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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 1863 ratings

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Stefano di Sondrio
5 stars Now let's not be silly...

How can any serious prog rock afficionado give a single star for this album? Come on, let's have a little decorum here, this is PROG archives, not POP archives. I mean, even the album art with its remarkable sleeve design is worth 2 stars on its own! Sorry, forgive me. Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I do apologise and will adhere to the review guidelines... but with lip firmly in teeth.

For an in-depth analysis of all the tracks on BSS, there is a plethora of excellent reviews that speak much more eloquently than I could ever. Please refer to them.

But if you still haven't heard BSS let me tell you it is just about as close to the ultimate prog rock album you could possibly hope for. From start to finish it is replenished with so much complexity, beauty, humour, power and passion. And I say this not as a dyed-in-the wool ELP fan, but as someone who is 'very keen' on them.

Here I would like to address the constant labelling of ELP as a 'P' band , and in particular BSS as a 'P' album. When discussing progressive rock, I do find the ubiquitous 'pretentious' (often most used when talking of ELP) somewhat incongruous, not to mention, exasperating. I mean, pretentious how? How is it possible for a pioneering, seminal prog rock band made up of prodigiously gifted musicians and composers to be pretentious? They are what they are. Pretentious is when you TRY to be what you are not or cannot be.

Arrogant, brash, outrageously self-confident, excessive...these are labels (lazy prog rock cliches in fact) ELP detractors might prefer to employ without my caring a hoot. After all, as Carl Palmer unashamedly puts it, 'It is showbusiness!'

But let's leave the 'P' word for those who try in vain to emulate the great pioneers like ELP, King Crimson, Jethro Tull and Genesis.

Oh...and for the 1-star reviewers, why not take a look at Britney's website, she may for all I know have released a new album you might find less taxing.

Ooops! I did it again.

Stefano di Sondrio | 5/5 |


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