Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Singles, the Trio’s First-Ever 7-inch 45s Box Set, Is Coming Via BMG on August 26

Still... they turn us on. Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s first-ever singles box set, a deluxe collection featuring an even-dozen remastered 7-inch 45s culled from UK and international pressings and sporting rare, original picture sleeves and label artwork, is heading our way via BMG on August 26.

Simply titled Singles, this box set also contains a booklet with detailed liner notes, a foreword from ELP drummer Carl Palmer (the trio’s only surviving bandmember), rare band photos, and 12x7-inch companion art cards inspired by the original singles sleeves.


Released in conjunction with celebrating ELP’s 50th anniversary, all tracks on the 1971-92 career-spanning Singles collection have been remastered by ELP mastering engineer Andy Pearce. As Carl Palmer rightly observes in the liners, “This box set of singles is very important to the development of ELP. The music that you will hear opened the door to radio around the world, and then the musical concept of ELP was born.”

Indeed, Singles, which retails for $109.99, covers the other side of the ELP coin, so to speak, for a band that became a deeply ingrained FM radio favorite for their classical-meets-progressive extended workouts as much as, if not certainly more so, the shorter songs that crossed them over into the mainstream. The three singles that instantly come to mind to illustrate the latter concept are “Lucky Man,” “From the Beginning,” and “Fanfare for the Common Man,” the latter of which hit No.2 on the UK Singles charts. Interestingly, “Still... You Turn Me On” was released only a B-side, even if we tend to think otherwise, given the cross-format airplay that song has received over the years.


It’s also telling that each member of ELP had their own personal history and relationship with the world of 45s prior to the formation of what many consider to be progressive rock’s first supergroup. With The Nice, keyboardist Keith Emerson’s fiery Hammond organ was featured quite prominently on several singles, most notably on their 1968 cover of Leonard Bernstein’s “America.” Bassist/guitarist/vocalist Greg Lake harbored his own aspirations of stardom by covering Janis Ian’s “Too Old to Go ‘Way Little Girl” with The Shame in 1967, and went for it again in 1968 with The Shy Limbs on “Reputation.” Meanwhile, drummer Carl Palmer’s first band, Craig, had a 1966 shot at the charts with “I Must Be Mad.”

As someone who has all of ELP’s LPs in various original and reissued editions yet not one single 45 of theirs, I’m all-in for getting my hands on their Singles box set. What say you? Chime in with your own fanfare in the Comments section below.

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Single One
A. Lucky Man
B. Knife Edge​

Single Two​
A. Stones Of Years
B. A Time And A Place​

Single Three​
A. From The Beginning
B. Living Sin​

Single Four​
A. Jerusalem
B. When The Apple Blossoms Bloom In The Windmills Of Your Mind I'll Be Your Valentine ​

Single Five​
A. Fanfare For The Common Man
B. Brain Salad Surgery​

Single Six
A. C’est La Vie
B. Hallowed Be Thy Name​

Single Seven
A. Brain Salad Surgery
B. Still... You Turn Me On​

Single Eight​
A. Tiger In A Spotlight
B. So Far To Fall​

Single Nine
A1. I Believe In Father Christmas
B. When The Apple Blossoms Bloom In The Windmills Of Your Mind I'll Be Your Valentine​

Single Ten​
A. Canario
B. All I Want Is You​

Single Eleven
A. Black Moon
B. Black Moon (Album Version)

Single Twelve
A. Affairs Of The Heart
B. Better Days

firedog's picture

Their albums up to "Brain Salad" are all great.

Mike Mettler's picture
Agreed! Did you ever see them live?
Tom L's picture

They really knew how to put on a show. Although I always considered them to be a bit self-important and pompous there's no denying their talent. I had several of their albums and played them a lot.
I saw them twice, in 1972 and 1974. I was impressed with Lake's strong voice and fluid bass work. Palmer had the rare ability to put together an interesting, listenable drum solo. Emerson was of course a tremendous presence on his pile of keyboards, and how could anyone forget him repeatedly stabbing the screaming synthesizer and B3 with knives as they tilted and spun through the air? Great entertainment and an introduction to psuedo-classical music for many rockers in the "Pictures at an Exhibition" segment.

Mike Mettler's picture
Ah yes, Emerson and his live knives -- who could forget? A quick look through my live-show attendance Rolodex confirms the last time I saw an ELP-related show was Keith Emerson & Greg Lake doing their two-man duo thing at the then-named Nokia Theatre in Times Square in NYC on April 8, 2010. I don't recall any knives coming out during that gig, however...
johnnythunder2's picture

I can't tell you how many joints my friends and I smoked while listening to Brain Salad Surgery really really LOUD in the mid-70s. Though I had a friend who loved ELP and made fun of the RAMONES when their first LP came out (and I bought it.) Every time I hear a RAMONES song used in a commercial or a film or read an appreciation of them, I smirk about which band has had the greater legacy and impact on culture.

arcman67's picture

Especially considering ELP is more known as a "long form" album artist. However, for ELP collectors, This would be a great release.

Hard to believe every musician on stage during the "touch and Go" tour in 86 have all passed.

Steelhead's picture

Great Band and put on one hell of a show at Saratoga Performing Arts Center back in the early 70's. Power, Weight, and Delicacy. Memorable show.

I won't be buying the 45's as they are an album band and flow is part of the attraction for this listener. Cannot see flipping 45's for this band.

I caught Manitcore which is a ELP tribute band last winter and wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I and the neighbor did. They are a great tribute band out of NY and if they play in your area do yourself a favor and go catch them. I am not a tribute guy per se but after Dark Star Orchestra and now Manticore I might be crumbling a bit.

garrard701's picture

For a band that made their name with LP-side-length pieces (or albums meant for continuous listening) I was dubious about this set. But the artwork is actually pretty cool. And the tunes being presented (or excerpted) here are first-rate. I never saw them live -- and never even took ELP seriously -- because of all the critical hate they received. But then that "First Five" set of picture disks came out in 2013, and something about those beautiful jackets (except the first album!) drew me in. So now that we don't have to worry about looking cool or nerdy or what Rolling Stone says or what allegiance to a certain band intimates... I could strip all that away and just listen to the music. I missed out on the picture disc box, but found those first five albums in the dollar bins(!) over the past few years and have enjoyed them: they're virtuosos and the albums definitely hold my interest. The later stuff (Works, Love Beach, Welcome Back My Friends…, In Concert) isn’t for me. Why am I leaving a long comment about ELP ALBUMS on a post about their SINGLES box? Because I might buy this for the music, sound, and packaging… or I might save my money and try to find a used copy of “First Five.” I wish they’d reissue that!

Mike Mettler's picture
I appreciate your full analysis here re albums vs. singles, tbh, because one of the related underlying points here is this... do you buy the ELP Singles box purely as a collectible item because you just have to have it as an ELP fan/collector, or do you buy it to go through the process of actually playing any/all the 45s?
Neward Thelman's picture

Not even a hint of a breath about whether this offering's all pure analog, or jest another digital job.