(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
In the latter part of 1969, while touring together in the US, keyboard virtuoso Keith Emerson, while with The Nice, had crossed paths with Greg Lake, whom had expressed his disillusionment with the touring and the musical direction of King Crimson and had announced that he would be leaving the band after its American tour.
In Early 1970 with the addition of the flashy Carl Palmer (whom had left the famous Atomic Rooster some time before), the three men known simply as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, went on to form what would be progressive rock's first "supergroup".
The first album also eponymously named after the group, is an album unlike anything they would ever do together again. The music on Emerson, Lake & Palmer is more of a subdued effort in comparison to later releases from ELP, which is combination of the work that all three members did with their former bands, which is a stunning mixture of ELP's love of Psychedelia, Jazz, Folk and Classical music.
Borrowing from classical composers, Bela Bartok "The Barbarian" and Janacek's "Sinfonietta" which would be adapted into the band's "Knife-Edge" (which would go on to become an FM classic) would be amongst the band's greatest songs, but the band negative attributes also were prevalent here, such as the bombastic classic "Tank" (includes a drum solo by Carl, which would then be ruined by a silly psychedelic effect towards the end), Lake's haunting King Crimson-ish "Take A Pebble", which despite being a great song (At least to me) seems to receive the most negative feedback from this album.
More highlights form the album is the single edit, "Lucky Man", a soft piece in vein of Lake's "Take A Pebble", concludes with bizarre Moog solo towards the end, and does not seem at first listen to fit together with the piece, but upon further listening, along with the fading out of the track, is a masterpiece and would also become a FM radio staple.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer might not be true fans of the band's recommendation as a first purchase, but to this reviewer, it seems to be ELP's most accessable work to date.
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