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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 2126 ratings

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5 stars ELP reached the height of their powers in 1973. They were one of the most in demand acts right up with Led Zeppelin, The Who and Deep Purple. Building on the success of the first three studio albums and one live one ELP was now on top the rock world. Excess everywhere Persian carpets, groupies galore and the excess food, alcohol and drugs. In the midst of that came Brain Salad Surgery. Even though all the other albums to date had their special moments and wow factor ELP was the most experimental on this one. Starting with taking on of the most popular hymns in England and turning it into a single much to the chagrin of the conservatives in England or the synthetic wonderland of the adaptation of Italian classical composer Ginastera's Toccatta to the seemingly out of place vaudeville style Benny the Bouncer to a three part unrelated Epic in Karn Evil 9 ELP ventured into a lot of areas. The question was would there fans come along?

Trilogy was a studio masterpiece that couldn't be reproduced until the 90's because of the overdubs so what to do if your looked at as the creative electronic wizards? Simply put as lavish as the production is ELP was able to simplify the add ons and still play the whole thing live. What a show it was!

Karn Evil 9 1st Impression (both parts) was a highly energized rocker that while had different sections related brillianty and rocks tremendously. (My favorite part is the transition at around the 5 minute mark.) Something ELP never again really captured. The second part of the 1st impression was actually due to time constraints of the vinyl became a classic rock staple. The second Impression is noted for Keith's piano work. In an interview he explained this was to be his first piano concerto that somehow fell through. The band then adapted it as an instrumental again using Carl's synthesized percussion as on toccata. The impression is really a fusion piece with a lot of trading off between Keith and Carl. Finally building to the climax of the 3rd Impression the album closes. The lyrics would have you believe in the future world of a computer gone mad to take control of the one who created him. There are some beautiful melodies and some dark and evil sounding parts as well.

So add all this up and this classic of Prog and of rock and a tribute to a band who would never find themselves again. After BSS and subsequent tour ELP took a 3 year leave of absence and came back with the misguided Works Vol 1. That is another story this one ends with 5 Stars. See the Show!

Garion81 | 5/5 |


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