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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Trilogy CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer

Symphonic Prog

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Founding Moderator
3 stars Underrated by most, Trilogy is probably ELP's most "listenable" album. While "The Sheriff" is something of a "throw-away," all the other tracks are extremely creative. Emerson's compositional and keyboard work on Endless Enigma, Fugue, and Trilogy are among his best. And Living Sin is among the best (often forgotten) gems of prog-rock to be found anywhere.
Report this review (#14306)
Posted Tuesday, January 6, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars The only Bolero I find useful in prog is the King Crimson on the Fabulous album LIZARD. This is definitely not essential album and the first sign of weakness in a dreadful later discography . By this album their formula was wearing thin and inspiration not as intense as before. Still some moments but too few and too far apart.
Report this review (#14292)
Posted Thursday, February 5, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars this was the first by ELP I heard and I was totally amazed with The Endless Enigma as it appeared like something new for me. I think it's one of their classic concepts like Karn Evil 9 on 'Brain Salad'. The rest of the album is also very good especially From The Beginning, Trilogy and Hoedown. A must for every art rock fan.
Report this review (#14311)
Posted Friday, February 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars "And so will break another day"

"Trilogy" is probably ELP's most progressive and complete album, and for me their best. Unlike all other ELP albums, every track on Trilogy reaches their highest standard.

"The endless enigma" opens the album in three parts (beware of the ELP compilation entitled "Fanfare for the common man)" which inexplicably fades the track before the third section). This is a superbly crafted trilogy which opens with soft, almost imperceptible synthesiser introducing frantic piano, before Lake's crystal clear vocals pick out the main melody. After the piano based "Fugue", a fanfare synth introduces the final section, which builds to a mighty crescendo. The fact that "The endless enigma" was rarely performed live is probably the only reason why it has not gained the recognition it warrants as one of ELP's finest pieces.

"From the beginning" is a beautiful acoustic track featuring Greg Lake on vocals and guitar. While it has a simplistic structure, it is a finely crafted piece. Side one of the LP closes with a couple of lighter tracks, both with a western flavour. If you listen closely to Carl Palmer's solo at the beginning of "The sheriff", you can hear where he makes a mistake, mutters "Sh*t", and starts again.

If the title track was released today, it would probably be labelled "Trance". It is a lengthy largely instrumental track, heavy on the synthesisers. After a soft start, the piece explodes into a driving wall of sound, ducking and diving through various time changes in the best prog traditions. The shorter "Living Sin" is a more straightforward Atomic Rooster type track, The final piece, "Abadon's Bolero", one of ELP's most popular tracks, particularly among non-fans. Ice skaters Torvill and Dean's Olympic gold medal would have been even more of a formality had they used this Bolero as their music! The structure of the track is very simple, with only one brief deviation from the main theme, but the gradual build to the screaming synthesiser climax is hypnotic.

For me, "Trilogy" is ELP's finest work, even eclipsing "Brain salad surgery". If you want to discover ELP at their best, start here.

Report this review (#14312)
Posted Tuesday, March 2, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well I give a "4 stars and an half" evaluation to this famous album, because this work is the most accessible and let the listener who is not into such "Prog music" be closer and understand the sense of working in progress. The title track is fantastic, above all the first section, then the second movement of such mini-suite becomes a bit prolix, because it's characterized by some excesses, as sometimes it happens. The adaptation from Aaron Copland's "Rodeo" is stunning, and a classic one as well; instead the "Endless Enigma" is another accessible suite, whose final crescendo is unforgettable!!

Recommended and perhaps the most personal album by ELP!! Along with "Brain Salad Surgery", talking about the compositions by EMERSON within, and by forgetting also his adaptations for a while!

Report this review (#14307)
Posted Thursday, April 1, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This record has some excellent tracks, while others are decent but less retain the attention. The "Trilogy" track starts with a VERY impressive piano part, very expressive, complex and varied, accompanied by Lake's soothing voice, reminding me the talents of Patrick Moraz, Jurgen Fritz and Eddie Jobson; the second part is a complex combination of mini moog, drums and percussions, reminding some parts of the excellent Triumvirat's "Spartacus" album. "Living sin" is a weaker track: Lake rather uses odd voices, and the keyboards patterns are repetitive, although well played. The repetitive "Abbadon's bolero" sounds a bit like Triumvirat's "Dance on the volcano" track; I prefer the work on the Triumvirat's album.

On the other side of the album, the first track, "Endless enigma", takes too much time to start, and I find its rhythm too slow for the genre. "Fugue" is a wonderful complex piano track, which is, again, very expressive. "Endless enigma part 2" is excellent and very catchy. "From the beginning" is a beautiful acoustic guitar track accompanied by Lake's mellow voice, which can easily be played during a warm summer night, in front of a fireplace. On "The Sherriff", the loud Hammond organ and Lake's voice do sound at the same time in different orientations, which may be annoying for some people; this track ends with a fast and funny saloon piano. Finally, "Hoedown" can almost be danced, showing that the present rhythm is catchy and well addictive.

Report this review (#14294)
Posted Thursday, April 8, 2004 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Trilogy" is a challenge to the status quo of popular music, a confident coronation of majestic tendencies seen on "Tarkus" and "Pictures...". Though Peter Sinfield had yet to join, ELP's lyrical vision is hardly clumsy here, suggesting a literate bravado. This combined with what handily represent the band's most artful arrangements ("The Sheriff", "Hoedown") take the band to a new level. No longer are they flinging arrows at the battlements of mediocrity and fear (as "Tarkus" did), but on "Trilogy" the trio has scaled the wall and assumed the mantle of the new musical vanguard that CRIMSON wore but briefly. On "Trilogy", we meet new feats that were later equalled but never bettered: the almost offhand genius of "The Endless Enigma" and "Trilogy", the compelling tale of "The Sheriff", a sublime ballad in "From The Beginning", and the energized interpretation of Aaron Copland's "Hoedown".

If "Trilogy" and the subsequent "Surgery" rank among the trio's great achievements, it's no accident. "Tarkus" took them in a new direction, and their musical styles flourished in this conjoined creative environment. It's not simply that they complemented one another, but that they drove one another to excellence. Listen to Keith Emerson's spacey solo on "From The Beginning", Carl Palmer's tireless rhythms on "Trilogy", or Lake's brave handling of "The Sheriff", and you'll hear how each member could push the dialogue past old boundaries. Though it proved to be an unsustainable level of activity, "Trilogy" remains one of ELP's finest achievements, and thus one of the great records in the annals of progressive rock. It's amazing to think that listeners would soon dismiss this music in favor of punk, when the same revolutionary sentiments are at work in each. Of course, prog (at its best) required superlative musicianship, while punk crashed down the gates to let anyone in. Both will become blips in the big musical screen with time, but with the distinction that punk coldcocked convention while prog (in the person of works like "Trilogy") outdueled it in a swordfight of youthful grace matched with an admirable cunning.

Report this review (#14295)
Posted Saturday, April 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Prog Specialist
5 stars MASTERPIECE!!!

ELP had reached their peak and this album is a prove of that.

The hard Modern/Romantic Russian Classical influence in Keith Emerson's keyboard is softened by the powerful voice and bass of Greg Lake, plus the always precise drumming of Carl Palmer.

If I had to stay with one track, I will go for Trilogy this beautiful and complex song defines what the term Progressive Rock means.

This song has classical influence, abrupt changes, wonderful keyboards and it's perfectly worked from the start to the end, almost as a classical piece, starts soft and gains strength until they reach the peak at the middle of the track and begins to slowly fade to prepare the ending.

The weaker song (in this album context) is IMO Abaddon's Bolero, but all the rest is outstanding, even "The Sheriff" often described as mediocre and out of place by some critics.

A must have for every prog' fan.

Report this review (#14314)
Posted Thursday, April 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Solid album that consolidated ELP's position of high standing within the prog fraternity.Not a single bad track ,I particularly like Emersons use of polyphonic synths on 'Abaddons Bolero' to create an orchestral feel a la Walter Carlos.Other stand out tracks include the instrumental cowboy music inspired peice 'Hoedown' and the beautifull Greg Lake song 'From The Beginning'.But as I said there's nothing here to quibble about although I have to hold back giving 5 stars as there was still better to come!
Report this review (#14309)
Posted Monday, May 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars I don´t know why i cannot find my favourite band here, commercial intends, i don´t know. The first track could be better if wasnt the romantic theme and appellative sticky chorus "pleeeease pleeease open..." it spoils all the track. A beatiful ballad, folowed by two old west prog which i prefer the 74 live versions, trilogy and living sin doesn´t fit with me and abadons bolero is totaly boring.
Report this review (#14318)
Posted Tuesday, August 3, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars To me, "Trilogy" feels quite different to other ELP albums. Of course there are similarities but, to me, this album seems less bombastic and more measured somehow, and does not have the full-on intensity of their other albums. Even the airbrushed cover photograph of the band, sideways on, looking out over a glorious sunset on the back cover, seems mellower and somehow more sophisticated; less brash than the other albums. Yes, there are some heavy moments here, but there are some calmer, studied moments too. Lake said that the band took a lot of time and care creating this album, and I can believe it. Additionally, the production is good, the sound crisp and clear.

'The Endless Enigma' starts with some quiet percussion from Palmer, rather like a heartbeat, and Emerson's synthesiser sounding initially rather like a calling night bird. Then Emerson introduces piano, synthesizer and, briefly, a zourka before the track speeds up and becomes heavier. As far as I can determine, the zourka is a Tunisian wind instrument with a double reed, about 30 cm in length and with 8 finger holes. Lake's clear tenor voice then comes in, backed by some thumping bass in places. The song is divided in two by 'Fugue', which has some excellent piano playing from Emerson with Lake's bass playing nicely in the background and Palmer's triangle adding a nice touch; the sound of the Steinway piano is superb. The music changes mood and melody significantly through the pieces: some quiet, some heavy and full of passion. Emerson's synthesizer then emulates bells and trumpets (wonderful sound) and Lake belts out the end of the song.

'From The Beginning' is excellent. Lake's acoustic guitar and clear voice do the song justice. This is a man's love song: unsentimental and matter-of-fact. "There might have been things I missed, but don't be unkind, it don't mean I'm blind. Perhaps there's a thing or two: I think of lying in bed. I shouldn't have said, but there it is", with the refrain "You see, it's all clear, you were meant to be here from the beginning." The tune is lovely, and this is my favourite Lake ballad. Towards the end he brings in electric guitar, which sounds warm and very slightly SHADOWS-like, and then Emerson brings in some gorgeous synthesizer that gently whistles, buzzes and bubbles over Lake's strumming. To me, the album is worth it for this track alone.

'The Sheriff' is a good song in my opinion - I like the tune. As the name suggests it has a Wild West feel musically, and lyrically the Wild West is indeed the theme. This is a well-crafted piece of music, as it conveys the intended mood very well. Emerson's ubiquitous honky-tonk piano makes a satisfying appearance at the end.

'Hoedown' is ELP's interpretation of modern American composer Aaron Copland's 'Hoe-Down' from his ballet score "Rodeo." Instead of violins we have Emerson's Hammond and synthesizers taking the lead. Emerson unashamedly borrowed from classical composers, simply because he liked the music and knew a good tune when he heard one. The piece is infectious, and you can almost picture the cowpokes prancing to this. Some of Copeland's music is wonderful, and Emerson later also borrowed Copeland's 'Fanfare For The Common Man' for "Works, Volume 1".

'Trilogy' is a song very much over piano to begin with. Emerson's piano again sounds the business: crisp, clear Steinway, and the introductory part of the track sounds very Gershwinesque. Later Emerson brings in Hammond and synthesizers and really rocks it up in a very pleasing way during a long instrumental section, before Lake's vocals come back in briefly. This track works well. Palmer's percussion is, as ever, excellent. I really like the way he uses a range of percussion instruments throughout the album - you can pick out little sounds here and there that are effective and pleasing.

'Living Sin' is a heavy, dark sounding track. With Lake growling low in his throat in places, he gives this track a very seedy undertone: "If you never saw it coming, Hooked you up with Coca-Cola coming, Nice and slippery."

'Abaddon's Bolero' is presumably ELP's musical interpretation of the prophesy in Revelation. Abaddon is Hebrew for "destroyer" and, according to Revelation, Abaddon is the destroying angel king who ascends from the unlocked Abyss with an army of fallen angels and demons, overpowers human governments, and takes over the Earth (but not for eternity). The army takes the form of golden-crowned locusts with scorpion-sting tails, lion-like teeth, and human-like faces with woman-like hair, and their remit is to torture for five months using their stings all humans who do not bear the seal of God on their forehead. If you are an ELP fan these creatures may sound a little familiar. That's because they are somewhat similar to the Persian manticore, the mythical beast - and epitome of tyranny and evil - introduced in ELP's second album "Tarkus".

'Abaddon's Bolero' starts, very quietly, as a repetitive marching tune with Palmer's drumming rat-a-tat-tat and Emerson adding layers of synthesizer and Hammond bit by bit; first 'flutes', then 'trumpets' and perhaps also 'bagpipes'. Lake's bass calmly supports all this as the instrumental piece builds slowly but surely. I can't help whistling along to this. Initially the image I get is more of a marching Roman legion or Highland Regiment than an army of demonic beings. The beat is rock-solid and relentless and, whatever this army is comprised of, I get the feeling that it is going to flatten everything in its path. Most of the track does not give me a sense of foreboding, but towards the end Emerson adds very fat synthesizer and 'clarions', giving the music a more malevolent feel as the army accelerates forward, and the track ends abruptly, presumably as mankind is overcome. An interesting and evocative piece of music, which I like very much.

Another classic Progressive Rock album from the band, and an interesting change from their previous work. I never tire of listening to it, although "Tarkus" is my favourite ELP album. Nevertheless "Trilogy" is also excellent and I would say it is a masterpiece of the genre. Highly recommended.

Report this review (#14320)
Posted Monday, September 27, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I bought this album in 1980, and at that time I remember that it was one of my favourite albums. Today, after a very long time (I don`t remember when I listened to this album for the last time!) I listened again to this album, and I still found it interesting. My favourite song from this album is "Trilogy", with piano, organ and a lot of synthesizers, plus great drums by Palmer. As other reviewers, I also think that this album is more "quiet" in comparison to "Tarkus" and "Brain Salad Surgery". It is more accessible than these two albums. "The Endless Enigma" is like an "Hymn" , similar to "Jerusalem" from "Brain Salad Surgery". "From the beginning" is another of my favourite songs in this album. "The Sheriff" is humorous. "Hoedown" is played slower than the live version included in the "Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends-Ladies and Gentleman:E.L.P" album. A very good album in general.
Report this review (#14321)
Posted Thursday, October 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars Excellent album from ELP. Almost all songs are great. The weaker songs is: From the beginning, Hoedown and Living sin, but they are still good! If you want a perfect ELP collection, you must have this, "Tarkus", their first album and "Brain Salad Surgery"! four stars!!
Report this review (#14325)
Posted Monday, January 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is an essential album. It's probably one of ELP best, next of course tarkus. The best reason to buy this album are the first three songs (which actually is one song). This song is based on a suite composed by the belgium classical composer Piel Koekjebla in the early 50's. He composed a 20minute suite inspired by some mathematical formula (??). ELP inspired this song on this suite, and the result is fantastic. Beautiful melodies and performed by three fantastic musicians. Just listen to this album and you'll hear.

Report this review (#14330)
Posted Friday, February 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This was my first ELP album I bought. This one has some very emotional killersongs, like "The Endless Enigma Part 1 and 2" with "Fugue" between them. Also "From the Beginning" and "Trilogy" I enjoy much. The problem I have are "fillersongs" like "The Sherrif" for example. I also bought "Tarkus" and "Brain Salad Surgery", but they have in my opinion the same problem. Very strong parts, followed by cheap, unemotional songs. If they had put the strong songs on one or two albums they had create essential albums wich I would rate 5 stars for sure, but I can't give here more then 4 stars. However, here are some essential progressive moments. Enjoy them. Progfrog, Holland.
Report this review (#14334)
Posted Saturday, March 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a very fantastic album. If you are an ELP fan, like me, you must own this disc. The only reason it is a 4 and not a 5 is because of the fact that it is not a "masterpiece," but it is a very good addition to any prog collection. ELP was the band that got me into prog, and I believe their best disc is Brain Salad Surgery.

The Endless Engima (Part One) - Fugue - The Endless Enigma (Part Two): This song is one of the classic ELP tracks. No ELP fan should be without this song. Emerson's fugue in the middle nicely separates the two parts. Lake's vocals, I think, shine on this song.

From the Beginning: One of my favorite all-time Greg Lake ballads. I love how it gradually builds, and the keyboards show up at the end of the song. As good as Lucky Man for me.

The Sheriff: Many might consider this a throwaway. But it isn't. It's a fantastic song, especially the piano outro. Perfect.

Hoedown: Another classic ELP song. Taken from Aaron Copland's Rodeo, it is the perfect example of Emerson showing homage where homage is due and making the piece his own. People may consider it pretentious, but I do not.

Trilogy: Probably my favorite song. Period. I love it so much, I learned it on the piano. I play all the way up to about the 3:30 mark, when the bass kicks in (which could be my favorite riff ever). Perfection in 9 minutes.

Living Sin: Another small one that people consider a throwaway. Although not as good as The Sheriff, it is still very good. It has very different vocals than normal for ELP, but they are great once one gets used to them.

Abaddon's Bolero: Now, people really knock this song. I won't knock it as much, but it is probably responsible for making this a 4 star album instead of 5. A bit too long, I do enjoy the song, but sometimes, it drags. (For those of you who don't know, Abaddon is the term for the devil, used in the Bible. What its significance here is, I don't know.)

Overall, I love this album, and if you like ELP, you will like this too. Absolutely, buy it. Highly recommended. 4 stars.

Report this review (#14337)
Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Alongside Brain Salad Surgery this has to be one of my favourite ELP albums of all time. I love the tracks "Endless Enigma parts 1 and 2" and "Trilogy". alongside the others. For me this the definative album for ELP. I have never heard so many Synthesizers in my life and the musicianship is great as well. I recommend this not just to ELP fans but to all Prog Fans and Music Lovers out there!!!
Report this review (#14339)
Posted Wednesday, May 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
Marc Baum
4 stars Anyway, "Trilogy" is a successor, no real fan was disappointed as this came out in '72 (the prog scene was right up there to reach their peak), it includes with "The Endless Enigma part 1 & 2" one of the biggest classics the band ever recorded, but in comparison with the one year later appearing masterpiece "Brain Salad Surgery" this record seems to lack on some very few moments. Don't get me wrong, this album is from the classic era of ELP and shouldn't be overlooked. This record got a commercial edge in some moments, but in a positive way. I think that the song "Living Sin" sounds a bit out of place with it's "evil" vocals, but that's a question of personal opinion. The other highlights of "Trilogy" alongside the earlier mentioned "The Endless Enighma" are the title track (where key-god Keith Emerson shows what's his destination), the great instrumental "Hoedown" and the quiet ballad "From The Beginning" (nice acoustic guitar!). The album is the important previous step to their creative peak on "Brain Salad Surgery". A must-have anyway, like the other records from ELP's early period ('70-'74).
Report this review (#14344)
Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album has more bright and pleasant feeling as "Tarkus", and I have given it spins more often than that album. Though this is a good record, I still think that they could have done much better as a band! Highlights for me are the wonderful "The Endless Enigma" with "Fugue", ballad "From The Beginning", arrangement of fast classical score "Hoedown" and three-part suite "Trilogy". "Abaddon's Bolero" is a bit boring and the rest of the tracks are quite OK. A classic album but not perfect.
Report this review (#36455)
Posted Tuesday, June 14, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This one is ELPs best album after BSS wich are thier real masterpiece, well this album is not far after with great tracks like the endles enigma wich is very beautiful and powerful its the first track on the CD and one of the best, from the begining and the sheriff are two good songs, the sheriff is probobly their best funny song its beter then Jeremy bender and benny the bouncer, no doubt. and from the begining is a good Lake ballad, then comes Hoedown a very fast and rocking piece and very good, then we have trilogy a great song power and beauty mixed togheter perfectly. Living sin i hade some problems to like at first but it have grown on me so now i can say its a good song. the closing song Abaddon's Bolero i have to say is almost my favorite from the album, it remainds me of some video game i have played dont remember what but something about the space it was, it gives me a space cadet fell if i close my eyes, it fells like im on a space jerny or somthing like that. All in all a highly recomended ELP album one of thir best.
Report this review (#36650)
Posted Thursday, June 16, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars Essential: a masterpiece of progressive music Very beautiful masterpiece album that mixes various music of ragtime, Latin, and jazz, etc. with Rock in classics and constructed the mysterious world. It is my most favorite album in the masterpiece of EMERSON LAKE&PALMER. "The Endless Enigma", "Hoedown", "Trilogy", and "Abaddon's Bolero" are wonderful.
Report this review (#38616)
Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is a real masterpease. Your brains get out when you hear "The endless enigma", and then it transforms in a great piano solo in "fugue". "Form the beginning" and "trilogy" are great too. This album has a lot of diferent music styles such as country or balads. It's well produced too, although i don't know who is the producer.
Report this review (#40882)
Posted Friday, July 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album reaches the level of The debut album and is as good as that one. One reason may be because Emerson doesn't dominate and there is a balance between the three artists. The other obvious reason, is that the music is very inspired and it shows that effort was put in this work.

The Endless Enigma Suite (8/10) Starts the album with very fast and random grand piano improvisation, and is followed by one of ELPs most underrated songs that is never played live. The song ends with a great crescendo. It is then followed by "From The Beginning" (10/10) which actually is an acoustic ballad piece that actually surpassed the greatness of Lucky Man. The song contains unusual chord progression, which is the main reason the song is so great. Another thing to note is the happy synth solo played by Emerson. The Sheriff (6.5/10) is the usual silly song of ELP but this one has good playing and doesn't bother me. Howdown (7.5/10) is a classic adaptation that is very accessible and many seem to like it. Trilogy (9/10) is one of ELP's best long songs. It starts with a very pretty piano ballad, but then starts having mood and time changes (like Musical Box), including one part where the piano goes berserk and switches to a trance-like synth insanity. I love it!!. The next track (7/10) is s straightforward rock song, and the last song (8/10) is a repetitive song going around the same synth line all the time, but that line is so good, that you do not want it to end. This album, the debut, and Tarkus are for me ELP's best works, and are recommended.

My Grade : B+

Report this review (#41732)
Posted Friday, August 5, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars A Tue Masterpiece Classic Prog Rock Album

"Trilogy" is for me one of ELP's finest albums and probably the most accessible one compared to other albums released in the early to mid seventies. Not only that, the album was also one of classic progressive rock icons in the seventies altogether with Genesis "Nursery Cryme", "Foxtrot", King Crimson's "In The Court of Crimson King", "In The Wake of Poseidon" or Yes "Close To The Edge", etc.

In July 1972 came Trilogy, another hit album (No. 2 UK, No. 5 US) that included a stirring rendition of Aaron Copland's "Hoedown", which quickly became an ELP staple. One of Greg's ballad "From The Beginning", was their highest- charting American single. Also featuring the sweeping epic "Endless Enigma", "Living Sin" and the title track "Trilogy" marked a move away from heavy sci-fi concepts. - quoted from the nice booklet in the ELP box set The Return To The Manticore.

Yeah, with the above quote I feel like I'm 32 years younger. What a powerful statement about this groundbreaking album! For me it's a luxury knowing that statement as I only could afford to buy the box set (that cost me very serious Rupiahs that I never imagined during my childhood that I would have it) and also each individual album of the band in CD format. I really love ELP's music - they are just terrific. Fabulous. I can only comment that if Greg Lake did not quit King Crimson and formed ELP we wouldn't have the opportunity to see two great prog rock bands King Crimson. Thanks to Rober Fripp that did not give up King Crimson and found out another great vocalist John Wetton. There is always an opportunity in any problem encountered even if we missed great musician like Greg Lake.

The album kicks off with a of bit unstructured arrangement - if we listen to it the first time - with a sort of avant-garde (?) music through the exploration of synthesizer and piano by Keith Emerson augmented with bass and drum works "The Endless Enigma - Part One" (6:41). That's exactly what happen with the first 2 minutes of the song. This kind of music has become the trade mark of ELP music. What follow is a melodic and catchy melody through the vocal of Greg Lake. It's really touchy that reminds me to the band's classic "The Sage" really. It's hard to understand if there is someone who cannot enjoy this track especially the lyrical verse. Greg Lake provides his vocal in low as well as high register notes with full power combined with dazzling drum sounds by Carl Palmer. It clears my head like nothing I've experience in years - it's quite the suave affair, and it's surrounded by many beautiful segments through piano solo exploration during the bridge "Fugue" ( 1:56) that connects the music back to the tagline melody of part one of "The Endless Enigma" into part two that consumes another two minutes of music. Fabulous!!!

It flows wonderfully to great acoustic guitar work to commence "From The Beginning" with kind like distant vocal singing style backed with acoustic guitar fills and percussive. During interlude, electric guitar solo overlay the acoustic guitar and percussive rhythm section; continued amazingly with synthesizer solo. Awesome! The album continues with Keith Emerson's boiling water organ work that dominantly form "The Sheriff" (3:21) combined with inventive drum work by Carl Palmer and bass lines, vocals by Greg Lake. Even though this is a short track but it's an amazing track: great harmonies of music combining piano/organ drums and bass guitar excellently.

"Hoedown" (3:43) which has become ELP's opening track in many concerts after the "Welcome back My Friend" yell. It again features rapid fire organ and synthesizer work by Keith augmented by solid and inventive bass lines by Greg lake and powerful drum work by Carl Palmer. The title track "Trilogy" is one of my many all time favorite ELP tracks. It starts mellow with melodic singing style of Greg Lake accompanied with nice piano - heavily influenced by classical music. My true love is really when the music blasts off altogether (after great piano punches) with all instruments are played in continuous streams of music where bass guitar provides solid beat keeper accompanied with drum. Synthesizer gives its solo for quite reasonable duration throughout the track. Usually I play LOUD at my stereo set during this instrumental part. So uplifting man!

"Living Sin" (3:12) is a beautiful and funny song for me me. Funny? Yeah, because Gregg Lake provides his very low register notes vocal at the intro part but he suddenly sings the high register notes in full power accompanied with accentuated music with organ / synthesizers and drum work. Beautiful composition and very melodic. The song also offers many styles especially during transition pieces. The album concludes beautifully with an instrumental track "Abaddon's Bolero" (8:07).

Overall, it's a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED album If you are new to prog, this album is an excellent introduction to prog rock. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#44411)
Posted Saturday, August 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars TRILOGY is kind of the forgotten ELP album from their classic years and I am not really sure why. It has all the great ELP moments; the mad Moog solo's; the beautiful piano piece; the great vocals, the great syncopated rhythms... and the brilliant engineering of Eddie Offord. Yet not many people mention this album as a prog triumph. But it is. Although I like BRAIN SALAD SURGERY better, TRILOGY is really a better, more balanced album.

As a teenager in the mid-70's my friends and I used to talk about BSS more than TRILOGY, but we really listen to TRILOGY more then BSS. The starting of the of The Endless Enigma (Part One) with the beating of a heart and the whistling Moog synthesizer, set the tone for this album. It is both eerie and warm at the same time. The second piece of this trilogy is the FUGUE. Emerson best piano piece, period. Again credit must be Eddie Offord for how this piece is captured. Just beautiful. Then back to the finale of The Endless Enigma (Part One) with the whole band kicking in. Great stuff!

The other standout song is the title track. Greg Lake singing is wonderful. Gone is the echo and reverb which cause Rolling Stone to once call Greg the "Don Pardo of Rock and Roll". I sometimes forget that Greg did have a great voice. Again the song has the wild mad Moog solos with Palmer driving the piece with some odd time signature. Again Great Stuff!

The balance of the album is on par with these two track and is an essential to any progger's collection.

Report this review (#44624)
Posted Sunday, August 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars They could have followed up the release of the tasteless "light entertainment" of PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION with pretty much anything, and it would have come as something of a breath of fresh air. This is, of course, another "half-and-half" album like TARKUS. But unlike that album, they've interleaved the good and the bad, forcing you to listen from beginning to end. Is it any wonder I listen to this a lot less than TARKUS?

