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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 2228 ratings

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5 stars The debut album from ELP is a great place to start for anyone new to the band. It combines their raw energy and tenacity with world class composition, arrangement and playing. A landmark release in progressive rock as three established musicians of the late 60's scene began four years of unparalleled music; Emerson, Lake & Palmer stands alongside Trilogy as this band's crowning achievement. Take one Greg Lake (King Crimson), one Keith Emerson (The Nice), and one Carl Palmer (Atomic Rooster), put them in a studio together, and give them free reign; the result: one of the finest classical influenced albums, with a wonderful balance of acoustic guitar, bass, flamboyant Hammond, Moog, piano, organ, clavinet, and transcendent percussion!!!

The diversity, particularly within the songs themselves, and wealth of music on this album are what make it such an intriguing listen from front to back. The songs go places, adequately allowing the trio to explore their ideas in depth and demonstrate the wide range of compositional skill, musicianship, and pure cathartic nature of the music. Whether it is the band compositions on Side 1 or the individual spotlights on Side 2, the album features a band at the height of their progressiveness. Sure there aren't any sidelong epics like 'Tarkus' or 'Karn Evil 9'- that is not the point. Listen to 'The Barbarian', 'Take a Pebble', 'Knife Edge' and even 'The Three Fates': all of these pieces are dynamic, fluctuating between gentle and delicate piano solos to foreboding and resounding organ. All the while, Carl Palmer and Greg Lake never cease to amaze with their capacity for jazz-like rhythm underneath the keyboard work. If anything, this is a Dave Brubeck in a rock setting- with extreme classical and jazz tendencies.

The album closes with a Keith Emerson Moog solo on 'Lucky Man'; one take was all that was needed to capture the climax of one of the most endearing pieces in the ELP catalogue. It demonstrates the manner in which this album was made, where inspiration and spontaneity were as integral to the sound as experimentation and composition. This is the beginning of a fruitful period that would produce some of the finest Symphonic Prog of the early 1970's. For those unsure about ELP because of the stereotypes surrounding this band, this is the album for you- modest, sincere and emotional.

mr.cub | 5/5 |


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