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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Trilogy CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 1584 ratings

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The Quiet One
Prog Reviewer
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.

The Quiet One | 4/5 |


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