Let's get the bad out of the way first. "The Sheriff" isn't as bad as some of their, "oh look! We have a sense of humour, too!" songs, but it's still dispensable. "Rodeo" is just more throwaway classical kitsch and the less said about the attempt at sounding menacing on "Living Sin", the better.

High points are easily the album's opening and closing tracks. The three-part "Endless Enigma" houses some of Emerson's most stunning organ playing, and also features a lovely fugal solo piano part in the middle. "Abaddon's Bolero" is a work of striking intensity, building slowly from beginning to end, and emphasizing Emerson's synthesizer work in a memorable way.

The rest of the album is just fairly average. "From The Beginning" was a pleasant Lake folkie guitar tune with philosophical lyrics, and was the band's biggest hit single (in the US, anyway). That leaves the title track, which is rather "Tarkus"-lite; some interesting moments, but not as good as what preceded it.

It's far from their worst album, but all the same, TRILOGY is a bit of a mess. Something like a tossed salad with some ingredients you love and others you can't stand. A cautious recommendation, but get it after you already have some of their better material.

Report this review (#45483)
Posted Sunday, September 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars well, I think this is a bit overrated I think. It has its good points, but it has its lows as well. Probably the worst of ELP's first five albums in my opinion.

It starts off with one of my favorite ELP songs, The Endless Enigma mini-suite. The piano/percussion intro is a bit overlong, but it more than makes up for it with its beautiful melody and great keyboard work. Fugue is instrumental, but one of the better 'piano-only' instrumentals from ELP. It concludes with Part 2, which is short and sweet. Awesome. Then comes From the Beginning. At first I hated this song, now its just kind of meh. Not horrible, but not great, and definately the worst of Lake's early ballads (Lucky Man, Take a Pebble, Still... you turn me on). The main problem is this terrible main riff which reminds me of the Beach Boys or something. The main melody is not bad though. The Sherrif is the usual slightly goofy song, I think with songs like this and Jeremy Bender they were trying to be Beatles-esque, they remind of them a little bit. However, this song lacks the pleasant laidback melody of Jeremy bender, but it isn't super goffy like Benny the Bouncer, nor does it share its terrible vocal style. Another not great song from this album. Then comes Hoedown. I'm sure you've heard this song, its in all kinds of movies. I like this rendition, it features some of Emerson's best organ, plus it isn't overlong.

The album continues with Trilogy, a bit of a weird song. It starts off with a nice piano accompanied melody with great vocals. Then the song goes into a cool synth section, and features a pretty cool melody with some weird vocals. Again, not as good as everyone says (in my opinion), but not a bad song by any means. Then comes Living sin. This song could have been awesome. I mean wicked awesome. But Greg Lake, who is one of my favorite vocalists, whose voice I never would have though could be a reason for a song to be bad, ruins the song. He sings in this semi-goofy, semi-scary low-pitched voice much of the time. Actually, he doesn't sing, he sort of talks. However, when he sings normally in the song its awesome, driven forward by the great organ riffs of Emerson. The album closes with the instrumental Abbadon's Bolero, which is pretty good, although it seems to drag on for a bit. Great synthing though. The synth melody is good, but it is a little repetitive. Not bad though.

So this album is pretty good, not as great as everyone says (in my opinion), and the worst of ELP's early and best albums, behind (tarkus, ELP, BSS, and Pictures at an Exhibition, in order of worst to best.) Actually, it may be tied with Tarkus, although neither album is actually bad. Highlights include The Endless Enigma 1/Fugue/Endless Enigma 2, Hoedown, and Trilogy. 3.5 stars, rounded up to four.

Report this review (#46256)
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.8 is a better number.

I used to love this album because of all the great piano work. But its weakness is the lack of good lyric writing ability of Lake. "Don't waste this time you've got to love again." I mean who says that to somebody at the end of a relationship. Lake wrote in too idealized a world. But I believe that this album integrated Lake's sentimentality back into the band after Tarkus, which Lake did not like and thought was a dumb idea. It is really a beautiful album but not a rock album and probably then not a prog rock album.

Hoedown is the rockiest number on the album and one of the band's highlights. It is said that Copland like this piece but I read an article in NY Newsday back in 1977-8, in which he said that he did not care for the piece but the copyrighters sure must have. This piece was reinforced by the incredible speed with whicih the band took it in concert; too fast in my opinion and now that Emo cannot play that fast anymore I wish he would slow it down. Abaddon's Bolero is one of the band's lowest points and when they did it with the orchestra during the works tour it was even worse. I think it would have been best for the band if Emo had an alternative outlet for his classical aspirations, the concerto and this piece. The lush piano writing of Trilogy and Endless Enigma, with its central fugue, are interesting. They really show how close Emo was to being a classical composer and these 'art songs' are Emo and Lake's gasp into classical immortality. Perhaps they really needed to prove that they could work together and create something worthwhile, which I believe these peices are. They are a real heartfelt attempt at something beyond the tripartitie pop song structure. But the trite lyrics really destroy the artistry as well as the inablity Emerson shows in writing organically.The piano ideas a great but they tend not to flow fluidly from one section to the next.

This album is a must for ELP fans and anyone who likes the laid back California sounds of the early 1970s, Eagles and the like will enjoy it. But I think that any fan of prog rock who likes the more technical, i.e masculine, side of the genre should stay clear. That having been said, I would like to add that ELP created a bridge between the world of pop and rock that appealled to both male and female audience members. This was rare in the early and mid-1970s prog rock and rock in general. Genesis and Led Zeppelin had done this but King Crimson and Yes had a very male dominated audience. I think the piano and sentimentality of this album points to the reason why this happened. So in some sense it could be said that this is an early example of power pop, Styx, Journey, Boston and Kansas,the genre that led to the demise in popularity of prog rock during the late 1970s.

Report this review (#51298)
Posted Tuesday, October 11, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of ELP's best, if not their most coherent and enjoyable album. "Trilogy" is my favorite piece on here and ranks as one of their best songs; "The Endless Enigma" is underrated and a well-composed song. Every song I find was brought to its highest potential and the album flows wonderfully. If you are looking into ELP, are a fan who does not have this, or if you are simply looking for some great progressive rock, I highly recommend that you acquire this album; I don't think that most people will be disappointed.
Report this review (#59688)
Posted Thursday, December 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a wonderful album. From the opening effects of the Endless Enigma through the incredible Hoedown to the closing Abaddon's Bolero every song on here is a good one. Emerson's ability on the keyboards really shine in Fugue and Hoedown, Lake once again shows us that he is one of the greatest vocalists in progressive rock in From the Beginning and Trilogy, and The Sherriff starts off with a nice little drum solo from Palmer.

This album has no true weak spots, but unfortunately each song (except Hoedown) is outmatched by a similar song on Brain Salad Surgery. Trilogy is definetely an essential album for an ELP fan, but it falls slightly short of masterpiece. 9/10

Report this review (#61213)
Posted Wednesday, December 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
5 stars The hell of an album. It shows ELP at their full force, and is absolutely essential for everyone that likes prog or piano works. It may be not quite as excentrical and stunning as it's follower (brain salad surgery), but it's plenty of beautiful moments and great instumental works. And also has some of their characteristical mad energy on hoedown and the title track, plus it's got their biggest radio classic: from the beginning. I also think that the endless enygma suite, is a perfect way to introduce listeners to the genre.
Report this review (#64848)
Posted Sunday, January 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I love this album! This is the most recent release I have picked up from ELP, and after listening through these albums, I am becoming quite drawn to the aggressive uniqueness of the Prog-Rock super-group. The sounds on this album are simply exquisite. Upon saying that, words do not really describe how truly great this album is. This album showcases ELP's musical complexity at probably its finest. Although I find Brain Salad Surgery to be their pinnacle of musical integrity, this does not sluff off the rest of their work; not by a long shot. I rank this effort directly below Brain Salad Surgery, but as an extremely close 2nd.

As for the music itself, you are greeted with the opening track, "The Endless Enigma, Part 1," with its second half separated by the short-but-sweet intermission track, "Fugue." All-together, these three tracks are simply wonderful, and represent symphonic, keyboard Prog at its finest, and as a whole. The tracks that stand out most on this album would be the marvelous rendition of "Hoedown," possibly my favorite track off the album, "Trilogy," and "Abaddon's Bolero," although it's nothing too complex. This entire album plays well into the ELP fanbase, and I love everything about it. If you like Brain Salad Surgery, you'll love this smashing release.

Report this review (#68802)
Posted Wednesday, February 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wonderful album with no weak song. Every song is at least good. Very good played like every ELP albums. Great vocal performance by Greg Lake, especially in Endless Enigma, From The Beginning or Sheriff. Very powerfull organ parts by Keith Emerson in Hoedown. Excellent. Very powerfull song. And of course great drum performance by Carl Palmer in each track. This album is recommended to every prog fan. Masterpiece!
Report this review (#68962)
Posted Friday, February 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Back in '93 I was listening to old records in a friend's house when I saw this. I ask her: "What is that?" and she told me that was a father's record from the seventies. Her father was a rhythm guitarist back in the late sixties/early seventies in a "proto- prog" little band, so I became curious. When she put the record in the turntable, I was perplexed: such a good sound, knowing I am a vintage keyboard lover. We listened all the work and so, on the next day, I buy it in a record store here in my hometown. This is a marvellous album, a very good acquisition for those who are asking for a good introduction to progressive rock. It is not perfect, but it was, indeed, a "door" to my "prog addiction".
Report this review (#70652)
Posted Monday, February 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars The third studio-album by ELP, logical called 'Trilogy', is without any doubt the very best album the band made. The debut-LP comes very close to this one, but 'Trilogy' is a little more balanced and contain more (and better) vocals and variation. The second LP 'Tarkus' is only strong on Side A. Side B only contained two good tracks (The Only Way [Hymn] and A Time And A Place) but they even were not fully ELP-magic. The live-album 'Pictures At An Exhibition' was very good, but in my opinion, it fails a little because it's a live-recording. On 'Trilogy', ELP really show what they can do as players and composers.

The first track 'The Endless Enigma' is a track that contents ALL elements of ELP's music. It's one of the most beautiful melodies I ever heard and the song gives me a special kind of feeling. A feeling that makes me wish I was a teenager in the 70's instead of in the 90's. 'From The Beginning' is pure acoustic guitar-magic by Greg Lake, with another excellent melody. The song sounds a little 'dark' and sad, but it's really beautiful. 'The Sherrif' is a funny song, comparable with 'Jeremy Bender' from Tarkus, but way better. Note Palmer's fine drumming on this one. 'Hoedown' closes Side A. Not a brilliant piece (it's not from ELP by the way, but from Aaron Copland) but played well on Hammond.

Way to go with Side Two! It opens with the title track, and as the title says, it can be split into three pieces. The first piece is a magnificent melody, sung by Lake and accompanied by Emerson's piano (some wonderful classical piano-work). The second piece is a powerful, bombastic Moog-solo by Emerson and the conclusion follows with a final theme with the full band. Also perfect drumming and percussion here. 'Living Sin' is quite an odd track in ELP-terms, but a very good one. Everything sounds very low-key here, especially the Hammond. Note the brilliant vocals by an angry Greg Lake! The ending of the album is a Bolero. Probably one of the weaker tracks on the album, but it's not bad. Probably, 8 minutes is a little too long for only one theme, which kills the exciting feeling this bolero could have given.

I will grant 'Trilogy' six (!) stars, because this album has the quality to belong to the 10 best symphonic albums ever made. Every song is good, and ELP never beated this. And in that case it's a shame that 'Brian Salad Surgery (1974)' was such an artistic dissapointment.

Report this review (#72606)
Posted Thursday, March 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've read some reviews of this album (ELP's Trilogy) which cavil about the "excesses" of the title track. I think it's one of the most haunting songs in all of prog (or any genre) of rock. After the meditative, piano-and-vocal first section and the somewhat harder middle section, which together give us, through Lake's spare lyrics, an overview of a relationship gone south, the band tears into an instrumental propelled by Palmer's incredible percussion, and featuring a multi-synth improv by Emerson that builds slowly but relentlessly into the electronic equivalent of John Lennon's primal-scream-like howls on another equally haunting song ("Mother"), reflecting the tension and the distress of a mind nearing extremis in the wake of lost love. Toward the end two synthesizer lines are battling like angry demons in the mind of a forsaken lover. It finally breaks and comes down to earth, with Lake's resigned lyrical coda: "You'll love again, I don't know when, but if you do I know that you'll be happy in the end..."

For me the weakest track is the Bolero. I don't even think Ravel took the original very seriously (he was often quoted as saying that "there is no music" in the Bolero). The Sheriff is an amusing send-up of the way-out-west lawman-vs.-outlaw saga. I love Emerson's down-and-dirty B3 playing on Living Sin, and again I am sorry that so many reviewers seem to have no use for this fun little song. The Endless Enigma is simply archetypal, multi- movement prog rock, and I don't mean that as a put down. From the Beginning is a pretty but inconsequential song that has palled for me because of its endless playing on oldies stations. It does sound like McCartney when the latter is competent but uninspired. But Lake sings well and proves that he can wield an acoustic with the best of them.

Report this review (#73709)
Posted Friday, March 31, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is ELP´s best achievement.

Actually, it doesn´t contain the two Elp songs I find totally perfect, and I´d give 6 stars in 5, which are Take a Pebble and Tarkus. However, it´s their only album where all the songs are outstanding, and you don´t have any need of skiping one or two poor songs, like it happens in amazing works like Tarkus and Pictures at an Exhibition.

The band was at his best, with a total abundance of virtuosity. Emerson was experimenting with his keyboards, and strange time and tempo changes. His technic is unquestionable. The way he accompains Lake´s voice in the calm part of Trilogy(the song) almost makes me cry. Lake, which WAS possibly the best singer in Progressive, and, why don´t we sa?, in all times, had his voice at the best, and his perfect performance, only, would be able to make songs as The endless enigma and Trilogy outstanding even if the rest of the songs were poor(but, of course, they aren´t). Palmer is perfect too, druming preciselly, altough he doesn´t have as many important moments in the songs as he had in Tarkus. His drumming is Hoedown is one of the best one I´ve listened.

Conclusion: A power trio totally aware of their enormous capacity making their only recording without weak points

Report this review (#74444)
Posted Saturday, April 8, 2006 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
4 stars Probably here 4.50 stars would be a better rating. I hesitate to give it 5, even if this album is in a way more consistent (not to mention more accessible) than its powerful follow-up, "Brain Salad Surgery". In my opinion, "Trilogy" is the least self- indulgent of ELP's 'golden age' albums, containing more high-quality music and not so much filler as, for instance, the otherwise magnificent "Tarkus" - a potential masterpiece spoiled by a weaker second half.

"Trilogy" is possibly Greg Lake's finest hour. His singing is superb throughout, even in the untypical "Living Sin", a rather sordid tale with rather odd, half-sung, half- spoken vocals. However, the first part of the title-track is the real highpoint, where he sings to the sole accompaniment of Emerson's piano, sounding poignantly wistful and intensely romantic. Then, after the last, melancholy note has been sung, all hell breaks loose, in the form of Emerson wringing all kinds of weird sounds from his vast array of electronic keyboards, backed by Palmer's metronomically precise drumming. Quite schizophrenic, perhaps, nevertheless one of prog's best moments - the calm before the storm.

The initial, three-part mini-suite "The Endless Enigma" is another of the album's highlights, an excellent example of symphonic prog at its best, while not as movingly beautiful as "Trilogy" 's first half. Lake sings masterfully here as well, as he does on the sweet "From the Beginning", easily the best of his acoustic ballads. Emerson sounds somewhat more restrained here, while he gives his Hammond a brisk workout in Aaron Copland's lively "Hoedown" (which was for some time a regular concert opener for the band). This leaves "The Sheriff", a much better stab at irony than the notorious "Jeremy Bender" and "Benny the Bouncer" - obviously far from being ELP's most memorable track, but undeniably more genuinely humorous and musically valid than the aforementioned songs (good singing from Lake too). Then, Emerson's take on Ravel's "Bolero" theme, titled this time "Abaddon's Bolero", while nothing earth-shaking, is a more than adequate instrumental, with good synth work.

Even if, in some ways, ELP (unlike, for instance, the more accessible Genesis) can be said to be an acquired taste, "Trilogy" - together with their magnificent debut album - would doubtlessly be a good introduction to the band for those who don't know them yet. At least, it was for me: I liked it so much that it left me wanting more - and I've never gone back since then.

Report this review (#74841)
Posted Thursday, April 13, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Unlike many ELP albums, Trilogy stands out in that it does not contain a bad song. Some others have reference "The Sheriff" as this album's "throwaway track," but it hardly lives down this moniker in the way that a "Benny the Bouncer" or even "Jeremy Bender" does. It in fact is probably ELP's best "story song," as I like to call them, a format that, even though it is obviously their weakest sort of song, they feel compelled to do anyway. This time alone, they pull it off. This sets the stage for a superb album on all fronts.

Two epic sequences exist on Trilogy, the Endless Enigma and the title track, Trilogy. The former is a sprawling 11-minute song spread over 3 tracks, interrupted by a fugue, of all things. This track clearly shows ELP's mastery of their music and is for me personally second only to Karn Evil 9 in the sheer poetic beauty of the lyrics. The Endless Enigma is not a ballad-esque track by any standards, but a slow progression nonetheless. Trilogy begins in much the same way, seeming to be a slowly building track, but it is then interrupted by a very highly ear-pleasing riff on the synth.

"From the Beginning" is a true ELP ballad, and widely considered to be their best, though for my money "Take a Pebble" (from their debut album) is better. Both are outstanding, however.

The two remaining tracks close out the album. "Living Sin" was perhaps one of my most hated ELP songs the first time I heard it, but it hasn't stopped growing on me and now I consider it one of my favorites. Greg Lake lowers his voice to a very uncharacteristic low growl for the verses of this song and for at least that respect is unique in the ELP archives. "Abaddon's Bolero" is the album's weak spot, if it has one. It builds too slowly when compared with the rest of the album that preceded it, and seems to collapse in on itself at the end, which makes for a somewhat awkward conclusion. However, for an album full of ups and downs it fits in suprisingly well even given its odd ending. All in all, this album is varied and adventurous, yet still surprisingly solid and it makes for a great introduction to the wonderful world of Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

Report this review (#75088)
Posted Saturday, April 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is ELP I like. Not only dominant Emerson's virtuosity, but more team work represented.The album opens with excellent 'Endless Enigma' with its two parts and 'Fugue' as an intermediate;then Lake's acoustical beauty 'From The Beginning' is followed by 'The Sheriff' I would say traditional ELP track in the sense that on each record it has to be one number totally out of tune, as it was ' Are You Ready Eddie? ' on Tarkus (dedicated to their engineer Eddie Offord). Arrangement of Aaron Copland's 'Hoedown' is closing side one of the record in superior ELP manner, being a real highlight. On side two, only the title track opener offers superb ELP mood, while other two tracks seem to be real fillers. Nevertheless, this release (together with the follower) presents the peak of ELP most creative period and deserves four stars.
Report this review (#75627)
Posted Thursday, April 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Despite the attractions of "Karn Evil 9", this remains my favourite ELP album. Kicking off with "Endless Enigma" (my favourite ELP track), it fades in gently with synth over a bass drum "heartbeat", before an eastern sounding synth leads into the organ intro. This song features some of Greg Lake's best singing and some great drum work from Carl Palmer. The beautiful piano fugue splits up the two sections of this song. "In the beginning" is a Greg Lake song, some nice acoustic guitar and Emerson chips in a solo at the end. "The Sheriff" has been called an ELP "joke" song, similar to Benny the Bouncer etc, but I've never really thought of it as such. It's an excellent song and I love the Western-style piano ending. "Hoedown" is the opening track from "Welcome Back My Friends" (although played at 100mph on that album) and is an Aaron Copeland instrumental.

It should come as no surprise that the brilliant title track is in three parts. Starting off with a nice piano section with more excellent vocal work, it leads into a manic synth section, followed by a final vocal section. "Living Sin" is probably the weakest number here, although at least Greg Lake shows he can hit the low notes as well as the high ones. "Abaddon's Bolero" is an instrumental consisting of a repeated keyboard riff, which builds up and adds more keyboards as the song progresses. It has been called repetitive but that is the whole point of the song.

Overall I find this their most consistent album, the production (by "are you ready" Eddie Offord) is also the best I have heard on an ELP album. Only "Living Sin" stops it getting a fifth star.

Report this review (#78739)
Posted Friday, May 19, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an album which enjoys a great production and if it wasn't for the fact that EL&P's usual stupid habit of including a silly song (in this case 'The Sheriff'), Trilogy would be perfect.

Emerson's keyboard work is outstanding and is Palmer's drumming throughout.

'The Endless Enigma' and 'Trilogy' absolutely epitomise the term 'progressive rock' and Lake's mellow acoustic 'From the Beginning' is a delight to listen to, although slightly spoilt by Emerson's keyboard solo towards the finale (in my opinion).

'Living Sin' enjoys some excellent syncopated drumming from Palmer which more than makes up for Lake's silly lyrics.

Another brilliant track is the band's rendition of the old Aaron Copeland far west pioneers' dance/stomp 'Hoedown' which features, apart from the ever-brilliant keyboard work, some tight drumming.

The conclusive 'Abaddon's Bolero' starts in a very unassuming manner, building into a crescendo that features some unorthodox but effective soloing by Emerson.

In my opinion Trilogy is superior to 'Brain Sald Surgery' and should be considered a classic of its genre.

Report this review (#79356)
Posted Thursday, May 25, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have a problem with Emerson, Lake and Palmer albums. They all seem to have the same structure. There's always the Greg Lake single (in this case, "From the Beginning"), the Keith Emerson keyboard showoff track ("Abaddon's Bolero"), the "joke track" ("The Sherrif") and the crazy epic track ("Trilogy"). That being said, all their albums up to Brain Salad Surgery are brilliant. This album is probably one of their more ear-pleasing works. "The Sherrif", even though it's the joke track, is well written and well sung. "Abaddon's Bolero" is a great album ender due to it's slow buildup. "From the Beginning" is an alright single from Greg Lake, however his singles after "Lucky Man" don't really measure up. "Trilogy" is just damn brilliant and amazing. The first time I heard this song my jaw stayed open after the third minute and didn't close until the end of the song. A great album, but I find that ELP stuck to a formula too much.
Report this review (#80809)
Posted Friday, June 9, 2006 | Review Permalink
Cygnus X-2
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Emerson, Lake & Palmer were at the height of their career when they released this album, titled Trilogy, in 1972. All of the elements of success are in this album, but did they come out on top? Well, it's one of their better albums, in my opinion, but still, it is far from a masterpiece. After the two epic albums Pictures at an Exhibition and Tarkus, they returned to a more concise format of songs. The results here range from fascinating to mediocre, but doesn't that happen with many albums we listen to, anyway? Let me just say that the musicianship for this album is once again top notch, with each member really showing expertise and mastery of their respective instruments. Keith Emerson once again plays some magnificent organs and synthesizers on this album, Greg Lake plays passionate bass, melodic acoustic guitar, and sings very well, and Carl Palmer keeps the group together with dynamic and lush drumming. All the elements of success are on this album, but does it really come out swinging (and yes, I know I said something similar above)?

The album opens well with the three part Endless Enigma (part 1)/Fugue/Endless Enigma (part 2). Emerson's organs are bombastic and grandiose, Lake's bass is dynamic and intuitive, and Palmer's drumming is melodic and intriguing. It's one of the better songs on the album. From the Beginning is the acoustic piece on the album in the same vein as Lucky Man and Still... You Turn Me On. But instead of it being an entire affair by Greg Lake, the rest of the band gives great performances, especially Carl Palmer, whose percussive work really gives the song a more organic feel. The Sheriff is the jokey song on the album, and it's probably the best song in this vein that the group has ever done. Expect some great piano work from Emerson on this one. Hoedown is the group's really fun piece of the album. A sprawling version of the Aaron Copeland original, Emerson's synthesizers in the beginning give way to a great organ line and some dynamic bass guitar. Trilogy is a nice display of Emerson's organ abilities as well as his synthesizer abilities (as if you can't derive that he's a good keyboardist), and Lake's vocals are great here. Living Sin is a bit of a throwaway number, with an uninspired vocal performance by Lake. And finally, Abaddon's Bolero is a great buidlup piece with some great snare work from Palmer and some more dynamic bass work from Lake.

In the end, Trilogy is one of the better Emerson, Lake & Palmer albums. It is in the same league as their debut and Brain Salad Surgery (which in my eyes are their best two albums). Fans of bombastic and pretentious symphonic prog will find refuge in this album. It should make an excellent addition to anyone's collection. 4/5.

Report this review (#81827)
Posted Friday, June 23, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I don't know why many people consider this album to be better than TARKUS, but it's clearly not, just more accessible. Only the opening piece, the three-part "Endless Enigma" lives up to the promise that Tarkus left. "From the Beginning" is a quiet and soothing half- acoustic ballad with lyrics that reflect on an ended love affair. The vocal performance by Lake is understated but still one of his best. "The Sheriff" is a cousin to "Jeremy Bender", only with a Western theme and a slight improvement melodically over the latter. Another great performance by Greg Lake. The title track opens well, but as it progresses it just turns tedious. It's clearly a less inspired effort by Emerson and Lake, specially lyrically.

"Living Sin" is a somewhat better song, with spooky undertones and an uncharacteristically deep Greg Lake voice. It is one of their strangest songs and that says a lot! "Abbadon's Bolero" is not a bad way to end this record, yet it can be boring the more you play it.

So I think Trilogy is not among ELP's greatest works. Endless Enigma is the only classic ELP song here (and arguably "From the Beginning"). Other songs are enjoyable enough to listen to a few times, but they provide no lasting impression or listening value on me. If you are looking for another classic ELO record like Tarkus, I suggest you try Brain Salad Surgery and skip this one. That doesn't mean Trilogy isn't a good album, it just feels kinda rushed and too commercial.

Report this review (#82667)
Posted Tuesday, July 4, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Trilogy is a very strong album and probably the most instantly enjoyable album from ELP. The songs here are much stronger than those found on the debut release, but there is nothing as grandeose as the Tarkus track. Still, there are a lot of strong songs, but also some that are throw-aways in my opinion.

The album starts out strong with the The Endless Enigma Parts 1 and 2 and Fugue, which could be treated as one long song. The mood here is strange but interesting, and the song transitions between rocking and softer passages. After this is the hit acoustic song From the Beginning, which is good but not representative of ELPs music. This is a solo effort from Lake, much like Lucky Man. I can't really enjoy this track because I've heard it too many times on the radio, and also I listen to ELP for good organ/keyboard prog rock, not guitar. The side closes with the enjoyable The Sheriff, which is referred to as the "joke" song of the album, but I really enjoy it. There is an old-western sounding piano solo at the end of the song which gives the song a joking feeling, but it is really a good song.

Side 2 starts with Hoedown, which is instantly recognizable, and a great rendition of Rodeo. Next is my favorite track, the title track Trilogy. Trilogy has three main parts as the name implies. It moves from soft piano and singing to a fast and manic instrumental section and finally to the best section which reminds me of Tarkus. Its more happy sounding than Tarkus, and has lots of great keyboard work and interesting drumming. Next is Living Sin, and this is where the album goes sour for me. I don't enjoy the "I'm purposefully straining my voice to sound scary" kind of singing. Lake has a great voice, but he sounds ridiculous on this track. The album ends on a weak note with Abaddon's Bolero, which is repetitive and boring. And, yes, I know its supposed to be repetitive, but I expect ELPs music to be a little more interesting and creative.

In closing, this is a great album from ELP, probably their strongest overall. With that said, the album is far from perfect and in my opinion really falls apart at the end. Get it for everything else, which is top-notch.

Report this review (#94129)
Posted Wednesday, October 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ah, ELP... One of the first pwer trio in history, the other being Cream. Trilogy is a very good album, not as good as Tarkus but still very good. The album starts with ''Endless Enigma part 1'','' Fugue'' and ''Endless Enigma part 2''. Three song merge together to make a 2 parts suite with a little impromtu in between. I have a couple of friends who think that this suite is one of the greatest achivement of ELP but, I tend to disagree, it's good but there's a lots of other song in the ELP repertoire that I prefer. ''From the Beginning'' is a very strong ballad by Greg Lake, one of is best in fact. ''The Sheriff'' is IMO the weakest song on the album, I prefer ''Jeremy Bender'' from the album Tarkus as this one. ''Howdown'' is a very good take at a classical piece by Arron Coplan, very entertening. Now the song ''Trilogy''... WOW!!!!! With ''Starless'' by King Crimson, this is the song that capture what prog is all about. A very mellow starts that progress into a incredible keyboards solo by Emerson, and Greg Lake... what a voice, IMO the best vocalist of the 70's ,all musical style included, and ''Livin Sin'' is one of the best exemple of is vocal range, a very good rocker is that one, another highlight of the album :) Everything ends in grand style with the semi rock semi classical, ''Abaddon's Bolero''. So a well deserve 4.5 Stars. Try it, you might like it, ''I did'' ;)
Report this review (#94371)
Posted Thursday, October 12, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars After three very good albums the Trilogy didn't really make its way to the highest level. It is still one of the better ELP albums, but something is missing.

