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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Emerson Lake & Palmer CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 2005 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars For me ELP was always one of the most inconsistent and uneven of the great prog bands of the 70's. Their albums seemed marred and at times unfocused, blending greatness with fillers. Often these fillers appear to have been great fun recording in the studio. A great laugh for all involved but less fun for people like me, having to bear through it or skipping songs, thus breaking the spell.

Their first album, however, is interesting in many ways. First off it is sort of crude and raw, bringing forth a musical concoction based on distorted organ, heavy bass and thumping drums. One can easily see how the early phases of prog developed through the adaptation of heavy and hard rock of the late 60's, paving the way for ever more sophistication further into the decade.

Secondly I find the first album to be the most consistent. The presence of classical influences are there but first and foremost it is an album of heavy, menacing and powerful prog performed on organ, bass and drums. Magnificent! Especially since I am a great fan of the hammond organ.

The first track, The barbarian, hits you right in the face with it's distorted bass and rolls you over, feeling like you've been hit by a train. The second track is a marvellous, multi-part piece called Take a pebble. It seems to have been a live favorite and I can understand why. Very atmospheric and provides a great example of early prog's ability and willingness to expand on musical structure. Knife-edge is similar to The barbarian. It is a hard rock piece. Very heavy and certainly one of my favorites. The three fates is the track where ELP's fascination for classical music comes to the fore. It is a complex, daring piece which opens up with a majestic organ. The track Tank showcases Carl Palmer's amazing drum skills. The album closes with the ballad Lucky man. A nice song, deliverd with emotion and beauty.

All in all ELP's first album is a starting point for what is to come later on. It is quite raw but not without sophistication and wealth of music. On this album the focus and concistency is never broken. The magic is there throughout, making it, simply, their best album, although not consisting of their all time best tracks, like Tarkus for instance. A great place to start and certainly a great way to end the day.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |


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