Off The Shelf is exactly what Keith Emerson says it is in the forward to the liner notes, a veritable cornucopia of pot pourri within an audio montage.
This is a collection of rare tracks that took years to see the light of day, much too long for such a creative and well-known artist such as Emerson. The people that show up on the recordings are as diverse as the genres covered-from Pat Travers and Cozy Powell to the London Symphony Orchestra.
You will hear jazz, jazz-fusion, rock, blues, you name it, and Emerson leaves nothing to chance, giving the listener a broad range of his tastes. The music he came to know and love, and which served him as the most influential in musical development, is what this recording is all about, along with seeing the artist in an entirely different musical space. Its no wonder he turned out to be one of the greatest keyboard players in the world, and not just in the realm of rock music. He stands far above the rest, landing with both feet firmly implanted in the elite club with people like Rick Wakeman.
I think most people familiar with his work will find this surprisingly good and refreshing because it is the unexpected, and what makes it so enjoyable is that you will hear quality music, not a bunch of throwaway tracks that Emerson never wanted to release. It is quite the contrary.
1. Abaddon's Bolero Orchestral
2. Pictures at an Exhibit
3. And Then January
5. Straight Between the Eyes
6. Don't Be Cruel
8. Walter L
10. Asian Pear
11. Motor Bikin'
13. Lumpy Gravy
14. Up the Elephant & Round the Castle
15. Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll