Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Live At The Mar Y Sol Festival ’72
03) Take A Pebble
04) Lucky Man
05) Piano Improvisation
06) Pictures At An Exhibition
Release date: December 6, 2011
This is definitely one of the most exciting moments in my years as a Mar Y Sol Festival researcher. A dream come true.
In 1972 there were two LP releases from this festival. A double Various Artists’ compilation and an LP by Cactus. Thirty nine years later there is a third official release, this time by the great progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
They were one of the highlights of the festival and gave an amazing performance. And although this was previously released as part of the boxed set ‘From The Beginning’ in 2007, this release is much more special. First of all a lot of fans, starting with me, thought this performance deserved it’s own separate release, it’s own cover, etc. Also, this version was re-mastered from the original 16-track tapes, as Carl Palmer says on the booklet, “to give the best sonic performance possible”…..Yes!, it’s something else.
Missing credits & booklet error
When this CD was being worked on I was contacted to see if I could provide some images for the booklet and I was promised I would be credited if my images were used. I was extremely excited. Not only because of this new separate release but because I had been given the chance to be part of it. Well, what do you know, I just got the CD on the mail today and on the back of the booklet you can see 3 of the images I sent: the original poster, a ticket stub (#000202) and a flier. My name or my web site’s name is nowhere to be found on the CD.
I was promised this would be corrected on the 2nd pressing.
NOTE: Although I submitted these, the ticket stub was originally sent to me by festival attendee Lou Portela. I bought the poster about 7 years ago on eBay and it’s now framed and hanging on my wall. A friend of mine scanned it and cleaned it up and from that I sent the image for the booklet.
The one error I found was that it says this took place in “Vega Baja, San Juan, Puerto Rico” when in fact San Juan is a different and totally separated town from Vega Baja. There are five towns in between. Mar y Sol was held only one time and in one town, Vega Baja. Actually, it was in Manatí but back then everybody knew that area as Vega Baja because of it’s proximity to the borderline. So Vega Baja is acceptable.
Just to avoid confusion with the whole festival production subject, I would also like to clarify that the back-stage-pass looking thing on the back of the booklet is not real. First of all, the line “Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival” gives it away as it is also the name of this CD. It looks really nice but at the festival no band had any special passes, promos or logos. I even asked this to the festival’s producer, Alex Cooley, back in 2006 when I interviewed him to what he answered: “Everybody got equal billing. There was nobody above anybody else. That’s called festival-type billing. There was no headliners.”
Also, at Mar y Sol there were no cloth back stage passes. Instead they used pins:
And last but not least, during the festival there was only one logo, the one from the poster. Months later (around August) a logo for the LP was made by the record company, not by Alex Cooley’s people, and it “happens” to look a lot like the one on the new ELP CD:
In other words, when ELP played at this festival, that logo had not been made.
History & previous releases
In 2006 (more than 30 years after) Greg Lake found the 16-track tapes of their whole performance at this festival. It was released for the first time ever in the box set ‘From The Beginning’ (on Disc 5).
In 2011, as part of the Record Store Day, a limited LP version (1,500 copies) of the Mar Y Sol performance was released while the regular CD version was being prepared to be released on December 6, 2011.
NOTE: The photo used for the Record Store Day LP is not from Mar y Sol or Puerto Rico but from England 1973.