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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Tarkus CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 1721 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars ELP's second album, Tarkus, suffers from the same problem their debut had, but there's more of it now. That problem is basically filling up an album with stuff when you don't have enough well-written material to complete the job. Probably the best example of this is the entire side two of Tarkus, consisting of six short tracks. The first side of the album contains the amazing seven-part suite, 20+ minute title track about the military-industrial complex and the futility of war. It's a bit deeper than that and worthy of a critical study by academia.

So what this album ends up doing is giving the listener the best and the worst of ELP on alternate sides. It really does have that Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde feel to it. But what is most disappointing about it is that when you are finished with the Tarkus suite, it's a steep downfall into mediocrity and at best laughable fodder from what are supposed to be skilled craftsmen of their art. Oddly enough, Greg Lake was not pleased with the Tarkus suite when Emerson first brought it to the group, as he apparently saw a different direction for the group. This conflict between Lake and Emerson would continue to grow.

Because half this album is sub-par at best, I can't really give this more than three stars. But I must say that the Tarkus suite alone is worth getting this as it is probably one of the best tracks ELP ever created. A must-have for ELP fans. Newcomers to the band should get their debut, Trilogy, and Brain Salad Surgery before considering getting Tarkus.

progaardvark | 3/5 |


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