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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Emerson Lake & Palmer CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.23 | 2150 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars We all know the story of these three guys so I won't take time explaining it. In my opinion BSS is the ultimate ELP masterpiece ( and prog rock masterpiece as well) , but this album is a high point in their career.

When I think of ELP I tend to focus on the huge epics like KE9 , Tarkus or , The endless enigma but when I started paying attention to The Barbarian I realized what a great tune it was. Just 4 and a half minutes long but including every single aspect of ELP's career . OK no vocals this time , but you get: Classical influenced keyboards , versatile drumming and a fuzz bass that sounds like a roaring beast! I picture the faces of the ones who first heard this piece in 1970 , it must have been overwelming. There can't be a better way of introducing themselves in a record.

The second piece settles a huge contrast to the previous one , it's a very relaxing one with an acustic interlude by Greg Lake , also I must add that his vocals in this song are among the best he ever did. This type of songs is what made me become an ELP addict , sometimes this song reminds me of Keith Jarrett and makes me wonder why Emerson did not release a solo album in the vein of the Koln Concert , I would have bought it for sure.

Kinfe edge is a hard rock piece , much similar to the heaviest moments of the Nice and Atomic Rooster. It may sound weird on a prog rock site but the way this tune develops reminds me of Nirvana , Lake sings quiet the verse and then the song reaches a peak in intensity. If anyone has a doubt about ELP rocking or not just heard this tune.

The second side of this album is their more exprimental one , in which hints of ELP's future records will be found. The three fates is a haunting instrumental featuring a church organ first , then a percussion movement and lastly several layers of keyboards by Emerson. i picture this song to be hugely influential to japanese symph groups like Ars Nova or Gerard , again if you have any doubt as regarding this fact just check The Goddess of Darkness by Ars Nova , there is Three Fates all over it.

ELP was always about instrumental abilities. Tank features a Carl Palmer drum solo which is accompanied by Emerson's Moog. I really like the outro to this song because of Palmer's simple yet powerful drumming. As a negative aspect I have to say the production is not the best. Last tune of the album is hit single Lucky Man , which is a ballad that features very moving vocals by Lake , with the exeption of Emo's famous Moog solo at the end of it ; this song has no progressive elements around and it feels quite out of place in the album. However what would an ELP show without Lucky Man?

Outstanding debut , 4.5 stars

crimson87 | 5/5 |


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