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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Trilogy CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 1584 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars "And so will break another day"

"Trilogy" is probably ELP's most progressive and complete album, and for me their best. Unlike all other ELP albums, every track on Trilogy reaches their highest standard.

"The endless enigma" opens the album in three parts (beware of the ELP compilation entitled "Fanfare for the common man)" which inexplicably fades the track before the third section). This is a superbly crafted trilogy which opens with soft, almost imperceptible synthesiser introducing frantic piano, before Lake's crystal clear vocals pick out the main melody. After the piano based "Fugue", a fanfare synth introduces the final section, which builds to a mighty crescendo. The fact that "The endless enigma" was rarely performed live is probably the only reason why it has not gained the recognition it warrants as one of ELP's finest pieces.

"From the beginning" is a beautiful acoustic track featuring Greg Lake on vocals and guitar. While it has a simplistic structure, it is a finely crafted piece. Side one of the LP closes with a couple of lighter tracks, both with a western flavour. If you listen closely to Carl Palmer's solo at the beginning of "The sheriff", you can hear where he makes a mistake, mutters "Sh*t", and starts again.

If the title track was released today, it would probably be labelled "Trance". It is a lengthy largely instrumental track, heavy on the synthesisers. After a soft start, the piece explodes into a driving wall of sound, ducking and diving through various time changes in the best prog traditions. The shorter "Living Sin" is a more straightforward Atomic Rooster type track, The final piece, "Abadon's Bolero", one of ELP's most popular tracks, particularly among non-fans. Ice skaters Torvill and Dean's Olympic gold medal would have been even more of a formality had they used this Bolero as their music! The structure of the track is very simple, with only one brief deviation from the main theme, but the gradual build to the screaming synthesiser climax is hypnotic.

For me, "Trilogy" is ELP's finest work, even eclipsing "Brain salad surgery". If you want to discover ELP at their best, start here.

Easy Livin | 5/5 |


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