The energy of the previous efforts is gone. The first three songs (in fact it is one song) are quite good (although because of their lyrics are non-usable for wedding day) but the next From the beginning I don't like very much. The sherriff is another Jeremy Bender kind of song (not bad, but nothing very progressive at all).

I like heavy Living sin but the rest is only mediocre. It is still brilliant musicaly but the spirit is sometimes missing. Good but not essential.

Report this review (#99016)
Posted Thursday, November 16, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Great album; fine songs; good production (even not liking that much the cover art)! This was a very popular album in early-mid 70s, probably among the Top10 in the sales department as a prog-rock release - deservedly, I think. Well, but the general atmosphere sounds truly dated and so, to review it, I have again to make a time travel and return 30 years-plus ago and place myself in the actual environment, circa 1972-1973, and I can see a much more agreeable panorama, where TRILOGY shines intensely side-by-side with other great prog releases from the same time, coming from Genesis, Yes, Jethro Tull et allii.

The initial ensemble formed by 'The endless enigma 1 & 2' and 'Fugue' is really powerful and exciting, the intro shows a mix between space and electronic sounds followed by some gothic interruptions, latin drum beat and oriental tunes only to pave way to one of the most emblematic moments of the symphonic rock. Ah! That's the enigma - the fusion of several styles around rock, the real nature of progressive. Lake's vocals only strengthens this vision and his comrades go high - a song to remember forever and never let it escape from our dreams. The 'Fugue' segment is warm and brief, a comma before the grand finale of the epic, where all members seem truly to be in their peak.

'From the beginning' is one of the most known songs of the EL&P roster, a soft ballad with pleasant playing and singing. The final moog tissue is unforgettable. 'The sheriff' is fair and does a fine counterweight to previous track; no need of skipping here, it's all audible, even the famous Palmer's imprecation!

'Hoedown' is a piece taken from Copland's "Rodeo" that works very well as the album mid-term, now Emerson's keyboards are dominating, the general atmosphere is uprising. 'Trilogy', the title song, has some of the most beautiful musical lines of the entire prog-rock history. Within the song's first part we may glimpse Lake singing as never before and probably as never again. The amazing keyboard section with heavy drumming and steady bass is doubtless the highest album moment.

Finished the emotions of past track we face album's weakest track, 'Living sin' a keyboard-oriented hard-rock, glossless but not sufficient to stain the entire work. 'Abbadon's bolero', the final track is somewhat glorious, even with the obvious shades of Ravel's "Bolero", we smell grace and originality here, an above-the-average ending for a great output. Worth the hearing.

The sum of the entire effort is unequivocal, TRILOGY is a masterpiece, probably the only production to reach that status from EL&P. Final rating: 5.

Report this review (#99454)
Posted Saturday, November 18, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars Trilogy! ELP's most accesible album, although by no means "non-prog" it is rather well put together.

1. The Endless Enigma (Part One) (6:42) Although I dont think Lake did very well for writing lyrics, the instrumentation and playing is great! Lake does some nice bass playing and Emerson and Palmer do the usual very intertwined technicalitys. Great way to start out the album!

2. Fugue (1:57) Beautiful peice, I am very much a fan of Fugues, and Keith really wrote a good one here.

3. The Endless Enigma (Part Two) (2:05) This is probably my favorite part of this epic, it is a good closer with some excellant hammond and great synth-brass work.

4. From The Beginning (4:17) If it werent for this song, thousands of fans wouldnt have been turned on to ELP, pretty decent ballad with some odd-but-good synth leads.

5. The Sheriff (3:23) Cool little western-prog piece that features good instrumental parts.

6. Hoedown (Taken from Rodeo) {Aaron Copland, arranged by Emerson / Lake / Palmer} (3:47) This one is a rocker! I love this adaption of an already brilliant piece by Copland, the Hammond sounds awesome and Lakes bass playing is top notch. Palmer really sounds like hes having fun on this one and hammers out some fantastic rhythms. This piece gets even better live because they speed it up and get everything going.

7. Trilogy (8:54) The piano playing and singing in the first part is incredible! This is my favorite piano piece of Keiths and Lake really sounds good on it. And then it comes. Like a tidel wave out of a bathtub and boom, its rocking. Goes straight into some trance-prog-synth thing that sounds like intergalactic-synth warfare. Sweet blues ending too.

8. Living Sin (3:14) This one is really catchy and for some reason is mocked for Lakes low singing, I think he sounds really good on this one. I love the organ swipes and such, great rocker!

9. Abaddon's Bolero (8:08) This one sounded extremely boring at first but is actually pretty cool when you listen to it although I think it is the weak point of the album.

Report this review (#100709)
Posted Monday, November 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars A solid album. Other than the bolero (which is a good bolero, I just find the form boring as a general rule) and The Sheriff, this is a great album. The first three tracks more or less make up The Endless Enigma (with the excellent Fugue stuck between the two parts acting as a sort of instrumental section). This is the best thing on the album and one of ELP's better pieces. I like the lyrics, the singing, the arrangements, and the outstanding playing from all members. From the Beginning is a pleasant Lake pop song that I remember hearing on the radio when I was younger. It is far less cheesy than Lucky Man, and not nearly as overplayed by radio stations back in the day (or even now, by "classic rock" stations). Not quite as good as Still You Turn Me On, but close. Hoedown is a great adaptation of the Copeland piece. While being much better in the faster live version, this is still very good. Great bass playing by Lake and some outstanding moog work by Emerson. The Sheriff is slightly better than the "joke" songs from the previous album, but still not that interesting to me. The high speed, old west piano bar outro is good fun though. The title track starts magnificently and gets a bit less interesting as it goes on, but is still a great track. Lakes singing on this one is some of his best ever. Living Sin I always thought was a great prog song. Very interesting rhythms on this one and an interesting arrangement. A shame that the bolero had to end such an otherwise strong album. As I said, it is a well done bolero, but it's just dull as far as I'm concerned.

A spot on 4 stars for this one. One of ELP's better albums and probably one of the least overblown and pretentious (not that I mind that sort of thing, of course.....I am a prog fan after all).

Report this review (#100770)
Posted Tuesday, November 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
Andrea Cortese
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The time has come to add my personal two cents about this "mirabile opus". The most beautiful ELP's record, Trilogy. In my humble opinion, at least.

I always loved it in a peculiar way and I (still nowadays) prefer it than the (sometimes overrated) glory Brain Salad Surgery. Trilogy has all a symphonic prog lover really needs: from the melodic, warm and soft interludes based on the wonderful and distinctive vocals of Greg Lake to the bizarre and frenetic keyboards' battles where Keith Emerson shows all his talent up to the excess, as we all appreciate from him. Carl Palmer's drums playing is particularly brilliant and powerful as in "Hoedown" where he duets magnifically with such a frenetic Emerson.

Generally Trilogy appears a more equilibrated and convincing record, I think, than the previous and the next ones: "The Sheriff", "Hoedown", "Living Sin" and, above all, "Trilogy" itself which is, without any doubt, the most favourite of mine ELP's track. A fabulous mix between classic music and rock that it's rare to listen to in other ELP's works. Wonderful! The first part opens magnifically and inexorably falls into one of the strongest and memorable performances of the band.

A pure pleasure without any fault. Their masterpiece for sure! No other words needed.

Report this review (#104668)
Posted Wednesday, December 27, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars Bright and jolly, but ultimately tiresome.

After the darker Tarkus epic, ELP produce the much more maligned Trilogy, which seems to be closer to BSS in sound, and as some may know, I feel it's overrated rubbish. Too often I find bands being pardoned for their weak songs as a sign of the band having a "sense of humor". Strange that these ideas are never looked at in another way, in that, maybe others do have a sense of humor, perhaps we have a knack for good comedy, and think of the musicians as just plain bad comedians.

Such is the case with ELP here again, with "The Sherrif" among others. It's just filler for ELP's quest to stray as much from songwriting as humanly possible, to in a strict sense, masturbate with their instruments. Take away the flair, the gaudy lights display and marketing of a big name, and we are left with little substance - little music. ELP are more than able to play their instruments, but as evidenced by the circus of Endless Enigma, the slow and rarely captivating From the Beginning, the "we need an end to this long solo effort" on Trilogy (which actually has a good piano section at the beginning), and the overextended march of Abaddons' Balero, one wonders if ELP ever had a concept for songwriting.

Such is the case for how I see most of this record. If you're looking for virtuosos of the instruments, you will find much better elsewhere, and if you're looking for songwriting you'll find much better across almost all of prog. However, if you are looking for a big show with lots of lights, spazz, and a big name to market, Trilogy might be right for you.

Report this review (#104778)
Posted Thursday, December 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars The trio's fourth album, not so bombastic as some of their outings, but more lyrical and atmospheric. The Endless Enigma/Fugue/Endless Enigma suite captures this brilliantly and contains same superb piano and Hammond organ playing by Emerson.

From the Beginning is a great Lake ballad. The Sheriff is one of those quirky humorous songs the band did so well, this is a good example, again with great Hammond organ. Emerson's interpretation of Hoedown, from Aaron Copeland's Ballet Rodeo, is brilliantly done capturing the spirit of the event. The title track is the second epic of the album and has some different moods and textures throughout. Aladdon's Bolero is a take on Ravel's version (although Emerson denied this) starting simply and building the orchestration to epic proportions, but ultimately it lacks originality.

This album is half a star down on their best work, making it 4.5 stars, but it's still excellent.

Report this review (#115233)
Posted Thursday, March 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars For a reason I still ignore, I passed over this album at the time of release. I bought "Pictures..." and "Brain Salad..." but not "Trilogy". So, did I miss something at that time (prehistory, actually) ?

I must say that after a long and improvised intro, the opening track really lifts off and displays a very "Tarkus" oriented song. Powerful and bombastic as ELP could be, but at the same time Keith plays the sweetest piano you can imagine (almost classical in fact). The short "Fugue" could not be better to consolidate this feeling. A showcase for Keith only.

The second part of "The Endless Enigma" is again very symphonic and full of grandeur. Lake sounding very nice as usual. There will be several weak songs on this album as well. The first one being "From The Beginning" : a dull acoustic number (Lake's showcase).

"The Sheriff" is a jazzy song, featuring this incredible organ sound which is always a marvel to my ears. Still, the track can hardly be considered as an ELP classic. The saloon part at the end being somewhat useless. "Hoedown" has also a Country & Western flavour, but this type of music has never been to my liking. No change even when ELP adopts it.

"Trilogy" starts with a nice vocal part from Gregg with a very subtle piano from Keith. The song really starts after three minutes and finaly offers the type of ELP music I prefer. But the vocal part is quite hectic from this moment onwards. I would say that this track as a whole is not that great.

But when it is compared to "Living Sin" it is almost a masterpiece. "Living Sin" is the weakest number of the album. It could have sit on the B-side of "Tarkus" if you see what I mean.

It is not the final track "Abaddon's Bolero" that will convince me either. It was quite a deception when I discovered "Trilogy" a few years ago.

The answer to my question at the start of this review, is without doubt : NO, I didn't miss anything. IMO, it the weakest ELP album so far (more to come, unfortunately). I can hardly understand that this album is praised so much, but maybe I'm wrong. Anyway, three stars.

Report this review (#122295)
Posted Wednesday, May 16, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars I think earlier I referred to this album as ELP's "best work." Yeah, I lied. Anyway, there are some good parts in this album, but like most ELP releases, it collapses under the weight of it's own pompousness. "The Endless Enigma" has some pretty good vocals from Greg Lake, but the histrionics at the end really kill the whole song. "From The Beginning" is another Lake showcase ballad. "The Sheriff" and "Living Sin" are just typical goofy filler ELP tracks. But, I must say, ELP's rendition of "Hoedown" isn't too bad. "Trilogy" is probably the best song on the album. For a band that's so cheesy, the first half of the song isn't too bad for a ballad. The lyrics are weird, but what really saves it is Emerson's piano work. He shows more restraint and instead just showing off and it works quite nicely. The breakdown in the middle of the song is pretty sweet, but I can't stand the ending- it sounds like something that would be on a travel agency commercial. The last song on the album, "Abbaddon's Bolero" has a nice build up, but really just is pure filler. It would have been better if it was just more than one big crescendo and actually went somewhere. If you are a fan of ELP, go ahead and buy this.

Standout songs: "Trilogy"

Report this review (#125808)
Posted Thursday, June 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars If you cut your musical teeth on "progressive metal", ELP is probably not for you; on the other hand, anyone with an open mind able to judge these tracks on their own merits will find this album is much more than just a breath of fresh air. Trilogy is a must have! Greg Lake is a great ballad writer with a baritone voice that surpasses most rock vocalists of all times in tonal depth and quality; a truly commanding voice. Keith Emerson was arguably the best rock keyboardist of the time when ELP were together and remains one of the greatest still today. Carl Palmer showed a breadth and depth of percussion rock musicianship that opened the squinting eyes of the masses to what they never could conceive of on their own. Though few collaborations last forever, these three giants worked together for years as a seamless unit. Trilogy pushes the envelope of how grand, exotic, and refined rock could become in the hands of tasteful masters of the trade. The music here in Trilogy is a masterpiece of the highest quality: a continuation of the journey ELP (along with others like The Moody Blues, etc.) launched back in the late 60's and 70's. ELP had a natural musical talent few in the rock business have ever matched. Trilogy transcends time and will delight generations to come.
Report this review (#126343)
Posted Tuesday, June 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog Leviathan
3 stars A much more even and sharp album then just about every other ELP release, "Trilogy" features dynamic songwriting and very crisp performances from all members; it's easy to hear that they put more effort into making "Trilogy" good from start to finish than on those prior albums; even the rowdy songs sound good.

"Endless Enigma" is a brilliant, textural beginning which concludes in typical ELP bombast, although Lake's vocals are a little too dull to make it a masterpiece. The quality of the three other big songs are, I think, a mater of taste: if the listener likes the sound of Emerson's gigantic keyboard/organ, they're in for a treat; if not, then they're likely to find "Trilogy" a painfully repetitive exercise (with the amazing exception of "From the Beginning", which may not have the typical prog sound, but is my favorite song on this album regardless).

Songwriting: 4 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

Report this review (#126408)
Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The masterpiece in the shadow of the masterpieces.

The curse of Trilogy is a sweet one, oh, and tacky too: It's a masterpice shadowed by another, even more glorious masterpiece. That "more glorious masterpiece" could be any of the chronologically-neighbouring ELP's studio albums, including the highly-praised Karnival.

Trilogy is so monstrous in its glory that I need some meta-language to describe it. However, since I'm not even near the abilities of Stanislaw Lem's Golem (read the story in case you didn't so) the old-descriptions must suffice:

The Endless Enigma (Part One)/Fugue/The Endless Enigma (Part Two) is a perfect triptych, perhaps defending the title of the album better than the self-titled song itself. If anything on this Earth deserves to be called Clarion Call, that is the intro to The Endless Enigma. The whistling sounds sound like a final call to all creatures great and small. The same goes with added percussions, Middle-Eastern woodwind, grand piano that is examining dimensions. The thing that follows is the most smooth, perfect slope from intro to the driving, complex rocking pattern on Hammond organ, with slight shift in stereo presence just to provoke the listener on the level of one's subconsciousness. The Fugue follows bravely and majestic, followed by the sweetest timbre of Lake's voice and suddenly, we are in the middle of ELP's trademark - a powerful, rocking background for majestic madrigal, stabbed with Palmer's fill-ins and bass pedal inferno. The calming moment is present by a simple but again majestic moment, with use of tubular bells that would never be reached by mortals such are PINK FLOYD or Mike Oldfield. The triptych ends with the repetition of the main theme in a full glory of...adultery between voice and organ, with Emerson's brassiest overdubbed Moog parts to bolden the picture.

After a final crescendo and a calming down of last reverb's reflections, we are aloud to remain in silence for a second or two before the equivalent of the vulgar movie cut, drastically changing the mood, but not the monstrosity and beauty; one of not-so-common moments for this band appears, that is acoustic guitar the will guide us to another sugar-sweet tune, this time more grounded, but no less rewarding. That is From The Beginning, the song that should be censored because of the higher level of endorphin in the brain that it could cause. With a good reason; it simply enough to add the word "perfect" before the tags such are: acoustic guitar, bass, drumming, electric guitar solo and vocals. As a bonus: guitar chords are breaking down all the theories about the bands snobism: because there is no academic education in it, the chords are pure and essential idea: unusual, not too complex, and simply stunning. Drumming is very moderate too, and perhaps this is some kind of peak for Mr. Palmer, and he should be judged by this performance, not by his extended stormy solos. Like all that is not enough, Emerson played the most beautiful synthesizer solos ever, and the cherry on the top of the everything is the timbre - it's certainly the most pleasant one ever produced by an electronic instrument, sort of simple sine wave doubled in octave, with a whisper of buzz somewhere far behind. In a way, like when a human tries to song the melody while whistling it. Very simple. The reason why the song is perfect; it's simple and unpretentious. Now laugh, all of you!

Finished with your laughing? Catching the steam?

Okay, let me proceed: of course, everything else is pretentious and self-indulgent. The band is back on the tracks with The Sheriff, a cowboy jogging that will offend some and slap them in the face with non-pastoral trivia. That is not absolutely true; and neither is true that band wanted to make a step aside with a spice of humour. Well, I simply feel that among many fields within Emerson's repertoire he was quite interested in ragtime - which is very obvious if you pay attention to any of the band's live documents. I dare to say ragtime was the core idea for the song, divided by the rest of the country pyrotechnics by a gun shot - and that is hilarious. And the country is again smoothly in gradation with Hoedown, which is indeed the perfect blend of symphonic and western. But another word of defense for our poor sherif: that's not just your another c'n'w song - if nothing else, forthe sake of those layers of chords and portamento raped on a Hammond organ.

As for Hoedown, as I said so: the fusions. But the laurel leaves and garland should go to Copland at first place. Emerson just took it and made someone that wouldn't be reach for the next 30 years. Finally, we reached the song that proudly bears the album's title - and I will start with the weakest points straight way, and they are a) lyrics and b) the bass sequence in the third part of the song - it was obviously derived from THE NICE's version of Bernstein's America, but that's the end of the story, because everything else must be experienced. Tapestries, layers of synths, organs, howling sounds, buzzing sounds, inferno. And to be honest to the more sublime parts of the song, the capability of Keith's knitting of the melody and chord in the first part is beyond imagination. You must hear it to believe it. I mean, you CAN'T do that, so shamelessly mix different scales and musical styles and make such a gorgeous melody. You can't play simple monophonic synth line over the arpeggiated piano chords and make an illusion of string ensemble in the background!

The following tracks, Living Sin is bellow the standard of the album - which is still a light year from a bad thing. Well, here we have a "Black Sabbath" side of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, the guitarless metal, and it's a good rocking tune to say the least.

For the end, the bolero to beat all the boleros, including the mother. Abaddon's Bolero is strictly respecting all the forms of a traditional bolero, and it's monstruous. This should be a school example of layering in music. As for the idea, fell free to check my Tarkus review to see what is this bolero about.

Finally, the curse of Trilogy is revealed, and on a broad daylight it's obvious how enormous value of this record is. I justified all the rating stars with the very intro of the first song. That is 20 seconds of music. And where is another 2400 seconds of music? How many stars should I give to that?

Report this review (#127458)
Posted Tuesday, July 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars TRILOGY may be less ambitious than BRAIN SALAD SURGERY, but it offers the listener music on a more human scale. While the album does not include any tunes as experimental as "Toccata" or as horribly overblown as "Jerusalem", Greg Lake, ELP's vocalist, never sang more sweetly. It's a pleasure to hear his sensitive contributions to "The Great Enigma", "Trilogy" and "From the Beginning", although heaven only knows what he meant when he wrote things like: "I ruled all of the earth, witnessed my birth, cried at the death a of man" etc...

The main feature which distinguishes TRILOGY from its predecessors is the fact that Keith Emerson finally discovered synths - in a big way. With the help of Lake's confident bass and Palmer's virtuoso drumming, he uses the dozens of new colours at his disposal to create music that's almost symphonic in scope. The most impressive example of his orchestrating powers is "Abbadon's Bolero", which sounds more mechanical than Ravel's familiar piece, and less seductive, but which is nevertheless a kind of triumph.

At the same time, Emerson remained impressive as ever on Hammond organ and grand piano. The fugue he inserts into "The Great Enigma" sounds more virtuosic than anything Tony Banks or Rick Wakeman ever wrote or played. His organ solo on "Living Sin" is a dirty, living, breathing thing - the kind of performance only Emerson could pull off. I even enjoy Emerson's 'country and western' leanings on "The Sheriff", and I feel it was a masterstroke to have them followed by Aaron Copland's "Hoedown", which gets a performance that really is more flexible and exciting than the original orchestral version.

TRILOGY may not be one of prog's mature masterpieces, but it's excellent fun from start to finish.

Report this review (#127892)
Posted Sunday, July 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars Many people say that Brain Salad Surgery was the best album of ELP, i say that Trilogy was the best. Althought they never enjoyed playing these songs live, this album contains the best work from ELP.

The album opens with "The endless Enigma", a song in three part featuring "Fugue" and "The endless enigma part II". The song is really good with an eerie start, but the song never really got to the fans because it is a three part song and was not played often live. "Hoedown" is the best song of the album and was the show opener of the band.

ELP wrote many short and silly songs like "Jeremy Bender" on Tarkus and "Benny the bouncer" on Brain salad surgery, but the western style "The sheriff" is the best of them once you get used it.

It's THE must have for any ELP fans.

Report this review (#128336)
Posted Friday, July 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The endles enigma The track starts with a creepy moog and then piano playing, fitting easily as music to a horror movie. Great. The the Hammond comes inn and the track gets heavier before the melodic part comes with a good vocal from Lake and lovely organ by Emerson. A great atmospheric part. The short instrumental part following it is marvelous, with great piano by Keith that concludes the number. 5 stars

The endles enigma (part two) An upbeat melodic instrumental with marvelous work from Emerson. Lake´s vocals are also great. This is essentially a studio reworking of Promenade, but it´s great. 5 stars

Fugue A piano instrumental. Very jazzy, but playful. And lots of fine playing as well. 5 stars

Fro,m the beginning Lake on acoustic guitar. Fine. An atmospheric ballad with great vocals. The melody is great as well. Lake even plays a solo on electric guitar. Even Emerson´s concluding moog solo is up to the point and accessible. 5 stars

The sheriff An organ driven vocal track. Let´s say the melody is just average, but the playing is great as always. Nice drumming from Palmer. The track with somewhat of a country flavour reminds me (just in melody of course, of the marvelous Tumbleweed connection by Elton John). The fast boogie woogie piano part is nice. Still a filler, though. 3 stars

Hoedown (taken from rodeo) Great work on this one. Emerson plays a catchy melody (I believe it is an Irish traditional) on organ and Lake with Palmer do their usual stuff with usual success. Especially Palmer´s drumming is awesome. The track is very poverful and also adequatly rocking. Even the moog parts are digestable. 5 stars

Trilogy After the atmosphridc intro provided by Emerson on piano, Lake sings another ballad in a sweet melancholic tone. I even like the fast part with Emerson´s moog playing. Then Lake sings again a bit and another synth passage follows, with exceptional work from Palmer as well as Lake. (Well, the are perfect most of the time in terms of playing. It´s the songwriting that stinks quite a few times a record). Not on this one, though. Emerson´s bluesy moog outro is really funny. In a good way. 5 stars

Living sin A hilarious sorta-rocker with Lake sounding as John Entwistle singing Boris the spider. The chorus is better. I like the "dirty" Hammond sound. Great drumming by Palmer again. 3.5

Abaddon´s bolero Really. A great record and then comes this... What´s the purpose of mostly overplaying one motif on the Hammond and all kinds of synths? 1 star

Overal rating: 4 STARS


Report this review (#132048)
Posted Monday, August 6, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Trilogy's the third studio album from ELP.

How rabid were we to get our hands on this, back in the day? We had a friend who owned a record store. It was a Friday. Distributor told her he'd have the album to her on Monday. What??? How about we drive 100 miles and pick up her shipment, on Friday. Done deal.

So how good was the album? It was worth everything we went to get it two days early. Now? Still a solid outing from ELP, though, as always with ELP albums, flawed. Endless Enigma, once it finally kicks into gear, is one of ELP's better songs. We also get Hoedown, a concert favorite, and From the Beginning, which deserves special mention because it contains one of Emerson's most succinct and beautiful synth solos. As usual, what was Side 2 of the LP is iffy. The title track is a bit overblown and Living Sin tries but fails to re-create the hard rock of Knife-Edge.

Abaddon's Bolero was jaw-dropping when performed live during this era, which makes the LP version somewhat disappointing. The essence of the song is there, but it fails to capture, probably due to limitations of recording technology at the time, how when performed live the song arose from a whisper -- with each keyboard layer incrementally stacking on top of the previous keyboard layer -- to become a loud and vicious aural (and, in concert, visual) assault that left at least this listener virtually gasping for air. So let's call Trilogy a good 'un; it's still not the great album that was proving to be elusive for ELP.

Report this review (#138188)
Posted Thursday, September 13, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Right up front I have to confess to possessing a considerable amount of favorable bias towards this album through no intentional fault of my own. You see, as an adventurous young buck on the NTSU campus in the autumn of '72, I surreptitiously snuck (with her consent, of course) into Cathy O's dorm room via her window one night in quest of hands-on, advanced research concerning the carnal arts (if you know what I mean and I think you do). On her stereo's auto-repeating turntable this admirable and desirable lady had her brand new copy of the "Trilogy" LP. Throughout the course of an intense, study-filled evening neither of us had any interest in changing the record so I heard side 2 of this exemplary album over and over for. well, let's not brag, shall we? Suffice it to say that life doesn't get much better than that particular scenario (prog & passion) and even now when I listen to ELP's "Trilogy" it summons pleasant memories so it's hard to be critical and/or objective in that state of mind. Happy thoughts aside, however, it would more than hold its own as a stellar example of progressive rock, regardless.

With "The Endless Enigma, Pt. 1" a quiet heartbeat accompanied by some eerie synthesizer notes starts things off in a mysterious mood before the space is interrupted by startling piano spasms and wild bongos. Soon the splendid, driving triad of organ, bass and drums intrude, leading you through a very dynamic song structure that climbs to Greg Lake's commanding "Please, please open their eyes!" exclamation that is breathtaking in its massive scope. Things then calm down with Emerson's lone, delicate piano and just let me say here that no one records acoustic piano any better than engineering whiz kid Eddie Offord. It's like you're sitting in the room with a Steinway. "Fugue" reminds me very much of Keith's stellar work on their debut album but this time Lake ably joins in on bass to create a fantastic duet. "The Endless Enigma, Pt. 2" is an obvious continuation of the basic theme but here they employ a deep, cavernous sound that includes clanging mission bells, culminating in a grand ending. Let me tell you, this is one marvelous piece of symphonic prog music.

"From the Beginning" is one of the more unusual hit songs ever in that it climbed to #39 on the singles chart due more to its alluring atmosphere than to some kind of catchy hook. The smooth guitar lead and curious synthesizer tone also contributed to the tune's popularity, as well as Greg's soothing, radio-friendly voice. These boys loved to throw in some levity on their albums (with mixed results) but "The Sheriff" is one of their better whimsical ditties. Featuring a surprisingly syncopated and complex structure beneath the frivolous "cowboy western" lyrics, this song distinguishes itself by incorporating a growling Hammond B3 organ sound layered with an odd piano effect to produce a unique aura. The manic honky-tonk, saloon-style piano work in the coda is a hoot.

