Uploaded on Feb 17, 2011
Billy Bob's Texas, Fort Worth, August 18th 2001.
"Karn Evil 9" is an extended work by progressive rock group Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), appearing on the album Brain Salad Surgery. A futuristic fusion of rock and classical themes, it is regarded by many fans to be their best work. At nearly half an hour long, it is also their longest studio recording. "Karn Evil 9" was written by Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and former King Crimson lyricist Peter Sinfield. The phrase "Karn Evil" is a slight alteration of the word "carnival".
The song has a running length of 29 minutes and 37 seconds. It is the fifth and final track on Brain Salad Surgery, though the initial release in both the U.S. and the UK saw "Karn Evil 9" split between the two sides of the album, due to its length. Subsequent releases have "Karn Evil 9" as a single track. There used to be a fade out/fade in between First Impression parts 1 and 2 due to the restrictions of the original vinyl transcription. This is not present on later CD versions.
"Karn Evil 9" consists of three movements, or "Impressions", with the First Impression divided into two parts:
1st Impression, Part I (0:00 to 8:41)
1st Impression, Part II (8:42 to 13:22)
2nd Impression (13:23 to 20:30)
3rd Impression (20:31 to 29:37)
The work's most recognizable portion to many is First Impression, Part 2, and its introduction: Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends..., which eventually became the title of their second live album and is often used as a song dedicated to the opening of sports seasons.
First Impression, Part 2 is also a common radio staple, though the fact that the song opens with the "Welcome back" line can leave casual radio listeners a bit surprised, not necessarily knowing what led up to that point from Part 1 (the common problem being that combined, First Impression lasts over 13 minutes and hence, would not be well accessible on radio played with Parts 1 and 2 together due to its length, so the shorter Part 2 is just played by itself instead).
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