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ELP: In Defense of Tarkus over Brain Salad Surgery

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aglasshouse View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote aglasshouse Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2017 at 15:12
I think that A Time and a Place was the best from Tarkus. Didn't overstay it's welcome and I still keep coming back to it.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kepler62 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2017 at 19:14
I actually listen to Love Beach from time to time. If you block out the cover it's tolerable. Emerson said in his book that he was left alone to finish it. As for Tarkus vs Brain Salad Surgery I'll just say that I do the same thing with Tarkus that I do with Love Beach block out the kindergarten cover artwork. I like the stories behind the making of Brain Salad Surgery as well as the controversial ( at the time ) cover. When Emerson first showed Lake Tarkus Lake didn't want to have anything to do with it. Think I'll cue up  Brain Salad Surgery right now. It's been a while. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr prog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2017 at 19:29
ELP got weaker each album. Debut is the best Big smile
All I like is prog related bands beginning late 60's/early 70's. Their music from 1968 - 83 has the composition and sound which will never be beaten. Perfect blend of jazz, classical, folk and rock.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thatfabulousalien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2017 at 19:53
What? I thought Tarkus was generally considered their masterpiece? I guess I heard wrong Ermm
Classical music isn't dead, it's more alive than it's ever been. It's just not on MTV.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flight123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 03:08
The Tarkus/Brain Salad debate depends on the material that supports the main fare (i.e Karn Evil 9 and Tarkus itself).  Both tracks are among the finest, most exciting rock music of the late 20th century - their influence spreading outside of the confines of 'prog'.  Side 2 of Tarkus itself is wonderful - I even love the whacked out piano from Keith on 'Eddie'.  On Brain Salad, you get the breathtaking, audacious 'Toccata'.  For me, both albums are on a par amongst the greatest.  What I find astounding is the hostility to ELP some 40 years later when the high priests of cool declared ELP toxic...(and some of this attitude lingers on a site that calls itself 'Prog Archives')
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uduwudu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 04:39
The best one stop shop is the WBMFTTSTNE live album. You get it all in one set. What a band, what a performance and all the greatest hits.

Two major works and why one has to be "better" than the other is beyond me. Now which is the best intro - the awesome piano riff from Tarkus or the quiet spooky thing from Karn Evil? I really wish this had been a developed piece of its own.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flight123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 05:26
I would agree about the live album - in particular the extended 'Aquatarkus': awesome.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 06:26
Originally posted by uduwudu uduwudu wrote:

The best one stop shop is the WBMFTTSTNE live album. You get it all in one set. What a band, what a performance and all the greatest hits.



amen brother... that is why it is the King of all live (compilation) Prog albums man..

speaking of.  I'd rate PaaE higher than BSS on the scale of great ELP albums even if it was a live album, simply for not being a rehash.

KE9 was indeed the centerpiece and it failed in every way that Tarkus succeeded.. it drug the whole album in comparison. What kept the album great were Toccata and the first couple sections of KE9 which were right there with the best they ever did.  The rest however middlin to poor.
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flight123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 06:32
Totally disagree:  I was mesmerised by 'Karn Evil 9' from start to finish as a 14 year old - I still am!  I even like the pseudo spooky Western bit at the start of the 3rd movement.  BOTH Tarkus and Karn Evil 9 are wonderful start to finish...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 06:50
completely disagree....  what made Tarkus so great.. other than the out of this world melodies and musicianship that you found with ELP even when failed.. which IMO KE9 did... because even though it was made up of song fragements.. Emerson musically tied them brilliantly and seemlessly togther which pieces like Supper's Ready also failed to do. With KE9 seriously man.. you had 4 distinct songs/fragments... and not a one tied togehter

you had the bitchin' heavy prog of 1st Imp Part 1
you had the bitchin' pop rock of 1st Imp Part 2
you had the smokin instrumental break the 2nd Impression

then you had the 3rd Impression.. which ...well... it as close as ELP ever got to Genesis territory of being overly intellectually crap and the worst sin of being musically boring.

the point being.. as a whole... it was not close to the genius of Tarkus.  Oh I love KE9 .. right to the time I hit eject when the 3rd Impression comes on hahah
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flight123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 07:07
I kind of get the point you are trying to make with the 3rd impression but I don't find it boring - the extended Hammond back and forth sounds great to my ears - the only bit that fails to make the grade is the re-start with the two note bass line from Lake...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 07:12
yeah... but understand my point.. boring.. only in comparison to the incredible heights of the first 2 Impressions. Compared to those.. yeah.. it strikes me as some sort of Genesis nod and puts me to sleep.  It isn't bad.. god knows it isn't no PoLHK kind of sh*t sandwich/failure.. but no..  it was the musically equivalent of the teasing redhead who gets you to 3rd base..whoo hooo... then wantonly  picks you off on the way to home ...and sends you to the showers. 

that was the 3rd Impression
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guldbamsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 07:21
Originally posted by Flight123 Flight123 wrote:

The Tarkus/Brain Salad debate depends on the material that supports the main fare (i.e Karn Evil 9 and Tarkus itself).  Both tracks are among the finest, most exciting rock music of the late 20th century - their influence spreading outside of the confines of 'prog'.  Side 2 of Tarkus itself is wonderful - I even love the whacked out piano from Keith on 'Eddie'.  On Brain Salad, you get the breathtaking, audacious 'Toccata'.  For me, both albums are on a par amongst the greatest.  What I find astounding is the hostility to ELP some 40 years later when the high priests of cool declared ELP toxic...(and some of this attitude lingers on a site that calls itself 'Prog Archives')
Maybe it's just down to a simple thing. Some bands pass through the ages and still sound as fresh as the day they were spawned whilst others like ELP seem destined to fall completely out of favour. Most of this is bollocks incarnate but one can't deny the fact that many rock and prog fans to have come on board 'after the event', for some reason, find ELP nigh on ridiculous. Many of us (like myself) do fully understand and respect the impact they had on rock music during the 70s, which is something that no one can ever take away from them.
I still never listen to ELP though apart from Tarkus which I absolutely adore. 
I'm not sure you can blame it on the priests of cool either. I take pride in listening to unhip music and know quite a few likeminded brethren. 