What better way to honor one of the 20th century's greatest composers than to perform a bang-up version of Aaron Copland's "Hoedown" segment from his incredible "Rodeo." It's an amazing rendition where Emerson displays his mastery of the virtues of the B3 organ as he employs the many variations of the settings it has to offer. No wonder it was such a concert staple for them. It rocks.

As I explained earlier, side 2 of the LP is branded on my brain forevermore but that's a good thing because it begins with the album's namesake song. (Hey, Cathy could have been heavily into Engelbert Humperdink. Imagine having THAT tattooed on your subconscious!) "Trilogy" features a beautiful opening with Lake singing brilliantly over Keith's piano as they deliver a modern jazz chord progression and an intricate melody. Emerson gracefully segues into a heavy 5/4 riff where his spirited synthesizer ride blows you away. They return to a harder take on the original melody before Keith assaults your senses with another sizzling synth solo as Greg and Carl lay down a remarkably tight rhythm section underneath. When these guys played like this no one could top them. Period.

If there's a lull in the proceedings it comes in the form of "Living Sin." Composed somewhat along the lines of "Knife Edge," it's a riff-based rocker with an odd structure and stabbing accents at the close. It's not a bad number by any means but when compared to the rest of the album it's less than memorable. Synthesizer technology was evolving by leaps and bounds in those days and, on "Abaddon's Bolero," Emerson expertly showcased the state-of-the-art in that division of modern rock music. By adopting the steady layer-by-layer construction technique of Ravel, Keith tastefully introduces a myriad of sounds and textures as the number builds inexorably to its inevitable and definitive CLIMAX. (I know, I know) And don't overlook Lake's inventive bass work despite the implied restrictions he and Palmer are stuck with due to the format. Also keep in mind that in 1972 this was groundbreaking, awe-inspiring stuff that made every keyboard player on the planet yearn to acquire a Moog.

I still consider their stunning debut and the unbelievable "Brain Salad Surgery" to be their masterpieces but this one ain't far behind. While "Tarkus" seemed a bit bogged down and forced, "Trilogy" showed that Emerson, Lake & Palmer were not going to be fading away into some kind of "cult" status anytime soon. Their appeal was widening to include more than just progheads. Even blonde seductresses with gorgeous, waist-length hair like Cathy O were digging on their music and that acceptance flung the marketplace doors open for this talented trio. They had arrived. 4.3 stars.

Report this review (#140084)
Posted Sunday, September 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars Well, a good album by ELP. It was almostly perfect if it don't includes "Abaddon's Bolero". To me, that song is boring. The 8-minute composition don't works well with its weak arrangement. I think an ambitious composition by Keith.

The other track was outstanding. "The Endless Enigma" - including "Fugue" - is great. "From the Beginning" is no doubt one of the best ELP's song. "Hoedown" was a great adaptaion from Aaron Copland's "Rodeo". The title track was the strongest song in this album, great piano play and arrangement in the end of the song. The two rocker tracks, "The Sheriff" and "Living Sin" were not bad.

So, I would give 4 stars.

Report this review (#145693)
Posted Thursday, October 18, 2007 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars At least they should call the group. "Emerson, with Lake and Palmer". Even that would not be totally accurate, such is the keyboard player's domination of the sound of the group, but since Lake does co-write a lot of the material, he would qualify as a mostly "silent partner", his voice notwithstanding.

This skewed nature of the trilogy would not matter if there was a good deal of enjoyable music to be found herein, but instead we are subject to an ego fest of some of the cheesiest organ and moog sounds to come out in any era, mostly devoid of development, melody and subtlety. Yes I suppose the playing is technically good if emotionally barren. Then there is the fixation with the American wild west, like three British schoolboys would be able to provide us some insight here. Luckily it is laughable.

"The Endless Enigma" and "From the Beginning" show us the capabilities of the group and where they may have gone if not seemingly stuck in pomposity overdrive. The showboating started earlier for ELP than most of the big prog bands and foretold their greater relative decline in respect in the prog community.

Report this review (#147806)
Posted Sunday, October 28, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars For me this record had a short shelf life, by that I mean it was a real favorite but that faded quickly. It is far less essential than anything else before Works and maybe it shows the cracks that lurked just below the surface. It is inconsistent and the compositions are not up to the high standard of Brain Salad Surgery or Tarkus and it cannot compete with ELP. It has one essential cut and that is "from the beginning" the rest of the record has not dated very well. Both Bolero and Hoedown leave me flat and just don't sparkle. The endless enigma has some great sections but suffers from a relatively poor lyric and although Greg Sings well it sounds awfully dated now. On the plus side there are no awful songs and it is consistently average with the exception of "from the beginning". Its strange how some records don't date at all and others are a product of their time and place. That is the real problem with trilogy it has not dated at all well. "Living sin" could have been good but the lyric is embarrassing. For the next record Brain Salad Surgery they started to bring in Sinfield to help the clearly struggiling Lake write words. The Sheriff is in keeping with most ELP records the comedy number that allows Emerson a chance to play the kind bar room rag he likes but which is an acquired taste. This record belongs in the classic run of ELP records but is the poorest of that group, it is still leaps and bounds better than anything after "welcome back my Friends" the essential live recording by the band. If you really like ELP you may find that this is a pretty good record like I did when it was new. However I suspect that most people will find it dated and lacking. Thankfully the next release Brain Salad Surgery gets away from the mediocre and now dated playing here and gives one last golden moment in this interesting but flawed Progressive bands catalogue.
Report this review (#147890)
Posted Monday, October 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars As many people have mentioned, Trilogy is probably ELP's most listenable album. There are no long epics and the only reworking of an orchestral piece is a very popular and well known one in Copland's Hoedown. Everything that made ELP great is still there though. The Endless Enigma, the title track, and Abaddon's Bolero are all lengthy complex songs. The other tracks are shorter and easier for casual fans of rock to enjoy. From the Beginning is a Greg Lake ballad that is strikingly similar in structure and form to Lucky Man. This is not bad. The song is highly enjoyable and arguably better than Lucky Man. The Sheriff is their second western type song. Unlike Jeremy Bender, it is well written. Hoedown is a fun version of the song. It is better as a live song but is still good for the studio. Living Sin is the hardest song on the album and features some intense organ work as well as dark vocals by Lake. The title track is phenomenal and among their best compositions. It starts out with beautiful piano and vocals and builds via piano to a 5/4 flurry of synth. This is ELP at its best. Abaddon's Bolero is a good ending but could've done a bit more. The best songs are The Endless Enigma and the title track. Trilogy is an album that is often forgot about because of their other albums. It is not quite a masterpiece but is great and worth owning if a you are a fan of ELP and/or prog (I hope you are a fan of prog if you are on this site). 4.5 stars.
Report this review (#157027)
Posted Saturday, December 29, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars The Venus de Milo attempts the music of Emerson, Lake and Palmer

'The Endless Enigma' - Of all the large scale pieces produced by ELP, this Dali inspired triumvirate is perhaps the least satisfying. The bass drum as 'heartbeat' metaphor steals a march on Floyd and there are some eerie Moog stirrings shattered violently with 'hamster steeplechase over the piano keys' glissandi so beloved of Emerson. After some strident pedal point bass and a few (much sampled) bongo rolls, the engine finally fires up and kicks into a wicked shuffle groove over which the Hammond spits out a suitably aggressive statement of intent. Regrettably all this tantalising foreplay is in anticipation of a main sung theme that when it appears, renders the foregoing as a bit of a 'kiss on the porch tease'.

The melody is decent enough but the stilted and halting feel of the verses is nowhere near to the intended 'majestically' as instructed on the published manuscript.

The piano interlude is a very accomplished (and finger blisteringly difficult) piece of writing by Keith, which displays to full effect his commanding grasp of a variety of compositional forms, moving through a gentle and wistful opening towards a complex fugue with some mind boggling counterpoint under which Lake adds some inspired and memorable 'singing' bass.

ELP appear to be double parked in a cul de sac with an expired license at this point so adopt some clever 'call and response' dialogue between Palmer's tubular bells and Emerson's Moog as a preface to reprising the opening sung section albeit at a slower tempo. I'm not entirely convinced that the song either warrants such repetition or that the fugue section belongs at its centre.

The individual sections are certainly effective but the overarching structure is somewhat strained.

'From the Beginning' - Another generous helping of a considerably slimmer Greg Lake on this fatalistically inclined paean to the vagaries of love. He deploys 9th chords here quite unusually and buttresses his tightly wound creation with a memorable bass line and tasteful electric guitar solo. Emerson's Moog solo on the outro is an unbridled joy.

'The Sheriff' - Palmer's commitment of the drummer's cardinal sin (banging your sticks together by mistake) is captured for posterity on the intro before we gallop off into the sunset on a very enjoyable and light-hearted cowboy pastiche featuring some clippety-clop organ. The instrumental section is rather unusual in contrast to what frames it, by being almost akin to jazz rock in places. The final verse is ended by a hilarious gunshot ricochet and a brilliant piece of saloon bar piano from Emerson.

Who says ELP are miserable bastards?

'Hoedown' - Became something of a live staple for many years to come and Copland's jaunty rodeo music is for the most part preserved in Emerson's adaptation save the classic whooping synthesizer glides that introduce the piece. You can have great fun trying to identify all the north american folk tunes he manages to quote from. (or don't and take up knitting instead, the choice is yours)

'Trilogy' - A rare instance in ELP of a large scale work being seeded from just a single theme as stated by the unadorned Moog 'violin' on the intro. Thereafter we move into a very beautiful and haunting piano setting of this motif sung dreamily by Lake to what is presumably a jilted lover? Emerson, clearly heedless to the risks of a dotage crippled by arthritis, regales us with yet more knuckle busting flourishes at the piano before the tempo changes to 5/4 for a bombastic transposition of the phrase to the Moog. The lead sound used is definitively 'heroic' and would have brought a flush of pleasure to even Dr Robert I am sure.

Next up, a slightly 'swung' 6/4 groove which betrays a jazzier and more chromatic feel than what went before. I can't help but detect the influence of Miles Davis on this section, particularly the extended solo passage that centres around a B7#9 chord. The band really kick some proverbial backside here with Palmer laying down one of the 'funkiest' beats in his locker and Lake anchoring this maelstrom with an infectious ostinato. Numerous leads are layered and overdubbed as the improvisation develops before culminating in the squealing protestations of the synths subject to this unbridled fury. (Blimey Guv'nor)

To round things off there is another sung section featuring Lake with what sounds like his tongue firmly in the region of his cheek:

You'll love again I don't know when but if you do I know that you'll be happy in the end

The original melody does seem rather 'forced' in this rhythmic setting and I suspect that Greg's delivery betrays as much. ELP close the track with an ironic blues tagline that was even considered passée in the bronze age, but our three heroes may possibly have reversed themselves momentarily into that same cul de sac as on 'Enigma'

The many transitions that this track goes through are very skillfully and seamlessly negotiated and Trilogy certainly represents one of ELP's finest recorded moments.

'Living Sin' - A relatively simple heavy rocker but Emerson's dramatic synth brass work and a striking and sinister 'baritone' vocal from Lake transcends the meager harmonic material on offer. The main riff is deceptively simple but the band exploit its quasi 'eastern' qualities to achieve an exotic feel. Perhaps the best song that Deep Purple never wrote and Keith was happy to acknowledge the inspiration provided by Led Zep's Black Dog

Abaddon's Bolero' - If one track on this record can be a microcosm of the problems Trilogy presented for ELP then it must be this one.

Yes, it's a thrilling and innovative arrangement of a climactic composition that reaches a magnificent 'orgasmic' ending. (Not 'af you saucy devil)

No, it cannot possibly be replicated on stage armed with but the mere two that Keith has.

Much of the Trilogy material suffered the same fate as 'Bolero' and as far as I am aware, the title track was seldom performed live in concert. It must have been frustrating for a musician as accomplished and ambitious as Keith Emerson to realize, that as unlimited a playground as the studio was, he had to leave behind many of his favourite toys when stepping out in front of an audience.

Report this review (#170017)
Posted Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars It's almost unbelievable but true: this excellent album tends to get a bit overlooked because it has to compete with other monster albums by the same band (the debut album, Tarkus, Pictures at an Exhibition, Brain Salad Surgery). If this had been recorded by any - ANY - other band, it would have been recognised as the masterpiece it really is.

THE ENDLESS ENIGMA (incl. FUGUE) is IMHO the quintessential track of ELP. If you want to know what they were about, just listen to this piece. Perfect. (5/5)

FROM THE BEGINNING is a nice slow song, mostly acoustic, till Emerson comes in. Very tasteful, built like Lucky Man but has a totally different, cosmic feel to it. (4.5/5)

THE SHERIFF belongs to the Jeremy Bender, Are you ready Eddie, and Benny the Bouncer series of awkward barrelhouse-like stuff. But this time the track is so strong that it is no nuisance. (4/5)

HOEDOWN was written by classical composer Aaron Copland. A killer instrumental, opener of many ELP shows. This rocks! (5/5)

TRILOGY consists of a short part with vocals and a lengthy, hefty instrumental part. Obviously, this piece was the blueprint of Dream Theater's song Metropolis Pt.1 and probably even King Crimson's song Starless. (4/5)

LIVING SIN: a devilish little prog tune with a snarling (!) Greg Lake. A must hear. (5/5)

ABBADON'S BOLERO comes - as the title suggests - straight from hell and reaches its climax within 8 minutes. Not instantly likeable, this one requires a good deal of spins - but then it's great (4/5).

Good tunes, good playing, good singing - but the most wondrous aspect about this album is the way this collection of songs and instrumentals grow together to really be an album. The whole thing is more than the sum of its parts. 5 stars for one of the truely great recordings in the history of prog.

Favourite songs: The Endless Enigma, Hoedown, Trilogy, Living Sin.

Report this review (#170169)
Posted Wednesday, May 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
5 stars

Probably the best ELP album since Tarkus to our days. But unlike Tarkus, each track is equally wonderful:

Endless Enigma Pt.1, Fugue and Endless Enigma Pt.2 are the perfect introduction to the album, they show Keith's incredible ability in both synths and acoustic piano, Carl's skills at his best on percussions and Greg's wonderful voice and bass with some reminiscense of what he did with King Crimson + some weird philosophical lyrics (in the vein of Crimson's I Talk to the Wind) on Endless Enigma.

From The Begining is Lake's typical ballad (and my favorite one) with really decent lyrics and the keyboards at the end are appropriate (unlike the moog solo in Lucky Man). Followed by the humorous track, The Sheriff (probably the best of its kind) led by Emerson with a Honky Tonk piano.

Then we have Hoedown, an arrangement of Rodeo by Aaron Copland that reminds me alot what Emerson did with The Nice, full with energy and shows Keith and Carl at their best (a direct descendant of Rondo and Pictures at an Exhibition).

Trilogy (the longest track of almost 9 minutes) is a display of Greg's voice and of Keith's ability to play a ballad followed by a very energetic display of their capability as a group full of synths and spectacular drums with a solid bass foundation.... this is, in my opinion, the most tasteful love song ever written by ELP.

Living Sin is a track in the vein of Knife Edge in which Lake alternates his regular vocals with some growls singing some more strange lyrics about sins and twisted stuff, its good but not a highlight.

Abbadon's Bolero its a magnificent piece (an adaptation from Ravel...sort of a military march) that closes the album in a beautiful way.

This is a very underrated album but its a masterpiece of prog and music in general with no weak tracks (even the ballad is strong and somewhat complex) and really cohesive.

Tarkus, for some reason, is closer to my heart but this one has just as much quality and I like it better than the second side of Tarkus (which I also enjoy).

Report this review (#170315)
Posted Friday, May 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars ELP released Trilogy as their third studio release in three years. This one really hits the mark as well did all of the 4 they had written and recorded from 1970 to 1973. This one has a very friendly or light feel to it. This one was also really a studio album as they had done so many production techniques and overdubs that a lot of it couldn't be reproduced live. All in all though it is a most satisfying and complete recording.

From the opening notes of The Endless Enigma you know you are in for something special. I consider the first three songs to be one suite and it moves seamlessly through each section. From the majestic chords of the chorus to the romantic piano offerings in the fugue section the piece runs the whole gambit without wasting space. Follow this with From the Beginning the best ballad in ELP's selection. This one is a group effort and not a solo Greg Lake song. The acoustic guitar solo and synth solo at the end givers what a DJ said a long time ago and eargasim. Some people don't like the Sheriff but this is part of ELP's sense of humor and I don't mind these songs. This one is almost a hinge between the first and second part of the album. The great Aaron Copland adaptation of Hoedown which was double timed live is presented in a slower stage here but still very well done. The next three are all fine songs and Trilogy maybe the best single song ELP ever wrote. Moving from pastoral piano to highly charged synthesizer held together with Greg Lakes beautiful vocal.

I have always thought that you would be hard to argue against that ELP's first 4 studio albums in 4 years were one of the best streaks of any band anywhere. It is one of the best albums period by anyone. 5 stars.

Report this review (#170820)
Posted Monday, May 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Really impressed IMHO , as an old progger , Trilogy contain more than extreme progressive ideas , it's in fact a Trilogy of Bolero , Enigma , Rodeo , created by the best companionship ever . Go forward progerrs in discovering the best masterpieces of this century , Trilogy is one of them ................Tracks Toni .... This album must be dedicated to our children's children's children ...
Report this review (#171948)
Posted Thursday, May 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Today I want to manifest my disagreement, with the criteria which chooses the 100´s best prog albums of all time in this prestigious site...My total disbelief in this selection, was just to do not understand why this truly masterpiece of the music of all time was not included among other well deserved good records...This piece of music is the incarnation of the supertrio ELP, the pinnacle of progressive rock! Not even a second in this album is out of place, evry song has it´s indiviual sense of beauty and completitude. What can I say about The endless enigma..or the incredible musicianship and skills presented on trilogy (the title track). The ballad of the album figures among the best 10 balladas of all time in my humble opinion (From the beginning). The aggressiveness of A time and a Place reveals a band that was in control of all aspects of their own sound production, giving a final result that is stunning, which got the listener striked and, at same time, impressed with the near impossible Emerson´s skills at hammond organ. Composition and arrangements at their peak as it was in Brain Salad Surgery, these two albums represented their best period. Please, revise this clasification and include this marvellous record among the best of all time. I think ELP deserves it, regarding all they produced in the prog rock scene. For whom which don´t know this record, buy and listen to it immediately, it will open your mind!
Report this review (#175086)
Posted Tuesday, June 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Trilogy was ELP's third album, and a much improved effort over the preceding Tarkus album. One of the most obvious ongoing issues I have with ELP albums is the amount of half-baked ideas, and even downright silly ones, just thrown together to fill up the space on an album. Typically these kinds of songs end up in some band member's closet, only to see the light of day as a CD remaster bonus track or inside a box set designed for the die-hard fan. ELP actually puts these on their studio albums instead of waiting around for their collective brains to do something amazing. Fortunately, Trilogy shows much less of that, although it is still present with songs like The Sheriff, Living Sin, and even Hoedown which seems out of place (although it is a live favorite of fans).

Another improvement in the ELP sound is Emerson's use of many new synthesizers (earlier ELP was more organ- and piano-dominant), adding much more depth. The Endless Enigma suite (first three tracks of the album) is one of ELP's better compositions. Probably the most interesting track is the closer, Abaddon's Bolero, which builds layer upon layer eventually building up to a wall-of-sound ending. Most likely inspired by Ravel's famous Bolero. Another track worth mentioning is Greg Lake's From the Beginning, which is mostly an acoustic guitar piece with layers of electric guitar and closing with a synthesizer solo, somewhat following the formula used on Lucky Man. It got some radio play, enough to give it a brief stint on the US Top 40.

Much better than the Tarkus album as a whole (though not as adventurous as the Tarkus epic) and slightly better than their debut album. A nice starting point for newbies to the band and an excellent acquisition for fans of symphonic prog. Four stars.

Report this review (#175855)
Posted Tuesday, July 1, 2008 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
5 stars 3

Emerson Lake & Palmer's third studio album is one of their very best and the group's first truly mature effort. The very best tracks come at the beginning of the album with the absolutely superb three part composition The Endless Enigma and Greg Lake's best ballad From The Beginning which is in the tradition of Lucky Man from the self-titled debut and Still ... You Turn Me On from the subsequent Brain Salad Surgery.

The Sheriff brings in a bit of comedy and plays the same role in this album as Jeremy Bender had done on Tarkus and Benny The Bouncer would later do on Brain Salad Surgery. Hoedown is an adaptation of a composition by Aaron Copland that became a live favourite for the band.

The second side of the album is not quite as strong as the first but still has some high quality songs. Living Sin is a slow, heavy rocker in the vein of Knife-Edge from the band's debut album. Abaddon's Bolero is pleasant but tends to become a little bit repetitive towards the end.

An excellent album, highly recommended!

Report this review (#178000)
Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Trilogy has a great nostalgic meaning for me. I still find it to be the best ELP album. The themes are melodic, nice and catchy, atmospheric and innovative. The worst parts of this are so minor, that they don't bring it down a lot.

The Endless Enigma (Part 1) was the first ELP song I ever heard. This was after dark, turning off the lights and just playing a cd while lying on my back on the bed. I was getting into prog back then and someone told me to get to know ELP. I was amazed how good they really could be. The singing sounds more natural with the organs here, and the whole trio works together much better than twice before. Please, please, open your eyes. This line got me into the music, and I just wanted to hear this song again and again. With the rising instrumental part here bringing some mystical to the song, it's really a prog classic with all its parts together of course.

From the Beginning I had forgotten for some reason. This was a cd borrowed from the library at that time. Then I heard it again somewhere and though it was brilliant. This is exactly the guitarwork I like a lot, that with Greg Lakes great singing, I had to learn to play this, and a lot of people like it too. A good guitar piece from a band that's not really a guitar band at all. Also, in this song, the keyboard is at its best, in a great, moody solo.

The Sheriff is basically what I never liked about ELP. It sounds as if they're again trying to soften up the too serious atmosphere with a little funny songs. However, this one, though a bit ragtime like, is not as bad as the one in Tarkus. Goes well enough along the rest of the songs. The lyrics are pretty stupid though.

Hoedown does a bit better what The Sheriff tried to. It's a bit useless track too, like a funny filler, well, of course they have their right to do some funny music for a while, but it doesn't really live up to their style in my opinion.

The title track, Trilogy is again a nice sentimental piece with good melodies. I taught this to my girlfriend, but I'm sad I can't sing as well as mr. Lake does. A very nice song, not as rocky as some, which I think is their best attribute. Later on it gets started like all the tracks do, so no worries about falling asleep in the middle. The song carries on with a very tricky time signature and a brilliant synth solo.

Living Sin is again a bit more aggressive track, basically because of the low voice singing and the down lyrics. The organ sounds pretty nice, and this song is groovy in the sense as some from their first album. A good change after the long 'Trilogy' and before the final great closure.

Abaddon's Bolero is what the name promises. It's nice for a change to hear something like bolero so well done. It's a bit lazy with the mixing. Basically the song takes 3 minutes to come from ultimate silence to full volume.

The album is nice, best of ELP, as I have said before, and worth the 4 stars I'm going to give it.

Report this review (#178295)
Posted Sunday, July 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is ELP's finest album in my opinion. I believe that it is far better than Brain Salad Surgery and even their first album. It showcases all three musicians and highlights their talents, making it the peak of their career.

The first song, The Endless Enigma (Part 1), starts off almost spacey until a strong repeting piano note carries it into an organ groove with heavy drums and bass. It then goes into a softer melody part where Lake's vocals come in eventually going back to a another softer melody. This goes back and forth for most of the song and creates interesting constrast.

Fugue, is a mostly a solo piano piece accompanied by bass, which sounds like a Bach composition at times. Nice interlude that breaks up the first and second parts of The Endless Enigma.

The Endless Enigma (Part 2), features some nice percussion sounds including bells as well as a triumphant synth sound and distorted organ. The melody is very epic with intense vocals from Lake.

From The Beginning, starts off almost exactly like Roundabout! Afterwards however it bears no resemblance and continues with a rhythmic guitar throughout. Nice lyrics and vocals with a suprising guitar track near the end that almost doesn't sound like ELP but more bluesy. Finally, the piece ends off with some great synth that plays overtop the original guitar part. It seems as though so far they have tried to break up the powerful electronic songs with softer, acoustic in between. (Fugue between The Endless Enigma Part 1 and Part 2, and From The Beginning between the Endless Enigma Part 2 and The Sheriff)

The Sheriff, probably the weakest track, but on an album where everything else is amazing this simply means that it doesn't stand up to some of the stronger songs! The quirky honky tonk piano at the end wraps this piece up nicely.

Hoedown, at first I though this was just another western sounding song like its predecessor, The Sheriff, but this is actually a great track. The intro, with the synth sound that seems to slide up, is great and really accompanies the organ that takes over well. Soon it turns into an almost funky groove with amazing drum work which continues throughout most of the song. Then there is almost a military sounding section until it eventually returns to the original groove. The intro synth comes back and there is a great organ part that sounds almost like something a banjo would play. Near the end there, the organ goes away but there is a heavy sounding synth jam with strong drumming and bass. However, soon the organ returns and accompanies the synth in playing the original melody until the end.

Trilogy, possibly the greatest ELP song ever written. To me, this piece really sums up what progressive rock is all about, with an equal balance of classical influence and synthesizer driven rock. The song starts off with a haunting violin sound until a pleasant grand piano takes over along with Lake's vocals which contatin lots of reverb. As well, probably one of his greatest vocal tracks which helps to carry the first section of the song with the piano, adding a very emotional touch with the romantic lyrics. Great classical piano composition by Emerson which almost makes it seem like the song would never go in the electronic direction that it does later on. The piano part gets darker but returns to a happy refrain which is very misleading because this joyful melody soon leads to a complete explosion of sound from all three members. The first time I heard this song, I was in the car and when this synth part played I was just amazed. It was like nothing Yes had ever done and I hadn't really listened to too much prog before this. This suprise and new experience is probably what started my love affair with this song. I have even tried to learn this piece it is so good. The synth work in this has to be Emerson's greatest with some crazy time signatures along the way. The song changes to a different melody with more organ and a very complicated arrangement. Great drumming from Carl Palmer, as he utilizes many different percussion sounds. Soon, a very well rounded moog sound comes overtop with an amazing organ and drum groove. The vocals are still great in this section and are really just more positive than the depressing sounding ones at the beginning. The final surprise is the blues ending that puts a great finish to a great song. Just amazing.

Living Sin, I didn't really have a good listen to this at first but it's a nice heavy rock track with great drumming,organ and edgy vocals. Not one their more popular songs but a nice song to check out.

Abaddon's Bolero, again another track I had kind of just missed at first. But when I listened to it all the way through for the first time I thought, this is really inspiring! There is some fantastic military drumming which really creates the solemn mood and the synth is what creates the insipiring melody. It's really suprising how a track that stays on the same theme for 8 minutes can be so effective! It starts off quietly with soft drums and high pitched synth and just builds up to a climax over time. As it builds up the bass gets heavier as well as the drums and keyboards and even marching band instruments such as tuba and a whistle are used. The final climax to this piece is well worth the wait, this climax being the high synth that comes in overtop the main theme and gives me shivers everytime I listen to it.

Overall, this album starts off intense and dramatic with The Endless Enigma (part 1) and ends the same with Abaddon's Bolero. An album like this that is amazing from start to finish truly deserves 5 stars. A Masterpiece in progressive rock.

Report this review (#178352)
Posted Monday, July 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
2 stars Apart from their amazing debut this is a band I just can't get into. It really seems like Keith Emerson dominates this album from start to finish, leaving Lake and Palmer in the background much of the time.

"The Endless Enigma (Part One)" opens with spacey sounds as outbursts of keys come and go until we get a full sound 2 minutes in. A calm with vocals follows. This contrast continues. "Fugue" features impressive piano melodies throughout as it blends into "The Endless Enigma (Part Two)".This is very similar to "Part One" really. "From The Beginning" is my favourite song along with the title track. Intricate acoustic guitar to open, then Lake starts strumming his guitar as vocals come in with percussion. I really like the melancholic mood on this one. Synths after 3 minutes.

"The Sheriff" begins well with the synth / drum intro. A story is told on this one. I don't like the rag-time ending at all. "Hoedown" is an uptempo instrumental with Emerson leading the way. "Trilogy" is lead by vocals and piano until a full sound arrives 3 minutes in. I like the drumming 6 1/2 minutes in. "Living Sin" is where Emerson shines once again. The vocals are different on this one. "Abaddon's Bolero" features these marching style drums and synths throughout.

