Keith Noel Emerson was born in Todmorden, Yorkshire, England and raised in Worthing, West Sussex. In 1967, he and three others formed The Nice, originally as a backing band for soul singer P.P. Arnold, but would later set out on their own. In 1970, he teamed up with Greg Lake (vocals, bass, guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums) to form a group which they named after themselves. He also participated in movie soundtracks and recorded some solo work.
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Because of Emerson's classical training, ELP would record and perform classical pieces such as Fanfare For The Common Man, by Aaron Copeland.
On their fourth studio album Brain Salad Surgery, ELP recorded the 30-minute song Karn Evil 9, a section of which known as 1st Impresson, Part 2 starts out with Emerson on synthesizer, while Lake sings, "Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends." Emerson also plays Hammond organ.