RIP Greg Lake

Another of the greats passes; Greg Lake, bassist and vocalist of ELP and King Crimson has left us at the age of 69.

He’s best known of course for Emerson Lake and Palmer, though his short tenure in the first incarnation of King Crimson runs it a very close second. “In The Court of the Crimson King” is one of those ground-breaking records that sounded quite unlike anything that had come before, and his soaring vocals were a big part of that. He also contributed to the follow-up “In the Wake of Poseidon” even though he’d left the band to join ELP at that point.

The wider public who aren’t familiar with the 1970s progressive rock canon probably know Greg Lake for his 1976 Christmas single “I Believe in Father Christmas”. Compared to the typical saccharine seasonal fare it’s surprisingly deep and thought provoking. It often gets described as dark and cynical with lines like “But instead it just kept on raining, a veil of tears for the virgin birth”. But I think there’s a positive message at the heart of it; Christmas is what we make of it.

So rest in peace, Greg, and thanks for all the music

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2 Responses to RIP Greg Lake

  1. Tom B says:

    Sad news indeed. 2016 has been an awful year. Upon hearing the news yesterday, I bet I wasn’t the only one who immediately thought “Epitaph”. RIP Greg.

  2. Michael says:

    Yes, that song does have a more hopeful ending than it starts out.
    “At Christmas we get what we deserve.”

    It is still not quite there, because my faith tells me that at that first Christmas we got far better than we as a race deserve. But I am aware opinions differ on that point.