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Brain Salad Surgery Import, Original recording remastered

308 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, February 22, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Digitally remastered edition of this album from the Prog Rock trio. ELP found extraordinary success in the 1970s and have sold in excess of 40 million albums. The band are Keith Emerson (keyboards) Greg Lake (bass, guitar and vocals) and Carl Palmer (drums, percussion). Studio album four, originally released in 1973, opens with an adaptation of Hubert Parry's hymn 'Jerusalem', due to be a single in the UK until the BBC objected. It also contains another beautiful ballad, 'Still, You Turn Me On'. Sony.

1. Jerusalem
2. Toccata
3. Still... You Turn Me On
4. Benny the Bouncer
5. Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression, Pt. 1
6. Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression, Pt. 2
7. Karn Evil 9: 2nd Impression
8. Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression
9. Brain Salad Surgery [*]
10. When the Apple Blossoms Bloom in the Windmills of Your Mind I'll Be You
11. Excerpts From Brain Salad Surgery: I. Karn Evil 9 1st Impression/II. Ka

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony UK
  • ASIN: B004G6TD66
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (308 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,014 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful By William M. Feagin on November 23, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is basically the ultimate version of Brain Salad Surgery, and while I probably wouldn't suggest this as a first-time purchase for any newbie to the works of ELP, it's nice for the dedicated fan. Here, you have the album in 3 forms--the original, remastered, on CD #1, which is the same remaster, as other reviewers have noted, as the one initially made for the now-defunct Victory Music label in 1993, the first time the ELP catalogue was properly remastered away from the first CD run with Atlantic (and I have memories of the CD version of The Best of Emerson, Lake & Palmer--a mix so low you had to crank the volume to 11 just to hear anything, which made "Still...You Turn Me On" sound as if the mics were placed near the back of a medium-large auditorium and the band recorded in that position).

On CD #2, you have the outtakes--the first attempt at "When the Apple Blossoms Bloom in the Windmills of Your Mind, I'll Be Your Valentine" (which didn't see official release until Works, Vol. 2, in late 1977) and the completely unreleased-until-now title cut, "Brain Salad Surgery," which has elements of all the tracks that did appear on the album (save perhaps "Benny the Bouncer"). In addition, first mixes of "Toccata" and "Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression," and new stereo mixes of all the tracks, plus an excerpt from the New Musical Express interview flexidisc of the time. Worthy additions all, for the completist fan.

And CD #3? A hybrid SACD of the album; this is the 5.1 Surround Sound mix used on Rhino's DVD-A release of 1999 (Rhino R9-75980), but it is improved notably.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By prognosis on July 27, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In my mind (and to my ears) this is the best remaster of the best album in the ELP catalog. There is no clipping during Tocatta and the music sounds rich, full and crystal clear. What a nice change from the dreadful 2007 Shout remaster which is so compressed it may well damage your home speakers. As another reviewer pointed out, "drums don't ever sound like that." This version is a little louder than the 1993 Victory remaster but a smidge less bright, though this point is very subjective. (You may find them equally bright or this one slightly brighter). A little more lush than the 1996 Rhino remaster, though that is a very solid remaster as well with a great booklet.

This edition contains a seven-page booklet with new sleevenotes but it's no big deal, certainly not as substantial as Shout's 24-page booklet. Shout got everything right with the packaging (with the exception of cropping the album cover too tight) but missed terribly on the remastered sound. Sony gets the remastered music right but goes the economy route on the packaging.

Sony recently purchased the band's back catalogue from Universal (footnote: Classic Rock presents Prog, issue 15, page 108) so everything has been remastered and repackaged on the Sony UK/Legacy label (including this release). According to that same article, Sony may release Tarkus & Pictures at an Exhibition on their Legacy label which will come with new 5.1 remixes, extensive sleevenotes and bonus materials. If that materializes, I've got to believe they would go all out as well, even more so, for Brain Salad Surgery. We'll have to wait and see.

The only other remaster of this title I might recommend is the 2004 edition on the Sanctuary UK label which I'm betting is very similar to this in terms of sound quality.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 14, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I've always wondered about the critics who panned ELP. The standard counter-argument is to say that most critics are just frustrated musicians who are simply envious of ELP's virtuosity. If that's true, then it explains why BSS is among the most vilified albums of the prog rock movement. This album is a dark and aggressive musical adventure that's aged exceptionally well. Jerusalem still gives me goose bumps, after many dozens of listens. Still...You Turn Me On is perhaps the most mysterious and haunting love song I've ever heard. And the Karn Evil 9 suite is an eclectic masterpiece that starts off with a bluesy organ riff and rocks into the familiar "Welcome Back My Friends..." -- the 1st Impression is an unbelievable musical blitzkrieg. The jazzy and deft 2nd Impression is stylistically very different -- I don't know how ELP pulled off this juxtaposition, but it works. The 3rd Impression is a computers-run-amok sci-fi extravaganza. One is left with the Impression that Keith's Hammond, Steinway, and Moog were literally smoking by the conclusion. With apologies to the true ELP faithful, I don't think ELP ever came close to the power and glory of BSS ever again, collectively or individually, with the exception of the fantastic reading of Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man on Works I. BSS is a must-own for true prog rock fans.
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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful By R. Ripberger on September 13, 2008
Format: Audio CD
I'm not going to talk about whether I like ELP or their music or this album other than I really liked this LP as a kid and was happy to bump into a "Re-Mastered" CD version of it.

However, I have to say that the sound is about the worst re-mastered CD I've heard to date. Most noticable on my system is that the precussion parts have been severely obliterated - the cymbals are mostly missing and when noticable sound unreal - not at all like the LP - and most of the rest of the drum kit is noticably muted. Levels are inconsistent within single tracks and from track to track. Karn-evil 9 part 1 seems to have grossly filtered, muted, and muffled. The other reviewer's comment about low pass filtering seems accurate. This CD seems to have lost much of the realism and clarity of the LP.

What a disappointment.

Update 2013:
So looks like Amazon is rolling all the reviews for all the versions of this CD together. I'll have to qualify my comment that my 1 star rating was against the 2007 reissue from Shout Factory.
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