of Poseidon). He left when the band broke up in 1970, to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer with ex-Nice keyboardist Keith Emerson and drummer Carl Palmer, who came to the group by way of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.

From their debut at the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival, it was clear that ELP would be one of the few major supergroups of rock. Their debut LP, Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Atlantic/ Cotillion Records, 1971) reached platinum status and became a staple on FM radio, with the Lake-written hit single, "Lucky Man."

With Keith Emerson on keyboards, and Greg's own songwriting, vocals, and production ability, ELP was able to blend hard and soft rock music from an intricate and compelling classically influenced base. The result was a musical genre that remains in a class of its own today.

From its inception and throughout the 1970s, ELP remained at the top of the charts. A series of Greg Lake produced albums followed, including Tarkus, Pictures At An Exhibition, Trilogy, Brain Salad Surgery, Works Vol. 1 and 2, and two different live albums. These albums scored a series of hit singles, most of which were both written and sung by Lake. Among them: "Still…You Turn Me On", "From The Beginning", "Karn Evil 9", "C'est La Vie" and the chart topping seasonal holiday single: "I Believe In Father Christmas."

The ELP live show became one of rock's most visually and musically exciting events. The band often combined spellbinding visual stunts with their compelling music to make for a brilliant concert experience.

But, by 1980 and after nearly 40 million record sales, ELP had burned out. Rather than disintegrate in public, the group decided to focus more on their individual careers. Greg Lake used this period to launch his solo career, which included two powerful albums (Greg Lake and Manoeuvres, both released on Chrysalis Records) and featured collaborations with Bob Dylan, Clarence Clemmons, members of Toto, and guitar powerhouse and close friend Gary Moore. During this period, Lake also performed briefly with Carl Palmer's band, Asia for a single tour of Japan and an international live satellite broadcast on MTV and simulcast on The Westwood One radio network.

In 1986, Emerson and Lake recorded an album with drummer Cozy Powell, and in 1992, ELP proper regrouped. They returned with the Black Moon LP, followed by 1993’s Live At the Royal Albert Hall and the 4 CD anthology Return Of The Manticore, and in 1994, In The Hot Seat (all released on Victory Music/ PolyGram Records.). The group continued to tour throughout the end of 1998.

In July 1995, The King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents: Greg Lake In Concert was released worldwide. The album is Lake’s legendary 1981 solo concert recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London with his all-star backing band. Two years later, a 2 CD career anthology, From The Beginning: The Greg Lake Retrospective (Rhino Records, 1997), which includes studio tracks and rare tracks from Lake’s entire career, was released on Rhino Records, followed in 1999 with a companion album, From The Underground: The Official Greg Lake Bootleg, featuring many rare and previously unreleased tracks.

A brief US tour in 1994 was staged to raise money for the National Center of Missing & Exploited Children, an organization for which Lake had already done charity work. 1999 and 2000, respectively, were spent building a home studio and writing material for future projects.

In 2001, Greg Lake was invited by Ringo Starr to join with him for his US/ Canadian tour. Lake performed material from King Crimson and ELP, and, aside from adding vocals and bass on the Ringo solo and several Beatle classics, he also performed with Supertramp's Roger Hodgson; Sheila E, Ian Hunter; Howard Jones; and Mark Rivera. Lake’s role on the tour was later featured in the Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band 2001 Live CD, DVD video, and a worldwide pay-per-view TV Concert.

"Touring and performing with Ringo Starr was a great experience," says Lake. "Aside from being one of my musical heroes, Ringo was just a terrific person to be around. I absolutely fell in love with the band; they are all such wonderful people and enormously talented musicians. We were all from different styles of music but somehow there was a spiritual connection between all the members of the band.”

Lake also performed in 2003 with an all-star band led by The Who's Roger Daltrey, including Procol Harum's Gary Brooker and Gary Moore. The music stars played one exclusive show at the Ronnie Scott Club in London, raising funds for the Teenage Cancer Trust. Along with further performances with the all-star band - which has also included Robert Plant – Greg’s continued support for the charity has resulted in funds raised in the amount of £1,500,000 since his participation. Lake’s performance with Daltrey led to an invitation for him to play bass on the forthcoming new studio album being recorded in London by The Who.

