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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A flawed masterpiece that enriches our musical world
This album is essential listening for anyone interested in the possibilities of where rock music can go. It fuses rock with aspects of keyboard-driven classical music. Despite the classical elements, it is absolutely NOT an offering from a bunch of nice, testosterone-deficient middle-class white boys. This album goes for the jugular from the word go, and just never lets...
Published on 20 Aug 2006 by Mr. N. Wulfricson

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2012 "Deluxe Edition" Review
Big disappointment, I'm sad to say. I don't blame Steven Wilson so much as I blame his method. This remix has excellent tonality, doesn't sound EQd or compressed or anything, but it is DEAD. The instruments sound dry, sterile and uninvolving. The reverb ideas used on the original stereo master mix are all missing. I just cannot imagine anyone would think this could ever...
Published 23 months ago by Jeff Carney


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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A flawed masterpiece that enriches our musical world, 20 Aug 2006
By 
This review is from: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Audio CD)
This album is essential listening for anyone interested in the possibilities of where rock music can go. It fuses rock with aspects of keyboard-driven classical music. Despite the classical elements, it is absolutely NOT an offering from a bunch of nice, testosterone-deficient middle-class white boys. This album goes for the jugular from the word go, and just never lets up. The tone of the LP is brooding, melancholic and melodramatic. Are there any Metals fans reading this? - I recommend this LP to you all.

Every time I give this LP a listen I curse that albums like this aren't being made today. Just where else in your life are you going to hear the sound of electric harpsichords alongside thudding, driving drums? Just where else will you hear the sound of a (oh my god what the hell is that?) church organ bearing down on a (feral, escaping?) classical piano?

On the negative side, some of the early 1970's synthetic keyboard does sound dated, but this appears only on few of the tracks. The classical piano and drums used are timeless.

Fusing classical and rock is difficult. It's because the invasion of drums distracts from the dramatic tension within classical music. On this album, ELP sussed this out better than anyone else before or since. For example, on 'The Three Fates' & 'Take a Pebble' they separated the classical and rock sections, so neither was compromised. Other works such as 'Tank' fused the two forms from the beginning, inevitably making it more 'Rock'. The first section of Tank is the most stimulating rock music I've ever heard. Play it to your kids if you want to boost their IQ!

Classical/Rock fusions are far too rare in popular music. I have this album to thank for knowing that.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This really brings back memories, 19 Jan 2006
This review is from: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Audio CD)
I was at school when this came out and, althouigh I don't play it very often, it still conjures up the period amazingly well. Think cheesecloth smocks, clogs,loonpants and pre Raphaelite hair!
Musically, this is such a piece of it's time that you have to put it into context with albums like "Court of the crimson king", "Atom heart mother" or "The Yes album".
It stands up pretty well and is far less self indulgent than much of their later output.
Probably for most people "Lucky Man" is the best known track and it does have a certain magic but my favourites are the tracks where the band "borrowed" themes from classical composers. The light use of the Moog is a welcome textural addition to the musical palette and I still like the drum phasing at the end of the drum solo (yep, there is a drum solo!) basically because there is still a part of me that is an old hippy!
I's say that the "Three Fates" suite is the weakest part but overall "ELP" is worth buying and playing, if only to see where "prog" was before it became totally grandiose and bloated.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ELP before the overkill, 7 April 2006
By 
Simon Barrow (Exeter, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Audio CD)
Back in the 1970s I was perillously drawn to this album by the fact that it has a version of Bela Bartok's Allegro Barbaro on it. (You can hear the composer's own, very different rendition on 'Bartok Plays Bartok', Pearl 1995.) The resultant 'Barbarian' is the opening track on Emerson, Lake and Palmer's eponymous debut, and it does not disappoint: it is brooding, aggressive and dynamic.
'Take A Pebble' is next up: Keith Emerson's evocative jazz piano provides the real interest on a well-crafted, superior ballad. Only the guitar interlude seems a little lost. 'Knife Edge', which follows, is a rather less successful reworking of an excerpt from Leos Janacek's 'Sinfonietta'. Even so, Keith Emerson's Hammond organ lurches reamin immense and satisfying.
Meanwhile, 'Three Fates' takes us on an unusual journey, beginning with a glorious church organ fanfare that exudes just a tiny hint of bluesyness in the diminuendo. This segues into a dramatic piano solo. Emerson's use of dynamic range and subtle tempo changes marks him out as a performer with musical sensibility as well as panache. The third phase of this short suite is a percussively-driven, overdubbed piano trio. The melodramatic ending slightly mars the piece - a hint of excesses to come - but overall this is a an enjoyable instrumental tour de force.
The penultimate offering is 'Tank', a satisfying rhythmic workout by drummer Carl Palmer, who uses the band as a sound palette to propel and augment his main metrical theme. Emerson's dissonant electronics wail commandingly, too.
Finally we have 'Lucky Man', a straightforward ballad exploring the challenges of dealing with fame and fortune. How prescient. Personally I find it fairly unremarkable and rather out of place on an otherwise satisfyingly adventurous launchpad for the band that would become the enfant terrible of overwrought progressive rock. But the concluding Moog solo is every bit as remarkable as its proponents say. Over thirty-five years later it sounds surprisingly fresh, and it bears no relation to the cheesy sounds that other, lesser synth proponents subsequently generated.
In summary: 'Emerson, Lake and Palmer' was far and away the best work this trio ever produced. Moments of real interest and innovation surfaced on 'Trilogy' and 'Brain Salad Surgery'. The triple live album has good performances of 'Tarkus' (with its distinctive quartal harmonies) and the improvised 'Aquatarkus'. But beyond that ELP was wrecked by bombast, showbiz and pantechnican-sized bad taste. On occasions it looked like a massive waste of talent, as the critics averred. But thankfully not here. Let go of your prejudices and give this a listen.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 2012 "Deluxe Edition" Review, 5 Oct 2012
By 
Jeff Carney - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Audio CD)
Big disappointment, I'm sad to say. I don't blame Steven Wilson so much as I blame his method. This remix has excellent tonality, doesn't sound EQd or compressed or anything, but it is DEAD. The instruments sound dry, sterile and uninvolving. The reverb ideas used on the original stereo master mix are all missing. I just cannot imagine anyone would think this could ever be compared to Eddie Offord's stereo mix. The ambience, the life, the *feel* of the album ... it is just not there.

