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

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 1862 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Gatot
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A debut album from one of legendary progressive rock heroes. Greg Lake who was previously a bass player and singer for another legendary band King Crimson finally accepted Keith Emerson (ex The Nice) to form a new band. These two gentlemen met in San Francisco backstage at a show featuring both The Nice and King Crimson. During that meeting they did a lot of talking and followed-up their ideas when they came back to England. [1]. The early formation of ELP happened at the same time when King Crimson's recording of second album "In The Wake of Poseidon" at the Wessex Studios. When ELP finally got into gear, Lake did not return to Wessex Studios which left one track - the ballad "Cadence and Cascade" - without a vocal. For this Fripp contacted Gordon Haskell, hisl old schoolfriend who had no particular liking of Crimson's music but for a session fee of 50 was happy to come to Wessex and sing. [2]. Indeed, King Crimson's leader and guitarist Robert Fripp never considered Greg Lake as bass player. He's wrong as we know that Lake plays excellent bass guitar with ELP.

Carl Palmer became a member of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown at the peak of their popularity. Returning from an 18-month American tour, Carl and Crazy World organist Vincent Crane split to form Atomic Rooster. Musically akin to The Nice, Atomic Rooster was Palmer's first real success as a band founder, and it took some persuading from Greg to convince 20-year-old Carl to leave the band and cement the ELP lineup in 1970. And . JRENG! Finally, what would later be a famous band was formed! And their debut album Emerson Lake and Palmer took the music industry by the storm.

This album features six tracks including a song adapted from Bela Bartok's "Allegro Barbaro" (The Barbarian) and another song adapted from Janacek's "Sinfonletta" (Knife- Edge). The album starts off with a distorted music which brings Keith Emerson's dazzling organ / synthesizer combined with dynamic drum by Carl and bass by Greg. It continues to Greg's nice ballad "Take A Pebble" which features great piano work by Keith and melodic vocal line by Greg - reminiscent his style with King Crimson's "Epitaph". What comes after is a kind like improvisation music blending Keith rapid-fire piano work, Greg inventive bass playing and Carl drumming (mostly with high hats and toms). The long interlude part explores the piano solo nicely. "Knife-Edge" - which later became an ELP staple - continues with accentuated voice line, dynamic bass line combined with organ and drum.

"The Three Fates" that contains three parts starts with a long sustain and multi layer organ solo with some classical music influence (Royal Festival Hall Organ). It continues with piano solo, broken down into two parts. This track is explorative in nature, written by Keith Emerson. "Tank" is another legendary track ELP has ever produced; containing Carl Palmer's excellent drum solo. The album concludes with a simple ballad written by Greg Lake "Lucky Man".

It's a promising debut album that proved to be the hallmark of ELP's subsequent follow- ups" "Tarkus", "Pictures At An Exhibition", "Trilogy", "Brain Salad Surgery". It's a must for any prog music lover. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

References: [1]. "The Return of The Manticore" ELP box set sleeve [2]. "In The Court of King Crimson", Sid Smith, Helter Skelter Publishing, 2003.

Gatot | 4/5 |

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