Get this crazy baby off my head!


Keith Emerson

Keith Emerson - Off The Shelf - 2006 - Sanctuary

Off The Shelf is exactly what Keith Emerson says it is in the forward to the liner notes, a veritable cornucopia of potpourri within an audio montage. This is a collection of rare tracks that took years to see the light of day, much too long for such a creative and well-known artist such as Emerson. The people who show up on the recordings are as diverse as the genres covered - from Pat Travers and Cozy Powell to the London Symphony Orchestra. You will hear jazz, jazz-fusion, rock, blues, you name it, and Emerson leaves nothing to chance, giving the listener a broad range of his tastes. The music he came to know and love, and which served him as the most influential in musical development, is what this recording is all about, along with seeing the artist in an entirely different musical space. Its no wonder he turned out to be one of the greatest keyboard players in the world, and not just in the realm of rock music. He stands far above the rest, landing with both feet firmly implanted in the elite club with people like Rick Wakeman. I think most people familiar with his work will find this surprisingly good and refreshing because it is the unexpected, and what makes it so enjoyable is that you will hear quality music, not a bunch of throwaway tracks that Emerson never wanted to release. It is quite the contrary. [ From www.feedsfarm.com ]

"Some of the musical styles presented here contributed to my work with Emerson, Lake & Palmer and also The Nice. I feel very fortunate to have played certain pieces with musicians who are the best in their field. So abandon any expectation of continuity and expect the unexpected as I present 'Off the Shelf' - a veritable cornucopia of potpourri within an audio montage! This is all stuff I love and want to share with you now."
- Keith Emerson [ http://www.keithemerson.com ]

As well as original compositions, Emerson adds his distinctive stamp to songs by Elvis Presley, Frank Zappa, Thelonius Monk, and Ian Dury in an unpredictable mix of classical, jazz and Brazilian styles. This is a brilliant album, and demonstrates the genius of one of the world's greatest ever keyboardists. All Music Guide refers to Emerson as "perhaps the greatest, most technically accomplished keyboardist in rock history."


1. Aladdon's Bolero
2. Pictures At An Exhibition
3. And Then January
4. Rio
5. Straight Between The Eyes
6. Don't Be Cruel
7. Au Privave
8. Walter L
9. Rhythm-A-Ning
10. Asian Pear
11. Motor Bikin'
12. America
13. Lumpy Gravy
14. Up The Elephant And Around The Castle
15. Sex And Drugs And Rock And Roll


Keith Emerson - Main Performer
The Nice - Performer
Pat Travers - Guitar
Mo Foster - Bass
Simon Phillips - Performer
John Doukas - Vocals
Levon Helm - Performer
Garth Hudson - Performer
London Philharmonic Orchestra - Performer
Cozy Powell - Drums
Ron Asprey - Sax (Alto)
Ron Asprey - Sax (Soprano)

BIO (Wikipedia)

Keith Noel Emerson (born 2 November 1944 in Todmorden, Yorkshire) is a British keyboard player and composer. Formerly a member of the Keith Emerson Trio, John Brown's Bodies, The T-Bones, V.I.P.s, P.P. Arnold's backing band, and The Nice (which evolved from P.P.Arnold's band), he started Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), one of the early supergroups, in 1970. Following the breakup of ELP, circa 1979, Emerson had modest success with Emerson, Lake & Powell in the 1980s. ELP reunited during the early 90s. Emerson also reunited The Nice in 2002 for a tour. He currently tours (through 2007) with The Keith Emerson Band. Emerson grew up in the seaside resort of Worthing, West Sussex, England. As a child, he learned western classical music, from which he derived a lot of inspiration to create his own style, combining classical music, jazz, and rock themes. Emerson became intrigued with the Hammond organ after hearing jazz organist Jack McDuff perform "Rock Candy" and it subsequently became his instrument of choice for performing in the late 60s. In 1969, Emerson incorporated the Moog modular synthesizer into his battery of keyboards. While other artists such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones had used the Moog in studio recordings, Emerson was the first artist to tour with one. He is known for his technical skill and for his live antics, including using knives to wedge down specific keys of his Hammond organ during solos, playing the organ upside down while having it lie over him and backwards while standing behind it. He also employed a special rig to rotate his piano end-over-end while he's "playing" it (purely theatrical, since acoustic pianos cannot function when turned upside down in this manner). Along with contemporaries Richard Wright of Pink Floyd, Tony Banks of Genesis, Billy Ritchie of Clouds and Rick Wakeman of Yes, Emerson is widely regarded as one of the top keyboard players of the progressive rock era. All Music Guide refers to Emerson as "perhaps the greatest, most technically accomplished keyboardist in rock history." Emerson has performed several notable rock arrangements of classical compositions, ranging from J. S. Bach via Modest Mussorgsky to 20th century composers such as Béla Bartók, Aaron Copland, Leoš Janáček and Alberto Ginastera. Occasionally Emerson has quoted from classical and jazz works without giving credit, particularly early in his career, from the late 1960s until 1972. The song "Rondo" by The Nice is a 4/4 interpretation of "Blue Rondo à la Turk" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, originally in 9/8 time signature. The piece is introduced by an extensive quote from Bach's Italian Concerto, third movement. In fact, considering the Bach and Emerson's own improvisations, the Brubeck contribution is merely the anchoring theme. On ELP's eponymous first album, Emerson's classical quotes went largely uncredited. "The Barbarian" is heavily influenced by Allegro barbaro by Bartók, and "Knife Edge" is virtually a note-for-note restatement of "Sifonietta" by Janáček. Note-for-note extracts were taken from pieces by Bartók, Janáček and Bach, mixed in with some original material, and credited completely to Emerson, Lake, Palmer and roadie Richard Fraser. By 1971, with the releases Pictures At An Exhibition and Trilogy, Emerson began to fully credit classical composers, Modest Mussorgsky for the piano piece which inspired the first album, and Aaron Copland for "Hoedown" on the second. Emerson was adamant that he did not use Maurice Ravel's orchestration of Pictures at an Exhibition in developing his own version. In 2004 Emerson published his autobiography entitled "Pictures of an Exhibitionist", which deals with his entire career, particularly focusing on his early days with The Nice, and his nearly career-ending nerve-graft surgery in 1993. Emerson has provided music for a number of films since 1980, including Dario Argento's Inferno and World of Horror, the 1981 thriller Nighthawks and, more recently, Godzilla: Final Wars. He was also the composer for the short-lived 1994 animated television series Iron Man. Emerson has released a number of solo albums and is currently working on another with regular collaborator Marc Bonilla and producer Keith Wechsler. The new album will be released in mid 2008.


Anonymous said...

thanks,a great blog

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thank you, Anonymous. Keep in touch with A.O.O.F.C, & spread the word!...Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much!!! A great surprise...

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hey! zale13! Howzitgoin'? Glad you like the great man!...Thanks, & come back soon.

Anonymous said...

Broken link -- been looking to hear this album for YEARS! Man, the deeper I look in your site, the more I see things I had forgotten, or never heard. GREAT work -- thanks for your efforts!

The Countess

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks "The Countess." Expect new link in 1-3 days

A.O.O.F.C said...