Sure this has it's moments, but man I can't really get into this one at all.

Report this review (#182282)
Posted Friday, September 12, 2008 | Review Permalink
2 stars This was not as good as I expected.

Emerson, Lake & Palmer's starting and selftitled record was very good with solid songwriting and good musicianship. Their musical interaction brought progressive music to a high level, which wasn't reacht by many colleques. Their second record Tarkus was a nice follow-up: keeping the same ingredients of succes. However, there were a few songs which were more pop/funny orientated what effected in a somewhat less strong effort.

Trilogy - referring to their third record and to their three-men set-up - just don't have those ingredients I liked in there previous works. What I miss the most is the solid songwriting. It seems as the riffs don't match to each other. It feels as E,L & P made a couple of tunes and then sticked them together. The product is a record that misses the most important thing in music: it should trigger our emotions and this record does not.

I could give this record three stars because of the musicianship E,L & P show, but I don't do that because this record irritates me. It is one of those records where great musicians make mediocre music. I gave this record to a friend and I felt enlighted. Two stars.

If this is your first record of E,L & P you have listened and you have those feelings I've tried to circumscribe than I recommend their first record before giving up on this band.

Report this review (#186375)
Posted Sunday, October 19, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars ELP third album Trilogy from 1972. Well i'm not so impressed like many reviewers from here. Quite less enjoyble than the predecesor, wich i find it the best ELP album ever, and one of the best albums from prog music, this one TRilogy sounds very good sometimes and sometimes very boring. The musicianship is like always tight, each one being master at the instrument he plays. Now the music sound very uptempo with great keys interplays, warm vocals, but someting is not the way should be, not so well written like on Tarkus. Like other reviwers observe this album is purely dominated by the master Keith Emerson who thake the lead everytimes possible. Anyway this is my no means a weak album, some pieces are still strong enough to capture the auditorium like:The Endless Enigma (both parts) and the titled track, on both tracks i like the escapades Emerson make on mellotron, the rest are only good. I think with all that this is a 3 star album , i might give it as recomandation, but only if you listen the first two ELP albums before thi sone, and aswell if you like keyboard orientated symphonic prog albums. 3 stars, good but sometimes uninstristing. still the musicians remains on a high level in music with this one.
Report this review (#187766)
Posted Monday, November 3, 2008 | Review Permalink
TGM: Orb
4 stars Review X, Trilogy, ELP, 1972

Trilogy is one of those albums that I think you have to hear as a whole to really appreciate, and that's bizarre given how little connection there is between the pieces. The remastering job's great, I think, which only helps the album convey it's musical content well. More importantly, the original album represents a great, landmark work of one of the progressive giants, and an important step in the use of synthesisers. Emerson never had better keyboard tones, either on organ or synths, and his willingness to use frequently his whole arsenal pays off brilliantly. However, I can't see the keyboard w**kfest that some have described it as. The pieces are pretty balanced, Lake and Palmer are both supportive and active throughout, and the reason Emerson's playing a lot is simply because he's part of a trio. No filler here either, to my ears. Nonetheless... I think it's a vital album, and a masterpiece.

If there's one piece, in any genre, even in prog, which oozes epicness from every single pore of its being, The Endless Enigma is it. Demi-nonsense, speculative lyrics sung in the regal 'this-is-the-word-of-Greg-Lake' mode, grandiose organ and solid piano bass clef backing. Carl Palmer's drumming comes in bursts of energy and tension, while Lake provides a very likeable whirling bass tone. A dramatic piano leads us down into the piano Fugue (with just the tiniest slip on the transition), which is essentially a showcase for Emerson's piano range, nabbing a couple of more unusual tones in between the standard classicals. Lake provides a touch of interplay, and Palmer's entrance on chimes, percussion and finally tubular bells provides pure, unadulterated grandeur. An even more epic reprise of The Endless Enigma leads us on to the wailing synth and voice ending. Not my favourite piece ever, but the sense of scale created is nonetheless pretty sweeping.

From The Beginning sort of contrasts to the opening suite. From the utmost grandeur to a very low-key, heartfelt ballad. I've seen the criticism that this was the obvious opener, but somehow this is the order that feels natural to me... the universal context then the personal one. Besides, no way you can put the monster that is The Endless Enigma anywhere except at the start. Regardless, enough about that... the piece is a particular standout for Greg Lake, with his fantastic voice, a bubble-blowing (to nab a phrase used of a Sinclair solo somewhere) guitar solo, some fairly neat and very moving classical-edged acoustic guitar and most of all a very directional and well-aimed bass part. Palmer has restricted himself to a fairly simple hollow drum thing (sounds vaguely like a bongo), but it works perfectly for the piece, and I appreciate the effort of the drummer to contribute properly in a soft acousticy piece. Lastly, at the end of the piece, an indescribable synth part from Emerson takes the lead. I'd certainly consider this song progressive, even if it is a ballad, and, regardless of progness, it's a very moving song.

The Sheriff is perhaps the most underrated piece ELP have ever done (except some of the Palmer bits on Works side 3, but...). It opens with a loosely disguised 20-second drum solo before the killer organ riff sets in confidently and Lake enters with a particularly Elvis-y vocal and a light-hearted set of lyrics. His bass grooves along quietly in the background, as Emerson adds in a bit of saloony piano. Despite the whimsical tap-dancing-with-piano ending, a great short piece, including one of my favourite bits of organ-playing ever. Not a serious piece, but that's half the charm.

Hoedown is one of the few ELP songs I can reasonably expect people to find anywhere... I have four or so versions, I think LOL, which basically vary in how obscenely rapid the keys are. A cover of something Copelandy, with a did-you-get-the-number-of-that-donkey-cart organ part, a load of entertaining, over-the-top synths and a solid backing rhythm section. Needs to be heard to be believed. Coincidentally, there's a live version of this as a bonus track on the remaster... good, and fairly individual, but neither that nor the studio version here are as classy as the Welcome Back My Friends rendition.


If I had to hold up one track as an example of what ELP did and could do, this, not KE-9, The Three Fates or Tarkus, would get my support. The mixture of beautifully-handled classical influence, rock innovation, group cohesion, moving lyrics and multiple moods are exactly what has made the progressive genre so enjoyable for me. A blissful piano introduction supports Lake's soft vocal and very touching lyrics (But though I smile/You know the smile is only there to hide/What I'm really feeling deep inside/Just a face where I can hang my pride). A suspended piano note hanging in the piece signals an impending transition, supported by a couple of Palmer swirls, before Emerson masterfully takes his piano in a juxtaposed descending cadence and defiant recalcitrant spiralling notes to a spaced-out synth solo, replete with a kicking Palmer beat, providing a sort of punctuation to the swirly web of notes, and gritty Lake bass. A bass-driven section quite reminiscent of parts of Larks' Tongues In Aspic pt. 1 leads us onto the catchy organ melody supplemented by a tongue-in-cheek synth, underlaying the positive and evocative vocals that will feature again towards the end of the piece. Lake's bass provides a couple of the directional changes, and this could possibly be my favourite bass on an ELP song... but maybe that's just me. A vital listen, if only for an example of how to do synth tones... defined and effective, not too clear to be edgy, and not too noise-clustered to be musical... not to mention, the mock-blues ending is quite amusing in its own way.

The following Living Sin is a neat contrast. A bizarre progressive pop melodies meet rock feel song driven by a range of infectious menacing organ melodies and Palmer's fantastic supportive drumming - emphatic directional bursts, mini-solos full of energy and a sort of unrestrained kick-within-the-beat thing all add lots to the piece. Over the top of these driving elements, Lake's moody, sullen vocal wails away in a Cat-Food-with--just-a-hint-of-misogyny style, while Emerson alternates between fantastic organ flourishes and synthy whhhhhowws. The best bit of the song is either the absolutely fantastic organ sound Emerson gets on the choruslike parts or the 'silence! never did warn you 'bout the one-night-lover!' (could be 'never did wanna buy a one-night-lover!'... sounds great either way, and ELP were never about the lyrics) bit, which features truly awesome organ soloing, Lake sort of holding the section at a slightly more emphatic level than the rest of the piece through his bass part and that rather poppish percussion sound that I'm embarrassingly fond of mixed with some balancing drum taps. A fairly whimsically inserted bit of grandiose synth flourish with a characteristic Palmer roll underneath it leads us up to the end. Initially, it's the sort of song which you hear the first time and think 'I probably shouldn't like that' but ...its prog credentials are certainly there inside the actually quite melodic mock aggression... and I maintain that it's a damn good tune.

To end this superb album, we have an interpretation of Ravel's Abaddon's Bolero, developing from virtually solo whispering organ with an assertive classical drum part from Palmer and some part of the original seemingly being taken up by Lake on bass to an overspilling, bluesed-out-wails-all-over-the-place, tentatively (well, on my part, not on the band's) headbanging monstrosity. The only ELP track, if I remember correctly, to feature a (tasteful and background... I'm not actually sure whether that's just a synth and the 'tron was for the tour) mellotron, played by Lake. What's so remarkable about the piece is that the synth tones are light, expansive and not particularly defined (especially compared to some of those on Trilogy or The Endless Enigma) and yet they really do manage to come together in such a way as to rock. I'm not sure if it's the blues-reminiscent phrasing or the relative strength of the synth parts, or the simple fact that Palmer's drumming is getting louder as the piece moves on, but tones that shouldn't rock do. Can't say fairer than that for successfully pulling off a piece in spite of listener pre-conceptions. Masterful work.

I'd call this album entirely essential to anyone interested in progressive rock, even those who aren't the biggest fans of ELP. The synth tones are fantastic and highly unusual for the time, the songwriting's great, and every track, even those which initially seem a bit less challenging, is a progressive gem. I prefer ELP to this one, but I'd still call this one a masterpiece by any standard.

Rating: Five Stars Favourite Track: Trilogy, maybe. A lot of good stuff here.

Edit back to five. Decided that my rating was based mainly on a desire to be a bit harsher in general, so axed it

Edit edit: Then decided I was being a bit harsher in general, and given this isn't one I'd instantly think of picking for a masterpiece list,I figured that a four was maybe more just both to other fives and other fours.

Report this review (#188480)
Posted Sunday, November 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Even though Brain Salad Surgey is often remebered as the ultimate ELP album,the roots of the latter are undeniably found in it's predecessor,Trilogy.Personally,i consider it the most CONSISTENT album by the band,and probably their best effort to date. All the elements that make Emerson,Lake and Pakmer what it is are here:the overdose of synthesizers in every song; the Greg Lake ballad;the funny easy listening track; and a progressive rock masterpiece,that eventually becomes an anthem in the genre.Here,however,is where everything came together. The album starts off with the song that is arguably the most beautiful piece they ever wrote: the eleven minute suite The Endless Enigma. While Genesis was a somewhat exotic prog rock band,and Yes would eventually appeal to a more melodic direction,the lack of guitars in ELP's sound gave them a dark,heavy quality that is reflected in all of their brightest compositions:Tarkus,Karn Evil 9,Toccata.... The Endless Enigma is one of the few exceptions to this iconic sounding(others include Take a Pebble and Jerusalem):structured in two parts,divided by a piano mid-session,the beauty of this song is hard to put in words.Maybe it's brightest quality are the echoes of classic compositions that can be heard in every note. It is,above all,a perfect opener. The Lake ballad found here is also arguably his finest:the dark sounding From the Beginning,wich closes with a moog synth solo.What makes this song so great is that it doesn't sound as up-beated as Lucky Man or Still..You Turn Me On.It have this slow tempo beat that is actually quite fitable to the album. The two instrumental tracks,Hoedown and Abbadon's Bolero,are true gems.The first is an adaptation to the classic piece Rodeo by Aaron Copland,driven by Keith Emerson and followed by Carl Palmer,in a song that would become a favorite in the live show.The latter features the classic influence that the band,particulary Emerson, was so proud of,in a ten-minute jam with growing tension that closes the album. There is,of course,the title track.This one stands side by side with The Endless Enigma,but if the opening piece features an unusual ELP,Trilogy(the song)is the band in it's essence:an everlasting madness of drums,synths,keyboards and bass guitar, crowned by the most beautiful voice in progressive rock.This song is worth the album alone,there is hardly anything else to be said about it. Over the course of seven songs, this album is overshadowed only by Close To The Edge.Otherwise,it could be rightfully remebered as the best prog rock album in '72,above Jethro Tull's Thick As a Brick,Genesis' Foxtrot and Wishbone Ash's Argus. That,of course,in my humble opinion.
Report this review (#190621)
Posted Thursday, November 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
4 stars Emerson, Lake & Palmer's third album is the definition of mediocrity. There is no masterpiece like "Tarkus" to save the album, and the songs that are here range from excellent to poor. I don't see this as a Keith Emerson solo album, as some others have derisively commented, any more than any of ELP's other albums were Emerson solo efforts; as Greg Lake and Carl Palmer consist of the rhythm section, it is to be expected that Emerson will be at the musical forefront of the trio. Unfortunately, though, composition takes a backseat to extended soloing and repetition.

"The Endless Enigma (Part One)" The album begins with the sound of a heartbeat and some lonely, spacey synthesizer. There are moments of jarring bass notes played on a piano before the song proper begins. The piano then doubles the organ runs, and soon it's classic ELP we're hearing. The vocal section sounds similar to a hymn. Sometimes Lake sings over Emerson's quiet organ, and sometimes over the explosive sound of the full band. This is the tightest composition on the album.

"Fugue" This is a lovely piano interlude (accompanied by the bass guitar later on), and has the task of bridging the two parts of "The Endless Enigma."

"The Endless Enigma (Part Two)" The second part starts with a jaunty little introduction featuring piano, bass, and drums. After a brief synthesizer interlude, Lake reprises the melody from the first part before the song comes to a grandiose end.

"From the Beginning" Of all the acoustic pieces Greg Lake ever wrote for ELP (perhaps aside from "The Sage"), this one is the best. It has a numinous feel conjured by acoustic guitar, lazy electric guitar, spacey synthesizer, and sparse drumming.

"The Sheriff" This far sillier song begins with Carl Palmer drumming (and cursing, if you listen closely). It is one of ELP's few narrative songs, and quite frankly, isn't very good, particularly with Lake's singing, which is all over the place. The organ playing in the middle is decent, but the honky-tonk piano that ends the song is simply ludicrous.

"Hoedown" The final part of Aaron Copland's Rodeo is given the ELP treatment, full of synthesizer and organ. It makes for a great opening track for a greatest hits collection or a live album, such as how it was used on Welcome Back My Friends to the Show That Never Ends... Ladies and Gentlemen, Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

"Trilogy" The title track begins with a short synthesizer section, followed by virtuosic piano playing and Lake's singing. Three minutes in, the song begins its Moog-heavy theme in 5/4, during which Emerson takes center stage. Lake eventually begins singing again, but the music almost borders on ridiculous. It is a stark contrast to the beautiful piano-laden music heard in the first three minutes. After the second vocal section, there is additional synthesizer soloing. In a final moment of ridiculousness (for this song, not the album, sadly), the band ends the piece with an old-time stripper riff.

"Living Sin" Insane organ music and Lake singing in an unsettling deep voice are what this song is all about. It's fairly bland, really, without much going for it, save that halfway through, the song begins to sound more like ELP, and in that respect, makes it tolerable.

"Abaddon's Bolero" One might be tempted to label this lengthy piece repetitive and uninteresting, since it does replicate the same riff over and over, only layering it with more and more instrumentation as the music progresses. For much of the piece, Palmer restricts himself to a lone, marching snare drum. Lake's bass is barely a part of the music. The additional instruments added on to the music do lend it a modicum of appeal, but not nearly enough to make this fresh. It is, I'm afraid, a weak closing piece, perhaps used as an opportunity to show off Emerson's wide array of Moog sounds.

Report this review (#190623)
Posted Thursday, November 27, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I so want to give this five stars. There are so many great musical moments on it. But four stars it is because of two weaker tracks.

Here's the breakdown.

The Endless Enigma (Part One)/Fugue/The Endless Enigma (Part Two)

This all gets lumped together because it all runs together, and it's a very nice melange. We have the avant-garde elements that we heard in Tocatta combined with the classic ELP sound (best examplar would be Karn Evil 9 part 3) and Keith's virtuoso piano. These tracks may be a bit difficult for a casual listener but any prog head will find them very rewarding.

From The Beginning

The song that features Lake is also very strong. It's not quite as catchy as Still... She Turns Me On, but it still shows of Lake at the height of his talents and the lyrics aren't nearly as insipid.

The Sheriff

Easily the lowpoint of the album. I want to like this, but I just can't. Emerson does his keyboard magic at half speed and all of the magic leaks out of it. Not enough rock, not enough good lyrics, ultimately not enough interest. This is the song that robs the album of 5 stars.


One of the joys of listening to ELP is hearing their take on classical masterpieces. It's not always an unalloyed joy (why in the hell did they have to add lyrics to The Great Gate at Kiev) but in general the adaptations are great. This is the gold standard in ELP's classical adaptations, and it's fairly faithful compared to some others. Anybody know if Emerson ever covered another Copeland work, Appalachian Spring? Feel free to send me a private message with the info if he did.


Outside of the Karn Evil 9 tracks, this may be the highest quality progressive work that ELP ever did. A very nice song in three parts that shows you exactly what ELP was all about back in the day.

Living Sin

This is the other weak track, but unlike The Sheriff it just wallows in mediocrity, not in badness. I can see the guys thinking that the driving drums, the weird vocals, and the plodding melody line are the height of coolness. Well, they aren't, but it is listenable if your expectations aren't set too high.

Abaddon's Bolero

Ok, it's a great track.... BUT....

One of my treasured possessions is a boot from a Madison Square Garden concert. This has sort of spoiled this track for me. The possibilities of a full orchestra on this make this an absolutely amazing track, and it reaches heights the album can only glance at. (After all Keith only has two hands and an orchestra has many, many hands.) But I ramble on.

What's good about this version is Keith's flying improvs over the main melody in the second half (other than the strong melody to begin with, that is.) But if you ever happen to see a version of this done with live orchestra, GET IT!!!

So anyhow, this one reaches for masterpiece status, but doesn't quite make it. What a shame.... ELP was too adventurous and eclectic to fill a vinyl with songs that would please everybody. Anyhow, 4 stars.

Report this review (#190774)
Posted Friday, November 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Trilogy is probably the most consistent ELP release , since there are no weak tracks in the album.Probably this is their less bombastic release dureing their golden era , whatever that means. The fact is Trilogy pushed ELP into the highest realms of the progressive rock scene , with legendary sold out concerts in the US , Europe and even Japan. I laugh when they call ELP's music cold since to drive japanese people mad like it happened in Osaka , your music must be highly emotional.

The odd thing is , this album is somewhat forgotten because of it's place between two of the most known records of the genre. Moreover , lot of the songs here weren't performed on live shows one case is the title track , the other ones are both the opener and closer.

The Endless Enigma looks like a prequel to Jerusalem to me. For a group that has been critizised for being bombastic and loud , this tune shows all the opposite. The Fugue played by Keith , which is less that 2 minutes long , it still good enough to be among his best compositions. Lake's singing is as strong as ever fitting well with the grandeour this piece has.

The second song of the album is the almost obligatory ballad by lake , From the Beggining.There is not much to say about it since it was one of the biggest hit singles ELP had. In my opinion From the beggining is , with the exception of The Sage , the best of this kind of numbers by Greg Lake.Same thing goes for The Sheriff , out of the ragtime pieces this one is the less jokey of them all with the exception of the gunfire at the ending. One of the reasons this album was so popular was that it was more accessible , proof of that is the classical remake Hoedown which is very well known and ELP's version is just under the 4 minute mark. This version is a lot more slower than the Welcome Back one.

Now we get to the title track. Trilogy is the best number the album offers us , it starts out really calm with some classical piano by Keith and then it transforms into a synthfest! Once again BOMBASTIC is the word. Carl Palmer does a great job behind the kit to keep up with Emo's fingers. It's a pity that this song was hardly played live and the reason behind that is that Keith overdubbed many layers of keyboards which were impossible to play by one keyboardist.

Living Sin , is a hard rock number much like Knife Edge or A time and a Place. It has some weird vocals at the beggining that were supposed to sound evil , but I can't help but smile every time I heard them. When Lake turns once again to normal mode his voice sounds similar to Lennon's! Also this song features a great middle section by Carl & Keith.

The closer is one of ELP's most exprimental works. Abbadon's Bolero has Keith putting layer after layer of synthetizers (Some may spot a Mellotron) to cheate a piece that builds up minute after minute accompanied by military style drumming.

Suming up , Trilogy may be a good point of entry to those who are unfamiliar to ELP and keyboard dominated prog. It still shows the bombastic side but leaves place to more gentle numbers.

Report this review (#194672)
Posted Monday, December 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
Errors & Omissions Team
5 stars 01. The Endless Enigma (Part One) Never had given me a song so scared about this, his awful beginning gives me chills to this day, I remember like it was today, a friend told me he had this disk, but did not know what was and I said at the time, I brings LP I hear, which took fright at the listening room of the house only with the lamp on! Dark. Those moves such as a heart. At first well short, then a strange melody of keyboards and pianos shocking attacks of the silences between. Emerson knew how to make sound of keys that he carried with you. Enter low mark, while it would mark the Moroccan flute melody, to that between what I would call Sound ELP, keyboards loose while eating Carl and Greg deploy bases perfect. So they enter the voice! My God how anyone can sing as much as the Lake? If you have someone that I wanted that someone would sing it (and then the Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull). Perfect end to a perfect melody. With the sensational low of Lake marking the melodies as the keyboards. Percussion takes care of everything for us to link at the keyboards of Emerson to our minds and hearts ...

02. Fugue Few play piano like Keith Emerson, Leakage in your , He and Greg lake build a perfect partnership. Tons of melodies and counterpoints.

03. The Endless Enigma (Part Two) Concluding what had begun to have part two of the Enigma, beautifully conducted by our three minions of sound.

04. From The Beginning The surprise that I question the Lake of interaction with the guitars, as he can compose songs beautifully so wonderful, I never stop playing the guitar From The Beginning, a melody that is not out of the head. It is so beautiful and melodic. The vocals are so perfect, the low is without a doubt a highlight of the song, along with the keyboards always estupendos Mr. Emerson. And of course do not let talk of soil and full of beautiful melody of the guitar Lke in the middle of the song. Superb!

05. The Sheriff

Sensacional! I always told myself, all of ELP disk must have a ballad of Lake, a leakage of Emerson and of course, a Honky Tonk Western joy for the staff, we have one of the stories of Old West very well conducted by the band. It is fun to hear these songs, as far I know no one else has done something similar. To finish with these crazy land of cowboy. Beautiful!

06. Hoedown (Rodeo) If this is not the trademark of the band I really do not know what is! With a catchy melody and dancing at the same time is able to snatch up the most unwary travelers of the world the wonders of progressive rock. Three masters of the art of music are working, do not dare disturb! Listen and try not to sing along to the melody, I challenge you!

07. Trilogy

Simple beauty is what you say the beginning, sntetizador piano and setting the tone for Lake that can show how your voice is beautiful. The second part of the disc was higher for the songs, starting with this (8'54). So that leaves us dizzy initial melody comes the second part of the song to understand that everything has two sides, after the simple beauty comes in (as well as in-sas heads) the madness. At a time super broken Emerson shows us how valley. And our two heroes show us how important it is to have a solid foundation for a band. As would be the third part of the music is the unification of two things, the beauty and madness, together in one show us that everything you have two sides, but they can mix at any time without that manages any kind of conflict in world. And gives you Emerson and Moogs. And just an unusual view!

08. Living Sin

Living Sin is totally anarchic, a slight feeling of fear when Greg starts to sing with that tone and serious. He seems not singing. The mixture of sounds of keyboards that Keith can with all that paraphernalia that carries with it is simply wonderful. The second part brings a dubious weight for a band of three components and it does not load the guitar (symbol of the weight) with them.

09. Abaddon's Bolero

Abaddon's Bolero to date (for me) is indecipherable. A very low melody takes the speakers and slowly going in and adding new elements involving the music, the sound will increase (in terms that sound), and when it comes to the summit is already done. (Vai understand these guys, laughs).

Certainly I do not need to talk any more. If you were concerned with what I wrote just above there will not ever be interested!

Report this review (#196878)
Posted Friday, January 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars After the excellent Tarkus, ELP's third studio LP shows a sharp drop in consistency and quality. The band seem to run about in circles on almost every song, never knowing where to take the music.

The Endless Enigma sounds like a poor-man's Tarkus. All this music seems to have been done before by this band, only better.

Over-long, emotionless, aimless classical-style piano solos clutter the first half of this album. Only the excellent Greg Lake classic rock radio staple 'From the Beginning' saves side A from mediocrity. I have loved this melancholic acoustic ballad since i was a little kid; it is glowing with immense sepia-toned nostalgia and sounds extremely out of place next to the uninspired music that surrounds it.

'The Sheriff' and 'Hoedown' are corny and embarrassingly hokey. 'Abaddon's Bolero' has some cool synth sounds in it, but it is extremely monotonous and repetitious to the point that it's unlistenable after a few minutes. The title track 'Trilogy' is ALMOST good, but it overstays it's welcome after awhile as well.

'Living Sin' is the only 'non-From the Beginning' track that i like. Lake's angry vocals are very powerful, and the distorted organ riffs are very heavy and memorable. This is about the only ELP song that you can headbang to... and i think it's very under-rated.

The band would rebound strongly with Brain Salad Surgery, but this album is a huge misstep in my estimation. I will give it 2 stars for 'From the Beginning' and 'Living Sin'.

Report this review (#205448)
Posted Wednesday, March 4, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Trilogy was my first approach with ELP and I will never forget the feeling that appeared with first sounds of The Endless Enigma. First time I had this kind of feeling it was in late 80's when I heard Helloween's Live in UK and I was 12 back then. Because I discovered ELP's music full decade later I couldn't believe what it did to me. The music was weird but fascinating. It wasn't typical 70's bluesy or jazzy prog thing. It struck me by total surprise. Keith Emerson played with fantastic technique and made ELP music to sound so unique. The first three tracks are like one. Such conceptual thing that still amazes me after all those years. There are two things I'd like to mention here. ELP on Trilogy don't play any kind of bluesy or jazzy prog (as I mentioned before) and two is, the band really rocks. So don't ask me if it's enough to call it rock music cos it really rocks. I think it's due to the fact Carl Palmer plays lots of sounds and crazy ostinatos played by Greg Lake make us image of rhythm section. Keith Emerson plays classical music, avant-grade classical music, honky tonk... anything but blues. Ok I said it's not jazzy but maybe a little bit of jazz we can capture in his style. But it's not making it boring. Keith is god. So the first three pieces will tear you to pieces;). Then we have very popular ballad From The Beginning. It's a little Greg Lake masterpiece. The Sheriff seems to be pop tune but it's still not simple music. Hoedown is instrumental part taken from works of Aaron Copland. Of course here we have different arrangements cos band wanted it to sound rock. Trilogy is one of the most amazing songs ever done in progressive rock. And this direction will be taken on next album. If you listen very closely you'll hear similar parts to those from Karn Evil 9 2nd Imperession. It's very dark, filled with anxiety song. True rock music but not simple rock music. Armageddon masterpiece. Living Sin is heavy massive piece of rock. You can even call it hard rock. I like this one. And for the finish a piece of classical music. Abaddon's Bolero is good instrumental track that of course keeps all the standards. Perfection. Trilogy is still one of my favorite albums of all times. The first time when I heard it I was mesmerized and in fact still I am. Masterpiece.
Report this review (#212271)
Posted Friday, April 24, 2009 | Review Permalink
Symphonic Team
3 stars 'Trilogy' may not be as good as 'Brain Salad Surgery' or 'Tarkus' but it is still one of the best of ELP.

It begins with the strangely quiet 'The Endless Engima' featuring great vocals from Lake and Emerson pulls no punches on keyboards.

'From the Beginning' is the Lake ballad found on other ELP works. The ladie's favourite, Lake croons as good as ever.

'The Sheriff' is a western style track with old time piano and humourous lyrics.

'Hoedown' is hailed as a classic by many but I prefer the live versions. Emerson really lets loose on this showing his bravura musicianship.

'Trilogy' is the best track on the album with great piano motifs and guitar interludes. It moves through a series of impressions in the same way as a classical piece is structured. Like the astounding 'Tarkus', it is a long, highly complex example of virtuoso playing and showcases in particular Emerson's incredible talents. It's frenetic pace transfixes from beginning to end. It slows in pieces so that we have room to breathe within the wall of sound that is at times suffocating, but then picks up the pace again towards the end.