The surround mix suffers the same clincial, sterile sound, but things are obviously spread around so it isn't quite as obvious.

The new tracks added to replace "The Three Fates" and "Tank" as a result of the missing multitracks are simply inadequate. Side two has become a big mess. Basically you get "Promenade," some of Three Fates (where they had multis), jamming with stuff that later became part of "Tarkus," and a drum solo. The entire feel of side two is like a toally different album. I can accept this but I think in fairness it can be stated that the new "Side 2" is an inferior album unworthy of any real comparison to the innovative, fascinating original. "Lucky Man" concludes, of course. It sounds really clean in terms of the guitar parts being crystal clear, but again, the feel is just all wrong to my ears.

This release is confirmation for me that putting separate tracks into a digital workstation and remixing an album is right up there with using a DX-7 to replicate a moog. It can be done, but there is a missing organic quality that is blatantly obvious. Not my cup of tea.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking Classic, 5 Mar 2008
By 
Graham Mccarthy "gmccarthy15" (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Audio CD)
Progressive Rock music was all about pushing at the boundaries of style, structure, technique, and virtuosity. It took its influences from many sources including, classical, jazz, and even folk. In pushing the envelope, musicians often used the latest instruments, the melotron, synthesiser, and Brian Eno tape loops to name three.

Emerson Lake and Palmer were later to become guilty of excess and at times they sacrificed soul and feeling for showmanship and bravado, but not on this, their first album. Their first album defined the new way forward for prog rock and this is an example of Emerson Lake and Palmer leading from the front.

`Barbarian' is an instrumental, bombastic piece based, recognisably on Allegro Barbaro by Bartok.

`Take a Pebble' is a beautiful, acoustic and considered piece written by Lake and at over 12 minutes is the longest piece on the album. Interestingly, Emerson opens the piece by strumming the strings of his grand piano. The lyrics are amongst the strongest that Lake was ever to write.

After the gentle Take a Pebble, `Knife Edge' takes up where Barbarian left off, this time however it is a song based upon Sinfonietta by Janacek and depicts a dark, rather 1984 like world.

`The Three Fates' is another instrumental piece in three movements. The first (Clotho) features Emerson on the Pipe Organ at the Royal Festival Hall and is followed by Lachesis, which is possibly one of Emerson's finest piano solo movement. Atropos is a fiendishly complicated and enjoyable piano trio, which aptly demonstrates Emerson's virtuosity, but it's more than that, it demonstrates the thought, depth and complexity that is a hallmark of Emerson's work.

`Tank' is another instrumental written to showcase the enviable talents of Carl Palmer. It has a brutal riff and is very different in style and structure to anything else on the album; it also features a two-minute drum solo. Whilst I admit that Palmer was a prodigious talent with arguably the best technique and fastest speed, but Tank is not exactly my favourite ELP piece.

