Lucky Man – Emerson, Lake & Palmer | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#48); 1971 &  Pop (#51); 1973

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

The foundation for Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s genre-busting blend of rock and classical music was laid during Emerson’s tenure with the Nice. Keyboardist, Keith and his Nice-mates re-imagined pieces such as Leonard Bernstein’s America from West Side Story and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto, and created similar high-browed originals. Following Nice’s demise in mid-1970, Emerson joined forces with bassist/vocalist Greg Lake and drummer Carl Palmer, from King Crimson and Atomic Rooster respectively. After a proposed collaboration with Jimi Hendrix went no where, the trio staged a bombastic coming-out performance of its own at the August 19th, 1970 Isle of Wight festival. Within three months ELP’s self-titled debut album was in the bins, and immediately placed the band in the vanguard of the emerging progressive rock movement. AM radio jumped on the ELP bandwagon when Lucky Man was released as a single the following spring, and again on its re-release in late, 1972.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Greg Lake

Lyrics Written by:

  • Greg Lake