Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 1718 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars No doubt in my mind this is their best and most unified work. The centrepiece of the album is the three part suite Karn Evil 9. The Third Impression depicts a space battle between man and machine which is superbly well realised, full of Hammond organ, trumpeting fanfares and driving rhythms. The Second Impression, not mentioned often in reviews, showcases inspired piano and drumming from Emerson and Palmer, and of course there is the Caribbean steel drum sound which Emerson uses to great effect. The First Impression features some superb lyrics (courtesy of Peter Sinfield) and evokes a freaky carnival "Come and see the show" which also inspired the name of the suite.

Tocatta is one of the most original tracks ever, and again showcases Palmer's abilities. During the "percussion" section he assaults the listener with a barrage of drum and electronic sounds. His finest moment on record.

Some have criticised the shorter tracks, but these are just as valid in my view. The Greg Lake ballads were very much part of the bands makeup and Still You Turn Me On is one of his best. Bernie the Bouncer might appear a throw-away track but shows the band's humorous side and is the best of their comedy type songs. Jerusalem is a stately but rocks superbly.

In the re-mastered version that I have, the two halves of First Impression are seamlessly edited together (almost) and there is a "Making of" track as an added bonus. The artwork is fully restored featuring striking images by Swiss artist HR Giger. They capture the essence of the music superbly well.

I guess this album is not to everyone's liking, but it surely can't be denied this is an artistic high-point for prog albums of the 70s.

jimpetrie2000 | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this EMERSON LAKE & PALMER review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives