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The Brutality of the Hammond: Tarkus

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jammun View Drop Down
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    Posted: December 10 2010 at 22:25
Okay, I'm 'round  'bout two sheets to the wind it being Friday night.  But..if ya want to hear pure Hammond fury, that Tarkus ranks right up there.  Emerson is taking no prisoners, he's got the Hammond drilled down to it's essence, the tone-wheels at their edge.  Percussion set to Third, probably with some extraneous modifications.  Yes there are better players I suppose, but this is the Hendrix of the Hammond.  We hear every nuance of that instrument.  We hear every wail and every high and every low it is capable of.  sh*t, clear the battlefield. 
Can you tell me where we're headin'?
Lincoln County Road or Armageddon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 10 2010 at 23:56
Yep, agree wholeheartedly as Tarkus has some of the most visceral organ sounds in the whole of Prog. From memory, I think the instrument is limited to having the percussion setting available on only one manual at a time (so Keith used two organs for his left and right hand parts on the album)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote yanch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2010 at 08:33
I agree the Hammond on Tarkus is wonderfully brutal, but I'd also give some love to Jon Lord of Deep Purple who got some wonderfully brutal, almost fuzz guitar, sounds out of the Hammond.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Epignosis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2010 at 08:41
"Tarkus" is one of the greatest prog epics ever written, and I agree- the organ is awesome throughout.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thellama73 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2010 at 23:20
Tarkus is indeed an awesome accomplishment. I don't even really like ELP, but that is a great track with some great organ on it. Overall though, I perfer Vincent Crane's playing to Emerson's.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 11 2010 at 23:29

Yeah, 90% of the cause that Tarkus is so great for me it's because of the Hammond.



Edited by The Quiet One - December 11 2010 at 23:30
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jammun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 12 2010 at 01:17
Only 1 1/2 sheets tonight.  I've nothing against Vincent Crane nor John Lord nor any others who've made a mighty noise with a Hamnond.  But we tend to almost irresponsibly marginalize Emerson's work.  Listen.  Really listen.  Tarkus, you'll hear that Hammond  breathing, especially in the lower registers. Really you'll almost hear it sucking in the air and pushing it back out.  It's respiring is what it is.   We hear something that is unusual even for E.  I dunno, maybe it's the production, but I hear every click as the note hits the contact, and the contact relays down to the tone wheel, and ol' Rocky has got it all working just so.  It's one of life's little joys.
Can you tell me where we're headin'?
Lincoln County Road or Armageddon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote resurrection Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 12 2010 at 01:29

Agree with most posts on this subject; but for sheer organ power, you have to listen to 'Cold Sweat' by Clouds; also 'Mind of a Child' with phased C3. Ritchie had the biggest organ sound of all 'live', and these tracks are the closest to that on record.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 12 2010 at 03:41
I am an ELP fan but Rod Argent and Jon Lord were the real masters of this instrument imo. Emerson as a talent was always too big for just one instrument as well demonstrated on ELP's debut album where he shows virtuoso albility on Three Fates and a wonderfull appreciation for the possibilties of the Moog synth.
 
As regards Tarkus I actually prefer the live version on WBMFTTSTNE where it sounds to me like a Hammond should sound. On the studio version it is a bit bland for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 12 2010 at 04:07
Dave Stewart on The Polite Force?  I am not certain about what all equipment he was using, but this is some nasty keyboard playing. 



I do prefer Stewart's playing to Emerson's as such.  I feel Emerson didn't show much growth from his initial, revolutionary burst.  Stewart's playing on the Khan album after this, then Hatfield and finally National Health at the end of the same decade all show varied influences and developments in his style. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 12 2010 at 15:59
Keith was a true master of the Hammond and the Moog, and I fully agree that when you listen to Tarkus in detail it's mind-blowing. But the actual fact that for me put Keith over Dave Stewart, John Lord and many others was his use of the grand piano.
 
Don't take this too literally but with a nice powerful electric sound anybody can sound impressive, it's with the acoustic instruments that real class shows up.  It's the same with guitars, give me a powerful metal Boss sound patch and I can play something which sounds impressive, but when you have to play classical or acoustic the differences show up quickly.
 
Keith was a monster playing hard Hammond and Synth prog rock but he played also such wonderful piano parts, still rarely found in other prog rock keyboardist.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 13 2010 at 21:05
Originally posted by jammun jammun wrote:

Okay, I'm 'round  'bout two sheets to the wind it being Friday night.  But..if ya want to hear pure Hammond fury, that Tarkus ranks right up there.  Emerson is taking no prisoners, he's got the Hammond drilled down to it's essence, the tone-wheels at their edge.  Percussion set to Third, probably with some extraneous modifications.  Yes there are better players I suppose, but this is the Hendrix of the Hammond.  We hear every nuance of that instrument.  We hear every wail and every high and every low it is capable of.  sh*t, clear the battlefield. 
 
The whole album is excellent ... not just one piece.
 
It's just too bad that someone can only think of this as a Hammond piece ... I see hear an orchestra in my head when I hear that organ or anything else ... the compositional sense of the whole album is so well done ... and it deserves to be listened to and appreciated.
 
If there is an issue is that for today's listeners, a lot of the music is way too symphonic instead of metalic, and the only thing we should say to that is ... that the Hammond in that album is the guitar ... and forget the rest and just enjoy the music! Because it is good!
... none of the hits, none of the time ... you might actually find your own art, or self, and forego lousy heroes or Guru's!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 14 2010 at 01:34
Emerson did actually compose the instrumental sections on a piano and then transferred it to Hammond. As Moshkito says its a very grand symphonic peice that could easily be orchestrated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ferush Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 17 2010 at 20:19
The sound of Tarkus is amazing
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baggra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 18 2010 at 10:49
The best Hammond sound is to be found on a certain 70s prog lp.
 
 
Ars Nova deliver great Hammond sound - but not sure if its the real thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baggra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 18 2010 at 10:52
Sorry - should have said  "certain ITALIAN 70s prog lp".
 
(There is no post edit function here??)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 18 2010 at 13:21
^indeed there is, where it says 'Post Options' there you can click and edit it. Post Options 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alberto Muñoz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 22 2010 at 22:14
Dave Stewart have the most sinister tones of any album of any prog artist to date.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 22 2010 at 22:43
Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Emerson did actually compose the instrumental sections on a piano and then transferred it to Hammond.


ooh I'd like to hear the piano originals, or a new piano-based version.. c'mon Keith, revisit the old xenarthran !

yep, for me as a lad Tarkus was the prog album that started it all.  Truly a church of Prog.







Edited by Atavachron - December 22 2010 at 22:44
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 23 2010 at 01:52
Originally posted by Atavachron Atavachron wrote:

Originally posted by richardh richardh wrote:

Emerson did actually compose the instrumental sections on a piano and then transferred it to Hammond.


ooh I'd like to hear the piano originals, or a new piano-based version.. c'mon Keith, revisit the old xenarthran !

yep, for me as a lad Tarkus was the prog album that started it all.  Truly a church of Prog.





Very much my experience as well. It is a remarkable peice of music for sure and perhaps a little underrated (too much bombast for some tastes perhaps)
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