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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums ever!
It is rare to find an album so filled with intense ideas, beautifull melodies and aggressive virtuosity. This is jazz meets heavy metal meets Twenty Century Classical music meets Bach. In short a unique and exhilerating experience.

From the almost 20 minutes (not a second too long) suite Tarkus with it's anti war theme in a modernistic fantasy setting, to the...
Published on 5 Nov 2006 by Bjrn Are Davidsen

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well...
I have read many reviews claiming that Tarkus was the best ELP album, but to me this is not their best work. Don't get me wrong Tarkus has some fine music, like the very rocking 'Infinite Space,' and the epic and complex 20 minute long Title Track. Tarkus also has some throw away music like the Obligatory joke song 'Jeremy Bender,' and its equaly unnecessary and...
Published on 4 Feb 2008 by Gentlegiantprog


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best albums ever!, 5 Nov 2006
By 
Bjrn Are Davidsen (Norway) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tarkus (Audio CD)
It is rare to find an album so filled with intense ideas, beautifull melodies and aggressive virtuosity. This is jazz meets heavy metal meets Twenty Century Classical music meets Bach. In short a unique and exhilerating experience.

From the almost 20 minutes (not a second too long) suite Tarkus with it's anti war theme in a modernistic fantasy setting, to the perfect parody and homage to producer Eddie Offord in "Are You Ready Eddy" ("We've only got 'am or cheese"), this album captures the whole range of human moods and follies.

A true classic not to be missed. Furious and fabulous fun!

Most amazing about this album is perhaps that ELP got even better on their next two albums (Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Surround Sound, 30 Aug 2012
By 
P. Taylor - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tarkus (Audio CD)
Another great 5.1 remix by Steven Wilson. I have owned the vinyl version since the 70s and regularly listen to it, still. This 2012 Deluxe edition really has given it a new lease of life by immersing the listener in subtly crafted surround sound. For £10 the DVD-A alone would be worth buying but you also get the original mix and new stereo mixes and even a couple of previously unreleased items. Nice packaging too. I remember seeing ELP at the Empire Pool Wembley on the Brain Salad Surgery tour and hearing the quadraphonic sound swirling round the auditorium. I really hope Steven Wilson gets to work his 5.1 magic on that album soon...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Progress, 27 July 2010
By 
Graham Mccarthy "gmccarthy15" (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tarkus (Audio CD)
Tarkus was Emerson Lake and Palmer's second studio album and as such had much to live up to after their successful first album (imaginatively titled Emerson, Lake & Palmer).

Like the animal (half armadillo half WW1 tank) it is supposed to represent, the album had a difficult birth. Keith Emerson describes the events leading up to its release in his autobiography Pictures of an Exhibitionist. The title piece is a pseudo classical one in 7 parts (in fact the Tokyo philharmonic orchestra played an adoption of it in 2010). Greg Lake really didn't like it at first and suggested that it appeared on Emerson's solo album. This irritated Emerson who was and still is justifiably proud of this piece. He saw this as representative of the future direction of Emerson Lake and Palmer but Greg Lake clearly did not. Lake recorded the piece reluctantly but did come up with the lyrics and make his own contribution.

Tarkus is a challenging piece to play, even for such accomplished musicians as Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer. It has no consistent time signature and is (at east in parts) tonally ambiguous. It is a progressive rock tour-de-force and remains a challenge to the listener even today. If you like music to relax to, in 4/4 time then this one isn't for you. If however you like progressive music that pushes the boundaries of what is possible (intellectually and musically) then maybe you should give Tarkus a try.

This is not Emerson Lake and Palmers best recording of Tarkus however, that honour going to the live version on Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends .... This one sounds a little thin in parts. The live has in particular a much better version of the final movement Aquatarkus (So called because the synthesiser sounds like it being played down a snorkel).

The arresting sleeve art by William Neil came after the original piece of music and the links between the two are somewhat artificial. It does however remain a classic design. The inner artwork is excellent but was at its best on the vinyl record, it lost a lot in the smaller format of the CD and is non-existent on the MP3 download.

Side two of the album tends to be overlooked, even by ELP fans but does have some hidden gems there. Bitches Crystal is a firm favourite of the live stage set and `The Only Way and Infinite Space) are genuinely fine pieces that do not attract the credit that they deserve.

I don't know anybody that rates Tarkus of their favourite ELP album. It is a challenge both to play and to listen to. I like it enormously and the more I analyse the music of the title track, the cleverer it appears, the more I uncover and the more rewarding it becomes to listen to.

