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Greg Lake: Five decades at music's cutting edge

As a musician, songwriter and producer, Greg Lake leaves behind a rich legacy of music, one that helped shaped prog rock as we know it

Greg Lake was a rare talent. While the progressive scene has always been full of erudite musicians who are at home tackling sophisticated compositions, what made Lake stand apart was that not only could he command attention in this sphere, but he was also comfortable blending poppier and more melodic elements. He was adept at adapting all aspects of music, gliding easily and convincingly between styles.

Lake initially came to attention playing guitar with The Gods, whom he joined in 1967. But he quit within a year, simply because his flourishing abilities needed a better forum in which to take flight. And he got the best possible opportunity, joining his fellow Dorset friend Robert Fripp (the pair had received guitar lessons from Don Strike) in King Crimson, switching to bass when asked to be part of the original line-up.

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