Musician Greg Lake, a prog-rock pioneer who co-founded King Crimson
and Emerson, Lake and Palmer has died aged 69.
His manager Stewart Young said in a statement that Lake died Wednesday
7 December 2106 after “a long and stubborn battle with cancer.”
Born in the English seaside town of Poole in 1947, Lake founded King Crimson with guitarist Robert Fripp in the late 1960s. The band pioneered the sprawling, ambitious genre that came to be known as progressive rock.
He went on to form ELP with keyboardist Keith Emerson, who died in March, and drummer Carl Palmer. With Lake as vocalist and guitarist, ELP impressed the crowds at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, in a lineup that also featured Jimi Hendrix and The Who.
The band released six platinum-selling albums characterized by songs of epic length, classical influence and ornate imagery, and toured with elaborate light shows and theatrical staging.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s best and most popular piece actually is made up of four parts spread over two LP sides that clock in at nearly half an hour. The most popular section is “First Impression, Pt. 2,” which includes the famous intro — “Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends” — that became the title of the group’s highest-charting album, a live record from 1974. Try and take in the full 30-minutes, it’s epic prog-rock at its best.