Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant debut, 23 Mar. 2011
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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