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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 1902 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars I am not a huge ELP fan, but this is (for my tastes) their best recording. This album's overall quality isn't compromised by weak failed-humor tracks (like Benny the Bouncer & The Sheriff) that plague every subsequent album... but there are some boring show-off noodling sections to drag it down a bit. This is their heaviest and most visceral album however, and I recommend it above all others in their discography. The Barbarian is a favorite of mine. It features very heavy distorted bass and great frenetic playing from all three members. Take A Pebble starts as a wonderfully dark and moody piece; it is only slightly marred by some boring solo-instrumental parts in the middle that make the song way too long for it's own good. It it had been kept around 5 minutes this would be one of my favorite ELP tracks. Knife Edge goes back to the aggression of the first track and almost does it better! It's a very heavy song reminiscent of King Crimson's first album with Greg Lake's agitated vocals in top form. The Three Fates is a downright boring composition in comparison to the first three. It featuring heavy church organ and solo classical piano themes. Honestly this side of ELP doesn't do much for me... i prefer the powerful ensemble pieces to such showy pointless exercises as this. The song does get more interesting near the end when the drums FINALLY kick in with an awesome brain-twisting 7/8 rhythm and some downright insane distorted piano solos. The final third of this song saves it from being a total waste of tape. Tank is great when all three members are involved but the extended drum solo is quite pointless. Sure, Carl Palmer could play circles around any other drummer at that time... but this just a boring exercise. Lucky Man saves the second side of the album from being mediocre. Everyone has already heard this song countless times on Classic Rock radio before, so no descriptions needed... i'll just say that after Knife Edge this is the highlight of their debut album.

According to my personal tastes I can only give this 3.5 stars... however, I recognize the great influence this album has had on generations of Prog bands that followed it, so I will bump it up to 4 stars simply for it's historical value and the wonderful Barbarian, Knife Edge, and Lucky Man.

AdamHearst | 4/5 |


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