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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Trilogy CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.14 | 1776 ratings

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5 stars After the brilliant but slightly inconsistent Tarkus ELP settled down a bit with the follow up which in retrospect is probably their most accessible album-Trilogy.The opening track "The Endless Enigma" Part One and Two manages to be bombastic not unlike the beginning of Tarkus but less intense and as a result more enjoyable. I particularly love Greg Lake's singing on this track especially the second part which ends with an uplifting flourish courtesy of Keith Emerson's stabbing chords. Infact the keyboard arrangement is just superb throughout. The piano fugue which separates part one and two is an excellent showcase of Emerson's prowess on the piano. "From The Beginning" is probably my favourite Greg Lake "solo" track with its folk jazz acoustic arrangement, catchy melody and excellent vocals again. "The Sherrif" is a short but very catchy song with a pleasantly cheerful Hammond organ arrangement and features a particularly inventive if all too brief keyboard instrumental section. The closing honkytonk piano outro really is a hoot and proof if any was needed that these guys had a sense of humour and did not take themselves too seriously. I am aware that this track is a turn-off for ELP fans because it is not a searingly intense bombastic twenty plus minute epic but for me it is one of the highlights on the album. Closing side one and appropriately following on from the Western theme of the earlier track comes their amped up version of Copland's "Hoedown". Emerson crams so many ideas and variations into this track it actually seems far longer than its actual running time (3min 48 secs) and is arguably their finest Classic adaption. Side two opens with the three part "Trilogy".The first part is a very romantic piano led section with some beautifully heartfelt vocals from Lake. I love the way the piano instrumental which follows gets progressively more dramatic before morphing into a full-on slice of bombastic Prog Rock with a scorching moog solo. The final section is buoyant and features another solo from Emerson and some uplifting vocals from Lake. A great track. The next rack "Living Sin" is surely the weirdest track the group ever recorded. It is hard to describe being alternately sleezy and vaguely sinister with Lake's vocals ranging from a low growl to a high-pitched wail and some wonderfully Bernstein inspired keyboard fills. I particularly love the way the track ends with big bombastic chord stabs over a relentless drum roll.I am sure this track is a bit of a marmite one even among ELP fans ie you either love it or hate it.I love it. The closing track "Abaddon's Bolero" has a repetitive tune throughout (well it is a bolero after all) but I love the way it just builds and builds over the course of its eight minutes plus playing time towards an inevitably big bombastic bang. Overall, my feelings for this album have not really changed over the years .If anything I appreciate the consistency and maturity of the music even more now than when I first heard it. Infact if I was going to introduce someone to ELP I would probably play this album first.

5 stars

Lupton | 5/5 |


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