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ELPs second LP ‘Tarkus’ (1971) stretched their sound in new directions and dimensions, with more complex electronic keyboard sound. The title track took up the first side of the LP and ultimately defined the ELP sound - loud, bombastic and boundlessly exultant in its instrumental power. ‘Tarkus’ the album was No.1 in the U.K. and No.9 in the U.S. Last minute addition ‘Lucky Man’ became their debut single, a U.K. and U.S. hit Disc One is the 24 bit / High Density 2012 remaster of original 1971 album by highly renowned rock mastering engineer Andy Pearce Disc Two is the Steven Wilson 2012 Stereo Mix of the 2012 remaster, with bonus tracks from the original album sessions: ‘Oh, My Father’, ‘Unknown Ballad’ and an alternative take of ‘Mass’ The CD booklet features extensive notes of new 2016 interview with band members Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, by legendary rock journalist Chris Welch The LP is the original 1971 album, newly cut for the first time from the 24 Bit / High Density 2012 remaster, with original gatefold LP sleeve and artwork, faithfully reproduced Digital versions are: Standard, Made for iTunes and Hi Density, all taken from the 2012 remasters www.emersonlakepalmer.com https://www.facebook.com/EmersonLakePalmer?fref=ts
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Has anybody ever noticed how much Greg Lake looks like etchings or paintings of protestant reformer Martin Luther? He seems to have the same sort of fire the medieval rabble-rouser had in his vocals as well, like he's trying to foment demonstrations all over the place in the group's songs. But the scary thing is how the entire group looks like they just stepped out of the road company cast of "Lord of the Rings" or a very grand Dungeons and Dragons game! Chances are ELP was and has been the Muzak of the D&D crowd for years, anyway, so it all fits!
The grand work on this album, "Tarkus" takes up the first side, going from the track "Eruption" to "Aquatarkus", whatever that is, but you don't care what it's about, you just groove to the stream-of-consciousness rant of Lake's singing and Emerson's mind-boggling keyboard work.
It turns out that "Tarkus" is the name of that strange combination creature on the cover of the album, an armadillo with the bottom half of a Sherman tank, who is an analogy of the brutality of war. Another creature, called a Manticore, (at one time, the name of the label WEA Records allowed ELP to form for its releases,) drives this marauding juggernaut away, saving the people and the countryside from its destruction. You know what...you really couldn't care less about this tale! You just groove on the incredible music and talent involved in the production! This album, along with "Trilogy", "Emerson, Lake & Palmer", "Love Beach" and perhaps "Brain Salad Surgery" are among the best things you will ever hear issue out of a hi-fi speaker, classical, rock, jazz or otherwise...
The second side has the incredible "The Only Way", a song that asks the musical question: "Can You believe...God makes you breathe? How did he lose...six million jews?!" and my personal favorite from the album, "Bitches' Crystal", a song apparently celebrating the world of, you guessed it, DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS!! With a "heretic priestess", tortured spirits that cry and ghostly images dying, the arrangement sees Emerson flashing his fingies across the piano keys like some unreal Padarewski, faster than anybody I've ever heard play keyboards.
Save up your shekels, and buy "Emerson, Lake and Palmer", "Tarkus", "Trilogy", Brain Salad Surgery", and "Love Beach", and just sit back and be dazzled by some of the best musicianship to see a Billboard chart!
I really can't praise these guys enough!
Tarkus as an album is another matter. Following the Tarkus suite is a daunting task and the second half of the album illustrates the difficulty as it is noticably weaker than the first half. They introduce what was to become the obligatory honky-tonk piano piece with Jeremy Bender. Pleasant enough, but a bit of a let down after the take no prisoners performance of Tarkus. [...] Crystal makes up for it with high tempo and intensity. The Only Way and Infinite Space are subdued and a little frustrating in their restraint, more so because they are squeezed between [...] Crystal and the other part two highlight (and equally intense) A Time and a Place. Are You Ready Eddy? is a complete throwaway and an almost shameful end to the album considering how it begins. Yet even with its faults, Tarkus holds its place as one of the most influential progressive rock albums ever released. If they never matched Tarkus as a single work, ELP cranked out at least two more albums, Trilogy and Brain Salad Surgery, that were almost as strong and by most accounts more listenable as a whole, but Tarkus binds their undisputed standing as progressive rock's first supergroup and well earned it is.