Keith Emerson’s death on Thursday shocked rock fans around the world. The former Emerson, Lake & Palmer keyboardist was one of the genre’s most legendary artists, amazing the audiences through the 1970s with arrangements that defined progressive rock.
Emerson’s discography expands beyond Emerson, Lake & Palmer with his British band The Nice that predated ELP, and his work with Greg Lake after ELP’s breakup in 1979 to spin off with a new drummer, Cozy Powell, to form Emerson, Lake & Powell. He also went on to work in film and television, scoring projects that included Dario Argento’s Inferno (1980), Lucio Fulci’s Murder Rock (1984) and the action thriller Nighthawks (1981), with which he broke the Billboard 200 for the movie’s title track.
Elsewhere in his career Emerson tapped the Billboard charts many times over: ELP’s first seven albums all charted in the top 20 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, with four of which peaking in the top 10. In honor of Emerson, we’ve compiled a playlist of his essential songs. Listen below.
The Nice: Five Bridges Suite: “Fantasia – 1st Bridge”
Emerson, Lake & Powell: “Take A Pebble”
Emerson, Lake & Palmer: “Tarkus”
Emerson, Lake & Palmer: “Nutrocker”
Emerson, Lake & Palmer: “The Sheriff”
Emerson, Lake & Palmer: “Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression, Pt. 1”
Emerson, Lake & Powell: “Touch and Go”
Keith Emerson: “Nighthawks”