About four years ago, one of my friends asked me to write an article in my ongoing series  on the band Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, a group known for their symphonic art rock. I did not feel any urgency in the task, in large part because I was not aware of the fact that Keith Emerson was becoming increasingly distressed and depressed over the nerve damage that had impaired his ability to play the keyboard according to his and his audiences’ expectations, leading to what appears to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Now, an article that I hoped to write for a band whose creative efforts were in the past, but which had at least the possibility of maintaining the support of fans and becoming less of a polarizing band in the opinion of music writers who viewed their writing in such unflattering terms as pretentious  and “the definition of masturbatory excess and self-aggrandizement”  or even a “waste of time, talent and electricity ,” is now an elegy written when it is too late to be of most benefit to part of its intended audience. Often compared to Rush, the surviving members of the band can at least take comfort in the fact that they do have fans, including the influential Nintendo composer who views their work as being a major inspiration in his own gorgeous video game composing . In an ironic way, a band so widely hated must have been important, since people do not waste the effort in hating what is of no importance whatsoever.
Why Emerson, Lake & Palmer Belong In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
There are several grounds, some of them highly ironic, that demonstrate the worth of Emerson, Lake & Palmer for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. One of them is the high level of artistic quality and high art exhibited in their works. These include their lone US top 40 hit, the often-covered “From The Beginning,” as well as their song discussing the possible connection between Jesus Christ and Great Britain, “Jerusalem,” as well as their notable performance of Aaron Copeland’s “Fanfare For The Common Man,” which hit #2 on the British charts. Besides their popular songs, the band had a string of popular albums, where their first eight studio albums from 1970 to 1992 all went gold (Emerson Lake & Palmer, Tarkus, Trilogy, Brain Salad Surgery, Works Volumes 1 and 2, Love Beach, and Black Moon), along with their first two live albums as well (Pictures at an Exhibition and Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends…Ladies and Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake & Palmer). Even their first best of collection managed to go gold as well, giving them eleven gold albums, a very high achievement for a band that did not release singles and that is viewed of as being too pretentious for a wide audience. Besides this, and the influence that Emerson, Lake & Palmer had on other musicians and composers like Iron Maiden and Dream Theater, the fact that the band is a supergroup  ought to play some role, as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has often been quick to induct bands worthy of induction from other groups, and the members of Emerson, Lake & Palmer were in such notable bands as King Crimson (another snubbed Progressive band worthy of induction) and Asia.
Why Emerson, Lake & Palmer Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
There are a few reasons that are worthy of brief mention. For one, the band performs on the “high” side of Rock & Roll, with heavy religious and orchestral elements, that are typically considered pretentious and not necessarily “real” rock & roll. Besides this, the band had few singles, most of which were acoustic ballads from lyricist Greg Lake, and so the band’s efforts have not been a continual reminder to listening audiences about the breadth and depth of their work, in songs like “Tarkus.” Their virtuosity has long been recognized, but among mainstream audiences they have often flown below the radar, a fate of undeserved obscurity.
Verdict: Put these guys in. They’ve been eligible a long time, there is a definite shortage of worthy prog rock bands in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and it would be a fitting honor to the late Keith Emerson and his surviving bandmates.
 Hochman, Steve (26 August 1992). “That ‘Pretentious’ Trio ELP Is Back on the Rock Scene: Pop music: After splitting up in 1978, Emerson, Lake & Palmer are together again for ‘Black Moon,’ their first album …”. Los Angeles Times.
 “Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Pictures At An Exhibition – Special Edition”. Allaboutjazz.com. 14 August 2010. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
 “The world’s most reviled proggers (after Rush) get the deluxe retrospective treatment…”. BBC. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
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