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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 1946 ratings

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The T
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars First of all, I'm not going to do a song by song description...I think about hundred reviews before mine did that well enough so, I'm just going to give my point of view in this historical album....

In terms of ratings, this could well be a 6/5 stars ... or a -1/5....let me explain this, from both points of view:


- The musicianship here is just superb, amazing. We can tell the three guys playing their instruments were at the top of the crop in rock music. Each ELP member is a master of their respective sound machine (how funny to learn that one of them couldn't read music and another could barely do that...that shows you you not only have to study theory, you have to practice, and, let's be honest, you have to have been born with something special within you).

-This is not every guy's fact, I just don't understand how could this album sell's not in my mindset, probably because I was born after that time when finding musical intelligence was not like finding a rock in the ocean, probably because today the closest that we come to a decent rock album that sells millions is....well, we don't. This days (I'm talking 2006 here) there's no good rock selling millions, nothing (if U2 or RAdiohead is great rock for you, well, maybe you're right, but first and foremost, those two are POP, then rock....)

-This is so complex....ELP didn't limit themselves to compose music and play it for us...they adapted music pieces, and they didn't choose the lame "rock legend to prog rock" way of doing, they adapted a hymn-like song in their country, the UK....but that's not such a big deal...they ADAPTED GINASTERA...a musical composer of the 20th full of atonalities, intricate harmonies, assaulting, complex rhythms....and they did it well, even according to the argentinian master's review of the piece....a whole orchestral piece only in 4 let's have your rock stars doing that! Zeppelin adapting Ginastera? The Who adapting Ginastera? Please.... Not only they dind't want it, if they'd tried they couldn't have done have to be a great musician, UNDERSTAND MUSIC, NOT ONLY BE A SUPERB INSTRUMENTALIST to adapt coherently a piece of the art's most glorious genre....

-We get rock, we get ragtime, we get jazz, we get classical...all in 45 how did they manage? No wonder their band collapsed....their brains must've been torn apart in exhaustion....

So, I guess I made my point, didn't I? This album deserves a 6/5.



-This is just unlistenable. Yes, they are masters of their own instruments....but they are just showing-off at times when we could've used more restrain, sections were a little less showmanship would've bring the album closer to a bearable level....

-This is not every guy's music.... but whose music is this? My point when listening to prog-rock has always been: I WANT BETTER ROCK, NOT LESSER JAZZ OR LESSER CLASSICAL or whatever.... so, I still want some ROCK in my songs or instrumental pieces...and here? I get almost no rock (a few passages in KArn Evil 9 and that atrocious Still you turn me on)...I swear to you: tried as hard as it might, this is not jazz, nor is it classical, it's supposed to be a combination of all three? IS IT POSSIBLE? could be, but....if you want to mix rock and classical, maybe you have to aim at classical pieces with more traditional harmonies and melodies and rhythms....FOR ROCK WAS BORN if you mix something simple with something marvelous BUT RELATIVELY SIMPLE, you could get a result....but Ginastera? Man, why they just not tried and adapt Lygeti? When yhey adapted Mussorgsky, well, that's less complex music (not less marvelous, in fact I think is more sublime than Ginastera), so more suitable to adaptation....If I want classcial music, I'll listen as the composer intended, were it for full orchestra or chamber or whatever....not three petulant rock geniuses...

-Is this an influential album? I can see that Genesis gave birth to MArillion and thousand more, Yes did so with Flower Kings and hundreds more....But ELP? ....Par Lindh maybe? No, that guy makes more accesible

-But above all, the songs are just bad:The first one has no soul.... maybe the original one has (haven't heard it) but this one is neither rock nor is it AS BLAND as it gets....About Toccatta, I've given my point of view already...Still you turn me on is just atrocious, it's not too progressive (not progressive at all...I could play it I think!!) and as a rock piece, it's awful, boring....(and, for all knowledge Lakel had about his instrument, DON'T TELL ME HE COULD SING...this voice is as vulgar as it gets) I don't know....then the ragtime piece: yes, funny, yes, nothing to write home about...and then Karn Evil 9: at times incoherent, without unity...the second Impression, with the piano solo, well, I reckon that's amazing...but again: WHERE's THE "ROCK" PART OF THE PROG?

Oh!!!! I think I got it!!! I know why I don't get this album!!!

This is not prog-rock,

this is not rock,

this is PROG... one of the only albums ever made that were JUST PROG (whatever the meaning of that may be)....

So, ELP, in a genre of their own, PROG.

For that, I give them 6/5 stars.

For rock, I give them, -1/5 stars

so, for Prog-rock, let's do the math and give them 3/5.

But I still reccomend you to get it. It's an essential album...if only to understand why that glorious era when we ruled the world came crashing horribly to the end.

The T | 3/5 |


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