Greg Lake, who was an integral part of two of the most important bands of the progressive rock movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, has died.
The New York Times reports that Lake died Wednesday after a long battle with cancer. He was 69.
Born in the seaside town of Poole in southern England, Lake co-founded both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer, two of the British bands credited with pioneering the classically infused rock that came to be known as progressive rock or prog rock.
It was as bass player, guitarist, songwriter and vocalist for ELP that he gained wide recognition. The group broke out in 1970, scoring a hit with the song “Lucky Man,” written by Lake when he was 12 years old. The song featured one of the first Moog synthesizer solos in rock history.
“The band released six platinum-selling albums characterized by songs of epic length, classical influence and ornate imagery, and toured with elaborate light shows and theatrical staging,” The Times reports. “One album was a live interpretation of Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky’s ‘Pictures at an Exhibition.’ It reached the top 10 in both Britain and the United States, a feat that seems astonishing now.”
The group’s keyboard player, Keith Emerson, died earlier this year at 71, committing suicide by gunshot on March 11.
Here’s a clip of Emerson, Lake & Palmer performing “Lucky Man” during the band’s 40th anniversary reunion concert …