'Living Sin' is forgettable - in fact, how does this one go again?

'Abaddon's Bolero' is the worst track because it is so interminably dull. It is just one long repetitive motif played over and over till it gets louder and well... I hate it.

There are no bonus tracks but it is a good solid album with highs and lows.

Report this review (#224286)
Posted Friday, July 3, 2009 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Well, it still amazes me to think of how popular this trio was in the first half of the 70´s producing such complex and intricate mix of classical and jazz music. It´s eady to see why they were an easy target for rock critics, though. Their sound has very little of what we could call ´rock´, much less rock ´n roll. Philosofies apart, Emerson Lake & Palmer did give an important contribution to rock music in general and to prog in particular. I myself was never a big fan. I remember I had more respect for them than love. And Trilogy was the sole album I ever had at the period from tha band.

It´s very heavy, difficult to digest music most of the time. Not that it´s not good, but certainly difficult. The only two moments that are easier to get into are the acoustic From The Beginning (one of their best simple songs) and the brilliant arrangement they did for Aaron Copeland´s Hoedown, which, by the way, became a kind of trademark for ELP. Great moog solo and ELP never sounded so tight. I´ve been always a big fan of Lake´s beautiful voice 9also he was a better bass player than I realized back then), but even Carl Palmer´s stunning drum techinique pales if compared to Emerson´s ego. The guy is simply all over the place (except for From The Beginning). That´s ok if you´re a fan of classical piano pieces. And the band´s music benefits a lot from the CD technology: tehre are lots of details I´ve never realized when I had it on vinyl.

So today I can´t really say that I became a fan. Most of the time I feel that both Lake and Palmer are only backing musicians to mr. Emerson´s showcase of his skills and musical knowledge. Often melodies and a more balanced arrangement are put aside just for him to show how capable he is to play that difficult piano or synth passage. And still, they were also too good to be ignored. And with at least two classics on the tracklist, I could not rate Trilogy with less than 3 stars. Since after I got the CD it showed me they were even better than I thought at the time, I´ll have to consider that. 3,75 would be the final score for this one. Very good CD from a very important band, but not really all that savory for my taste.

Report this review (#231496)
Posted Friday, August 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars I am very probably getting some wrath from PA by using five stars again on an ELP album. I seldom use five stars. But in this case, I would be happy to give an album ten stars.

Of the four first classic ELP albums, this is the one I have spent most time on. This is also the album which has given me most rewards. Even more.......ehh.....gulp...... than Brain Salad. And I never ever thought I would utter those words. But this album is simply stunning from beginning to the end and it has overtaken Brain Salad as my most beloved ELP album.

Trilogy starts with the hymn like opening of The Endless Enigma # 1. Fantastic hypnotic music. Fugue is brilliant too before the second part of The Endless Enigma brings it all home.

From The Beginning starts nicely as a slowburning accoustic guitar based song and then develops nicely with some nice moog. An excellent minimalistic song. Less is more ! The Sheriff is one of those throw-away folk hall ELP songs. They normally include one each album and The Sheriff is by far the best one. It is actually a very good song. No, I am not drunk and I am not married. I actually mean it. Hoedown is one of the signature ELP tracks and also included on the beloved the Welcome To The Show live album. Keith Emerson goes berskerk again in a jungle of moog and various sounds. An excellent song, reworked from an Aaron Copland piece of music. The title track is also an excellent signature ELP track where Keith Emerson gets a workout. How ELP ! Living Sin is perhaps the least loved track here. It has a thumbing hammond organ as the main instrument and some excellent drumming from Palmer and a pretty tiresome vocal by Lake. Abaddon's Bolero is another signature ELP track based on a classical piece of music and ELPised by Keith Emerson. An excellent track.

The conclusion I draw is that this is a brilliant album. Everything here captivates me and I almost falls into a trance. I really love ELP and their insane approach to music. Insanity is the new sanity. ELP is my type of music. This album is my type of drugs & life. Keith Emerson is God and I proclaim myself as a Trilogy worshipper. Nothing less than the full house of stars will suffice here.

5 stars

Report this review (#236096)
Posted Monday, August 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars Trilogy was not the first album I had heard by Emerson Lake & Palmer, but it was the first of theirs I had ever owned. To me, every track on this album is a gem. It's not as bombastic as most of the early ELP albums, as here, Emerson uses (gasp!) subtlety in his approach to the keyboards. While his playing is still amazing, at many points he uses the full pallette of sounds and timbres on his piano, organ and synths, instead of full on hammering. Even The Sheriff, the obligatory honky tonk piece (which I seem to be one of the few here that likes on the ELP albums), is better than most.

But the standouts on this album are The Endless Enigma, Trilogy and Living Sin (by the way, it would be a crime if Emerson doesn't release the arrangement of Living Sin that he and Marc Bonilla have been playing live in recent years).

This one is a classic among the many classics this band once put out regularly.

Report this review (#244008)
Posted Saturday, October 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars After Trilogy, ELP stopped making sense for me. An occasional moment of clarity aside, they just continued re-producing average clones of whatever they had done before, making music devoid of heart and purpose. With Trilogy they made the last album that still makes sense.

The Endless Enigma is a difficult one for me, liked it a lot but it now sounds as if Lake had increasing difficulties to come up with anything decent to sing on top of Emerson's classic flirtations. He sounds like a schoolboy chanting an arena hymn here. Whatever, it's a classic.

And then comes From The Beginning. A beautiful piece of music. Couldn't Lake have come up with this tune one year earlier to spice up side 2 of Tarkus? I'm not much of a fan of 70's synths in rock, but that moog ditty at the end here is simply gorgeous. The Sheriff is a nice ELP filler track. Hoedown doesn't do much for me though. Like all ELP's adaptations it only makes me long for the real thing.

Trilogy is another frustrating ELP experience. The opening minutes are wonderful, great piano playing and adorable singing from Lake, followed by 2 minutes of the most dazzling synth playing of that era. But then, instead of fading out and ending in grace, they deemed it necessary to extend the track with 4 minutes of idiocy, both the synths and the vocals in the second half of this song are far-fetched and rather brash.

Living Sun explores ELP's gothic side, known from tracks like The Barbarian and Knife Edge. It's not equally good as those songs but obviously, these low register vocals can sure please a gothic bat like me. With that song as a reference, Lake could easily have applied for a job with The Sisters of Mercy. Abbandon's Bolero ends the album with 10 minutes of hot air and gives further proof of the pointlessness of ELP's classic adaptations. This is exactly what I mean with disgraceful keyboards in 70's rock.

With a bit calculation, I arrive at some great, some average and some poor minutes of music. I guess that would be spot-on for 3 stars.

Report this review (#257395)
Posted Wednesday, December 23, 2009 | Review Permalink
3 stars By the year 1972, the progressive rock scene was in full swing, and ELP helped prove that with their third album, Trilogy. While I don't think I will ever understand what's so great about this band, it's hard for me to deny the immense amount of quality that this album has to offer. Keith Emerson shows that he's the master of the Hammond organ throughout this album, Carl Palmer shows that he can really rip on the drums, and Greg Lake shows his talent through his vocals and his bass and guitar playing. Obviously, the highlight of this band for me is the superb musicianship.

What makes this album stand out to me in the context of ELP's discography is that this album has a lot of strength compositionally, whereas many other ELP albums are suffering in this area. I don't believe that this is anywhere near the compositions of Yes and Genesis, but it proves that ELP is more than just a never ending noodle-fest (mostly on Keith Emerson's part). While Trilogy is indeed full of solos, not many of them strike me as completely directionless. That's not to say that there's no filler on this album (quite the contrary, actually), but there is definitely less filler than on other ELP albums.


"The Endless Enigma, Part 1"- The sound of a spacey synthesizer opens up the album, but is shortly followed by chaotic piano notes and percussion. This section sounds very avant-garde influenced, but it is shortly followed by a very classic ELP sound, thanks to the Hammond organ and piano. This short instrumental run flows perfectly into the first vocal section of the album. The rest of this song is explosive and powerful, and Greg Lake delivers an excellent vocal performance. This is possibly the best song off of the album.

"Fugue"- This is a short acoustic piano piece (aside from the bass guitar near the end) that serves as a bridge between the two parts of "The Endless Enigma". This is a well crafted song with beautiful melodies.

"The Endless Enigma, Part 2"- The previous song flows right into the classical-sounding opening, except with drums and bass. The song then successfully reprises the first track, bringing the suite to a conclusive ending.

"From The Beginning"- This is an acoustic ballad in the vein of "Lucky Man" and "Still You Turn Me On". This song is one of my favorite ELP ballads, as it is extremely memorable. The extended guitar and synthesizer solos in the middle never tire, and they keep the song interesting.

"The Sheriff"- This song opens up with a drum intro, leading into the trademark ELP sound. The Hammond organ is present throughout the song, and the melodies are excellent. This is in the vein of ELP's ragtime-influenced songs like "Benny The Bouncer" without the mediocre music that destroyed those songs. This is a good song, and a highlight of the album.

"Hoedown"- This is an instrumental cover song of the last part of Aaron Copland's "Rodeo" doesn't disappoint in any way. Keith Emerson delivers an excellent performance on Hammond organ, but the synthesizers need an honorable mention as well. The drumming and bass playing are superb as well, keeping the song moving at a fast pace. This is a superb instrumental.

"Trilogy"- A short, synthesized opening leads into a beautiful piano section with Greg Lake's wonderful voice. An unneeded piano section brings us into a fast and complex synthesized section with a rather weak transition. While this part is fun and interesting, the transition into the next vocal section is rather poor. The mediocrity of the vocals in this part don't help either. I can't exactly say what's wrong with this transition, but for some reason I find it weak and a bit forced. Overall this is a pretty poor epic.

"Living Sin"- This is a hard-rocking blues rock song filled with Hammond organ and low vocals from Greg Lake. The riff is pretty memorable, but this song is rather bland and uninteresting. Carl Palmer's smart drumming deserves a mention, however.

"Abaddon's Bolero"- The last song on the album is a repetitive and uninteresting instrumental piece. The entire song builds off of one solitary riff, but never gets anywhere interesting. This is kept at a march-tempo, so the rhythm section is largely uninteresting. This song is focused on Keith Emerson, and I honestly find that he's not playing anything interesting either. This is a rather poor way to end this otherwise excellent album.


Trilogy is a great album by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and it stands today as one of my favorite ELP albums. I don't think I'll ever become a huge fan of this band, but it would be hard for me not to enjoy this album, since I'm a symphonic prog fan. If you're a lover of Hammond organ, this album is a must-own. However, I find that (like all ELP albums), this album lacks in interesting compositions and songwriting. Still, Trilogy is a solid album, filled with excellent moments, so I will rate this with a big 3 star rating.

3 stars.

Report this review (#267353)
Posted Sunday, February 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars have spent some time looking at the reviews of this album. It's incredible that it has been rated from 2 to 5 starts and nobody seems to have written anything wrong about it. This has been my first EL&P album so this is probably the reason why I'm going for 4. The only other EL&P album that gave me the same feelings is their debut. Let's go to the songs: "The Endless Enigma Part1/Fugue/Endless Part2 are for me the same track. It starts with a low volume keyboard sound that's full of tension enhanced by the drum and the piano at the end of each keyboard sequence until it reaches the real opening. Lake's voice is impressive and the song flows well until the piano section (the fugue), followed by the reprise and the crescendo coda. "From the beginning" is the best possible following to the first track(s). It starts slowly but this time with guitar instead of keyboards. It's a classical Lake's song with an excellent ending keyboard section. I think every dilectant guitarist has played it in the 70s. "The Sheriff" is the pop moment in the album. Excellent vocals and keyboard with a contry- western-saloon piano as closure. "Hoedown"is one of the many Aaron Copland's pieces that appear in the EL&P discography, even if less famous than "Fanfare for the common man". The B-side of the Vynil edition contains just 3 tracks. They are more close to the EL&P standards. "Trilogy", the title track, would be the longest if we don't consider The endless enigma, fugue and part 2 as a single track. It's more melodic, again sung by Lake and has a complex structure mainly supported by the piano. There's not much Palmer here until the piano solo increases the rhythm and is finally replaced by the complete lineup (moog, bass and drums) on a 5/4 tempo. The keyboard riff reminds to "Tank" from the previous album, then the track changes again and Lake can sing its second part, totally different from the first. There's much more Palmer now. The main theme doesn't change anymore until the bluesy coda. "Living sin"is rock! One of the hardest tracks ever composed by the trio. Lake sings on very bass tones then his singing turns several times from high to bass. The rhythm is unusual and there is room for some Palemer's short solos. I feel it's closer to the Nice. It's only a few too short for my tatste. I think it could have been improved more. "Abaddon's bolero" doesn't add anything to this album or to the concept of Bolero. Not bad, enjoyable enough, with its crescendo, but probably the less essential track of the album. A good closure, anyway. What about the rating? Is it a masterpiece? Probably not, but I think it's very representative of EL&P music, more than any following album and just a little more commercial and less experimantal respect to their debut. 4 stars for me.
Report this review (#277743)
Posted Tuesday, April 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars The first time I heard this album, was at the movie house on base when I was in the service. I bought the record and took it to the show with me. I asked the gunnery sargeant if he would play some of it before the movie started. I was pleasantly surprised that he was willing to do so, since he was in his late thirties and didn't like rock music very much. It really sounded pretty cool, at least what I heard that night. Very fresh and original. Of course he only played about six minutes of the first side before the movie started. Other enlisted men there asked what band was playing because they had never heard the music before.

The first part of the album sounds like something very spacy. Then for the next twelve minutes or so, we have some very good music coming out of the speakers. It is just a great follow up to "Tarkus." After that, we return to the second side of "Tarkus' and have to endure "The Sheriff" and "Hoedown." I wish that ELP would have left those two songs off the record. It really takes away from "Trilogy," in my opinion. While not bad songs, they just don't belong here. The song "Trilogy'' should have been on side one to complete a masterwork of true artistic expression in prog. It is so beautiful that one must listen to it to get the full effect. This song starts as a wonderful classical piece, then it progresses into a monster wreaking gorgeous havock on the listening ear. It is ELP at their absolute best, no doubt about it.

The next song "Living Sin" sounds like "A Time and a Space" from "Tarkus." Greg Lake is trying for a bassy sound on the vocals, but it never really works that well. His higher pitch sounds so much better, that this was a real turn off for me. I didn't like it at all.

The last song "Abaddon's Bolero" also disappointed me. IT was about 5 minutes too long. I say that because Keith kept repeating one theme, each time adding another voice as he went. It could have been much better than it was, if Emerson were to add a little more "Trilogy" to it. I thought it started sounding monotonous after about four minutes, and I couldn't wait for it to end. For shame ELP!

If I were to judge this on technical merit, I would have to give it 5 stars, but it is a matter of listening enjoyment that I judge all music. IT has enough good material to make it worth buying, but I can only give it three and one half stars for content. In any event it will get 4 stars for progarchives.

Report this review (#278041)
Posted Thursday, April 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars ELP's most "snuggly" album! Trilogy is equally praised and criticised for it's lack of conecpt and cohesion. I like the fact it's just a collection of songs. Not every prog album needs an "epynonymous epic" or some kind of underlying theme. But of course any album with this format is bound to have some filler. Thankfully here, it's minimal.

The title track is my favourite, although most people think it's weak. I'm not sure what it is but maybe it's more attractive to keyboard players (I dabble) given the Emerson domination. Other lengthy songs include that closing bolero, which is a nice idea but outstays it's welcome a bit in my opinion. And the multipart 'Endless Enigma', which I tend to regard as one track. This is nice too but I'm not sure if the reprise of the main song is neccesary (it's probably just a way of making the Fugue seem more significant; as a connector rather than just a short piano doodle). 'Hoedown' is a very cool western-classical cover. 'From the Beginning' is attacked because of it's commerciality, but I bet if it wasn't released as a single people would like it more. The soloing isn't as virtuosic is a lot of ELP but it's nice. 'The Sheriff' is the guilty pleasure that I hate on paper but can't help liking when I hear it. And the creepy 'Living Sin' is a throwaway track for sure.

So, a mixed bag here of quality and "cheese". The album flows well, with medicore yet consistent porduction quality and enough meat to last a while longer than Tarkus. Hipgnosis have done better album covers though...

Just as a footnote, it's become apparent to me that this album seems to have more of an effect if it's the first one you listen to of ELP. I bought 'BSS' first and feel closer to that one. Just a thought.... ...And I realised I've used the word 'nice' a few too many times in this review. It's a nice album though...

Report this review (#278711)
Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I may have simply acquired this album at a bad time in my prog life. ELP was a band that, while very skilled and had a few good songs under their belt, could never really grip me with an entire album or fooling me into believing so. I had been unearthing rarer bands from the eclectic, fusion, RIO, Zeuhl and Krautrock genres, and the accessible symphonic stuff was getting old to me fast.

TRILOGY did little to change my perspective, even if I can still appreciate a few songs for what they're worth. Typically dismissed, ''Abbadon's Bolero'' is one of the songs I find as a highlight; something about the repetitive buildup causes me to gravitate towards it. Another highlight here is the rodeo-esque ''Hoedown'', where Emerson really goes wild on the Hammond. And believe it or not, Greg Lake's acoustic thing ''From the Beginning'' isn't half-bad either.

Everything else makes me ask ''Why?''. The title track is very well done in spots, especially the section right after the opening ballad, but isn't captivating long enough for me to enjoy it. The first three track encompassing that ''Endless Enigma'' suite are an enigma; I fail to see the point or relevance in any of those tracks barring the nice pianos in the ''Fugue'' section. ELP also has to find ways to goof off without us really needing to hear any of it. Sure, ''The Sheriff'' isn't really atrocious, but it's pointless. And, don't get me started on the ''death grunts'' lurking in ''Living Sin''...

I'll be a little soft in my assessment of TRILOGY saying that the average progster will extract more good from this album than I can. Start with the debut and TARKUS if you want to find ELP at their finest, then go on from there at your own risk.

Report this review (#283345)
Posted Monday, May 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Although I can't say I've ever been an avid ELP listener, I do appreciate what they did, speaking in terms of innovation. They helped build the foundation for prog rock with their debut album in 1970; they pioneered the now ubiquitous idea of a multi- part suite with Tarkus in 1971; and, in 1973, they, essentially, epitomized the term progressive rock with Brain Salad Surgery.

Ah, but we've forgotten one, haven't we? That's right, 1972's Trilogy. It was, admittedly, my first venture into the realm of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and one of my first prog rock albums. I listened to the tracks individually before grabbing the record on the internet many times in the past, and they all blew me out of the water. The title track and the 'Endless Enigma' suite, in particular, really blew me away.

From what I'd heard, Trilogy had to be the ultimate ELP release. It had the energy that they became widely acclaimed (and hated) for, the song lengths were fairly distributed and even, and the musicianship seemed as exceptional as ever.

Not to mention it was 1972. This was THE year for art rock; Genesis released Foxtrot, Yes made history with Close to the Edge, King Crimson hit their creative peak with Larks' Tongues in Aspic, and the Krautrock scene in Germany was as effervescent as ever. Naturally, the most innovative prog band of all, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, must've broken some sort of ground in 1972. All the other bands did.

But there was none. I was left bone dry by this deceiving record. There is very little to be found on here that can't be found on their other records, and in much higher musical quality, no less.

My main problems: - The opening to "The Endless Enigma" is overlong. This probably shouldn't be much of a complaint, but it doesn't build very well. The two minutes would be much more endurable if the music was more interesting. - "Abaddon's Bolero". I have the same problem, here, with this entire piece. I've heard people complain about "The Battle of Epping Forest"'s repetitiveness, but this...doesn't go anywhere! It's a bolero, yes, so I'm sure I shouldn't expect anymore than what I'm getting, but I've never been able to tolerate this one. - "Living Sin" and "The Sheriff" are the throwaways, here. At least the throwaways on their other albums are entertaining; I never skip over "Benny the Bouncer" (although I'm not really much of a track skipper), but these two seem completely unnecessary, to me.

So overall, I can't really give this one any more than 2 stars.

Report this review (#285627)
Posted Wednesday, June 9, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Y'know, the concept of 'fandom' is strange. It's not enough to more or less like an artist's work as a whole, and the fact that most of ELP's early albums get high grades certainly suggests that I'm quite fond of this band. No, there are also certain 'standards' of the band that one must love to be a true fan. And among ELP fans, Trilogy is certainly one of these albums that are required to be adored to some degree. Unfortunately, I just can't share that point of view, no matter how hard I try.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling the album bad, not by any stretch of the imagination. There really isn't a single song on here that I would call crap (although the stupid "Living Sin" might come close). The problem is that, far too often, this album is extremely dull. Take the opening ten-minute "Endless Enigma" suite, for instance. Parts of the vocal melody are nice, sure, but the instrumental passages really drag the song down (especially since it seems too much to me that the band is trying to make all their instrumental tricks replace the main 'song' part, which raises a definite prog red flag for me, as opposed to having them augment the main 'song' part, which is what I love in my prog). And the man to blame for that is, unfortunately, Keith. On the surface, his keyboards sound just the same as they always did, but the energy, the pulsating power that made "Barbarian," "Tarkus," and "Time and a Place" come to life just isn't there. The same thing can be said about the title track as well; the first three minutes are beautiful (courtesy of Lake, as well as some very beautiful piano from Keith), but the last five are a real bore (courtesy of Emerson going through all the synth/organ/piano tricks that he already showed quite prominently elsewhere). In short, the form remains intact, but the fire is dwindling at an alarming rate.

Even the 'normal' songs suffer from the boredom factor. I actually did finally come around to enjoying "From the Beginning" quite a bit, as opposed to before when I thought of it as just another piece of boring filler; it's too mellow, just like everything else on the album, but the main melody is very nice, and I do like the atmosphere created by Keith's keys in the end quite a bit. In any case, there's also "The Sheriff," which is little more than an 'old-west' version of "Jeremy Bender." It's nice, a pleasant and slightly amusing diversion from the 'serious' parts of the album, but the lyrics aren't as funny as their predecessor's, and let's face it, that was the main appeal of the song. It's not that much of a comedown, though - I do dig the accelerated ragtime piano solos at the end, after all.

So why do I give it a solid *** if all I've really done is complain about it so far? Well, the band's attempts at staying in their established 'formula' don't really succeed, but when they shifted their mindset into a 'pure' classical mode, they struck gold. Exhibit A is the group's cover of Copeland's "Hoedown," known in pop culture as the "Beef: it's what's for dinner" theme. The synth arrangement here is FABULOUS, and while the energy is still slightly lacking, it's still enough to really get your blood pumping. And closing the album, we have Exhibit B, an Emerson classical number entitled "Abaddon's Bolero." I find it highly ironic that the catchiest number on the whole album was probably envisioned as the most pompous and "elite" song of them all, but that's life. This piece really gets you into a foot- tapping groove, and there are all sorts of little symphonic trappings in the background that are enough to vary the sound. I can honestly say that it does not get boring in the entirety of its eight minutes, and I would be perfectly happy if it went on for another ten if Keith could continue to find enough background notes to fill in the time and keep it interesting (which he definitely succeeds at here).

Again, this is not a bad album. It's just that, well, it doesn't do enough to really be considered a very good album. This is just me talking, of course; most ELP fans, from what I've observed, tend to love this one. As for me, though, I'll stick to the other standards of the era. It's definitely a solid ***, if only because of the lack of immediately offensive material, but that's largely the effect of digging the ELP approach, even when it's just them doing "ELP by Numbers."

Report this review (#292883)
Posted Saturday, July 31, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars This is a bit more like it. It still fumbles on self indulgence occasionally, but Trilogy is probably their most well thought out, least pretentious and most consistently enjoyable album.

Things begin with the "Endless Enigma" suite. While lyrically it's a bit muddled, Emerson's keyboards manage to give the song a very theatrical feel without falling into bombast. It feels like a hymnal, and Greg Lake's pleading "Please, please, please open your eyes" is probably one of the band's most powerful moments. It's one of the most accomplished of their longer pieces and it's a good way to start off the album.

Sadly, "From the Beginning" is tripe-the lyrics are saccharine and cliche, the guitar is completely without a hook and the keyboard intervention near the end makes the entire debacle far goofier than it needs to be. Thankfully it's one of only two real duds on the album. Things pick up again with "The Sheriff", a charming little tale of the Outlaw Josie Wales. It's not their most technical song and there's little dramatic weight, but it is plenty of fun.

Speaking of fun, "Hoedown" is ELP's most aggressively likable song. It may sound kind of like a cowboy composing a song on a Super Nintendo and it's hopelessly dated for sure, but I don't want to meet the guy who won't crack a smile listening to this song. Silly as it may be, it's also pretty exhilarating at points and by far the album's breakout song.

Next up is "Trilogy", which, while a perfectly fine song on its own, sounds a little too much like "The Endless Enigma" to be a real standout track. "Living Sin" has a killer groove and is one of the few truly rockin' songs on the album. Things end on a bad note with "Abaddon's Bolero", a plodding instrumental that neither builds nor climaxes in any fashion that can be referred to as interesting. A few charmingly whimsical keyboard bits but on the whole, needless and indulgent.

If you aren't a fan of ELP than it's likely that this won't change your mind. But if you can stomach some dated keyboard effects and occasionally pompous songwriting, you'll find that "Trilogy" has a good deal to offer, and it goes down smoother than their other albums to boot. "Non-essential", certainly, but the good kind of non-essential, if you know what I mean.

Report this review (#297763)
Posted Monday, September 6, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars The album happens to be my favorite out of the entire ELP discography. Trilogy might not feature the band's best composition, title awarded to Tarkus, nor is it a great band effort but it has a great sense of consistency plus a few highlights to help it along!

Since most of the ELP albums lack a great overall feel, this release definitely sounded like a breath of fresh air the first time I heard it. I also have a weird nostalgic feel for this album's 2,5 minute intro! I kid you not, just time it for yourself and you'll see that it's an intro of epic proportions that can even be matched by those of Pink Floyd! The stuff this band goes through over the course of that lengthy intro is worth the price of admission all on its own merits, but we also have a magnificent tune to back it up, as a bonus. I'm referring to the excellent, but highly overlooked The Endless Enigma suite which, to me, is easily among the band's three top compositions. Greg Lake's lead melody is just top notch and the keyboard interludes by Keith Emerson make it truly shine! For once, the lyrics actually feel very strong and I usually get goosebumps while hearing Greg Lakes vocals towards the end. This shows to me that Lake was competent enough to handle the lyric department and that there wasn't really a reason to recruit Peter Sinfield for Brain Salad Surgery.

The rest of the album has a great supporting role to the introductory highlight. From The Beginning is easily my favorite out of Greg Lake's acoustic performances and The Sheriff is an unexpectedly effective joke country-themed tune that puts both Jeremy Bender and Benny The Bouncer to shame! Hoedown finishes off side one on another highlight where Keith Emerson gets another moment in the spotlight. Side two has only there tracks and a much more subtile direction, which might make it less accessible but, to me, this is where the band really showed how far they could push their artistry. Revisit it a few times without side one and you'll learn to love it.

Overall, this is an excellent album experience well worth checking out by both experienced prog rock fans and beginners. This is unfortunately the only ELP album that gets a high excellent addition-rating and it's pretty much a downhill slide from here on out.

***** star songs: The Endless Enigma (Part One) (6:42) Fugue (1:57) The Endless Enigma (Part Two) (2:05) Hoedown (3:47)

**** star songs: From The Beginning (4:17) The Sheriff (3:23) Trilogy (8:54) Living Sin (3:14) Abaddon's Bolero (8:08)

Report this review (#304258)
Posted Friday, October 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This album is different from the rest of ELP catalog. It doesn´t have de dark ambience of the album that came before (Tarkus) and the full blow orchestral extravaganza from the one that came after (Brain Salad Surgery).

I always looked at this album as transitional for the band, ann that is defenitely not a bad thing. Quite the opposite actually. There's is an aura of tranquility (yes Tranquility) that permeats this record and for that it is a very special record for me. I consider myself lucky to have the original vinyl pressing of this album, and believe me, it is quite different from the CD versions that exist on the market. An exellent album that should be more appreciated than it is.

