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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 1910 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars A great debut. It might even be the most well-put-together album from the group.

Aside from the leftover cover art (which was originally made for an american rock-group called Spirit), I really dont seem to find any kind of notable flaws in this album. It opens up appropriately with "The Barbarian". An adaptation from Bela Bartok's Allegro Barbaro. Lake's distorted bass creates a solid and strong structure for the song, while Emerson's grand piano and percussive organ masterfully lead it. Palmer, in the other hand, shows his true skills in the end with a drum solo you wont forget. Three words: FAST AS HELL. This showcase of ELP's teamwork is definitely my favourite piece from the album. The second track "Take a Pebble" is a step in a different direction. This folky ballad runs for over 12 minutes, and consist of several sections. It's quite ambitious. One would even consider it the best of the bunch. It's and archetypal Greg Lake composion, and a good one at that. The third one is another modern classical adaptation, which is interesting because it sounds like any good rockin' tune from the early 70's to (only with modal hammond-organ interludes). I think it's one of the least appealing songs in the album, and that's not because it's unappealing in any level. It just is not as amazing than the two tracks before. Still, it can be enjoyed for what it's worth: A rockin' tune with modal organ interludes. If you are listening the vinyl, now it's time to switch sides. Side B opens up with "The Three Fates" (as in the greek mythology), divided in three parts, showcasing both Emerson's skill and ego. It's an amazing composion, but is it rock? No. Altough the last section "Atropos" has percussions, it should viewed as a classical composion. The fifth track "Tank" is the same thing for Palmer what "The Three Fates" is for Emerson. It starts with the whole band. A hohner clavinet is a lead instrument, which Emerson uses in a very classical manner, altough a clavinet is usually an instrument favoured in funk, blues and jazz. Emerson plays a solo first before giving the spotlight to Palmer. Around the two minute mark, it's Palmer's turn to shine. Needless to say, his solo is great, and it soon became a major part of their future performances. The last minutes of the song includes the whole band again, and it's Emerson let loose again. This time he plays much more bluesier solo with the moog synthesizer until the song fades. The sixth and the final track "Lucky Man" is a song which i hear has received mixed opinions. Why? I think it's a great piece, and i even love the "notorious" ending of it. Just because ELP made a radio-oriented song does not make it bad. I dont know, decide for yourselves.

Comparing this to the other "classic" studio albums by the band, I truly consider it best in a whole. I will say though, that the band's best composions (Tarkus, Karn Evil 9, The Endless Enigma) are all in the other albums. But then again, none of those albums would be made with the same level of seriousness like this one. For this matter, Emerson Lake & Palmer should be cherished just as much as the other classics.

rotosphere | 5/5 |


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