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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Pictures At An Exhibition CD (album) cover

PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

3.83 | 684 ratings

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UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Pictures at an Exhibition is the first live album from Emerson Lake & Palmer. Released between the two studio albums Tarkus and Trilogy Pictures at an Exhibition includes new and original material. The performance was recorded in March of 1971 and released in November of 1971 in the UK and January 1972 in the US. With the exception of the last song called Nutrocker the album is one long concept piece made over Mussorgsky's classical piece Pictures at an Exhibition.

The music includes reworkings of themes from the original work, but Emerson Lake & Palmer have added many rock parts so don´t expect this to be close to the original. Blues Variations is for instance a long moog and organ solo piece over a blues bar. The theme from Promenade is the original theme though. The album is very dynamic and there are both quiet acoustic parts with Greg Lake singing ( The Sage) and more bombastic parts in true Emerson Lake & Palmer style. As usual Keith Emerson´s keyboard playing is in focus.

The musicianship is excellent. Pictures at an Exhibition was recorded in one night and sometimes you even forget that there is an audience. They do clap on occasion though.

The production which Greg Lake is responsible for is pretty good even though some parts like The Sage is a bit too low in the mix. Most parts sound really good though.

Pictures at an Exhibition is classic Emerson Lake & Palmer and it could just as well have been a studio album released between Tarkus and Trilogy. It´s a good album but generally I´m not a fan of Emerson Lake & Palmer´s very pompeus and mainly keyboard driven symphonic prog rock. The complex playing many times overshadows the fact that too many of their compositions are weakly constructed and without warmth. 3 stars are deserved.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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