I award Tarkus four stars, it is a must have for any ELP fan, it is deep, vibrant and like fine wine gets better with age. This isn't the best recording ELP ever made but it's success in achieving number 9 in the American Album charts is testament to its and the band's popularity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarkus resurrected!, 5 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Tarkus (Audio CD)
Another exceptional sonic resurrection by Steve Wilson. Tarkus has never sounded better. As with the eponymous first album, Wilson's Tarkus 5.1 mix avoids mindless showmanship, instead it concentrates on delivering a fantastic soundstage for the music. Do yourself a favour. Buy this set!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Progressive Music At Its Very Best, 4 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Tarkus (Audio CD)
The very first ELP track I ever heard was on Radio Luxemburg, Kid Jensen. It was 'Only Way'.Tarkus had gone straight in to Radio Luxemburg charts at number 1.The opening intro - St Marks Organ - took my breath away.I'd never heard anything like it before. Next one up was 'Mass' Initially I wasn't all that impressed with this track, and then with side 1 of the album. After a couple of plays however it had joined the ranks of the immortals, and still is to this day. Eddie Offord's production, coupled with three musicians at the top of their class, makes this one of THE albums of both 1971, and the '70s in general. The first side seamlessly flows from 'Tarkus', through 'Eruption', 'Stones Of Years etc to the majestic culmination numbers of 'Battlefield' and 'Aquatarkus'. The second side exhibits the band's sound ability to write and play a variety of styles. Apart from 'Only Way' my favourite track is 'Time And A Place'.This should have been the final number, however the sting in the tail is a really good rock'n'roll funny, just to finish things off. Emerson is (obviously) the main man, in the absence of a guitarist, but is more than ably backed up by superb bass lines from Lake and drumming par excellence from Palmer. I remember getting thrown out of a party, somewhere in Coatbridge, back in Easter Sunday 1974 for continuously playing 'Only Way' - just for the pipe organ intro. 26 years later I still tend to do the same. Funny 'n it? It's the best of ELP's early years (probably of the bunch)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tarkus (2012 3 disc set), 4 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Tarkus (Audio CD)
I am very happy with this package. What you get is a re-master of the original album. A 2nd CD with some alternative versions and a great re-mix of the classic album by Steven Wilson. The 3rd disc is a special treat, a genuine DVD-Audio of a remixed Tarkus in 5.1 plus a high res stereo mix of the alternative mixes as well.

What more could you ask for? Included also is a great booklet well writen by Chris Welch about Tarkus and the work re-creating this classic album.
The sound in my opinion is stunning considering it was recorded on 16 track tape in 1971. For the price what you get is a very generous collection of discs that cover Tarkus in several ways of listening pleasure.

Spend £10 and enjoy this piece of musical genius all over again. I did and I am sure glad I have.

Just played the 2nd CD using a decent CD player and a high quality headphones and the sound mix is very clear and very well done. This is a treat to the ears.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous remastering of Tarkus - in all its glory!, 4 Jun 2001
By 
Bjrn Are Davidsen (Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tarkus (Audio CD)
This creative masterpiece of ELP - daring to go beyond the pop and rock trends of their own and any day - is back again, in the best remastering ever!
Whether one prefers ELP's astonishing workout on the Tarkus suite, their classical inspired jazz fusion, their ballads or their parodies, this is the definite edition of Tarkus.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well..., 4 Feb 2008
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Tarkus [Digipack] (Audio CD)
I have read many reviews claiming that Tarkus was the best ELP album, but to me this is not their best work. Don't get me wrong Tarkus has some fine music, like the very rocking 'Infinite Space,' and the epic and complex 20 minute long Title Track. Tarkus also has some throw away music like the Obligatory joke song 'Jeremy Bender,' and its equaly unnecessary and unpleasant rock n roll partner 'Are You Ready Eddy?'
The drum sound on this album is a little flimsy, and the overall production isn't too swish to be honest.
If you are buying Tarkus, you're essentially only buying it for the title track, and you may find something else you like, but the album, while good is still far from the masterpiece its made out to be. Try 'Brain Salad Surgery,' instead.
This 2007 release comes in a flimsy little digipak with no lyrics booklet or inlay notes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying for the first side, 15 April 2011
By 
Stephen Reid "Stephen" (Basingstoke) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tarkus (Audio CD)
I eagerly awaited this release after enjoying ELP's first album so much. Truth is, I didn't like it so much: first side excellent, second side patchy. On buying the CD, I'm afraid that I felt the same, many years later.

The major track - Tarkus - is excellent. An exercise in syncopation on the start of "Eruption" indicates that we are in for something really special. I first heard `Tarkus' when they performed it live before the LP was issued. It is a work that has continued to feature in Keith Emerson's live repertoire forty years later - I have heard him perform it with (reformed ) Nice and with his own band. It is tour de force, and a major part of ELP's repertoire that has stood the test of time. It is worth buying this CD to hear this track, and if you like the others, consider that a bonus.

The second side (as it then was) is a collection of more poppy material that I found lightweight compared to 'Tarkus' and the first album, finishing with a humorous track aimed at their engineer Eddie Offord. Jeremy Bender has some excellent honky-tonk piano work.

Recommended, for sure, but better was to come ...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars still firing from all guns, 13 Jun 2010
By 
J. Barnes "bmoonjohn" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tarkus (MP3 Download)
I was bought this as a 16th birthday present when it was first released as a vinyl album in 1971` and was stunned by the vitality of the title track and the variety of styles on side 2. I remember it being a very loud album (for the time) and was forever being told to turn it down by an angry parent even though it was on a system with less than 10 watts total output.
The title track starts with a fade in and hits the ground running. If you closed your eyes you could see the beast itself trundling across the multicoloured landscape, trumpeting at the top of it's voice, looking for conquests and succeeding until the final confrontation where it is defeated and goes off to die.
Musically and lyrically you see the actual journey is much more metaphorical. Some of the sounds were hair on the arms raising because of the pioneering use of the moog particularly the mass with use of the wand controller and the end of battle field with the distinctive part before the fade out. Some excellent guitar work from greg lake in this section is also worth a mention having a very distinctive tone and a melancholy feel to support the sadness of the piece.
Side two doesn't quite match the first side. There are some decent melodies but it lacks the punch of side one. Some of it seems like obvious filler (are you ready eddy ) and some of the lyrics are a bit iffy, but still a long way ahead of some of the material being churned out at the time.
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