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Emerson Lake & Palmer - Emerson Lake & Palmer CD (album) cover


Emerson Lake & Palmer


Symphonic Prog

4.24 | 1915 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Emerson Lake & Palmer - st (1970)

To be honest with you, listening to this album was a relief for me. I'm not that good at liking common 'masterpieces' and this ELP debut was actually quite extraordinary, especially when you place it on a time-line of progressive rock.

Keith Emerson (the Nice), Greg Lake (King Crimson) and Carl Palmer (Arthur Brown, Atomic Rooster) formed this first super-group of progressive rock. With their music they changed the way progressive rock was perceived. From now on progressive rock didn't need to be music with strange atmospheres and innovative ideas, but the extreme technicality would ad both ego and some playfulness to the mix. ELP didn't embark on the spacey atmospheric passages, but they would play fast, thick, right in your face instrumental passages without to much delays and reverb.

The recording quality & sound of this album is stunning for 1970. All instruments sound warm, clear and have a good place in the musical land-scape. Later on dozens of Italian symphonic progressive rock groups would try to get this sound again, and frankly, none ever did except for Banco (debatable topic though). Most of the time ELP has a bass, drums and two keyboards or a piano. The arrangements are exciting and bombastic, with many organ and moog sounds (with amazing bass) that would make you forget a band ever needed a guitar player. Though this album has many moments of great intelligent en technical compositions, the other big element of his album is showing of musicianship. Luckily there's also some good song-writing and I must say I even like the ending ballad 'Lucky Man'. I still think Greg Lake is one of the best vocalists of prog, though I don't like many ELP recordings.

Conclusion. This is the best ELP album for me, and it's good to know it still sounds fresh after more then forty years. Though this album features all weaknesses of the band, it is dominated by the quality of the compositions and the song-writing. After this only side one of Tarkus would be of this quality IMHO. Four stars for this one, but I can recommend it to every-one on this site.

friso | 4/5 |


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