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


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.17 | 2127 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars You know , reviewing your favourite album isn't a gratifying experience because you may feel your cohesion , spelling and writing skills may no be up to this masterpiece.However , I 'll do my best and if I come with a better idea I ' ll edit it.

1973 was probably the year of progressive rock and also the year in which rock music was in better shape.Take as an example , Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy Queen's debut album Black Sabbath's Sabbath Bloddy Sabbath Ziggy Stardust Made in Japan and many more may come to your mind if you think of it.Prog rock was at the top of their came having: Dark side of the moon Selling England by the Pound Tales of Topographic Oceans Lark's tongues in Aspic In a glass house Hymn of the seventh galaxy A passion play Focus 3 and I may not do justice to a lot more that I forget right now.

The purpose of this was to set up the context in which Brain Salad Surgery was released.Emerson recalls that the band was in good spirits at the time and everyone were on their most receptive phase.This fact is important probably because ELP were very talented but also ambitious and competitive.Now let's go straight to the matter.

The album opens grandiose enough with an English anthem called Jerusalem that talks about the possiblility of Jesus being in England in his lifetime.Well the only thing I can say after hearing such opener is:Holy Jesus!!! This song is terribly moving , I wish I had this as an anthem in my Country.

Carl Palmer recalls the album as a junction of Talent , timing and technology.These three aspects really can be noticed on the second track Toccatta a rendition of Alberto Ginastera's 1st piano concerto 4 th movement.Palmer forgot a couple of words about this song: Power Adrenaline.Without those two you may not imagine how this song is.It's the most aggresive and complex piece of music ever written alongside Red and Larks tongues in aspic for you to have an idea.I feel like Alex De Large when listening to this song.

Greg Lake alway wrote exellent ballads that were the point of entry for many ones to the band Still you turn me on is not an exeption and also gives us the chance to relax after such a demanding piece as Toccatta

Benny the bouncer is a ragtime piece that gets the most bashing from not ELP fans.The only thing I can say is how can a 2 and a half minute piece spoil such a masterpiece!!!!

Now we get to the most important part of the record , the core , the 30 minute epic Karn Evil 9 with it's 3 impressions.This song is a rollercoaster that goes to an average speed of 300 mph non stop.But without lacking techinque , the tighness of the music is simply outstanding , Palmer makes himself a name as a drummer's drummer on Karn Evil 9.Greg Lake manages to deliver killing bass lines (and guitar solos , if you had a doubt concerning his musical skills)to heep up with Emerson's keyboard , which is slaughtered through this unforgettable half hour

. Now , How would you close an album like this one?? Just call Peter Sinfield and write an epic which is half as long but twice as intense.And the good thing is , in the final verse Lake sings Rejoice!!! Glory is ours!! Yes , they were true , they have earned all that glory and reputation for creating a genre defining album. And you see ELP are labeled as bombastic , pretentious , overblown but I would also add another adjectives that will do justice to them: creative , talented and charismatic.And I won't forget the qualty that best defines progressive rock , nor pomposity , neither mucisianship...Its the guts , the guts to play the music that you love no matter how hard the bashing is , the guts to experiment with synthetizers when no one used them , the guts to be in the Isle of Wright in your first concert and not play tunes from your previous bands but to rework a Mussgorsky's theme in great form.Those are the qualities I would like to remember when someone names Emerson Lake and Palmer.

For the newcomers to progressive music: This album is not a masterpiece , it isn't even an exellent adition to your music collection , it's a duty as a progger.

Martin Deluca

crimson87 | 5/5 |


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