Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery Review

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Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery
Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Brain Salad Surgery


General Information

Original Author: Jikai55

Artist: Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Album: Brain Salad Surgery

Genre: Progressive Rock


1. Jerusalem
2. Toccata (An Adaptation of Ginastera's 1st Piano Concerto, 4th Movement)
3. Still...You Turn Me On
4. Benny The Bouncer
5. Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Part 1
6. Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Part 2
7. Karn Evil 9, 2nd Impression
8. Karn Evil 9, 3rd Impression


The lead instrument is the keyboards, played by Keith Emerson (of the Nice), with bass and vocals by Greg Lake (of King Crimson), and drums by Carl Palmer (of Atomic Rooster). Keith Emerson is often considered the greatest keyboardist ever, his left hand playing remains unrivaled (according to Rick Wakeman, keyboardist of Yes), and many accidents have occured on his right hand. His bombastic approach to the instrument really puts it in the forefront of ELP. Greg Lake on bass keeps the music from getting too one-dimensional and really puts the keyboard into perspective. He also plays guitar on 'Still...You Turn Me On'. Carl Palmer on drums ties it all together with his virtuostic playing. He keeps pounding on him, and they're ever present in the sound of ELP.

The first track, Jerusalem is a relatively simple keyboard-driven song. It's a nice track, although it ends rather quickly clocking in at just over two minutes. Tocatta is a masterpiece it's in own, considering Keith Emerson adding his fame rock touches to classical music with an immense drum solo smacked right in the middle. Still...You Turn Me On is a beautiful ballad with great vocals and guitar work by Lake, although he's not known as a top vocalist, he's seriously underrated in the world of progressive rock and music in general. Benny The Bouncer is an attempt at a humorous track. Keyboard driven, the track simply doesn't work. It's pretty much the only weak spot on the album. This track wraps up the first side of the vinyl. Now, side two is devoted to the 28-minute epic Karn Evil 9, divided into four parts. The first impression, parts one and two, are some of the finest pieces of music ever written. The hammering keyboards, driving bass, and pounding drums all contribute to a climax that's unlike any other song. The dystopian lyrics, courtesy of Peter Sinfield, flow perfectly with the technical mastery. The Second Impression is instrumental, and it is nice although it can be a bit boring at points. The third impression wraps up the epic and the album.

This album has left a lasting impression on me, I recommend it to all fans of progressive rock!