September 25, 2012

Emerson, Lake & Palmer: Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Tarkus (3-disc deluxe editions)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer would become the grandparents of punk. The UK progressive rock trio, with classical training, lengthy compositions and lofty lyrics, would get under the skin of snotty nosed kids within a decade of their heyday. Before that Keith Emerson (keyboards), Greg Lake (bass guitar, vocals, guitar) and Carl Palmer (drums, percussion) toured around the globe, playing stadiums, sometimes even with a full orchestra in tow.

ELP made it big, really big. A band of their stature deserves a lavish re-release scheme and Razor and Tie has stepped in to do so with their first six albums: Emerson, Lake and Palmer (1970- Studio Album), Tarkus (1971- Studio Album), Pictures At An Art Exhibition (1971- Live Album), Trilogy (1972- Studio Album), Brain Salad Surgery (1973- Studio Album), and Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends – Ladies & Gentlemen (1974- Live Album).

Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Tarkus lead the pack, both a 3-disc deluxe editions. The fist disc contains the original album, disc two has a new remix of the album by Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree plus alternate takes and outtakes and the third disc is a DVD-Audio with 5.1 surround sound mix and a high res stereo remix. For the vinyl lovers: 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl version are also available. And finally Brad Blackwood remastered the songs for iTunes.

Emerson Lake & Palmer

Emerson, Lake & Palmer
The debut album is a blueprint of what ELP would sound like over the years. Widescreen organ parts by Emerson, who also supplied the snazzy jazz piano parts, ferocious drum rolls by Palmer and the deep bass of Lake, who also sang in a quintessential English voice, his lyrics pastoral and melancholic, using themes previously explored by King Crimson (he was in that band before joining ELP) and Pink Floyd.

The album is dominated by the ambitious Take A Pebble and The Three Fates, the three daughter of Zeus who spin life's thread (Clotho), measured it's length (Lachesis) and cut it to end it all (Atropos). However, the radio-friendly Lucky Man, based on a poem by written by Lake at the tender age of 12, became a surprise hit in Holland, the USA and Canada.

The outtakes Promenade, a hymn-like and the pretty straightforward blues rocker Rave Up, with Lake going nuts on his wah-wah pedal, show the two faces of the coin: highbrow and down and dirty when no one was looking.

Disc One: Original Album
  1. The Barbarian
  2. Take A Pebble
  3. Knife-Edge
  4. The Three Fates
    i. Clotho ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL ORGAN
    ii. Lachesis PIANO SOLO
    iii. Atropos PIANO SOLO
  5. Tank
  6. Lucky Man
Disc Two: 2012 Stereo mixes (Previously Unreleased)
  1. The Barbarian
  2. Take A Pebble
  3. Knife Edge (with Extended Outro)
  4. Promenade
  5. The Three Fates: Atropos
  6. Rave Up
  7. Drum Solo
  8. Lucky Man
    Bonus Tracks:
  9. Take A Pebble (Alternate Take)
  10. Knife Edge (Alternate Take)
  11. Lucky Man (First Greg Lake Solo Version)
  12. Lucky Man (Alternate Version)
Disc Three: DVD-Audio New 2012 5.1 Mixes
  1. The Barbarian
  2. Take A Pebble
  3. Knife-Edge
  4. The Three Fates: Atropos
  5. Rave Up
  6. Drum Solo
  7. Lucky Man
    High Res 2012 Stereo mixes (Previously Unreleased)
  8. The Barbarian
  9. Take A Pebble
  10. Knife Edge (with Extended Outro)
  11. Promenade
  12. The Three Fates: Atropos
  13. Rave Up
  14. Drum Solo
  15. Lucky Man
  16. Take A Pebble (Alternate Take)
  17. Knife Edge (Alternate Take)
  18. Lucky Man (First Greg Lake Solo Version)
  19. Lucky Man (Alternate Version)
Emerson Lake & Palmer: Tarkus

Tarkus
After the debut album, Tarkus was basically more of the same. ELP go out on a limb in the 7-part title track that never really gels (again the Floyd had been there when they made Atom Heart Mother. The album feels rushed as if the record execs had been breathing down their necks to come up with a new album to cash in on the huge success of the debut.

Jeremy Bender has tired vocals by Lake, a song that sounds like Jethro Tull is warming up during rehearsal after a memorable night down at the pub. Sadly, tapes were running. It's not all bad: Bitches Crystal is high energy prog rock, with woozy keyboards and angry vocals that inspired Emerson to chip in with a jazz swing piano part. Choir boy time happens during The Only Way (Hymn), jazz get an outing during Infinite Space (Conclusion). Are You Ready Eddy? is just plain stupid - a joke song that isn't funny by a long shot.

The outtake Oh, My Father is a touching song about Lake's father, coming close to fluidity of Jeff Beck during the guitar solo. The Unknown Ballad on the other hand is basically filler - sounding like The Hollies at their worst, double-tracked vocals and all.

Disc One: Original Album
  1. Tarkus
    i. Eruption
    ii. Stones Of Years
    iii. Iconoclast
    iv. Mass
    v. Manticore
    vi. The Battlefield
    vii. Aquatarkus
  2. Jeremy Bender
  3. Bitches Crystal
  4. The Only Way (Hymn)
  5. Infinite Space (Conclusion)
  6. A Time And A Place
  7. Are You Ready Eddy?
Disc Two: 2012 Stereo mixes (Previously Unreleased)
  1. Tarkus
    i. Eruption
    ii. Stones Of Years
    iii. Iconoclast
    iv. Mass
    v. Manticore
    vi. The Battlefield
    vii. Aquatarkus
  2. Jeremy Bender
  3. Jeremy Bender
  4. Bitches Crystal
  5. The Only Way (Hymn)
  6. Infinite Space (Conclusion)
  7. A Time And A Place
  8. Are You Ready Eddy?
  9. Oh, My Father
  10. Unknown Ballad
  11. Mass (Alternate Take)
Disc Three: DVD-Audio New 2012 5.1 Mixes
  1. Tarkus
    i. Eruption
    ii. Stones Of Years
    iii. Iconoclast
    iv. Mass
    v. Manticore
    vi. The Battlefield
    vii. Aquatarkus
  2. Jeremy Bender
  3. Bitches Crystal
  4. The Only Way (Hymn)
  5. Infinite Space (Conclusion)
  6. A Time And A Place
  7. Are You Ready Eddy?
  8. Oh, My Father
    High Res 2012 Stereo mixes (Previously Unreleased)
  9. Tarkus
    i. Eruption
    ii. Stones Of Years
    iii. Iconoclast
    iv. Mass
    v. Manticore
    vi. The Battlefield
    vii. Aquatarkus
  10. Jeremy Bender
  11. Bitches Crystal
  12. The Only Way (Hymn)
  13. Infinite Space (Conclusion)
  14. A Time And A Place
  15. Are You Ready Eddy?
  16. Oh, My Father
  17. Unknown Ballad
  18. Mass (Alternate Take)

Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Tarkus are released on Razor and Tie Special ELP Merchandise available thru elp.merchnow.com.

» emersonlakepalmer.com

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