This concert is from the tour that nearly bankrupted the band and all but ended ELP.
In 1975, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer were starting to get itchy. Their 4 previous albums had made the musical statements they'd wanted to make and each member wanted to do something new. They each had also been working on their own music apart from the band. Eventually, rather than make solo albums, they made the "Works" albums. In Volume I each member took one side of the 2- record album and they all collaborated on the 4th side. "Works Volume I" wasn't received well by the fan base from its release date of St. Patrick's Day,1977. Unlike anything they'd done before, it was the beginning of the end. I like to think it was just the band growing up, as they were all about 30 years old at this point. But my love of the album wasn't the opinion of the majority of fans.
The tour that followed was the culmination of the band's ambitions. More precisely, Keith's dreams. A full 70-piece orchestra onstage with them, and all the 18-wheelers, accomodations and roadies required to set up, in a grueling night after night schedule. Half way through the tour it became obvious it was unsustainable and ELP finished the tour without the orchestra and entourage. In the end this tour cost the band 3 million dollars out of their own pockets.
But the music. Give ELP an orchestra and just sit back. If I were a bajillionaire it would be my dream to set them up for one last tour like this. I got to see them at Madison Square Garden with the orchestra 36 years ago this month, and there's still nothing that compares.
This particular night in the Montreal Olympics Stadium is still the record-holding attendance at that venue.