Greg Lake

For other people named Greg Lake, see Greg Lake (disambiguation).
Greg Lake

Lake in concert, December 2005
Background information
Birth name Gregory Stuart Lake
Born (1947-11-10) 10 November 1947
Poole, Dorset, England
Genres Progressive rock, art rock, hard rock
Occupation(s) Musician, singer-songwriter, producer
Instruments Vocals, bass guitar, guitar
Years active 1966–present
Labels Manticore, Chrysalis
Associated acts The Gods, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Gary Moore, Asia, Emerson, Lake & Powell, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band
Notable instruments
Custom Alembic models
Custom Wal bass models
Fender Jazz Bass
Gibson Ripper

Gregory Stuart "Greg" Lake (born 10 November 1947) is an English singer, musician, songwriter and producer. He was a singer and bassist for King Crimson before becoming the bassist, guitarist, singer and lyricist for Emerson, Lake & Palmer. He also recorded as a solo artist, most notably scoring a major hit single in 1975 with "I Believe in Father Christmas".


Greg Lake had been a school friend of Robert Fripp, who solicited him as a member of the first King Crimson line-up which had formed out of Giles, Giles and Fripp. Lake was primarily a guitarist, but agreed to switch to bass at Fripp's request.[1] Lake had some involvement in writing the lyrics for King Crimson's debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King, although Peter Sinfield was the primary lyricist. Lake also ended up producing the album after their contracted producer, Tony Clarke, walked away from the project.

In The Court of the Crimson King, released in 1969, made King Crimson far more successful than any of Fripp and Lake's earlier projects (such as the Shy Limbs or Giles, Giles and Fripp). Lake's vocals, which ranged from serene and soothing to acerbic and distorted, were a striking element of the album. However, Lake stayed with King Crimson for only about a year, leaving soon after their debut album to start the rock trio Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Despite this, at Fripp's request, Lake sang on King Crimson's second album, In the Wake of Poseidon, and appeared as well with a pick-up version of King Crimson on the British music program Top of the Pops.

Greg Lake, with Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Toronto, Canada 3 February 1978

King Crimson played a couple of venues with the Nice, during which Lake struck up a friendship with the Nice's keyboardist Keith Emerson. Lake and Emerson eventually teamed up and brought in the drummer from the Crazy World of Arthur Brown and Atomic Rooster, Carl Palmer—forming the progressive rock 'supergroup' Emerson Lake & Palmer (ELP). Lake contributed acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, lyrics, vocals and production work to the band.

In 1975, Lake achieved solo chart success when his single, "I Believe in Father Christmas", reached number two on the UK singles chart. It has become a Yuletide perennial.[2]

Lake subsequently joined Asia for a time, and then co-formed Emerson, Lake & Powell.

In 2005, Lake toured Germany and the United Kingdom with his "Greg Lake Band" which included David Arch, Florian Opahle, Trevor Barry on bass, and Brett Morgan.[3]

Lake performed "Karn Evil 9" with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra at several shows.[4] At the album Night Castle (2009) he was a special guest and played guitar on "Nutrocker".

In 2010, he toured with Keith Emerson, from which came the live album Live from Manticore Hall. In 2012, Greg Lake toured England, The United States and Italy with the "Songs Of A Lifetime" show. He played a career retrospective, along with select covers, for small audiences.

On 25 July 2010, Lake joined Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer for what was to be the final live concert by Emerson, Lake and Palmer, at the High Voltage rock festival, in Victoria Park, London.

In late June 2013 Lake was invited to star at Genoa's Poetry Festival where he performed a reading of "Pirates", a drama piece in music he wrote with Peter Sinfield, then performed some of his classic songs.

On 9 January 2016 he was awarded by the very first Honorary Degree in Music and lyrics composition by Conservatorio Nicolini in Piacenza, Italy. This was the first time ever a Conservatorio gave a Honoris Causa award.



Live albums

with the Shame: singles

with Shy Limbs: singles

with King Crimson

with Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Studio albums
Year Title Billboard album 200 UK Top 100 RIAA[5] BPI[6]
1970 Emerson, Lake & Palmer 18 4 Gold Silver
1971 Tarkus 9 1 Gold Platinum
1972 Trilogy 5 2 Gold Platinum
1973 Brain Salad Surgery 11 2 Gold Gold
1977 Works, Vol. 1 12 9 Gold Gold
1977 Works, Vol. 2 37 20 Gold -
1978 Love Beach 55 48 Gold Silver
1992 Black Moon 78 - - -
1994 In the Hot Seat - - - -
Live albums
Year Title Billboard album 200 UK Top 100 RIAA[5] BPI[6]
1971 Pictures at an Exhibition 10 3 Gold Silver
1974 Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends... Ladies and Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake & Palmer 4 5 Gold -
1979 In Concert 73 - - -
1993 Live at the Royal Albert Hall - - - -
Works Live - - - -
1997 Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 - - - -
Live in Poland - - - -
King Biscuit Flower Hour Presents: Greatest Hits Live - - - -
1998 Then & Now - - - -
2001 The Original Bootleg Series from the Manticore Vaults: Volume One - - - -
The Original Bootleg Series from the Manticore Vaults: Volume Two - - - -
2002 The Original Bootleg Series from the Manticore Vaults: Volume Three - - - -
2006 The Original Bootleg Series from the Manticore Vaults: Volume Four - - - -
2010 High Voltage - - - -
A Time And A Place - - - -
2011 Live at Nassau Coliseum '78 - - - -
Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival '72 - - - -
2012 Live in California 1974 - - - -
2013 Live in Montreal 1977 - - - -

with Asia

with Emerson, Lake and Powell


  1. "'Well, how hard could it be?': Greg Lake on his switch to bass for the first King Crimson project | Something Else!". Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  2. Mulholland, Garry (19 December 2014). "The Making Of… Greg Lake's I Believe In Father Christmas". Uncut. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  3. "Greg Lake Band and Tour Info". The Official Greg Lake website. Retrieved 17 August 2015.
  4. DAN ARMONAITIS (2016-09-30). "Trans-Siberian Orchestra gets progressive rock seal of approval - Entertainment - GoUpstate - Spartanburg, SC". Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  5. 1 2 "Gold & Platinum – August 14, 2008". RIAA. Retrieved 2011-07-15.
  6. 1 2 "The Bpi". The Bpi. Retrieved 2011-07-15.


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