The album ends with `Luck Man' pleasant enough ballade written by Lake. It is musically simplistic but interesting for two reasons. Firstly it was to become the piece that became synonymous with ELP in the US (probably much to Emerson's frustration and secondly it features the first example of a Moog Synthesiser to be used on record. We're talking 1970 here remember.

Emeson Lake and Palmer (the album) containes all that was good about prog rock. It is a coherent, collection of tracks that gel into an outstanding album and with few of the excesses that were later to plague the genre. It has no 30-minute tracks or needlessly overcomplicated arrangements and deserves a place in the rock hall of fame. I doubt we would ever have heard pieces like Dark Side of the Moon had this album not have been released. It is a vital piece of any self respecting rock fan's historical music collection. The digitally re-mastered version is a great reason to buy it again.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For 1970, a stunning debut, 30 Jan 2004
By 
Andy Millward (Tiptree, Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Audio CD)
No matter how dated ELP's first album might seem to some people, it was an astonishing debut by any standards. Never before had there been a full-scale fusion between classical music, techno-synth rock and melodic pop songs.
It's also a showcase for the many talents of this trio, which put to shame many musical pundits and players alike. Keith Emerson is classically-trained, and demonstrates his mastery of piano technique to perfection on Greg Lake's Take a Pebble and in particular The Three Fates. Carl Palmer's value is amply shown on Tank, notably the final section with the thumping drum riff overlayed by Emerson's screaming Moog.
ELP are accused of being pretentious and lacking in emotion, though Greg Lake disproved the latte with Lucky Man, a song that brings a tear to my eye to this day.
Pretentious? Well, when you can play to classical standards, why not flaunt it!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One to confound ELP's rightful critics, 4 Jun 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Audio CD)
I was partly attracted to this album by the fact that it has a version of Bela Bartok's Allegro Barbaro on it. (You can hear the composer's own, very different rendition on 'Bartok Plays Bartok', Pearl 1995.) 'Barbarian' is indeed the opening track and it does not disappoint: it is brooding, aggressive and dynamic.
'Take A Pebble' is next up: Keith Emerson's stunning jazz piano provides the real interest on a well-crafted, superior ballad. Only the guitar interlude seems a little lost. 'Knife Edge', however, is a less successful reworking of an excerpt from Leos Janacek's 'Sinfonietta'. Even so, Keith Emerson's Hammond organ lurches are immense and satisfying.
Meanwhile 'Three Fates' takes us on an unusual journey, beginning with a church organ fanfare that exudes just a tiny hint of bluesyness in the diminuendo. This segues into a dramatic piano solo. Emerson's use of dynamic range and variable pace marks him out as a musician rather than simply a performer. The third phase of the short suite is a percussively driven, overdubbed piano trio. The explosive ending slightly mars the piece - a hint of excesses to come - but this is a highly inventive instrumental tour de force.
The penultimate offering is 'Tank', a satisfying exploration by drummer Carl Palmer, who uses the band to propel and augment his metrical theme. Emerson's dissonant electronics wail commandingly.
Finally we have 'Lucky Man', a straightforward song exploring the challenges of fame and fortune. How prescient. Personally I find it utterly unremarkable and rather out of place on an otherwise satisfyingly adventurous debut from the band that would become the enfant terrible of overwrought progressive rock. But the concluding Moog solo is every bit as remarkable as its proponents say. Over thirty years later it sounds surprisingly fresh, and it bears no relation to the cheesy sounds that other, lesser synthesizer proponents subsequently generated.
In summary: 'Emerson, Lake and Palmer' was far and away the best work this trio ever produced. Moments of interest and innovation surfaced on 'Trilogy' and 'Brain Salad Surgery'. The triple live album has good performances of 'Tarkus' and 'Aquatarkus'. But beyond that ELP was wrecked by bombast, showbiz and pantechnican sized bad taste. It was a massive waste of talent. But thankfully not here.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic - Before Self Indulgence Took Over, 8 Sep 2008
By 
Mr. Peter Steward "petersteward" (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Audio CD)
How often do we find with classic groups that their first album is arguably the best? That certainly holds true with what is a classic prog rock album before the flights of fancy overtook them and they began to produce rather bombastic over the top rock.

It shows without doubt what a great band this trio could have been. Okay they stayed pretty good but at times they allowed their virtuosity to run away with them. Here it is more or less kept in check although there are signs at times of Keith Emerson running away with himself.

