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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Tarkus CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 1831 ratings

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5 stars A seminal album in the prog universe, no question about it. My rating is largely based on the strength of the title suite. The title track alone makes this an essential record despite the inconsistency of the second side (tracks 2-7 for the younger crowd), although I love most of those tunes.

The Tarkus suite was one of the major prototypes of progressive rock as we know it. A convoluted concept, experimental passages and insane musicianship. Essential ingredients to a great prog record. Second (in my humble opinion) to King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King in creating a template for subsequent prog bands. Lots of instrumental passages augmented by a couple of Greg Lake penned pieces that adds much texture and dynamics. After the title suite we get a bit of a mish-mosh of tunes. Mind you, this was only ELP's second album and there was already much infighting at this time. Each member was young, full of ideas and extremely self- righteous. So much so that Greg Lake was ready to split due to his lack of acceptance to the direction Keith Emerson was headed.

Jeremy Bender, one of the most reviled songs from this great trio is meant to be a bit of comic relief from the maybe too serious music that these guys were producing. A fun song that also shows off their diversity.

Bitches Crystal follows the same formula more or less from the title track. Excellent tune. The piano playing is off the charts.

The Only Way & Infinite Space always tends to lose me somewhat. I lump these together because they run into each other and aren't very interesting. Not terrible but lacks focus and just flat out isn't that great.

A Time And A Place is an excellent short tune packed with detail, excellent playing and is one of my favorites by them.

Are You Ready Eddy? Ok this should have been left off in hindsight but whats wrong with a little fun?

ster | 5/5 |


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