At the beginning of the 70’s, synthesizers were largely considered a novelty. There were dozens of novelty ‘switched on’ albums, ranging from Switched On Beatles to Switched On Buck.
By the end of the decade, though, Keith Emerson had blown minds with his synth solo on Lucky Man, Kraftwerk had created the template for synth pop and Moroder and Summer had transported dance music into the future with I Feel Love. Synths have had a prominent place in music ever since.
What’s the best synth song of all time? Is it one of the 70’s classics, something from the synthpop heyday or something more modern?
Not completely! But after seeing reader Matt Riddle’s prog keyboard tour, we felt the urge for a little vintage prog rock excess.
And in that respect, ELP’s 1974 performance of Karn Evil 9 definitely delivers.
Before the massive drum solo, Keith Emerson unleashes a torrent of angular riffs on organ and Minimoog. There’s no simulated sex or knife-play in this, but based on what I see at around 1:55, it looks like Emerson can play Karn Evil 9 while chewing gum.
Merry SynthmasSunday Synth Jam: Since Christmas falls on a Sunday this year, here’s a holiday themed jam featuring synth pioneer Keith Emerson – Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Nutrocker, performed live in Belgium in 1971.
Keith Emerson did an interview with Dave Kerzner of Sonic Reality earlier this year as part of a promo for a sample library he’s working on.
In this segment, Emerson tells some great stories about working with his Moog modular synthesizer, the Yamaha GX-1, the origin of the Lucky Man solo, his synth orchestra project and even the future of Emerson, Lake & Palmer.