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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

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5 stars What a rush it was to put this on this then 15 year old kid who grew up playing with his toys under his sisters baby grand piano while she practiced this and other classics. Being really ELP's initial work it is truly amazing. Surely the themes of the classical piece were already written but these guys took it one step further and adding the blues and folk and the crunching almost metallic sounds to this acoustic manuscript. Moving from the initial grandiose Promenade played on a church organ to the steely knives of The Gnome to Gregs pastoral and ethereal folk driven Sage and The Old Castle ELP's Pictures moves you through the exhibition on speeding freight train. Of course just to make sure that you are listening to a Rock album they throw in a blues variation right smack dab in the middle. This jam sounds much like the format that would become Fanfare For the Common Man much later.

The concept of this in 1970 was beyond the thoughts of many bands and yet these guys had the power, the toys and moxie to pull it all off. Some of the dynamics of what ELP would be for the next four years are all present on this CD including such things as the ballad, the electronic tornados and the grand ending of the Great Gates of Kiev. In fact I will call Pictures the blueprint of all that was to be ELP. This album deserves great respect because what ELP became was a major force not only in progressive rock but rock itself. Future recordings of this piece by the band epically what was released on the 1991 boxed set with the London Symphony Orchestra have prettied this up and have merit on their own but nothing is quite like the original and this thing is original as they come. You ignore the great history of prog by discounting the work done on this album. 5 stars.

Garion81 | 5/5 |


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