Edited by Guldbamsen - March 26 2017 at 07:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flight123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 07:26
Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

yeah... but understand my point.. boring.. only in comparison to the incredible heights of the first 2 Impressions. Compared to those.. yeah.. it strikes me as some sort of Genesis nod and puts me to sleep.  It isn't bad.. god knows it isn't no PoLHK kind of sh*t sandwich/failure.. but no..  it was the musically equivalent of the teasing redhead who gets you to 3rd base..whoo hooo... then wantonly  picks you off on the way to home ...and sends you to the showers. 

that was the 3rd Impression

Ha ha!  I get it!  I read somewhere that Genesis's management didn't want to put out 'The Cinema Show' as it sounded too much like ELP...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flight123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 07:30
Originally posted by Guldbamsen Guldbamsen wrote:

Maybe it's just down to a simple thing. Some bands pass through the ages and still sound as fresh as the day it was spawned whilst others like ELP seem destined to fall completely out of favour. Most of this is bollocks incarnate but one can't deny the fact that many rock and prog fans to have come on board 'after the event', for some reason, find ELP nigh on ridiculous. Many of us (like myself) do fully understand and respect the impact they had on rock music during the 70s, which is something that no one can ever take away from them.
I still never listen to ELP though apart from Tarkus which I absolutely adore. 
I'm not sure you can blame it on the priests of cool either. I take pride in listening to unhip music and know quite a few likeminded brethren. 


Having lived through the dissolution of ELP, I recall the venom of the music press in the late 70s and how trendy it was to Sl*g them off ('Welcome back, bell-ends... etc)  In retrospect, they seem to set themselves up a bit although arguably the cover to Love Beach was a triumph of post-modern irony.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote micky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 08:46
Originally posted by Flight123 Flight123 wrote:

Originally posted by micky micky wrote:

yeah... but understand my point.. boring.. only in comparison to the incredible heights of the first 2 Impressions. Compared to those.. yeah.. it strikes me as some sort of Genesis nod and puts me to sleep.  It isn't bad.. god knows it isn't no PoLHK kind of sh*t sandwich/failure.. but no..  it was the musically equivalent of the teasing redhead who gets you to 3rd base..whoo hooo... then wantonly  picks you off on the way to home ...and sends you to the showers. 

that was the 3rd Impression

Ha ha!  I get it!  I read somewhere that Genesis's management didn't want to put out 'The Cinema Show' as it sounded too much like ELP...


hahha.. now that makes TOO much sense...  not that I ever associated it with ELP. Banks was many things.. but not anything approaching Emerson.. but that was the finest thing Genesis did do in the lost years of their art rock fixation.
I find your lack of Bassoon disturbing.....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kepler62 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 09:48
Originally posted by Flight123 Flight123 wrote:

I would agree about the live album - in particular the extended 'Aquatarkus': awesome.

I would third that Beer
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cstack3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2017 at 11:33
I love Lake's lead-guitar playing on BSS, but the Hammond organ tones on Tarkus are SO nasty!  

I'd say they are evolutionary, and it is hard to pick one over the other.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2017 at 00:15
Originally posted by Flight123 Flight123 wrote:

The Tarkus/Brain Salad debate depends on the material that supports the main fare (i.e Karn Evil 9 and Tarkus itself).  Both tracks are among the finest, most exciting rock music of the late 20th century - their influence spreading outside of the confines of 'prog'.  Side 2 of Tarkus itself is wonderful - I even love the whacked out piano from Keith on 'Eddie'.  On Brain Salad, you get the breathtaking, audacious 'Toccata'.  For me, both albums are on a par amongst the greatest.  What I find astounding is the hostility to ELP some 40 years later when the high priests of cool declared ELP toxic...(and some of this attitude lingers on a site that calls itself 'Prog Archives')


And it's exactly the Tarkus / Karn Evil comparison that makes me go for Tarkus. I mostly love the Tarkus thing (except for the middle "Mass" section, which is the exact example of why I don't regard ELP higher), while Karn Evil doesn't really do much for me. I don't think it's bad, it just doesn't give me much enjoyment. As for the other songs from both albums, my favourite by far is Toccata.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2017 at 00:21
Originally posted by uduwudu uduwudu wrote:

The best one stop shop is the WBMFTTSTNE live album. You get it all in one set. What a band, what a performance and all the greatest hits.

Two major works and why one has to be "better" than the other is beyond me. Now which is the best intro - the awesome piano riff from Tarkus or the quiet spooky thing from Karn Evil? I really wish this had been a developed piece of its own.




I usually do like live versions of songs... often better than the originals... but ELP somehoe doesn't work well for me live. I'm not sure what it is, but they usually spoil what I did like from the studio originals.
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