• Charles Cherney

131: From the Beginning

Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "From the Beginning" (1972) is a perfect song. Magical. Listen:

"From the Beginning"


There might have been things I missed But don't be unkind It don't mean I'm blind Perhaps there's a thing or two I think of lying in bed I shouldn't have said But there it is You see it's all clear You were meant to be here From the beginning Maybe I might have changed And not been so cruel Not been such a fool Whatever was done is done I just can't recall It doesn't matter at all You see it's all clear You were meant to be here From the beginning


As noted in Wikipedia, Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) were an English progressive rock super group formed in London in April 1970. The band consisted of Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (vocals, bass, guitar and producer) and Carl Palmer (drums and percussion). With nine RIAA-certified gold record albums in the US, and an estimated 48 million records sold worldwide, they were one of the most popular and commercially successful progressive rock bands in the 1970s.


"From the Beginning" was released on ELP's third album Trilogy (1972). Knowing that Keith Emerson committed suicide in March of 2016 and that Greg Lake died of cancer in December of the same year somehow makes the impact of this recording that much more meaningful today.


I can literally listen to this song ten times through without tiring of it. The Youtube video presentation of the song above does a nice job of capturing Emerson, Lake & Palmer.


With regard to "From the Beginning," songwriter Greg Lake said he did not remember the inspiration for the lyrics, stating "Very often lyrics simply come about simply because of the way one feels at a moment in time. There is no earth moving moment of diving inspiration, no grand plan, and I'm sure that was the case with this song. Although very young at the time, I sometimes had moments of reflection and maybe also perhaps a feeling that I could be a better person. I think this was just one of those."


And just one of those moments it was. Greg Lake was 25 years old in 1972 when "From the Beginning" was released. Fifty years later, the song is as fresh as the day it was recorded.


Do yourself a favor and listen to it again. From the beginning.