Report this review (#306154)
Posted Friday, October 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars An absolutely wonderful album! I've always loved the compositions aswell as the production of this album. As far as I'm concerned the two major Master-pieces in this album are Trilogy and The Endless Enigma, both are more than a great excuse for this album to exist. The other tracks may not compete but they shouldn't either.

In my opinion Trilogy holds the top of the capabilities of each member of the band. Emerson's writing and performance, and his fantastic ability of producing so many colours with his keyboards and moogs, Palmer with his absolutely brilliant drumming, great sound, tight performance and unique style, and Lake both singing better than ever (which is not always the case in my opinion, sometimes he seems to miss the nail), beautiful lyrics, which again, are not always the case, and of course: Just superb bass playing.

If you don't have this one and are a fan of prog (or any good elaborate music style) - do yourself a favour and acquire this album!

Report this review (#321411)
Posted Monday, November 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is an Emerson, Lake and Palmer album that I very much enjoy.

The opening 'Endless Enigma' is an epic with a catchy chorus, a lot of excellent instrumental music and a 'fugue' or something in the middle to make it interesting. It's all very well done, though the vocals get a bit mumbled or a bit lost in the production sometimes, but not often. The other prog-epic track is the title track, which is a painful break-up ballad with very excellent instrumental music in the second half.

I realise I really enjoy the music of this band is that they really enjoy their music, are enthusiastic, and they always perform with a lot of personality, which is a bit goofy sometimes, but that's good.

However, the main reason I really like this band, (they are my 2nd favourite prog band behind 'Genesis'), and the thing that sets them apart (for me) from most other prog bands is their wide variety of styles. Actually, they are very open minded to a lot of styles that almost all other bands totally shun. There are so many genres; jazz-rock, cabaret, country and western, comedy, ragtime, classical, etc. that other bands are scared to go near. The guys are excellent musicians and can play anything.

'Hoe-Down' is a mesmerising country-and-western anthem, played so that you could get up and dance to it. I think it would even rock todays disco's! And Keith Emerson's playing mixes classical with country, a classic! I also get a laugh out of the Cowboy tale 'The Sheriff', which is as poetic as Cowboy tales come, and with excellent organ work. And then there's 'From the beginning', a fine acoustic ballad that sounds similar to the band 'America'.

I have mixed feeling about 'Abaddon's Bolero', but this ascending march is totally the sought of thing that other band's avoid, interpreting the music of classical composers was done in the 60's, but few, if any, of ELP's contemporaries, such as King Crimson, Genesis, Yes, would have tried anything like this. The trashy stripper anthem 'Living Sin' is not really a favourite of mine... anyone want to see Greg Lake do a strip-tease? No, but at least there was a band with a sense of fun to do this sought of song.

So it's a diverse, enjoyable set, mostly good, though I do question the last two songs a little bit, but over time have warmed to 'Bolero'. I'll go for four stars.

Report this review (#321997)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
The Quiet One
4 stars Keyboard TrilORGY ?

I do have the need to write a semi-positive review for ELP since my rather negative 1-star review for Pictures at an Exhibition seems to point out that I'm just one of those bashers of the band that doesn't get the band. Well, I'm not a real fan of theirs, but in the beginning of my prog days ELP played an important role that showed me some really wild keyboard playing that I was, undoubtedly, impressed and made me look forward for organ-led music (Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster et al).

Emerson, Lake & Palmer were definitely an original brand of Progressive Rock, originality based in the focus of keyboard virtuoso Keith Emerson, an enigmatic figure in the Prog world, his extensive and early use of the Moog and the abstention of the mellotron made him one-of- a-kind. Also, his love for classical music which is highly apparent throughout the whole body work of ELP, is also something that gained the band fame of, but at the same, though mostly nowadays, a lot of infamy. Of course, there was also Greg Lake and Carl Palmer, both were also an important role to the unique sounding style of the band, Lake with his instantly identifiable vocals and Palmer with his blasting and technical drum fills, but it's undeniable that Keith is the main protagonist in all the classic works by the band, be it Tarkus with his Hammond extravaganza, Karn Evil 9 demonstrating a his ability in the organ, the Moog and in the piano, and in Trilogy, the title track of this 1972 album, there's an amazing piano show off plus some wild synths heard by very few in that time.

Ok, let's talk a bit further of the album now, Trilogy. Definitely my favorite from them and that's mainly because it's their most consistent, with nine tracks and only till track 8 things get rather forgettable. The first 7 tracks are all at least good, and make up a classic Prog Rock album from the 70s. A classic for me is an album that has originality; it's memorable for most of its tunes, though it doesn't need to be a masterpiece.

Though the initial 'Endless Enigma' epic lasting almost 11 minutes, counting the piano bridge called 'Fugue', seems to be the highlight on the album with the anthemic chorus and masterful organ work, for me it is definitely the already stated title track with its majestic intro with piano and Lake's marvellous vocals. Although when the synths enter, the direction is somewhat lost in the middle, it's still one heck of a Prog Rock track that anyone who is in his early stages of prog knowledge must listen to alongside stuff like 'Heart of the Sunrise' and 'The Musical Box', though not really in the same league compositionally speaking, ELP always seemed to lack the creativity and mastership to compose (not to play).

Another highlight is the classic acoustic song, 'From the Beginning', lovely song that is interesting with its acoustic guitar, vocals and both unique solos, from the guitar and from Keith's synths.

'Hoedown' while not a must-hear, and it's really another tune to demonstrate Emerson's skills on the Organ and innovating Moog, it's damn fun. While I'm not fond at all of the adaption of Pictures at an Exhibition, this one and 'Fanfare for the Common Man' are ones I really enjoy.

'Living Sin' and 'Abaddon's Bolero' are forgettable tracks, the former being a mediocre organ- led song with annoying vocals and the latter is a modernised kind-of version of Ravel's famous Bolero, but ELP's is nowhere near as brilliant and by its own it's really boring.

To finalise this review I'll just summarise my thoughts the best I can: ELP are definitely a must- listen band when you're entering the Prog world, you might dislike them but they are no doubt one of the pillars of classic (symphonic) Prog and a Prog fan should know classics like Tarkus, Karn Evil 9 and Trilogy. Like I said from the beginning (pun intended) I'm not a fan of ELP, they're not exactly my cup-of-tea, but when I am I either listen to Tarkus (the epic) or the album Trilogy.

3.5 stars rounded up just because it's really the only ELP album that I find worthwhile almost all through. Highly recommended original symphonic prog, though mainly for its originality rather for its quality, if that makes any sense.

Report this review (#324927)
Posted Wednesday, November 17, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars To me this is both the most consistent thing ELP ever did and their best sounding album. This was always my favourite album from the trio and I never understood why the debut and BSS and more well regarded. There is only one real cover/adaption of someone else's work (Copland's "Hoedown"), but it is one of the best cover tunes they ever did. Palmer even gets a writing credit in "Living Sin".

"The Endless Enigma (Part One)" is a great example of how rock and classical can be combined. The album begins with a heartbeat sound on bass drum, which predates DSOTM. Some synth and piano follow along with some percussion. Later bass comes in, then drums and the trio are off. Great mix of Lake's vocals and Emerson's organ. Love the chorus of "please! please!..." One of my favourite ELP tunes. Ends with piano which segues into... "Fugue" which is more great piano playing. Only 2 minutes long so it never feels too long. Some bass near the end. A little bit of triangle too.

"The Endless Enigma (Part Two)" in contrast starts off more jazzy. Then some bells, organ and synth before it continues in a similar fashion to Part One. "From The Beginning" is the best of Lake's ballads with the trio. Much better than "Lucky Man" or "Still...You Turn Me On". One of the few ELP songs you hear on 'classic rock' radio. Nice electric guitar solo, only topped by Emerson's synth solo. "The Sheriff" is the 'novelty' song here but is much better than both "Jeremy Bender" and "Benny The Bouncer". Has a false start, you can hear Palmer screw up and then says "sh*t!"

Emerson really shines on "Hoedown" with his organ and Moog playing. Love the Moog playing starting before 3 minutes. The title track starts off as a piano ballad with Lake singing. After some classical style piano soloing, the piano gets jazzy and then bass and drums come in as Emerson solos on Moog. Changes to a different jazzy section and Lake returns on vocals. More great Moog soloing.

The trio really rocks out on "Living Sin". Great drumming and Lake gives one of his best vocal performances. "Abaddon's Bolero" is a typical bolero with martial drumming and the track building towards a crescendo. Lots of overdubbed synths in this song and a great way to end the album. Not very much to say about this album other than it sounds great and is musically consistent throughout. A masterpiece of 1970s progressive rock. 5 stars.

Report this review (#409708)
Posted Tuesday, March 1, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Trilogy is an ELP album like all others. It's noisy and technical album that gives this reviewer a headache. I've listened to it a few times and after 4 years of owning this album I decided to throw it on one last time for the sake of reviewing it. However, I also consider to be the best of early ELP. The song writing here is better than it has been before this album and better than on later albums.

I know I talk a lot of smack about ELP's music, but "The Endless Enigma: Part 1, Tocatta, and Part 2" is actually the best suite I've heard composed by ELP. It features the musical foolery that their known for, but it is more controlled and used sparingly as actually fantastic vocal and musical hooks take the forefront of the suite. I actually forgot that I found these tracks so enjoyable.

"From the Beginning" is another of ELP's best ever tracks. It's mostly an acoustic guitar ballad with some iconic guitar playing, and that main riff with the bends is incredible. The lyrics of this track always spoke to me as well. A very mellow track, which is usually the case with ELP's best.

"The Sheriff" is a short super synthesized country song, basically. Not bad, but not particularly memorable or important either.

"Hoedown" is a decent if abrasive cover of a classic Aaron Copland composition. It was fun to listen to the first couple of times, but its abrasiveness eventually took over and became supremely annoying.

"Trilogy" starts as a beautiful and promising piece of subdued music, but later reveals itself to be mostly a noisy island jazz inspired keyboard mess.

"Living Sin" is a random and playful song that manages to sound only like a throwaway track. This features a lot of noise.

"Abaddon's Bolero" is a good enough example of a bolero, but drags on a bit too long for its own good, and really serves no purpose except to be incessantly noisy and abrasive.

This album is about half enjoyable and half forgettable, which in my opinion is fantastic for an ELP album; I usually find them to be much less enjoyable. This album along with their debut would be the best suitable for an introduction to this band.

Report this review (#431144)
Posted Monday, April 11, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Trilogy ? 1972 (3.2/5) 10 ? Best Song: The Endless Enigma part II I think for once in my life I'm agreeing with the vast majority (and more importantly that schlock- face Robert Christgau) in considering the ELP fanaticism to be little less than a joke with a good ending. Greg Lake's voice is rarely, if ever, given the due and space it needs to flourish and actually add a world to the experience. Keith Emerson's keyboard jams are akin to my own drunken after-work stumbling in the dark trying to stab my front door to death with my rusted old key. Damn trailer parks in the darkness! But lo, what sun through yonder wind-breaker rises? It is the yeast, and George A. Romero likes honey buns. ELP like to add classical movements into their music riding on 'floats in the air on a piano' Keith Emerson. I will never on my life deny this man's ability to play. He unequivocally destroys me at my best (I play a little saxophone), and for that I respect his talent, but as a songwriting, I'm certain there are pond snails with more emotional resonance. Take 'Fugue' for example. What nerve is this song intended to hit upon? All it does is bore me a little. It's just a little piano flourish. Do folks think they're smarter for listening to this? That could be it. I am NOT trying to spark controversy, here. I'm not saying the band is awful, I'm actually saying they're quite consistent. This Trilogy album is a halfway house between Tarkus and the debut. It has a little personality (no heart though), and a load of pomp. The boys can sure spar up a tune, but they aren't masters of the subtle melody, now are they?
Report this review (#441636)
Posted Monday, May 2, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Arguably ELP's best. This feels like a complete album that every song fits and feels like it belongs here. They also in a way streamlined their sound into a more accessible progressive sound. I will say that this album was my gateway into prog and is a great place to start IMO. The Endless Enigma Part 1, Fugue and Part 2 work off each other perfectly and serve as a great opening. From the Beginning might be Lake's best ballad ever and is ELP's highest charting single. The Sheriff is a quirky that is still enjoyable for me. Hoedown is a showcase for Emerson's keyboard ability. The title track is a beautiful number that combines Lake's ballad writing with Emerson's keyboard based hard prog. Overall, this is a fantastic album that i recommend to newbie's of prog. 5 stars. Highlights: The Endless Enigma Part 1 & 2, Fugue, From the Beginning ah hell the whole damn album
Report this review (#472155)
Posted Wednesday, June 29, 2011 | Review Permalink

"Damn, Emerson Lake and Palmer, is that there is nothing you have done which I might like?" That was my thought after finishing a work to hear more of that trio. "Trilogy" is not very different from its predecessor and its successor, is proud of the work itself, ambitious, stupid, boring, boring.

At least there is one outstanding track on this album (oh, this is a breakthrough for me when it comes to ELP) - "From the Beginning," which is a fantastic song (I wish they were always so). Unfortunately she can not save this mediocre album. Not when you have a "Bolero" is not bolero (not like the bolero "Lizards" from King Crimson), an "Enigma" which is a real puzzle for me - because I can not figure out what is good about it - and a handful of tracks terribly rotten. Just knowing that this album was released in 1972, the heyday of progressive rock, tears rolling from my eyes.

For me the only decent thing to do here is Carl Palmer. Keith Emerson unnerves me with his terrible organs, his weaks pianos and his irritants Moogs, while Greg Lake ... well, I do not want to use word pimp here, but let's say the only time this guy was well sang "In the Court of Crimson King".

1 star

Report this review (#477625)
Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Vastly more consistent than Tarkus, but lacking a song that quite reaches the height of that album's famed epic of war and space armadillos, Trilogy used to be my favourite of the two because, like the debut, it's an Emerson Lake and Palmer album I can listen to from beginning to end. At the same time, to do so I do find I have to sit through some of the bad habits the band were developing that would come to fruition on Brain Salad Surgery. The vocal sections of some tracks, such as on The Endless Enigma, add little beyond pushing the bombastic material from grandeur into farce, and it would have been better had Greg restricted his singing to pieces such as From the Beginning, which seems to have been written with vocals in mind from the start. The novelty track on here, The Sheriff, isn't quite as goofy as Jeremy Bender or Benny the Bouncer, but it still becomes irritating after a while.

Another downside to this album is Emerson's keyboard sound. We all know Keith loved to incorporate as many new and innovative synthesisers onto ELP albums as possible, and I suspect most prog fans wouldn't have it any other way; however, I think a few of the synths and keys deployed on here were not quite ready for primetime - either in terms of the hardware, or simply in terms of people figuring out how to make them sound good. There's points where the synthesiser sound on the album has aged badly - this is most notable in some sections of Abbadon's Bolero, where some of the synths sound like cheesy 80s Casio keyboards mimicing old Dr Who incidental music. Of course, at the time it must have sounded revolutionary... but listening to it 40 years after the fact, it gets pretty cheesy.

Still, like I said this is the most consistent album ELP managed to do after their debut, so three and a half stars.

Report this review (#490707)
Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars In the age that this album first appeared, these performances were stunning technical displays of musical composition. Just deciphering the sounds of the fledgling age of monophonic synthesizers is enough to boggle the mind. Greg Lakes voice is as strong and melodious as the best of lead singers. Palmer plays with matching furiousity (A mixture of anger and curiousity). A true masterpiece. A little levity on the lines of the Beatles "Rocky Racoon" is thrown in 'The Sheriff". A fun piece with great playing all around. Beginning with The Endless Enigma, leading to Trilogy, and concluding with Abaddon's Bolero creates a forty minute masterwork that holds its own in the pantheon of finely crafted progressive music. Emersons' Hammond organ sound, technique and use in composition became the standard by which all keyboard players were measured from then on.
Report this review (#529927)
Posted Friday, September 23, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars 4 and 1/2 Stars

As self serving as any band might get (DT comes to mind about being utterly self serving), Emerson, Lake and Palmer has always done it properly. Music and art for it's own sake with a bit of ego dashed in. Hot off of Tarkus and having Pictures Of An Exhibition put out for the masses (and a bit of cashing in), Trilogy shows their most even and strongest effort. Without the overtly bombastic epics and outright silliness which was shown on both Tarkus and Brain Salad Surgery (both great albums) as well as other sub-par albums that followed.

"The Endless Enigma PT.1-Fugue-The Endless Enigma PT.2" combo shows Lake's view on hypocrites and selfishness (IMO), though at times I think he switches from First person to Second person providing a "devil's advocate". Sometimes his "A/A/B/B" rhyming scheme comes across as childish or pure genius. With the band utilizing some Space Rock atmospheric alien landing theme, maybe signifying that the song's cast has arrived, then charge in like a mad Hammond to solidify that they are here and you better get used to it... Greg then starts to threaten "Why do you stare? Do you think that I care?". Well? (Hands on hips) I never. The story continues, runs through a nice fugue featuring multi-tracked piano with bass, and stomps back into the story with the Moog making it's appearance again, but more like an orchestra. Excellent.

"Trilogy" is more of the same with the band jamming out more and Greg lamenting love. Perfect.

"From The Beginning" is always a favorite Greg solo number, not unlike Lucky Man, with the band being more laid back and tighter. Not treating the song with afterthoughts. Poor Greg. His heart must have been torn too many times.

I swear, if Greg could, he would do great Canzone Napoletana. i think he knows this.

"Hoedown" needs no description save for it being the closest thing to an instrumental party. Justice was done.

"The Sheriff" starts of with Palmer cribbing off of Buddy Rich ([email protected]!) within the first few seconds and is not hoaky like "Benny The Bouncer" or "Jeremy Bender". It's a true cool western tune. I love story time!

"Living Sin" is such a creepy, foreboding, powerful two faced mother. Damn Scorpios.

Abaddon's Bolero is what it is: another Bolero. Nicely done.

I was completely satisfied when I first heard this. Then it got better and better... but my friend wanted to listen to Kiss (ick) so I had to run home for a 3rd listen. A 15 year old in 1989 should only be this lucky. All there was then was Glam and Thrash Metal as well as junky disco bunny glop. Nothing was ground breaking there. Thank you, ELP.

I gave this 4 and 1/2 because I just can't throw 5 star ratings around. I'll save those for some RPI reviews.

Get this album.

Report this review (#604422)
Posted Saturday, January 7, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars A solid album from Emerson, Lake and Palmer put out in 1972. I like "The Endless Enigma", both parts, "From the Beginning", "Trilogy", and "Living Sin" the best. "Bolero" goes on too long for my taste, and "HOedown" is just ok. I am not a huge ELP fan by any means, but would put this close to TARKUS level or BRAIN SALAD SURGERY level. Just a bit below, maybe closer to their debut album. A good example of early pompous classical prog, and is probably in most Progster's collection already. Overall, good, and maybe less "ot there" compared to their other releases.
Report this review (#733622)
Posted Friday, April 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars ELP's lyrics can get kinda pretentious in my opinion, and my opinion strengthens with the opening track "The Endless Enigma/Furge". However, the music is quite good. Then comes "From the Begining". Then "The Sheriff", about an out-law in the ol' west who escapes and kills his captor, the sheriff. This one I quite enjoy. Then comes ELP's great rendition of Aaron Coplabnd's "Hoedown". Next is the tile track, a nice love song. In contrast, the next track, "Living Sin", is about complete and total lust. I remeber it as the "Coca-cola-cum" song in referance to a line in the song that always seems to stick out. After that is "Abaddon's Bolero", my favorite of the album. It's the same riff over and over, each time adding a new instrument, eventually becoming a big wall of sound.

My favorites off the album:

"The Endless Enigma/Furge" Lyrics are some-what pretentious, but great music.

"The Sheriff" Just a fun little song.

"Abaddon's Bolero"

To conclude, this is a 3 star. It's got some great songs and some stinkers. If you like ELP, you'll like this album.

Report this review (#740231)
Posted Sunday, April 22, 2012 | Review Permalink
5 stars Like many people, I was first attracted to Emerson, Lake & Palmer early in my discovery of progressive rock. Their virtuosity is the stuff of legend. Having just seen a lot of what Yes had to offer I was craving something grandiose, so naturally the first ELP album I grabbed was love it/hate it masterwork Brain Salad Surgery. It's a complex and loud album with an emphasis on showmanship, but with the exception of maybe Toccata, it is also very approachable. Eventually, I decided to explore more of ELP's fairly limited catalogue and began where I probably should have originally, at the beginning.

Skipping ahead a few chapters, I have listened to both their eponymous debut and Tarkus. I found both to be technically proficient, but missing something. For lack of a better word, I'll call it soul. The music was obviously good, but I just couldn't connect with it. I began to think of ELP really only in terms of BSS and as a result, I held off from filling in the gap in my collection at Trilogy.

Boy was that a mistake. Having been coaxed by an episode of Top Gear in which the Stig was rocking out to Hoedown while racing, I had to go hunt it down. And, owing to my predilection towards completionism, I had to get the whole album. After, greedily spinning through Hoedown once or twice I decided to give the full album it's due and was repaid manifold. Simply put, Trilogy is superb. It has a wider variety than any of the other core albums which is doubly impressive when you consider that no track on the album is a throw away either.

It shouldn't come as a surprise that if you ask an addict he will tell you that his favourite thing is his drug of choice. So, take it with a bit of salt when I say Hoedown is the best track. It is bright, effervescent, musically impressive and plain old fun. Part of the credit has to go to Aaron Copeland for skillfully arranging a selection of American folk works into the central piece for his ballet Rodeo, but even more of the credit has to go to ELP for just hitting it right out of the ball park. It is an improbably enjoyable collision of rock, country, classical and electronic. Even more improbable however, Hoedown is not the only item of such quality on Trilogy.

The album begins with a short three piece suite which is generally more representative of the content on the album. As always, and the last time I mention it in this review, the musicianship is without equal and the track bares all the hallmarks having been produced by three monstrous egos. Classical influence also abounds on this track and through the remaining course of the album. What really sets Trilogy apart however, is that almost immediately it proves to be more subdued personal than their other work. I was already sold on the album, but the moment Greg Lake hit me with his reaching and plaintive call "Please!" it gave me chills.

I'm not going to bother boring you with a further recap. As of this moment there are already 788 reviews for this album, so anything I have to write will undoubted already have been. What I will do instead is urge anybody on the fence about this album to go give it a shot. It is an ideal compromise between the technical superiority of the first two albums and the crass "look at me" attitude of succeeding one. I'll also pass along a recommendation those who might have casually listened to and disregarded this album in passing to go back and give it another listen. It is an easy five for five, you won't be disappointed.

Report this review (#845528)
Posted Friday, October 26, 2012 | Review Permalink
3 stars If someone were to ask me to name the first album that comes to mind that embodies the "good, but non-essential" rating indicated by three stars, this is the one. It sits at the very middle for me; it exhibits good musicianship, variety from song to song, and it demonstrates a certain degree of growth and maturity in the band's sound an style, but no track on the entire album to me is particularly memorable or ground-breaking in any way, shape, or form. That's not to say I'd say it should be avoided, because it's not bad and serves as a good early album given its accessibility, especially for those new to the prog world. For me it just became uninteresting very quickly and never rebounded, and it's been in my collection for years.

The Endless Enigma starts off the album in a more subdued mood than its predecessors. Everything from the sparse pockets of activity to the less edgy instrumentation indicate this opener will not possess the same degree of bombast that "The Barbarian" or "Tarkus" had in spades. The vocal delivery is very clear, theatrical, and brings a unique energy to the foreground, which I do enjoy hearing. I think it's one of the better vocal tracks from the group's catalog. The Fugue passage was also really cool. As a classical composer, I know fugues are phenomenally tough to write and perform. From a classical perspective, this one doesn't exactly play by the rules. Fugues by definition are marked by staggered, imitative statements of a principal motive called a "subject" that is transposed and repeated throughout the piece, often featuring episodes of either free material or sequential passages used to modulate the music to a new key. The reason I say it violates fugal tradition is because the subject isn't quoted and staggered among each voice throughout, which is a trademark of fugal writing. The development happens as the subject is clearly repeated verbatim, and this piece only mildly references it from time to time, never providing a complete reentry. With that being said, the development of the subject's harmonic and rhythmic gestures was interesting and enjoyable to listen to. Even though it doesn't quite encapsulate each of the most integral features of what constitutes a fugue, it was a bold shift that provides a nice contrast and a unique breath of fresh air between its enigmatic bookends (pun intended). I would have loved to hear more of that though. If the album leaned more heavily on passages like that, I could easily see myself giving it at least another star. But the moment is short and The Endless Enigma theme reprises before the song concludes.

From the Beginning is a really laid-back radio-friendly tune that features some nice guitar work, a mellow bass line, and smooth, emotive vocals, all contributed by Greg Lake. Carl Palmer's hand percussion part provides a chill rhythmic foundation that contrasts his usual approach to drumming, further showcasing his percussive versatility. Keith Emerson has a mild synth contribution toward the end of the song that really fits the mood well and doesn't overtake the song's established atmosphere. It's a nice tune. It just doesn't do much more than stimulate me at the "easy listening" level. If I never heard it again, I wouldn't lose sleep over it. I find myself feeling that way about a lot of these tracks.

The Sheriff is another silly song of theirs, similar to "Jeremy Bender" or "Benny the Bouncer" with more emphasis on form and instrumentation. The drumming is better and the keyboard work is also unique, but it's still lighter fare, much like both of the aforementioned tracks.

Hoedown is a quotation of a composition by Aaron Copland. The fast tempo, intricate figurations, and duration considering just how physical a piece this is makes it a noteworthy effort. I respect just how difficult it is to pull off this type of piece and make it sound as clean as they did. I really do. I just...don't really care about it all that much. As stated in my comments about "From the Beginning", a lot of these tracks are take-it-or- leave-it numbers for me, and despite the piece's great balance between technical prowess and strong melodic content, it just doesn't stir my emotions on a deep level.

Trilogy, another offering unique to ELP's canon, is a highly theatrical number, evoking thoughts of a sentimental show tune in my mind. Not that it's cheesy. It just has a certain character about it that lends itself to a stage performance in a dramatic context. Lake's singing and Emerson's piano work at the beginning are stellar, and the transition into a more chaotic middle section with a densely layered sound in a heavily displaced 9/8 meter announce the first traces of ELP's unique blend of prog on the whole album (based on my interpretation). Another stylistic change blends the theatric with the progressive in a more easily counted 6/8 meter. This section alternates between vocal- and synth-driven passages until its conclusion. These passages are pleasing to the ear, but don't necessarily develop any ideas beyond the mere statements of their principal material, minus Emerson's solo. He plays well, and the instrumental tone is quite unique, but I sometimes find my interest waning as it labors on. It's no secret that the more times you hear something, it becomes more commonplace in your auditory memory, but this isn't true in all cases. Sometimes the figurations are too dense and intricate to decipher. Sometimes the solo just isn't interesting enough to remember beyond the first few bars and possibly some obvious characteristics such as a change in instrumental color or a temporary rise in intensity. This solo falls under the category of the latter.

Living Sin is a decent track. The organ and synth tones are a great contrast to the previous tracks, and Greg lake's vocals have a lot of bite and drive to them more similar to tracks from the previous two albums. The drum breaks are also nice devices used to delineate the repetitive motive following the first chorus. This short track may not contain their most intricate work as a band, but at least it has some energy to it. An energy that up until now has been conspicuously absent. That's a red flag in my book, considering we're on track eight out of nine, and it's not even all that ground-breaking a song. I wouldn't even say it's one of their better tracks. Just a nice contrast to an otherwise vanilla collection of tunes.

Abaddon's Bolero is a track I was pretty crazy about on the first few spins, but its magic has faded. What initially captivated me was the patient layering of textures and the unique tone color of the synths, particularly when the drone comes in during the last progression. But this is a truly repetitive track that only stacks layers upon layers; what I once considered development I now merely call stacking. It has a nice crescendoing effect all the way to the end, which supplies the listener with a satisfying release, but doesn't necessarily challenge or surprise you in any way. I still think it's a good track and one of the more enjoyable ones on the album. It just didn't offer anything to me beyond what I perceived at the surface and is as forgettable to me as much of the rest of the album at this point in my life.

