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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Tarkus CD (album) cover

TARKUS

Emerson Lake & Palmer

 

Symphonic Prog

4.05 | 1759 ratings

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AndyJ
3 stars ELP's 'Tarkus' is a real love/hate affair for me. I absolutely love the epic song 'Tarkus', and absolutely hate the rest of the drivel that exists on this album. I'll duck and cover while I wait for the hail of abuse I'm likely to get for spouting such blasphemy against an acknowledged great prog album!

Here's my take on this very mixed album. ELP put all of their eggs solely in one basket, the song 'Tarkus'. They composed and played their hearts out, and in the process created something truly wonderful. A real prog aficionado's dream of a song. 'Tarkus' ticks everyone of my progressive boxes - it has amazing keyboard work from Keith Emerson, brilliant strings and vocals from Greg Lake and the drumming from Carl Palmer is out of this world at times. 'Tarkus' is so full of depth and complexity that it holds you attention throughout the 20 minutes.

But ELP had only composed 20 minutes of music with the album opener, not enough for a long play record. So the second half, at least to my ears, is pure filler. They might have been better off leaving the second half of the vinyl blank, or reciting the shipping forecast. Or perhaps postponing the release of the album until they had better compositions to put on there. I find very little in the second half of the album even slightly worthy of my attention. So much so that if this whole album had been like the second half then I would suspect this album would be rated as one of the worst 1970's albums ever.

When I listen to this album I stop after the first track. And that's pretty sad. I have tried to listen to the remaining songs on the album, but compared to what came before I find them utterly unworthy of my attention, and frankly I find songs like 'Jeremy Bender' and 'Are You Ready Eddy?' really quite trite and tiresome.

For the opening epic I give this album 5 stars, and for the remaining 6 songs I give this album a pitiful 1 star. By my reckoning that's a solid 3-star rating, but personally I'd only buy this album for the opening track. 'Tarkus' the progressive 20 minute suite deserves to be listened to by everyone, the rest of the album may or may not be your cup of tea!

AndyJ | 3/5 |

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