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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Tarkus CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 1750 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

2 stars I don't like ELP. I've tried, honestly, I have, but I just cannot understand what's so great about them.

I've owned my copy of Tarkus for more than thirty years and first listened when I was a wide eyed teenager with no preconceptions.

I didn't like it then and I still don't like it now.

I know as a prog fan I'm supposed to like this, and every so many years it comes off the shelf for another spin in the hope that one day the epiphany will happen. But it never does, and I'm pretty sure it never will.

Okay, they're great musicians and Emerson is a great keyboard player, but ELP just represent everything that I dislike about some prog.

This album comes across to me as nothing but self indulgent noodling. The album sounded dated when I first bought it thirty years now, and now it sounds like something that's been dug up in a time capsule.

I play an album like Close to the Edge and it sounds as fresh and interesting as it did thirty years ago, but Tarkus sounds tired and old fashioned by comparison.

I'm not a big fan of the first half of the album, as some are. It's tiresome noodling which goes nowhere and completely fails to get my juices flowing in any way. It leaves me cold.

Then we have quite ridiculous tracks like Jeremy Bender, with it's childish tune and lyrics, and we finish the album with the frankly terrible "Are You Ready Eddie?", intended as a humorous tribute to engineer Eddy Offord, but it sounds like high school kids sniggering in the playground.

The only track that I like on this album is "Bitches Crystal" which actually has something to it, and I really like Greg Lake's bass riff which gives some lovely depth to the track.

I won't even get into the album cover or the whole hedgehog tank thing (what is that all about?). I don't like the artwork and the hedgehog tank concept is simply ridiculous.

As I don't like the album myself I clearly couldn't recommend it to another prog fan or general music fan. ELP fans will like it, but they're already converts.

Not for me I'm afraid, but there is some good musicianship so I'll say 2.30 and round down to 2 stars.

Chaser | 2/5 |


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