The working relationship between the legendary keyboard player Keith Emerson and singer and multi-instrumentalist Robert Berry started in 1987. Iconic manager Brian Lane (Yes, Asia, A-Ha, It Bites etc.) and Carl Palmer arranged a meeting between the two prolific musicians. The plan was to form a more melodic, song oriented band (compared to EL&P), which would allow Emerson, Berry and Palmer to follow in the footsteps of the success that Asia and GTR were enjoying in that period.
The result of that collaboration between Emerson, Berry and Palmer was the band “3”, and the album “… To The Power of Three” released worldwide by Geffen Records in 1988. The first single, “Talkin’ ‘Bout” reached #9 on the Billboard Magazine charts and the band toured the US to support the album. With the success of the first release, Geffen urged the band to go back into the studio to begin work on a second album, but Emerson felt uncomfortable with Geffen’s momentum stifling, inconsistent strategy that ultimately cut the first album’s success short, consequently prompting the band to call it quits. At the time of their breakup several songs were already written for that second release (later released on Robert Berry’s solo album, “Pilgrimage to a Point”).
In October 2015, conversations about a new “3” album started between Robert Berry and Frontiers President, Serafino Perugino as Robert had been speaking to Keith about releasing the long delayed 3 follow up album. Along with renewed fan interest in the band and those conversations, Berry had sparked revived enthusiasm from Keith Emerson for pursuing the project. The exchange of musical ideas and song collaborations ultimately paved the groundwork for this new release to be called 3.2.
Everything was set. Song ideas, studio time, record contract… and then, that dark day. Emerson’s untimely death made the album an uncertainty. Robert was left with Keith Emerson’s final musical ideas for the project. From old cassette tapes, keyboard parts written over the phone, to long discussions about style, the framework of the album was set and ready to be produced.
After several months of grieving and contemplation about what to do with these co-written songs and musical fragments from Emerson, Robert decided to resume work on the material that was created and craft a record that would ultimately be a fitting tribute to Keith Emerson’s musical legacy and at the same time re-energize and update the musical style started with ‘3’ some 30 years ago.
The final result is 3.2, a reboot of the original “3” project, centered on Robert Berry’s amazing talents. This is a record that deserves to be heard by each and every fan of the great Keith Emerson and includes some exquisite musical parts, which every progressive music fan will be delighted to indulge in.
3.2 Somebody’s Watching – From the album: