This is a live album with unreleased tracks. Based on Mussorgsky pictures, this is another work of giants. My fave, right after Brain Salad Surgery.
Song by song review:
“Promenade” appears in separate parts through the album. It’s a very beautiful theme, with beautiful lyrics. The first time it appears it’s very soft and relaxing, with Emerson doing the main thing. The second time is like the first but Lake sings. The third part has Palmer rocking in his drums, making things exciting.
Frightening. Very scary. They can picture a bad gnome like no one else! Superb instrumental here.
Lake on the acoustic, this song has deep lyrics and great guitar work. Very soft, with a warmer solo. I love this one. It’s far better than “Still...you turn me on” and “C’est la vie”, IMO.
“The Old Castle”:
This one rocks. The bass line is perfect. Carl too. It makes things warm up.
Like the title suggests, a hot bluesy song, showcasing our lads’ innovative and highly skilled techniques. Won’t be your fave, but it’s a nice one.
“The Hut of Baba Yaga / The Curse of Baba Yaga / The Hut of Baba Yaga”:
I said The Gnome was frightening? No kidding, this one makes you hide under your bed. It’s incredible how ELP can deal with feelings. The bass line here is the best I’ve ever heard from Lake. Carl ought to be a freak. I’m sure he has four arms! He’s an octopus! Emerson is great as usual. There are vocals on the second part. This is one of their best songs, IMO. Worth the price of the record, at least.
“The Great Gates of Kiev”:
Soulful vocals, pretty arrangements, very nice song. BUT... Emerson almost screws it up on the mid-end section, making noises with his synth stuff... He doesn’t make me dislike the song, but if he was struck by a very powerful itch, and had to scratch for his life on that very second, this song would be perfect.
“The End / Nutrocker”:
This is a very funny song. A rock-and-roll like piece. Just to show our lads’ abilities. Not a serious song.
I give it 10 on a 10 star rating.
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