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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Tarkus CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.06 | 1666 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Tarkus was my first experience with ELP, and I was very impressed! The sound achieved by ELP is quite different from most of their contemporaries, as it seems to take from classical music much more- Tarkus plays out more like an epic symphony than a rock song. And though it's not really right to judge a book by its cover, the artwork on Tarkus is simply an epic win, and I must say that it does accentuate the music!

The infamous title track is, in my opinion, one of the flat-out best examples of pure progressive rock ever made- everything that characterizes progressive rock, from the multi-part suite format to strange time signatures to the instrumental virtuosity, scream "PROG" like few others. If you want to know what this whole "prog rock" thing is all about, Tarkus is a great place to find out! Anyway, the song itself is amazing- despite being 20 minutes long, it is never boring at all, and feels a LOT shorter than it really is- many times I have gotten to the end of Aquatarkus (the last part of the song) and thought "it's over already?!". Tarkus (the song) is a thrilling, engaging suite that is matched by few others. The second side of the album is where most people see problems. Jeremy Bender is a short, playful tune along the lines of "The Sheriff" and "Benny the Bouncer" from their later albums. "Bitches Crystal" is an energetic rocker featuring some great vocals from Lake. The Only Way is a nice church-hymn type song, and the followup, Infinite Space (conclusion) is a cool keyboard-dominated song. A Time and a Place is another song with great vocals, a lot like Bitches Crystal without the menace. And to end the album is Are You Ready Eddy, which is, in my opinion, piffle. However, what you have to realize is that it was essentially a big joke, so don't treat it like like another song- treat it like an amusing little note at the end of the album to remind you that Emerson, Lake, and Palmer were human too, and they had a sense of humor, just like the rest of us. Though it is a great album, it is not perfect- I'd give this album a total of 4.5 stars, rounded down to 4.

Neurotarkus | 4/5 |


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