Greg Lake: Songs Of A Lifetime

Back pages and curious covers played live.

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Recorded during his 2012 solo tour, Songs Of A Lifetime finds Lake touching base with his 40-odd years in the music business, the set-list compiled from tracks that, he says, kept “popping up” while he was working on his autobiography.

Consequently, there are more subdued and acoustically fashioned versions of material first performed with Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer, and a bombastic opening salvo of King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man. However, Lake the fan also flicks through the songbooks of others, sounding awkward and stilted on Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel but on safer ground with The Beatles’ You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away.

Greg’s terribly formal introductions give the show the air of a university lecture, prefacing music that’s undeniably expertly played but seemingly with little real passion or intimacy. Curtis Mayfield’s People Get Ready is shorn of all its soul by a singer struggling to locate the nuance of the lyric.

Terry Staunton was a senior editor at NME for ten years before joined the founding editorial team of Uncut. Now freelance, specialising in music, film and television, his work has appeared in Classic Rock, The Times, Vox, Jack, Record Collector, Creem, The Village Voice, Hot Press, Sour Mash, Get Rhythm, Uncut DVD, When Saturday Comes, DVD World, Radio Times and on the website Music365.