Greg Lake’s “Magical”: A Deep Dive into the Solo Years
In the realm of progressive rock, few names shine as brightly as Greg Lake. Known for his pivotal roles in King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), Lake’s contributions to music have left an indelible mark on the genre. However, it’s his solo work that takes center stage in the recently released box set, “Magical,” a comprehensive collection that spans the breadth of his post-ELP career.
“Magical” is a meticulously curated seven-disc set that offers a deep dive into Lake’s solo endeavors. Unlike the more extensive Keith Emerson box set, “Magical” focuses on a more concise period, yet it doesn’t skimp on content. The set includes Lake’s solo albums, live recordings, and a disc that might be familiar to fans of both Lake and Emerson, as it appears in both artists’ collections.
The presentation of “Magical” is nothing short of luxurious. Housed in a sturdy box with artwork that nods to Lake’s albums, the set feels like a tangible piece of music history. The inclusion of a hardback book elevates the collection further, offering insights, rare photographs, and track-by-track analysis that enrich the listening experience. This attention to detail underscores the reverence and respect for Lake’s legacy.
Musically, “Magical” spans the gamut of Lake’s solo career, showcasing his versatility as a musician. From the hard rock and metallic edges of his work with guitarist Gary Moore to the introspective ballads that have become synonymous with Lake’s name, the collection captures the breadth of his artistic range. Notably, the set includes “Manoeuvres,” an album that Lake himself had mixed feelings about, revealing the depth of his introspection and artistic evolution.
Live recordings form a significant part of “Magical,” offering a glimpse into Lake as a live performer. The “Songs of a Lifetime” disc, in particular, stands out as a highlight, featuring acoustic renditions of classic tracks from both King Crimson and ELP. These performances not only showcase Lake’s vocal and instrumental talents but also his ability to connect with audiences through storytelling.
This is a tribute to a musician whose contributions to progressive rock cannot be overstated. For fans of Lake, ELP, or progressive rock in general, this box set is an essential addition to their collection. It serves as a reminder of Lake’s musical genius, his emotional depth, and his enduring influence on the genre.
Phil Aston | Now Spinning Magazine