Overall there's just enough discipline to keep this album together and that's what makes it an all time classic to be celebrated alongside the likes of Deep Purple in Rock. Many of these pieces are timeless and I'm a big fan of Greg Lake's voice which is absolutely sensational on the classic "Take a Pebble" which lasts well over 12 minutes but somehow never manages to run away with things and is beautifully brought back on track by Emerson's keyboards.

"Lucky Man" isn't quite as effective but elsewhere there are certain hints of where the band is likely to go but in a more responsible less over the top style than on later albums. This will always be one of my favourite albums of all time and quite an achievement for an album released in 1970.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant debut, 23 Mar 2011
By 
Stephen Reid "Stephen" (Basingstoke) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Emerson Lake & Palmer (Audio CD)
I'll never forget the impression this album made on me as an undergraduate - a rock group with a virtuoso keyboard player, a singer with a distinctive voice and one of the fastest drummers around. This was a brilliant debut that defined the progressive rock movement.

A lot of the album has its roots in classical works. Tracks include influences from Bartok, Janacek and Bach. This was typical of Keith Emerson but serves to emphasise his mastery of both classical and rock genres. I always regarded Emerson as being at his strongest when playing in this 'cross-over' area.

Greg Lake's multi-tracked voice is as distinctive as any in rock history. 'Lucky Man' was a filler track - he had written it as a boy of twelve. It was not liked by his two colleagues but included and it became their biggest hit. The Moog solo at the end was entirely improvised by Keith Emerson.

I saw the band perform this album live, along with 'Tarkus' and 'Pictures at an Exhibition'. The showmanship to accompany the music was a sign of things to come, though it eventually it overtook the band. To see Emerson playing two keyboards simultaneously - one on his left and the other on his right - whilst looking at neither and getting it all note-perfect showed that this was a remarkable talent. And the recordings of him playing the piano from the wrong side (i.e. upside down) are equally remarkable.

This record marked a debut band making a huge impact as one of rock's first supergroups. It bears revisiting four decades later. Thoroughly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Groundbreaking Classic, 5 Mar 2008
By 
Graham Mccarthy "gmccarthy15" (Cheshire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (Audio CD)
Progressive Rock music was all about pushing at the boundaries of style, structure, technique, and virtuosity. It took its influences from many sources including, classical, jazz, and even folk. In pushing the envelope, musicians often used the latest instruments, the melotron, synthesiser, and Brian Eno tape loops to name three.

Emerson Lake and Palmer were later to become guilty of excess and at times they sacrificed soul and feeling for showmanship and bravado, but not on this, their first album. Their first album defined the new way forward for prog rock and this is an example of Emerson Lake and Palmer leading from the front.

`Barbarian' is an instrumental, bombastic piece based, recognisably on Allegro Barbaro by Bartok.

`Take a Pebble' is a beautiful, acoustic and considered piece written by Lake and at over 12 minutes is the longest piece on the album. Interestingly, Emerson opens the piece by strumming the strings of his grand piano. The lyrics are amongst the strongest that Lake was ever to write.

After the gentle Take a Pebble, `Knife Edge' takes up where Barbarian left off, this time however it is a song based upon Sinfonietta by Janacek and depicts a dark, rather 1984 like world.

`The Three Fates' is another instrumental piece in three movements. The first (Clotho) features Emerson on the Pipe Organ at the Royal Festival Hall and is followed by Lachesis, which is possibly one of Emerson's finest piano solo movement. Atropos is a fiendishly complicated and enjoyable piano trio, which aptly demonstrates Emerson's virtuosity, but it's more than that, it demonstrates the thought, depth and complexity that is a hallmark of Emerson's work.

`Tank' is another instrumental written to showcase the enviable talents of Carl Palmer. It has a brutal riff and is very different in style and structure to anything else on the album; it also features a two-minute drum solo. Whilst I admit that Palmer was a prodigious talent with arguably the best technique and fastest speed, but Tank is not exactly my favourite ELP piece.

The album ends with `Luck Man' pleasant enough ballade written by Lake. It is musically simplistic but interesting for two reasons. Firstly it was to become the piece that became synonymous with ELP in the US (probably much to Emerson's frustration and secondly it features the first example of a Moog Synthesiser to be used on record. We're talking 1970 here remember.

Emeson Lake and Palmer (the album) containes all that was good about prog rock. It is a coherent, collection of tracks that gel into an outstanding album and with few of the excesses that were later to plague the genre. It has no 30-minute tracks or needlessly overcomplicated arrangements and deserves a place in the rock hall of fame. I doubt we would ever have heard pieces like Dark Side of the Moon had this album not have been released. It is a vital piece of any self respecting rock fan's historical music collection. The digitally re-mastered version is a great reason to buy it again.
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