With ELP's first two releases, the musical world was treated to a highly talented group of musicians whose technical prowess, dark material, and utter bombast catapulted them to iconic status, as exhibited by the sheer size of the crowds their shows attracted and how well-received they were internationally. Additionally, their skill as arrangers in both longer and shorter compositions was never overshadowed by their virtuosic displays, as evidenced by the intricate, yet focused monster of a song "Tarkus" and the concise, yet logical formal design of shorter selections such as "Knife-edge" and "The Barbarian". These strengths are demonstrated on this album just as well, proving they didn't lose their inherent talent or focus. What I feel is lacking, however, is the energy and excitement the other albums released in their golden years demonstrated on overdrive either in parts or throughout. What some may consider a demonstration of maturity in their compositional style I interpreted as a regression. That wow factor, that willingness to push the envelope, that "if it's worth doing, it's worth overdoing" attitude their other releases from their peak of creativity possess, seems to in shorter supply here. It's still there, but not enough to hold my interest. And the more masterpiece-quality albums according to my taste I hear by any band, the more this lighter entry in the prog canon becomes overshadowed and displaced. A moderate 3 stars for a moderate album. Nothing less than good, but quite a far cry from even excellent status.

Report this review (#900265)
Posted Sunday, January 27, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars Emerson Lake and Palmer's third studio album, Trilogy, is, in my opinion, one of their two greatest albums, and the one that is the most overlooked. It features some of their best individual pieces, and is a pleasure to listen to.

Side one starts with The Endless Enigma. The song is both delicate and bombastic, moving from one to the other almost at will. To me, this is one of the best pieces the group ever did.

Next we have the Lake opus From the Begininng, which features superb acoustic guitar work and a great vocal by Lake. This is followed by the honky tonk The Sheriff, something Emerson likes to add to the albums. This side of the LP ends with what should have been a great opender for side two, the Aaron Copland composition Hoedown, from his Rodeo ballet.

Side two opens with the title track, which is a strong piece of prog and another of my favorite cuts from this album, followed by this albums comedy song - Living Sin. The album closes with Abaddon's Bolero, which, like Ravel's Bolero, has a central theme which is repeated over and over, building to a crescendo which closes the album.

This album is near perfect without any duds whatsoever. Why it doesn't get as much loves as the inconsistant Tarkus or the other ELP masterpiece Brain Salad Surgery, I don't know. This album will surely enhance any progressive rock lovers catalog.

Report this review (#912514)
Posted Monday, February 11, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars "Trilogy" one of the best known progressive rock masterpieces, and the most popular album of Emerson Lake & Palmer. The album was released at 1972, and the cover art which shows the shirtless Emerson, Lake and Palmer, it was designed by Hipgnosis which designed a lot of prog rock cover arts for bands like: Genesis, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Yes and more...

The album starts with some heart beats which are created using Palmer's bass drum, with some strange and creepy sound that come right from Emerson's brilliant Moog. It creates a very strange atmosphere especially when the percussion enters along. Greg Lake plays a single note over some Keyboard playing by Keith Emerson, after some pretty heavy part comes a fast break to a quiet verse. "Why do you stare,do you think that I care? you've been misled by the thoughts in your head." is singed quietly by Lake, a drum passage to the chorus "Your words waste and decay nothing you say reaches my ears anyway" gets to a very powerful point especially when Lake is like shouting the words "You never spoke a word of truth!" which gets to an instrumental passage back to the verse.

"Please, please, please open their eyes! please, please, please don't give me lies!" is a very powerful passage back to the verse, the song is structured perfectly and it includes three parts: - The Endless Enigma Part I - Fugue by Keith Emerson - The Endless Enigma Part II

A nice instrumental part gets us to the second part: The "Fugue" which starts with a strange chord then proceeds to a very mellow, emotional music. The bass guitar enters at some stage which sounds a lot like J.S Bach that gets us to the end of the song with some guitar harmonic playing along to the piano.

The third part which is actually the second part of the song starts right after the fugue with some loud piano and drum playing that enters to a Christmas-like bells part of the song along to some moog and bass guitar playing. This is only the passage back to the verse that we already heard before, the fantastic mellow but very powerful verse with some kinda vibrating singing of Greg Lake is exactly what we can expect only from ELP.

"From The Beginning" is the next track, it starts with some acoustic guitar playing, that enters a beautiful verse, it is very soft and acoustic only with some percussion alongside to the singing of Greg Lake, the song became a kind of a hit, at least compared to progressive rock. A very emotional guitar solo that enters a moog solo are getting us to the end of the fantastic piece.

"The Sheriff" starts with some bar-like atmosphere with some conversations that can be quietly heard in the background, at some point you can hear Carl Palmer saying "[&*!#]" because he hit the rim of the tom tom. A song about cowboys and the wild west is pretty strange especially for ELP but it still matches the album very good. The song is very melodic with some really wild west atmosphere, some fast honky tonky style piano playing is a very nice end to the song.

"Hoedown" a song by Aaron Copland is a wild west instrumental piece, it is very fast and the beat is very nice and it ends the wild west atmosphere part in this album in a very good way, especially because of the beautiful drums by Carl Palmer which are matching a piece like this perfectly and because of the keyboard and moog playing by Keith Emerson.

The title track is the next one "Trilogy" starts with some classical music atmosphere, it enters a very very beautiful and soft verse with piano only, it creates a dreamy atmosphere which is sad but happy at the same time. The bass guitar enters at some point which is the more fast part of the song that is instrumental and includes Moog, heavy drumming, bass guitar and a keyboard. Greg Lake sings again along to the instrumental part which continues playing, the song ends with some rock n roll styled ending when the band starts playing slower and then hits two chords and breaks.

"Living Sin" starts with a hard rock-like riff and gets to a very low-pitched singing that creates a spooky and heavy atmosphere. The vocal is switched on a regular basis between very low-pitched vocal to some simple Greg Lake singing. The drums in the song are very heavy and are matching the song just perfectly, passage to the end which ends with a break of drums, keyboard, guitar and bass comes next and, well, ends the song.

"Abbadon's Bolero" starts with a camping anthem along to some snare drumming which is played again and again, now played with some bass and on other scale. The whole song starts very quietly and proceeds to a very powerful and heavy point at the end of the song with a lot of instrumental playing, without singing at all, and it all breaks in one pure second that ends this masterpiece album. The whole song is pretty homogeneous and it is just the same riff played again and again at the background along to some building of the strength of the song.

The album reached the fifth place at the Billboard 200 which is a list that shows the 200 best sellers in the United States Of America only, and reached the second place on the UK best selling albums for a while. It was a very successful album, it is very well-though and very well-structured, and in my opinion it is a masterpiece of progressive rock music. The album includes two wild west atmosphere tracks, one hard rock atmospheric song and one drone like song.

I liked the first three tracks the best because I think that they are just brilliant, all of it, the drums, the guitar, the moog, just everything. When I first listened to those three tracks, I couldn't stop listening to it again and again for weeks. The title track created a lot of fun time for me too, and I enjoyed it a lot and listened to it again and again too, but you still can't compare them, at least in my opinion.

I would give this album 99/100 A true masterpiece of progressive rock music.

Report this review (#936253)
Posted Wednesday, March 27, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars What really shows the awesomeness of a band who creates a masterpiece, it's a great new album.

Sometimes you listen to a wonderful album and you wonder if the next release will sounds like heaven too. Symphony X's masterpiece The Odyssey was followed by Paradise Lost, and it was amazing. But sometimes, some band makes some album, a real awesome album, but can't follow the same skills at the next release. Trilogy is another masterpiece from ELP, right after Tarkus (which is the best album of all times IMO, musically speaking). Trilogy begins at some kind of "Pictures at an exhibition" aura, but trying to focus in their own songwriting way. Keith's free solos always takes the listener to another state of mind. I could say that I love every track here, even some tracks that I spend some time listening carefully to start to aprecciate. ELP is awesome and nothing could beat them at this stage. My favorite track from this album is Living Sin.

Once again, no boring tracks. They ARE a masterpiece.

Report this review (#946103)
Posted Thursday, April 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars It appears more clear for me I am now exploring among the best prog music available for listeners. Emerson, Lake and Palmer are here so dedicated to their music that it is quite impossible to not become affected by their intriguing music. Their third record "Trilogy" from 1972 could be considered as a small improvement from "Tarkus". Indeed does that record contain of of prog's most obvious masterpieces in the title track, but the B-side don't has the same level of greatness. "Trilogy"'s cover presents the three virtuoses in profile. Keith Emerson plays organ, pianos, moog, etc., Greg Lake sings and plays bass and guitars and Carl Palmer drums and plays percussion.

On this record the trio really shows how remarkable they were. They build up a musical world of dedicated tunes and crazy structures. Some songs are very ordinary such as "From the beginning", a beautiful harmonic track with a lot of splendor(10/10). Sometimes they take with them some old musical features like the first jazz and the most of these compositions are explosions of staggering surprises. "The Endless Enigma(Part I-II)" is a lovely and marvelous symphonic track(10/10) with a more acoustic piano piece in the middle: "Fugue"(8/10). "The Sheriff" also shows how skilled these musicians were and especially how unique they were. They behaved like rock stars without playing music sounding like rock. They are true progressive because you want to ask yourself: "Is this really rock?" and answer "Yes It is really rock, without being rock"(10/10). "Howdown" is too a lovely track, crazy and cool(10/10) and "Trilogy" the title track is varied and just wonderful(10/10). "Living sin" is the least interesting song here which I just give (7/10) and finally the "Abaddon's Bolero" is as abeginning quite cautious but later on justa s dedicated as the others(9/10).

Over all, or as a whole, this record is just excellent. An example of how glorious progressive rock can be. Earlier I didn't understood Emerson, Lake & Palmer but as more as I listen, as more irresistible do I find their music. "Trilogy" has almost the same glory as the band's debut and one level better than the album "Tarkus". This record is higly recommended by me and I think you will find it just as good I did. I can't pick up a favourite song, though, they are all good in their own ways.

Report this review (#1131621)
Posted Friday, February 14, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is one of my first adventures in the large and strange world of progressive rock, and what an adventure! I have always loved everything with unusual sounds, long songs and lots of melodies. Always been absolutely bored when listening to usual hit music. So when I heard about progressive rock the first time, realizing it contained so many of my favorite bands (Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Osibisa, etc), I had to take a closer look. Emerson, Lake and Palmer´s Trilogy was one of the most extreme things I had ever heard! So many wild rhythms, melodies colliding and mixing with each other and the feeling of musicians who really knew how to play their instruments! It hit me like a ton of bricks, but in a good way.

Right from the start, the mysterious opening of The Endless Enigma with all the space sounds and effects, I knew this was going to something different. And to hear the beautiful voice of Greg Lake for the first time, mixed with Emerson´s keyboard playing was almost unreal. It felt both romantic, exciting and really really smart. I came to love Trilogy because it had so many different types of songs on it, still it all worked together really good as a complete album. From the Beginning is a nice pop-song, not as crazy as the other songs. Living Sin had a bit of Deep Purple to it and The Sheriff just felt happy and playful. Hoedown is probably the most famous of the Trilogy-songs and is the song I most likely would define the group by. A piece of classical music with some of Keith Emerson'sS Hammond/Moog-magic blown in to it, and some crazy drumming to go with it! A very typical ELP-song and it always makes me think F**K YEAH!

Even though many might think of Hoedown as the best track, I have always considered the title track to the albums absolute peak! The song melody is so touching and beautiful, showing of Lake as one of the greatest singers of all time. Along with the piano playing it sets a somewhat sad mood for the song, before sneaking into a beautiful piano solo. Then its time for some more moog and the crazy stuff kicks in. I have no theoretical knowledge about music to show off, so I choose to explain the feeling with a beautiful metaphor. It was like all the melodies was waves in a stormy ocean, the jazzy rhythms came down on me like heavy rain while floating out there. It was beautiful, exciting, scary and completely nuts! I loved it, and have loved it ever since the first time I heard it! My ex girlfriend hated it, I could not understand why. Her father yelled at me to turn down that destructive jazz, even though it most obviously was the greatest rock-song ever created! Not until many years later I accepted the fact that people often prefer music that keeps to ONE melody and a simple rhythm easier to dance to. How depressing is that? But at least I could enjoy it by myself, and thats pretty much what progressive rock is to me. Something dirty I only listen to when there is no one else around.

Yeah, and an excellent album closer to! Abaddon's Bolero is really slowly building up to not much at all, and still its so dramatic! Just as a closing track should!

Report this review (#1158942)
Posted Tuesday, April 8, 2014 | Review Permalink
5 stars My ALL-TIME Greatest #24

The reunion of these 3 excellent musicians really put the trio thus formed in a league apart.
I dare to say they began, filled in and finally locked up a whole new category of rock music.

Global Appraisal

I admit they also excel in their several other great albums but this one lingers forever in my heart for sentimental reasons, beyond the unquestionable musical quality itself.

As usual in the band's albums of this period, the tone of show-offish grandeur is ever present, even the softer tracks don't fail to exude some of that EL&P intensity that can represent the best (and sadly would also make the worst) of their work.

What a tightrope to come across? And they were so good at it, while they held the balance.


Emerson's personalized keyboard playing, the characteristic dynamics of Palmer drumming, the unmistakable warm vocals of Lake, all put together create a trademark sound never matched, the abundant imitators shamelessly paling by comparison.

Report this review (#1499180)
Posted Monday, December 14, 2015 | Review Permalink
5 stars Review Nº 133

Though they were barely two years into their existence, the progressive rock super group known as Emerson Lake & Palmer released their fourth album, three studios and one live album, in 1972, titled "Trilogy". It was another remarkable achievement that saw the musical and compositional skills of the trio once again taking another giant leap, as the album was filled with not only uncanny playing but also memorable songs brimming with intelligent melodies and daring arrangements. So, Emerson, Lake & Palmer had already released previously, two very carefully performed studio albums. The first album was dominated by virtuoso keyboards including the church organ, distorted bass and powerful drumming and the second album is pure progressive rock of epic proportions being as bombastic as it was ambitious.

So, "Trilogy" is their third studio album and was released in 1972. "Trilogy" features the trio settling down in a more crowd pleasing. Actually, the group was gaining in maturity what they lost in high pure energy. Every track of this album has been carefully thought, arranged and performed into a process of perfection. "Trilogy" increased Emerson, Lake & Palmer worldwide popularity and consolidated definitely their great, unique and original musical project.

The front cover of the album depicts Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer respectively, and in the interior of the gatefold of my original vinyl record features a photomontage showing multiple images of the band members in a forest carpeted with autumn leaves. This is really a very nice cover for this excellent album.

"Trilogy" has nine tracks. The first track "The Endless Enigma (Part One)" written by Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, the second track "Fugue" written by Keith Emerson and the third track "The Endless Enigma (Part Two)" written also by Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, is a single piece of music. It's a superb trilogy piece of music which opens magnificently this fabulous musical work. This is, in my humble opinion, one of their best compositions and I'm also convinced that it's also one their most unknown musics. Unfortunately, this composition was rarely performed live and I think this is the main reason why it never reached the just recognition that it deserved. The fourth track "From The Beginning" written by Greg Lake is a beautiful acoustic song featuring Greg Lake on vocals and guitar with some participation of Keith Emerson in the end of the track. It's a song with a very simple musical structure but I think we can say that this is one of the best musical compositions of the group. The fifth track "The Sheriff" written by Keith Emerson and Greg Lake is another song on the same mould of "Are You Ready Eddie?", "Jeremy Bender/The Sheriff" and "Benny The Bouncer". As I've written before, I don't particularly like this kind of songs and despite not being a bad song, I think it's quite unnecessary in an album of a progressive band like Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The sixth track "Hoedown" is a musical interpretation of the band taken from a ballet named "Rodeo" written by the American classical composer Aaron Copland, which was one of their most popular songs when performed live. This is a fantastic piece of music also performed live on my CD version. I honestly don't know if I prefer the studio version or the live version, especially if it's the version played live on their fantastic live album "Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends". The seventh track "Trilogy" is the title track. It was written by Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, is one of the highest moments on the album and is also one of their best and most beautiful musical compositions. It's largely an instrumental song very much over piano in the beginning, heavily influenced by the classical music. In the middle, the music blasts with all instruments playing in continuo, altogether. This is really an amazing track. The eighth track "Living Sin" written by Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer is the most heavy and dark song on the album. Despite not be one of the best songs on the album it's still very good. It has different vocals along the song, which is very uncommon on the band, but they do a great use of them. The ninth and last track "Abaddon's Bolero" written by Keith Emerson is one of their most popular songs. The musical structure of the track is very simple with a main theme that gradually builds the final hypnotic climax. This is a very good and interesting piece of music that closes perfectly well this fantastic album.

Conclusion: "Trilogy" is, in my humble opinion, the most underrated album from the group. It's true that it hasn't the immediacy of "Emerson, Lake & Palmer" or the pomposity of "Brain Salad Surgery". However, relatively to "Tarkus" is much more balanced, despite not have a masterpiece like its suite "Tarkus", probably the best song ever composed by the group. "Trilogy" is probably the less pompous, the most complete, the most progressive, the most classical and their finest album. It's perhaps the most beautiful too. Sincerely, it's a pity that this is the least known and the most underrated album from this remarkable serie, composed by their four first studio albums. For those who aren't familiar with the musical work of this super group, I think this album is a great starting. So, sit down comfortably and enjoy it.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#1776001)
Posted Sunday, August 27, 2017 | Review Permalink
Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team
5 stars For some reason, I keep wanting to put this album after "Brain Salad Surgery" as far as when it was released, but in actuality, it was released before that album and after "Tarkus" (and "Pictures at an Exhibition" which was a live album). That makes "Trilogy" the 3rd studio album for Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP). Trilogy was definitely quite different than both the albums that came before and after, less bombastic and more personal, yet still not commercial. It also relied more on classical music influences.

There are a lot of people that feel that this album relied more on Keith Emerson's talent, but in reality, that is what ELP always relied on, at least on their best and more progressive albums. Emerson seemed to always stand out more than Lake or Palmer. A lot of that is because Emerson was the best at being able to play several keyboards at a time and he was exceptional and adding in textures and loops where needed. Greg Lake, of course, fit right in with Emerson's bombastic style as far as his vocals were concerned as he had a very strong and almost operatic voice, but his guitar and bass talents were meant mostly for support, and never really proved that he could uphold a long guitar solo, so that was still left up to Emerson to carry that load. Besides that, Lake, when left alone to write a song, always leaned toward commercialism, especially ballads. Carl Palmer was an amazing drummer, and proves that many times on ELP albums, probably one of the few that could keep up with Emerson. He doesn't stick out on the albums as much as Emerson, obviously because he played percussion and didn't have the texture and dynamic opportunities that Emerson had with the keyboards and gadgets available to him. Thus, its easy enough to understand why Emerson seemed he was in the spotlight, but it wasn't just because of this album, as it was always the case. Yes there could have been a fourth member that could have provided some great guitar solos, but, then it wouldn't have been ELP. Besides, you have "Triumvirat" if you want to hear that same style of music with more guitar.

So, you have the album "Trilogy" which is decidedly less bombastic and it sits between two very bombastic albums. I have always loved this album and consider it one of the all time best, and I actually place it over "Brain Salad Surgery" because I was never as excited over the "Karn Evil 9" suite, that, even though it is an exceptional work, it is way too long and over-the-top, sometimes a seemingly endless barrage of wildness which could have stood being trimmed down to fit a few more tracks in there for variety. Trilogy, on the other hand, has plenty of crazy solos, but is much more dynamic with it's heavy and soft parts. It's the variety on this album that makes it stand out for me, plus the fact that it relies on the classical (and sometimes jazz) influences of the musicians.

"The Endless Enigma" is actually a suite of the first 3 tracks, a great combination and opening highlighting the strengths of all three performers, but driven, of course, by keyboards and piano, which start off mysteriously and minimal, become dramatic with the introduction of the piano, and then settle in for the heavy melody. The vocals are one of the most difficult parts of this track and show off Lake's dynamics and range, going from soft to loud many times. The first part takes up most of the track. The second part is a short piano solo based somewhat loosely on the fugue style of baroque composers, and even this section actually starts more like a rhapsody which finally does turn into a fugue in the second half. The last part returns to the main theme again after a fast attack with percussion and bass and Emerson's varied sounds and textures and ending on Lake's heavy vocals.

After that first 10 minute track, we get one of Lake's most beautiful compositions "From the Beginning" which starts with an acoustic guitar solo similar to the introduction to "Roundabout" from "Yes". When the main vocal melody starts, it continues with acoustic guitar some sparse percussion and a beautiful melody. The long instrumental ending has a nice electric guitar solo, which remains light. Keyboards don't even come into this track until the second part of the instrumental break.

"The Sheriff" is a "western" style track (western in topic, not sound), a rowdy track along the same lines as "Jeremy Bender" from "Tarkus". This is a quick track with the expectant story line, but a quite basic melody line. The best part is the Honky- Tonk style ending.

Following that western theme, we get a cover of a section of a classical work from Aaron Copeland. The track is "Rodeo" taken from one of Copeland's much bigger works called "Hoedown". This is one of my favorite ELP covers, and it remains surprisingly faithful to the original, only done with ELP's instruments and not an orchestra, Emerson taking over all of the orchestra parts on his keyboards. It is quick paced, exciting, fun and entertaining, a track that definitely shows off Emerson's talent as he pretty much takes control of everything except bass and drums.

"Trilogy" is really a three part track put into one song. It starts off in a rhapsody style with piano, which is later joined by Lake's excellent and expressive vocals. After the vocal part, the piano continues and by itself builds up to the faster 2nd section, which hits suddenly with the full band, suddenly jumping into a repetitive and noisy pattern with Emerson doing a keyboard solo over the top of it all. This section ends with a sort of fanfare separating into the next section, which continues with a more complex foundation that has amazing bass and drum parts. Lake starts singing again, this time with shorter phrasing and stanzas, but still all over the musical scale. After the vocals, Emerson plays another solo with a deeper texture, but the chaotic section continues to the end which comes at almost 9 minutes. This is the most bombastic song on the album, but there had to be at least one, right, and its welcome on this album.

"Living Sin" is a dark track, mostly headed over by Lake's evil sounding vocals, similar to "Knife's Edge", but shorter and less complex. I remember the keyboard riff that comes at the end of this track used to be used by a local TV station as theme music to their "Movie of the Week". There is some great drum work by Palmer on this one, but then his work is great on the entire album.

The last track is "Abaddon's Bolero". So, a Bolero is typically a Spanish style dance, made popular worldwide from Maurice Ravel's "Bolero". Ravel's classical version of the dance is the most popular version of a bolero and because of that many current artists and composers that came after use Ravel's template of starting out soft, and over the course of several minutes, the song increases slowly in volume, using the same melody and thematic ideas throughout, until the song climaxes at full volume. The traditional bolero is typically in a 3 / 4 or 6 / 8 meter. ELP's version of a bolero uses the same template as Ravel, starting soft and over the course of 8 minutes of repeating the same basic melody and adding instruments and volume, ends in an explosive climax. However, their "bolero" is actually a march in 4 / 4 meter, so it really isn't a bolero. (Yes I know there is a different style of Bolero from Cuba that uses 2 / 4 time, but ELP's track is still obviously a march). Anyway, the song is quite dynamic as explained, the melody is simple, but complex and long enough to not get too boring as textures and sounds are added with repeats. The style is not Spanish either, but more Americana sounding, taking short riffs and feelings from maybe Civil War times. Anyway, there you have it.

I tend to blame the varied reviews on this album due to the fact that there isn't as much bombasitic-ness on this album as others, and the fact that the album ends on "Abaddon's Bolero" which is repetitive, but hopefully the explanation above will shed some light on that, it is actually a great track even if it isn't a bolero in a traditional sense. But the album still shines in the fact that it has a better variety and still shows off the exceptional musicianship of the trio. It might be harder to accept too because it is driven more by classical influences than some of their other albums. I don't agree that it has anything to do with Emerson being in charge of it, because he was always at the head of their best albums anyway. When Lake started influencing the music more by writing more songs, that is when the overall sound of the band suffered more, starting with the horrible album "Love Beach". As far as "Trilogy" is concerned though, it is one of my favorite ELP albums and I consider it essential especially with regards to its use of classical influences in progressive music.

Report this review (#2111871)
Posted Friday, December 28, 2018 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
4 stars To me, Emerson, Lake and Palmer's album Trilogy was an attempt to curb to their enthusiasmafter the ambitious undertaking of Tarkus, providing much more restrained, polished songs while also maintaining some ambition and bombast from Tarkus, making a perfect middle ground betweem the two albums. This is definitely my favourite album by the band, as the issues that the previous albums had have been fixed for the most part, with much more focus on songwriting rather than showing off talent while also maintaining focus throughout the album. Just like previous efforts, there is still great focus on making an energetic, fun experience, except this time I feel they execute it extremely well without any major problems. One thing that I have noticed in this album is that many sections seem to take strong inspiration from certain other symphonic prog bands of the time, especially Genesis and Yes.

The Endless Enigma is definitely one of the highlights of the album, a 3 part suite switching between hyperactive instrumentation and melodic power with what feels like some Genesis inspiration, including Greg Lake at times sounding quite similar to Peter Gabriel, especially during the rising crescendo of a chorus. The song overall has an extremely powerful, grandiose tone to it that I feel is rarely matched by the band, or many other classic prog bands at all for that matter, and find this to easily be one of the greatest songs by the band, with the varied percussion and frantic piano in Fugue to add an additional layer of depth to it. The album continues going strong with my favourite slow song by the band, From The Beginning, which begins sounding extremely similar to the intro of Roundabout before developing into a relaxed beat with various kinds of percussion, as Greg Lake's wonderfully nuanced voice carries the listener along smoothly, with this being such a wonderfully relaxing song. On the other hand, the album is far from a quiet one, after all, it's ELP, with an extreme amount of energy being released in one of their best classical reimaginings, Hoedown. This is without a doubt one of the most entertaining songs the band has put out, constantly keeping the amazing, fast pace and high energy of the song and displaying the extent of Keith Emerson's keyboard playing. My favourite part is easily once various melodies begin crossing over one another in the final half minute of the song, fully displaying the insanity capable of the band. Trilogy is another song split up into multiple sections, although this time not in any way other than compositionally, with no different section names or the like. I personally don't find this song to be quite up to the same level of the previous ones, but it is still quite an impressive song. Living Sin is a surprisingly dark sounding piece, with a much lower, more foreboding tone of voice used by Lake, while still maintaining his charm. While the song is more simplistic than others here, that isn't an issue when it is made up for immensely through just how enjoyable it is.

The album does unfortunately have two songs in which I am not particularly keen on, those being The Sheriff, which has a similar ragtime feel to Jeremy Bender, albeit better in this case, but not by enough to elevate it beyond mediocrity, and Abaddon's Bolero. WHile I love the idea behind this song, taking the inspiration of the Bolero by creating an ever crescendoing instrumental, I don't find it to be particularly interesting beyond the fact that it sounds like an intense war march. While these two songs don't dampen the experience by an extreme degree, I do still find them to be somewhat disappointing, especially The Sheriff, which didn't have the benefit of being interesting in concept.

Despite a couple of more minor flaws, I find this to be Emerson, Lake and Palmer's best work, being highly consistent and polished all the way through with very minor flaws for the most part. I also like the fact that in many respects, this is a far more restrained approach to the band's songwriting, with far fewer moments of pure bombast and excess, embracing the more subtle side of songwriting to write some truly unforgettable tracks. This is where I'd recommend newcomers of the band to start off, as it's more refined and subtle than previous albums and seems like a much easier entry point into the band.

Best songs: The Endless Enigma, From The Beginning, Hoedown

Weakest songs: The Sheriff, Abaddon's Bolero

Verdict: A more refined, subtle album by Emerson, Lake and Palmer that displays increased maturity, leading to a more well rounded album. Definitely my favourite by the band and an ideal starting point for those interested.

Report this review (#2167306)
Posted Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | Review Permalink
5 stars Perhaps ELP's ultimate masterpiece. "Trilogy" is where all the music elements and mega talent of each band member comes together for one fine album. Whether it's Keith Emerson's amazing keyboard solos, Greg Lake's splendid guitar work, or the hard drumming of Carl Palmer, they all gel together to create majestic prog while not losing their individual musical identities. Each track on "Trilogy" is a gem and a must listen for any serious progressive rock listener. While ELP's debut album is a little rough around the edges, their second album a bit overblown, the third album in it's entirety is simply magnificent in its musical compositions. It's hard to recommend just one or two songs since each song is superbly exceptional. A must have for fans of 70's classic prog.
Report this review (#2282935)
Posted Wednesday, November 20, 2019 | Review Permalink

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