“We wanted the opening to be startling, and this number certainly does take you by surprise. What was surprising to me was when the song gave the media the idea that we’d become born-again Christians. I’ve got no objection to born-again Christians, but that certainly wasn’t the case, nor was it the intention behind the song.
“To me, the lyrics are a little bit like Procol Harum’s A Whiter Shade Of Pale. I didn’t really connect any kind of religious element to it at all. I just thought it was a damn good song. Every kid at school knew the Jerusalem – it’s so majestic.
“I remember, back in the ‘60s, I worked on an arrangement of it with The Nice. It didn’t come across somehow, but with ELP it came together quite nicely. I think we knew how to embrace the sense of drama in the music and organize it properly, and I think that Greg felt comfortably singing it, which helped, as you can imagine.
“I used the Moog Apollo on it. This was when the Moog company decided to go polyphonic. I would help Bob Moog out on his different inventions. The Apollo sounded incredible. It wasn’t an easy song for Carl to lay down the drums on. It was a little bit like when he had to put on the drum parts for Lucky Man, from the first album. Greg had already recorded his guitar work, and of course, there was no click track to work from. These are the challenges with recording.”