The future is full of new Greg Lake projects and in 2005 he also made the decision to return to touring with his new band, whilst working closely with music DVD label Classic Pictures, based at Shepperton Film Studios, UK.

In autumn 2005, audiences in the UK enjoyed the long-awaited return of Greg Lake to the stage for the first time in a decade. The critically acclaimed 20-date tour provided the opportunity for all to see the man, and hear the voice, that defined the world of rock music!

In a review of the live show by Classic Rock magazine, they describe: “Greg Lake is in fine voice…it sends shivers down the spine”. Record Collector magazine verified Greg’s continued vocal ability as a performer in a review from the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall: “Lake is sharper than ever, the voice still altering comfortably between angelic and magisterial as he led an impressive band through a stirring cross-section of his King Crimson, ELP and Solo repertoire.”

Greg’s fabulous new band comprises four of the finest musicians in the world today – David Arch (on Keyboards, MD), Brett Morgan (Drums), Trevor Barry (Bass) and Florian Opahle (Guitar).

Warner Music Vision release a two-disc DVD set, Greg Lake – Live, from Classic Pictures on 27 March 2006.

Greg Lake – Live is a fantastic live concert performance, recorded on his UK tour in 2005, and viewers of the DVD will be treated to all his best-known classics, including King Crimson’s “In The Court Of The Crimson King” and “21st Century Schizoid Man,” along with Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s hit “Lucky Man,” in addition to “Fanfare For The Common Man” and “I Believe in Father Christmas.”

“I am absolutely thrilled by the release of this new DVD;” says Greg, “it is the honest and joyful record of a fantastic band of musicians playing an inspired performance. I am both pleased and proud to be able to say that the versions of all the King Crimson and ELP pieces that have been included here are amongst the best I have ever heard or performed”.

Taking full advantage of the DVD medium, Lake’s second disc on the DVD includes a wealth of bonus material including; "Welcome Backstage” - an exclusive insight into Greg Lake and his band in pre-tour rehearsals filmed in September 2005 at "Classic T Stage", Shepperton Film Studios, UK.

"The Band” is a documentary filmed exclusively behind-the-scenes during Greg Lake's tour - featuring interviews with Greg Lake and many of the key musicians involved.

And finally, “St. Bride’s - featuring Ian Anderson, David Arch and Florian Opahle” shows Greg Lake performing his 1975 classic “I Believe In Father Christmas,” filmed at St. Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, in the City of London with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull fame on the flute and the church choir.

Greg Lake’s new music will be based around his ongoing love for both the electric and acoustic guitar. “I have spent many years touring with ELP and in that context, I was primarily positioned on bass guitar,” says Lake. “Although I love playing bass, and I have recorded and toured with King Crimson, ELP, Asia and Ringo Starr as a bassist, my artistic focus has always been built around the guitar. All of my songwriting has been derived from the guitar and it was the main instrument I played in the recording studio. These new recordings and my new musical projects will allow me to play the guitar full time on stage again. This something I have wanted to do again for a long time…”

"I am very proud of the music I made in both King Crimson and ELP, and I am very grateful for the success that I achieved, thus far", says Lake. "But there is still much I have to accomplish as a musician, both now and in the future. I still enjoy the experience of performing for live audiences and hope that there are still many worthwhile things for me to achieve through my contribution to the world of music." =>>>>>>>>>>>

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Bruce Eder @ All Music
As a singer and instrumentalist, Greg Lake has had his greatest success and influence in the progressive rock outfit Emerson, Lake & Palmer and, before that, as a founding member of the original King Crimson. He has also been reasonably popular as a solo artist working in more of a hard-rock idiom.

As a boy, growing up in a poverty stricken part of the seaside resort town of Bournemouth, he got his first guitar for his twelfth birthday, as a gift from his mother, and began taking lessons from a local teacher named Don Strike, one of whose other students was Robert Fripp, who became close friends with Lake. Around the time he was 12 years old, Lake also wrote a folk-style song that played a major part in his future, entitled "Lucky Man."

