Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 2128 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
5 stars I really don't know why it took me this long to review this album.

I mean, this album was my very very very first prog album. Ever. Not counting things like Sgt. Pepper. This was the first.

I remember coming home from school. My science teacher had showed us a video of Emerson, Lake & Palmer in class, and as a keyboard player myself, I was highly intrigued by Emerson's playing, and I loved Lake's singing, not to mention the drumming of Mr. Palmer.

I come home. I ask my father about a band caled Emerson, Lake & Palmer. He walks over to our massive shelf of albums, looks for a second, pulls off an album, and hands it to me. I look at the weird cover art of this, like, weird, girl, computer type thing.

He takes it, puts in the the player, and skips to a song that's called, as he points out to me, Karn Evil 9. And so I listen.

I fall into a new world. Nothing else matters. The world of Karn Evil 9 is all that needs to exist, and it's all that exists at the moment. I listen straight through to the end of the 3rd Impression.

Much to my own surprise, I listen to the entirety of Karn Evil 9 an average of 3 times a day for the next 7 weeks.

It took me a while to start researching the first half of the album. The song Jerusalem I Learned originally from the live Welcome Back... album, and I loved it there. While I might actually prefer it live, it is still great on the studio version.

Then Tocatta. Same deal; learned it live first. And, same deal again; I prefer it live. And, again again, same deal; I like the studio version very much as well. The pure, raw craziness of the song drives me crazy every time I hear it. A track unlike most others ever made.

Still... You Turn Me On is another one of those Greg Lake acoustic ballads. My favorite of his songs, I think, is From the Beginning, but this is close behind. His songs are, most of the time, very enjoyable, even though they aren't the most proggy of ELP songs. Benny the Bouncer, then, changes the feel a little. Some weird bar fight story comes in, backed by this weird uptempo beat. It was played before every listening for Karn Evil 9 for those 7 weeks. Need I say any more.

And then, the suite. The 1st Impression (Parts one and two) easily blow away the listener with the atmospheric keyboard work and Lake vocals. So utterly unspeakable, I think I won't speak about it. The 2nd Impression is where some people start to lose it. It sounds to most as rambling piano work with an over- stretched middle section with steel drums and other weird noises. LISTEN, buddy. Not quite. It is the only interlude between the two behemoths of Impressions 1 and 3. A most mindblowing piece of art. Then, Impression 3, when it comes back around. The battle with the computer comes together, with an untimely end. The instruments battle in the middle to form the ultimate climax to this work.

In my top ten. Easily. Many, and I mean MANY, of you disagree, especially because of the so-called pomposity of the band. Again, I disagree, but to each his/her own. Have a good listen, guys. 5/5 stars.

Yanns | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this EMERSON LAKE & PALMER review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.