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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Tarkus CD (album) cover

TARKUS

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.04 | 1253 ratings

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OT Räihälä
2 stars Tarkus was my introduction to ELP. My first impression was that this is a very good effort, but after learning more about the band, my admiration towards Tarkus has diminished somewhat.

The title track is a 20min+ suite which consists of seven movements. The story and the musical line builds itself quite nicely, but my problem with Tarkus is that as a composition, it doesn't reach anywhere near the heights that ELP did with Karn Evil 9 a year or so later. The melodic lines aren't very inventive and the basic sounds are quite raw and unfinished. This is particularly astonishing, because their engineer was Eddy Offord, and although Greg Lake was the producer, I think Eddy must have had some say.

The B-side (what's that? asks the youth...) doesn't really raise my eyebrows. None of the tracks is notably good, and the last one (infantile 'Are You Ready Eddy') almost spoils the party. The obligatory Bach quotation by Keith is in The Only Way (Hymn).

Tarkus is not a bad album, and it has its place in the history of prog and ELP, especially because it went top of the charts in 1971, but its importance lies in that it shows how the band progressed via it from a promising group of individuals on their debut album to a nearly complete masterpiece on the follower, Brain Salad Surgery.

OT Räihälä | 2/5 |

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