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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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Frankie Flowers
4 stars This album is an interesting fusion of rock and classical themes. A good friend of mine (and huge ELP fan) lent me this when I was a teenager and I didn't know what to make of it for a long time. I hadn't heard anything like it before. I remember studying the cover too. I found it quite futuristic all those years ago.

I always found the tightness of the group quite impressive and imagined how they must have painstakingly worked together. I think that's how my friend felt about this particular record. It was definitely what he would have introduced to anyone as an example of what they were all about. I can quite understand how some people find this work overblown due to its bombastic nature. This is a beast that slowly grew on me over time.

I instantly recognised the melody from "Jerusalem", which was an adaptation from a well known hymn I sang at primary school in England. The organ and Lake's voice make it very emotional and atmospheric. "Tocacata" follows, suddenly changing the mood. It is extremely dramatic and fast moving. Emerson's special synthesized effects sound intriguing and Palmer's percussion is different too with the use of drum synthesizers.

The gentle, acoustic "Still.. You Turn Me On" is a gorgeous piece and stands out from the other more masculine tracks on the album with its soft harpsichord in the background. Lake's voice is very attractive here and softer than on the other pieces."Benny The Bouncer" also sounds different to the other pieces. It is a very likeable song about a saloon punch up and the piano bring it to life very well.

The second half of the album is taken up by the Karn Evil 9 impressions which are broken up into four parts. Impressions one and two are my favourites. There are some good lyrics (Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends..). In all, it's definitely an album many either love or hate. I personally feel it would be an excellent addition to a prog rock collection. Four solid stars.

Frankie Flowers | 4/5 |


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