Prog rock pioneer Greg Lake has sadly passed away at the age of 69. The English singer / songwriter is best known for his work with the groups ‘King Crimson’ and ‘Emerson, Lake and Palmer’. He will also be remembered for his 1975 Christmas hit ‘I Believe In Father Christmas’.
Lake was born in Dorset, England in 1947. He first learned to play guitar at the age of 12 and during his later school years formed a strong friendship with musician Robert Fripp. It was through Fripp that Lake would become a member of the underground progressive rock band King Crimson, originally featuring as both a vocalist and guitarist, before eventually transitioning to bass.
In 1969, King Crimson released their debut record ‘In The Court of The Crimson King’. Lake not only performed on the album but took the role of producer, after original producer Tony Clarke walked away from the project. The record is still considered to be one of the best prog rock albums of all time.
Only a year later, Lake left King Crimson to form the supergroup Emerson, Lake and Palmer with fellow musicians Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer. The group fused elements of jazz, classical music and symphonic rock and became one of the most commercially successful rock bands of the 1970s.
The band released ten studio albums between 1970 and 1994. Their most popular record was 1971’s ‘Tarkus’ which peaked at number one in the UK Album Chart.
Lake passed away on December 7 following a “long and stubborn battle with cancer”. His manager, Stewart Young, posted this message on FaceBook earlier today: “Yesterday, December 7th, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer. Greg Lake will stay in my heart for ever, as he has always been. His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief.”