Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
Worth buying for the first side
on 15 April 2011
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 seen him perform it with (reformed ) Nice and listened to a very good re-recording with his own band.
I recently very much enjoyed the live version at the Barbican with full orchestra as part of the 'Three Fates' project. It lends itslef well to orchestration, which tells me that, as a composition, it is tour de force. It remains a major part of ELP's repertoire and 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 ...