In 1992, famed rockers Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer came together to play this 25th anniversary show at London's Royal Albert Hall (see also the recent DVD release of "Who: Live at Royal Albert Hall"). While I can't say that I'm entirely familiar with the music of ELP, I found this to be an enjoyable performance made up of a strong mixture of well-written ballads and catchier up-tempo songs, uniformly played with good spirits and energy.
Sngs: Welcome Back, Tarkus, Knife Edge, Paper Blood, Creole Dance, From the Beginning, Lucky Man, Honky Tonk Train Blues, Romeo and Juliet, Pirates, Pictures at an Exhibition, Fanfare for the Common Man.
VIDEO: "ELP: Live at Royal Albert Hall" is presented in full-frame, which is apparently the original aspect ratio of the video-filmed production. The image quality is generally pleasant, but not quite up to the usual standards of Image Entertainment releases. Sharpness and detail are improved in the close-up shots, which generally look well-defined and crisp, while some of the wider shots look somewhat on the softer side. While there are no complaints in regards to edge enhancement or pixelation, colors seemed a bit heavy at times.
SOUND: "ELP: Live At Royal Albert Hall" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. While Image's usual presentations of new concerts are often presented in excellent sounding Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1, this concert seems to be a stereo recording remixed to surround. Since the center channel is essentially not used, the presentation is essentially 4.1. Surrounds kick in ambience and some musical backing, but tend to sound rather flat and don't really add much to the experience. Vocals also tend to sound a bit far-off in the surround presentation, as if I was standing towards the back of the room. Switching to the stereo presentation revealed, of course, a less immersive experience, but somewhat clearer and fuller vocals and instrumentals. Overall, either sound option is not bad and although neither compare with the quality of recordings of more modern shows, it seems as if an effort was made with the materials available to enhance the experience with surround use.
MENUS: As per usual, Image Entertainment provides enjoyable animated menus, with scenes and audio from the show as backgrounds.
EXTRAS: No extras are included. Given that this is now a 9-year old show, maybe the idea of proving supplemental material (backstage, behind-the-scenes video) didn't seem as necessary then.
Final Thoughts: Although I wasn't previously very familiar with their music, I thought ELP provided an enjoyable performance. Working with material that doesn't seem quite up to modern recording standards, Image Entertainment has created a surround presentation that is listenable and fairly enjoyable, but not exceptional. Recommended for ELP fans.