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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery CD (album) cover

BRAIN SALAD SURGERY

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.13 | 1804 ratings

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octopus-4
Special Collaborator
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars The last true ELP album before the fall. Even if I love Works, I have to admit that Brain Salad Surgery is the last meaningful and "progressive" thing that the trio has done.

First of all a bit of trivia: The album's title is inspired to fellatio, and if you look carefully you can see the hidden shape of a penis below the mouth on the sleeve design of that Mr. Ginger who has drown the ambient and the monsters of Alien.

The structure of the album is quite similar to that of Tarkus with one difference: the side- long epic starts on side A as it was really too long for a vinyl.

The album is opened by "Jerusalem". It's a religious Anglican anthem with lyrics of William Blake which has been proposed also by Vangelis on Chariots of Fire and later by Par Lindh project, even if in that case we can speak of a "cover" as it's almost identical to the ELP version, apart for the singer who's not at Lake's level. (A lack of Lake....nice joke).

The "Toccata" is the arrangement of a theme from a contemporary Argentinian composer, Alberto Evaristo Ginastera (1916-1983) who was happy enough of the result as on the internal sleeve is present his comment.

The Lake's acoustic ballad is "Still.. You Turn Me On". It has the role of songs like Lucky Man or From The Beginning on the previous albums. It's one of the highlights for me, as I'm a fan of Lake's vocals and it's still progressive enough. Nothing to do with most of his side on Works.

Instead of the poor "Are You Ready Eddie?" or the outplaced "The Sheriff" we have "Benny The Bouncer" that's a nice short rock and roll song and then....the epic.

"Karn Evil #9" with the joke with "Carnival" is a very complex song. Somebody has written that it's a disconnected sequence of different things, but I honestly feel it like a unique thing. At least there are no sudden transitions and in any case all the pieces of the patchwork are very good and in line with the best of the trio. In the CD releases it's more evident as the suite can stay "all together into a single track instead of being split between the two sides of the vinyl. Also if you consider that this epic has been played live for a number of years, even during the last tours of the trio, it means that ELP still believe in this track.

"Welcome back my friends...."

octopus-4 | 4/5 |

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