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General information
Genre (s) Adult-oriented rock , progressive rock
founding March 1987
resolution Late 1988
Founding members
Carl Palmer
Keith Emerson († 2016)
Robert Berry
Background vocals
Suzie O'List (guest musician)
Background vocals
Kim Edwards (guest musician)
Background vocals
Lana Williams (guest musician)
Last occupation
Carl Palmer
Keith Emerson
Robert Berry
Paul Keller (guest musician)
Background vocals
Debby Parks (guest musician)
Background vocals
Jennifer Steele (guest musician)

Three was an English-American adult oriented rock band starring Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer from Emerson, Lake and Palmer .


At the end of 1986 the American singer, guitarist, bassist and songwriter Robert Berry received an offer from former ELP and Asia drummer Carl Palmer to start a new band with him. Palmer had become aware of the young Californian through a tape given to him by John Kalodner of Geffen Records (the record company of Palmer's previous band Asia). Possible lineups would have included either former Rainbow and Deep Purple singers Joe Lynn Turner and former Foreigner keyboardist Al Greenwood or keyboardist Don Airey . But the joint rehearsals of the two possible line-ups were unsatisfactory for everyone involved and none of the bands came about. Berry joined the second line-up of Steve Howe's band GTR at the suggestion of Carl Palmers and GTR's manager Brian Lane .

In the meantime, Lane tried to bring Emerson, Lake and Palmer back together. In March 1987, the three musicians rehearsed together for two weeks, but the already bad relationship between Keith Emerson and Greg Lake turned into open hostility, and the attempt to reunite ELPs failed.

After that, Palmer tried to set up a new project with his former ELP colleague Keith Emerson and Lane and Palmer suggested Robert Berry as the third member of the future band. When Berry received this new offer, and had the prospect of working with Keith Emerson, he left GTR in the spring of 1987 and traveled to London . At first the songwriter Sue Shifrin was also involved, but she later left the project. The first demos were recorded in June 1987: Berry's Talkin '' bout left over from the GTR sessions, Emerson's On my Way Home , a cover version of the Byrds hit Eight Miles High and another track that was never released. At this point the new band should be called "Smoking Gun", later the musicians favored the name "Czar". Manager Brian Lane tried with the help of these demos to attract the interest of some record companies to the band, and Geffen Records signed them.

Suzie O'List , Lana Williams and Kim Edwards were hired as backing singers .

In September and October 1987 the first and only album by the new band, now called 3 or Three , was recorded in London's E-Zee and West Side studios.

Album "To the Power of Three"

In May 1988, the debut and only album was released under the title To the Power of Three . Even if Emerson and Palmer came from the Progressive Rock genre, the album has to be assigned to the AOR, as the majority of the music was written by the heavily West Coast-influenced Berry.

To the Power of Three was not very successful and only reached a disappointing number 97 in the American charts . The single Talkin '' bout peaked at number 9 on the mainstream rock charts.


The release of the album was followed by a tour through small halls in the USA and Canada, which lasted from April 6 to May 21, 1988 and included 35 concerts. For this, the guitarist Paul Keller was hired by Berry's old band Hush , while Robert Berry took over the bass, and Debby Parks and Jennifer Steele were added as background singers . A mixture of ELP and Three pieces was played on the tour to attract fans from Emerson, Lake and Palmer to the new band. The setlist for a concert in New York City on April 14, 1988 read:

  • Fanfare for the Common Man (ELP)
  • Desde la Vida (Three)
  • Hoedown (ELP)
  • Lover to Lover (Three)
  • You do or you don't (three)
  • Talkin '' bout (Three)
  • Piano Improvisation / Creole Dance (Emerson)
  • On my way home (three)
  • Runaway (Three)
  • Shadow of Love (cover version of the 1966 hit single "Standing in the Shadows of Love" by the Four Tops )
  • America / Rondo / Drum Solo (ELP)
  • Eight miles High ( Byrds / Three) / Peter Gunn Theme (ELP)

A planned European tour did not materialize due to the lack of success of the album.


After this tour, Emerson and Palmer returned to England , Berry to San Jose, California , where he began to write songs for a second three album. At a meeting in London, Berry introduced new songs, including The Otherside , which was later released on Berry's solo album Pilgrimage to a Point , and The Last Ride into the Sun , a song based on ideas by Emerson and Palmer, and the he had arranged ELPs in the classical style, which, however, met with little approval from the other two musicians. Disappointed by the little success of the album, Geffen had largely withdrawn from advertising for Three and as a result it was mainly Keith Emerson who lost his interest in Three because of the mixture of Westcoast AOR and overly watered down progressive rock. In late 1988, management announced that the band had split up.

Carl Palmer reformed Asia together with John Wetton in 1989 . Keith Emerson turned to his solo career, but toured in 1990 with Jeff Baxter ( Steely Dan , Doobie Brothers ), John Entwistle ( The Who ), Joe Walsh ( Eagles ) and the profiled studio drummer Simon Phillips under the band name The Best in 1990 from Hawaii and Japan . An album of this line-up never came off. In 1992, Emerson, Lake & Palmer got together again and released the comeback album Black Moon . Berry had offered ELP the song Another Man for the album, but the band turned it down, presumably it was all too similar to the ELP classic Lucky Man with its short drum intro, the 6/8 time played on the acoustic guitar and the final keyboard solo .

After Three split up, Berry re-established his old Robert Berry Band and later worked as a producer and solo artist.

Unpublished material

The live presented four-tops cover version Shadow of Love was only released on a live double CD in 2015. Some three-material can be heard on Berry's solo album Pilgrimage to a Point (1992): The song You've Changed (Berry) was conceived as a single for the second three-album, and Shelter was also planned for a second three-album (Berry / Palmer), The Other Side (Berry) and Last Ride into the Sun (Emerson / Berry / Palmer). In addition, Berry also worked for projects in the wider area of ​​Three: The song Another Man , also on Pilgrimage to a point , was intended for the ELP comeback album Black Moon , but it was rejected by the band. On a second edition of Pilgrimage to a Point , the GTR song Tomorrow was replaced by a progressive rock track called The Blame with a running time of just over nine minutes. It is unclear which project it was intended for.




  • 1988: Talkin 'Bout


  • 1988: Live in The City
  • 1998: Howdown in Ritz!
  • 1998: Boston, MA 4/15/1988

Individual evidence

  1. To the Power of Three in the US charts

Sources and web links