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Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Pictures At An Exhibition CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

3.86 | 896 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars One of ELP's most distinctive features is their classical style of writing music. Sometimes their music is actually a rendition of a classical piece, such as Knife-Edge (which was adopted from Janácek's Sinfonietta), or the later-to-come Toccata (an adaptation of Ginastera's 1st Paino Concerto, 4th Movement). In this case, we have nearly an album full of such goodies, with this progrock version of Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition (with a few originals in there for good measure). And, to top it all off, it was recorded live in concert with no studio gimmicks (or mayhap only a few in the editing process).

The album is very diverse, with intriguing, dark guitar acoustic guitar, very fast-paced and pumping sections, and all the stages between, complemented by contemplative and explorative lyrics. E, L and P are all at their prime musically, and Lake's voice has never sounded so great. The music is really dark and extremely compelling, which is always great. Unfortunately, there are a few faults, (such as minor timing problems) but that's what happens when you record an album of this complexity live. Some of the tracks are a bit daunting and the listener may feel compelled to skip some of the tracks, but for the most part, the album is interesting and varied. Some of the music, however, is absolutely cheesy and just about all of it is pretentious. But that's good ol' prog for ya!

[The bonus track is absolutely rubbish, however. Everything is overblown (too much so for even us prog fans) and the life of the original is lost. Lake's voice is dead, and the effects and keyboard voices are very tedious. Don't worry about getting the special edition with this track, trust me. One or two listens is quite enough for even a devoted ELP fan.]

Shakespeare | 2/5 |


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