Lake learned to read music and also to play pieces by Paganini, among other classical composers, but his aspirations lay with emulating the sound of his favorite band of the era, Cliff Richard & The Shadows, and their lead guitarist, Hank B. Marvin. Lake passed through a succession of groups, including a local quartet called Unit Four, in which he played guitar and sang. He and Unit Four guitarist David Genes later formed the Time Checks, and, still later--around 1967--with another Unit Four member, John Dickinson, was a member of a band called the Shame, who cut a single in 1968. He also sang on a record by a band called the Shy Limbs.

In 1968, Lake succeeded Mick Taylor as a member of an outfit called the Gods, whose other members included future Uriah Heep founders Ken Hensley (keyboards, vocals) and Lee Kerslake (drums), and it was there that his songwriting first blossomed. He left the band just before they began to record, having been approached by his boyhood friend Robert Fripp to join the outfit that he was putting together out of a failed trio called Giles, Giles & Fripp--Lake joined the quintet (Fripp on lead guitar, Ian McDonald on keyboards, saxes, and flute, Michael Giles on drums, and Peter Sinfield as lyricist) as lead singer and bassist.

King Crimson proceeded to carve out a name for themselves unique in the history of rock music as the leading progressive rock band of their era. Their first album, In The Court of the Crimson King, became the standard for serious progressive rock albums. Lake, along with the others, was suddenly a star. That first line-up of the band only lasted a year--by December of 1969, Giles and McDonald were tired of touring and opted out, and Lake refused to continue working with the group, although he stayed around long enough to sing on their second album, In the Wake of Poseidon (1970).

At the suggestion of Tony Stratten-Smith, Lake was approached by keyboard player Keith Emerson, who was in the process of putting together a new group after three years with his current band, the Nice. The latter group's main fault was its lack of a real lead singer, and Emerson saw in Lake--whose voice had dominated In The Court of the Crimson King--the solution to that problem. The two eventually recruited drummer Carl Palmer and formed progressive rock's first supergroup, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, who were a success from their self-titled first album, released in 1970, which closed with Lake's old song "Lucky Man." The latter became one of the group's few successful singles, one of their rare attempts to compete on AM radio--it also turned Lake into one of the most familiar voices in progressive rock, rivaling such figures as the Moody Blues' Justin Hayward. Lake's production experience as a member of King Crimson (who had produced their own debut album) also served ELP in good stead, and his songwriting became the creative nucleus for the group's first three studio albums.

ELP dominated the charts and the field of progressive rock right up until 1977, by which time the entire genre of "art rock" was beginning to lose popularity. The stresses between the trio caused them to split up after a tour in 1979, and Lake embarked on a solo career. Lake organized a new band with ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore on lead guitar, Rory Gallagher alumnus Ted McKenna on drums, and ex-Joe Cocker/Gerry Rafferty keyboard player Tommy Eyre, and recorded Lake's first solo album, Greg Lake (1981).

The sound on that record was very different from ELP, as it was dominated by guitars, rather than keyboards, and featured Lake singing in a harder, more aggressive style. On tour he covered material going back to the King Crimson days, but he also regaled audiences with pumping versions of the new songs. A second album, Manoeuvers, followed in 1983, but by that time the creative and commercial bloom were both off of the rose, and Lake took his first break from music. He appeared in 1985 as the lead singer of Asia during that group's tour, but he didn't remain with the band.

In 1986, he reteamed with Emerson and drummer Cozy Powell as Emerson, Lake & Powell, and recorded an album for Mercury Records, which wass followed by a world tour. After a stint with ex-Asia member Geoff Downes and King Crimson drummer Michael Giles in a group called Ride The Tiger, Lake reteamed with Emerson and Palmer for a film that was never finished, which led to their first new album in 13 years, Black Moon (1992).

