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

EMERSON LAKE & PALMER

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.23 | 1386 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Sothoth
4 stars Reviewing albums from 1970 on a progressive rock site without mentioning Emerson Lake & Palmers debut would be beyond foolish, so here it is. Concerning 1970, I actually would consider this the most important prog album of the year. Plenty of the major forces in prog were developing their sound and even releasing some fantastic albums, but most of those bands' seminal releases would not occur until the following few years. However, ELP did not waste their time churning out one of their highest regarded works from the get-go, packaged in an album cover that comes across like The Moody Blues in an uncharacteristically morbid and bleak mood.

"The Barbarian" starts off with a mean distorted bass before the keyboards kick in and it is soon realized that this is pure keyboard driven prog rock without things like loud guitars getting in the way. Still, this does have some power and 'oomph' to it, and the song does not feel incomplete despite lacking ripping guitar solos and vocals.

"Take A Pebble" is an interesting track with its gorgeous verses and long break in the middle with a bit of a hoedown tossed in. Odd, but strangely atmospheric. "Knife-Edge" has a bit of that Atomic Rooster sound to it and actually feels like all of the performers' previous bands contributed equal levels of influence to the overall sound of the song.

"The Three Fates" is Emerson's "LOOK AT ME" song, and for what it's worth, I pretty much dig the 2nd part featuring the solo piano quite a bit. "Tank" is Palmer's stab at glory, and it starts off cool, but drum solos over a minute long on studio albums eventually bore me. There were a lot of these drum solos being pumped out on albums back then. "Lucky Man" gets slagged a bit, but Lake's contribution to this album remains one of their best known tracks, and is actually the best track on side two. Catchy chorus, friendly guitar solo, folksy vibe that was in vogue at the time. Yet there's still that wild moog attack at the tune's end that brings back the prog and keeps things interesting.

ELP have never released a brilliant album in my opinion, but as an important one, this certainly deserves lots of regards. It sort of set the bar up a bit earlier than most in for the prog scene, and remains highly influential.

Prog Sothoth | 4/5 |

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