Size: 180 MB
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan SHM-CD Remaster
Yes, Christmas has come early, this album contains previously unreleased live material. The recordings were made at the Filmore East New York during December 1969, very close to the demise of the band and the formation of ELP. Some other material from these concerts was previously included on the 'Elegy' and "Five Bridges' albums and it was only when the remastering process for those albums was being done that they discovered the tapes of the whole concert.
In reviewing this album I will assume some knowledge of the original music rather than trying to describe each piece from scratch, a large book would be needed to perform such a task.
1. Rondo - This belts along at a furious pace and is quite similar to the live 'Rondo 69' which is on the album 'The Nice', but a little shorter and somehow more controlled if that is possible.
2. Ars Longa Vita Brevis - The original version of this was on the studio album of the same name and contained orchestra. This live version at 13.18 is some 6 minutes shorter and notably omits the 3rd Movement 'Brandenburger'. It is certainly punchier than the original and contains an extended percussion section in the middle, together with assorted thudding and scraping sounds that I was beginning to lose the plot with, until a more traditional drum solo took over. An interesting piece by the way the orchestral sections were omitted or replaced by Emerson's keyboards.
3. Little Arabella - This tune was originally on the 'Ars Longa ..' studio album. This 6 minute version in a couple of minutes longer and contains an extended organ solo in the middle by Emerson. Until hearing this I didn't know this was a song they did live.
4. She Belongs To Me - To my knowledge, the only other Nice version of this Bob Dylan song is on the album 'The Nice'. This is a different live version and at 13.18 is a couple of minutes longer. It is the same song, but some additional improvisation and well known theme tunes are thrown it - a great way to finish off the first CD.
1. Country Pie - Another Dylan song with a bit of Bach thrown in. A different live version of this was included on the 'Five Bridges' Album. They are very similar, but as usual Mr Emerson doesn't play something quite the same way twice, so you always hear something a little different.
2. Five Bridges Suite - The original version of this appeared on the album of the same name that was recorded live with orchestra in London in Autumn '69. This version is obviously without the orchestra and if you pardon the pun is an 'abridged' version. At 13.40 it is about 5 minutes shorter. As with 'Ars Longa' the out and out orchestra sections are either omitted or replaced by keyboards. The band play very well on this piece.
3. Hang On To A Dream - I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. This song was first seen on 'The Nice' album and at around 4 minutes long contained mostly piano and vocals. The other version I was aware of is on the 'Elegy' album and was a 12 minute live version with an extended piano section. So when I played this version (7.30) my first thought was 'Hold up, where's the piano?'. Interestingly KE plays Hammond organ all the way through, which I presume he did because his piano wasn't up to the job, or he just fancied a change!
4. Intermezzo: Karelia Suite - First heard on 'Ars Longa' and also a live version with orchestra on 'Five Bridges'. This live version is organ, drums and bass. At over 12 minutes long it includes additional improvisation and a rousing conclusion to this adaptation of a piece by Sibelius.
5. America - Perhaps the most well know tune by the Nice, other versions abound including a couple of live ones. This is similar to the one on 'Elegy', but a bit less of the weird section at the end where it sounds like KE converts his hammond organ into spaceship.
6. War And Peace- This tune was first heard on the album ' The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack'. Not much to report other than it is similar and excellent.
Overall a brilliant album which seems almost wholly unedited, so it includes the band introducing the songs to the audience and gives you a great feel of what it must have been like to see them live. Sound quality is generally very good considering the concert was almost 40 years ago. [Amazon.com]
01. Rondo (Live At Fillmore East) 7:00
02. Ars Longa Vita Brevis (Live At Fillmore East) 13:48
03. Little Arabella (Live At Fillmore East) 6:24
04. She Belongs To Me (Live At Fillmore East) 13:18
01. Country Pie (Live At Fillmore East) 6:14
02. Five Bridges Suite (Live At Fillmore East) 13:53
03. Hang On To A Dream (Live At Fillmore East) 7:30
04. Intermezzo: Karelia Suite (Live At Fillmore East) 12:29
05. America (Live At Fillmore East) 7:51
06. War And Peace (Live At Fillmore East) 5:20