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The Top Keith Emerson Tracks Of All Time

The readers of Prog magazine voted for their favourite Keith Emerson tracks, and the musicians of the prog world explain why they love these songs.

To find out the top Keith Emerson tracks of all time, Prog turned to you, the readers. The following list was voted for by you, while the great and the good of progressive music pick their faves from the list and explain just what makes them so special...


“This is one of most outrageous pieces of piano extemporisations from Keith. Some very jazz-influenced moments, complete with his experimental piano doctoring [strumming the strings] and an avant-garde approach that was previously unheard of on a rock album or stage. This track clearly shows that the man was capable of anything, and it goes without saying he was an enormous influence on me and a whole legion of other keyboard players.” – GEOFF DOWNES


Pirates is one of the best matches of rock and classical. It also shows how much Keith was influenced by American 20th century classical music. The chords and use of harmony is very similar to Aaron Copland. It’s a massive influence, as I love the more cinematic side of rock music, and you can almost see the visuals. Keith’s playing is also outrageous, and he makes it all look so effortless.” – ROB REED


“Tragically, the only thing wrong with Piano Concerto No. 1 was its timing. I truly don’t think the progressive rock market was ready for it, and the classical market certainly wasn’t. Had this fine work appeared in the last few years, I am positive it would have been wonderfully received by both camps, which in recent years have done much to merge. Piano Concerto No. 1 is a fine piece of work, written by a man who knew exactly what he wanted to do and, more importantly, had the talent to do it. If you haven’t heard this, then make the effort. You won’t regret it.” – RICK WAKEMAN

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