During the middle- and late-1990's, Lake has continued to work with Emerson and Palmer, while pursuing his solo work as well. The latter has included a 1994 tour of the United States. He had also done a considerable amount of charitable work on behalf of missing children, and his song "Daddy," written in response to one such case, which ended tragically, achieved national exposure as a theme for a television series devoted to the plight of missing children. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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@ Wiki
Gregory Stuart Lake (born 10 November 1947 in Poole, Dorset, England) is an English bassist, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and producer, best known as a founding member of King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

1960s: Early life, The Gods and King Crimson
He was interested in music at a young age, and wrote what would become one of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's biggest hits, "Lucky Man", when he was still at school. In 1969, Lake was a member of a band called The Gods along with future members of Uriah Heep. Lake left the band before they released their debut album.

Lake went on to form King Crimson with an old school friend, Robert Fripp. As both Fripp and Lake were primarily guitarists, Lake switched to playing bass.

For King Crimson's debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, Lake also contributed as songwriter and singer. The album was originally to be produced by Tony Clarke who was then the producer for the Moody Blues. However, after the first day Clarke walked out as he had difficulty understanding what the band were trying to create. Lake assumed the role of producer. Although the album credits the whole band as producers, it was primarily Lake who produced it.[1]

King Crimson went on a North American tour with The Nice, who were on their farewell tour. It was after this tour in April 1970 that Lake left the band to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer along with Keith Emerson from The Nice on keyboards and Carl Palmer from Atomic Rooster on drums and percussion. Despite his official departure from King Crimson, Lake agreed to help with the completion of King Crimson's second album In the Wake of Poseidon.

1970s: Emerson, Lake & Palmer
ELP were hugely successful in the 1970s (with album sales totalling over thirty million), and significantly contributed to the evolution of progressive rock. Lake contributed to many of ELP's songs but was particularly noticeable for his guitar oriented and soulful tunes such as "C'est la vie" (Works Volume I), "Still... You Turn Me On" (Brain Salad Surgery) and "The Sage" ("Pictures at an Exhibition"). Lake became popularly known for his UK Christmas number two single, "I Believe in Father Christmas" in 1975 which was later included on the ELP album Works Volume II.

In 1973, Lake founded the Manticore label and signed some very talented musicians such as Italy's PFM and Banco and King Crimson/Emerson, Lake & Palmer lyricist Pete Sinfield.

1980s: Asia and solo career
After the break-up of ELP, Lake toured briefly with the group Asia in 1983 as a temporary replacement for John Wetton, as well as releasing two solo albums and conducting a tour in the early 1980s. The albums were Greg Lake (1981) and Manoeuvres (1983), both of which featured ex-Thin Lizzy guitarist Gary Moore and, even though the latter is more sophisticated, saw Lake playing straight rock.

1990s: Emerson, Lake & Palmer again
Emerson, Lake & Palmer subsequently reunited in the early 1990s and played the progressive rock circuit, especially in outdoor summer concerts, and released two new studio albums. In 1998, the members of ELP had a rather acrimonious falling-out and Lake left the band.

2000s: Recent work and Greg Lake band
Keith Emerson's 2004 memoirs "Pictures of an Exhibitionist" give an unflattering portrait of Lake, and not surprisingly Lake has said that he will never reunite with ELP in the future. He has not been especially visible on the music scene since then, though he did tour as a member of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band in 2001. In late 2003 he played bass on The Who's "Real Good Looking Boy".

On October 22, 2005 Lake began touring the UK with a brand new "Greg Lake Band", to positive reviews. The band comprises David Arch on keyboards, Florian Opahle on guitar, Trevor Barry on bass, and Brett Morgan on drums. A double DVD was released by Warner Bros/Classic Pictures early 2006, with Greg Lake in full form, his voice now deeper and louder than before. The Greg Lake Band was ready for a new tour on September 2006 with rumours of a new album in the pipeline, although this tour was cancelled at the last minute due to "management troubles".

Greg Lake performed "Karn Evil 9" with the Trans Siberian Orchestra at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, Long Island, New York on December 20, 2006, and at the Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, NJ on December 21, 2006. =>>>>>>>>>>>

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