SD 19211 Love Beach
no production credits
Released on November 18, 1978
UK CHART POSITION #48 . . .
US CHART POSITION #55 . . . GOLD RECORD
Find it at GEMM
SD 19211 cover  

O kay, so the wannabeegees cover and title fuels the suspicion that Love Beach is no more than a musical morass, but conceptually ELP wasn't stuck for an encore. The trouble with this album isn’t the ideas or the inspiration, but the execution. Simply put, the production value is thin, erasing the pomp factor so critical to ELP’s success. (In fact, my elpee doesn’t list any production credits, which might explain why the album feels so underproduced.) Keith Emerson’s keyboards especially lack the thunder of old, a problem that likewise plagued Rick Wakeman on the similarly disappointing Tormato (in their defense, the late '70s did produce a weak generation of electronic keyboards like the Birotron). Love Beach is essentially split into two sides, with Greg Lake and Emerson engaging the full-time services of Peter Sinfield. The first side of music (or the Lake-side part) features the usual assortment of ballads and stories, pale shadows of earlier successes; “All I Want Is You” for example is no more than a warmed-over version of “Nobody Loves You Like I Do”. Some of the old darkness creeps in on “Taste of My Love,” while “Canario” isn’t so far removed from their classic instrumental workouts, but none of this ranks as top-shelf stuff. Better in thought and execution is the side-long “Memoirs of An Officer and A Gentleman,” which is a rare song cycle from Emerson and Sinfield that hits the occasional high point. “The Education of a Gentleman” in particular finds the band hitting their stride, and “Letters From The Front” is centered around an interesting melody. Love Beach never does build up the momentum needed to leave the Earth, but anyone who found merit in Tormato will find some here as well. It is the least essential of ELP’s studio albums from the ‘70s, though the new music alone makes it more interesting than the subsequent concert album and greatest hits compilation. Looking back, a lyric sheet would have been a nice touch as well. Since the vinyl version sounds pretty weak, I’d recommend splurging for the compact disc on this one.

SD 19211 back cover SD 19211 promotional insert
SD 19211 back cover SD 19211 promotional insert

TRACK LISTING

  1. ALL I WANT IS YOU    (Greg Lake/Peter Sinfield)    2:33
  2. LOVE BEACH    (Greg Lake/Peter Sinfield)    2:44
  3. TASTE OF MY LOVE    (Greg Lake/Peter Sinfield)    3:31
  4. THE GAMBLER    (Keith Emerson/Greg Lake/Peter Sinfield)    3:19
  5. FOR YOU    (Greg Lake/Peter Sinfield)    4:25
  6. CANARIO (from "Fantasia Para Un Gentilhombre")    (J. Rodrigo)    3:57
  7. MEMOIRS OF AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN
    a. Prologue/The Education of a Gentleman    (Keith Emerson/Peter Sinfield)    5:33
    b. Love At First Sight    (Keith Emerson/Peter Sinfield)    5:37
    c. Letters From The Front    (Keith Emerson/Peter Sinfield)    5:18
    d. Honourable Company (A March)    (Keith Emerson)    3:45

    *2001 bonus tracks
  8. CANARIO (REHEARSAL 1978)
  9. TASTE OF MY LOVE (REHEARSAL 1978)
  10. LETTERS FROM THE FRONT (REHEARSAL 1978)

    All arrangements by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

CREDITS

KEITH EMERSON --
GREG LAKE --
CARL PALMER --
Peter Sinfield -- lyrics
Karl Pitterson -- engineer
Jack Nuber -- engineer
Bob Defrin -- art director
Jim Houghton -- photography

return to EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK November 18, 1978 Atlantic LP/CS K50552  
US/CAN November 18, 1978 Atlantic LP/CS SD/CS 19211 w. promo insert
GER 1978 Ariola LP 200 249  
US Nov/Dec 1993 Victory CD/CS 80028  
UK 1996 Essential CD ESMCD 363  
US May 21, 1996 Rhino CD 72231  
EEC 2001 Castle/Sanctuary CD CMRCD 226 w. bonus tracks (*)

 

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