Tarkus is the second studio album by English progressive rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer, released in June 1971 on Island Records. Following their 1970 European tour, the group returned to Advision Studios in London, in January 1971, to prepare material for a follow-up. Side one has the seven-part "Tarkus", with a collection of shorter tracks on side two. Tarkus went to number one in the UK Albums Chart, peaked at number 9 in the US, and reached number 12 in Canada on two occasions totalling 4 weeks.Wikipedia
Gotta say, I'm a little surprised to see this here on this list. There is a thoroughgoing prejudice against prog in the critical community, probably because it forces critics to engage with the music instead of discussing influences, lyrics and personalities. ELP was unique for a number of reasons. They were a keyboard-based progressive rock group, with nary a guitar in sight. And Keith Emerson's interests, in addition to blues and rock, ranged from "serious" classical composers like Mussgorsky and Bartok, all the way up to contemporary composers like Alberto Ginastera. When you throw in covers of Aaron Copeland and Emerson's interest in martial themes and Americana, it's a potent brew, obviously not to everyone's taste. Surprisingly, this kind of thing was popular at the time. Hard to imagine, I know. But how good is Tarkus? For better or worse, the epic title track may be the purest expression of Emerson's obsessions. Here are the martial rhythms and themes, the nods to contemporary classical music, copious rock and blues, and so on. Emerson effectively utilizes his arsenal of keyboards, such as piano, organ, and early synthesizers to create an intense, claustrophobic vibe. Carl Palmer reinforces the martial feel of the track with his patented fills and overall busyness. If the rest of the album had been up to this level, it would be a stone classic. Alas, there are some downright stinkers, like Are You Ready, Eddy?, in which Emerson indulges in a dubious sense of a humor and a rancid take on 50s rock 'n roll. There are other weaknesses. Some of the lyrics are awful: Sleep in a dream Of butter milk cream You dance on a beam Dancing on a beam And occasionally, vocalist/bassist Greg Lake reaches for notes he can't handle. On the other hand, we have Infinite Space, which has similar virtues to the title track, in miniature. And Bitches Crystal and A Time And A Place ain't bad either, if you're willing to overlook the occasional maladroit lyric or off key vocal. On Tarkus, the highs are Olympian and the lows are Stygian. How to rate? I can't in good conscience give this any less than a 4/5. Proceed at your own risk. And fair warning: if you don't share Emerson's musical interests, you will likely hate, hate, hate, this album with an all consuming passion.
It’s not ELP’s best record, but it is undoubtedly their best album cover.
this album was an experience, but was not an experience i enjoyed.
eh. I don't know about this. ok ok these guys could play complex music. But could they write a song? Not on this one at least. Even a 20 minute song ("Supper's Ready" - Genesis) can be fascinating and well-crafted with distinct parts, a beginning/theme/ending. This just seems like a mash of Carl Palmer staccato-snare fills, Keith Emerson's organ dancing in 5/4 time, and then oh here's Greg Lake with his smooth double-tracked vocals to put a nice sheen on it. But it doesn't work. Second half (side) of the album was supposed to be more "traditional" short songs but even there nothing works very well. I used to think prog was my favourite style of rock when I was a kid but as the years go on I'm pretty sure that wasn't/isn't true at all. I loved - and still do - the best of the genre but this ain't it. This is prog-for-prog's-sake complete with the hilarious album cover. It's just dull. 3/10 2 stars.
Dreadful. I now understand why punk happened.
Budget pink floyd
I would have thought that I would be *totally into* an album with a 20-minute long song about a giant armadillo that got transformed into a tank. But it just doesn't work. Parts of the title track are good, but the random prog-rock interludes feel like filler. Emerson noodles up and down the same scales, showing off how fast he can play on 3 different keyboards at the same time, but there's no actual musical value to it and it doesn't go anywhere. Also, frankly, it's not even that great of a technical showcase as the band falls slightly out of sync at various points especially in the first couple of movements of the song. The tonal difference and contrast between the a side and the b side is almost unbelievable. The b side starts with a jaunty almost ragtime-y piano melody in a song that's like 2 minutes long compared to Tarkus' 20. I want so badly to like this but honestly the whole thing feels hollow, like a monument to excess without meaning.
If you drink seven shots of tequila while soaking in a hot tub, you begin to think this is Yacht Rock at some point during the first song. It's a 20 minute song, but you'll need those 20 minutes for the giant armadillo morph into a yacht. The yacht will include Robert Wagner, Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood as passengers, so you'll have the chance to rewrite history and save the beloved screen legend. You'll still wake up with a hangover, Natalie Wood will still be dead, but the upshot is you'll put what common folk call Prog Rock in your rearview mirror for the rest of your life. I bet Vincent Gallo loves this album but secretly wishes it was all instrumental.
One of the best prog rock albums. 11/10 would listen more. RIP Keith Emerson and Greg Lake. Also, a great album cover.
"Tarkus" is a suite in seven parts—one of the earliest multipart progressive-rock suites. The recorded version lasts nearly 21 minutes and takes up a full side of the album. The odd-numbered sections are instrumentals, and the even-numbered ones vocal tracks. It is a concept piece the idea for which is gleaned not from the music and lyrics alone, but also from the album artwork and the section titles; nevertheless the concept and narrative remain ambiguous and open to interpretation. The second side of the album is made up of short songs unrelated to "Tarkus" or to each other. The name "Tarkus" refers to the armadillo-tank from the William Neal paintings on the album cover. The artist has explained that the name is an amalgamation between 'Tartarus' and 'carcass' (hence the name being written in bones on the album cover). Consequently, the name refers to the "futility of war, a man made mess with symbols of mutated destruction." The song "Tarkus" itself supposedly follows the adventures of Tarkus from his birth, through a fight with a manticore, which he loses and concludes with an aquatic version of Tarkus named "Aquatarkus". The parts supposedly follow Tarkus' birth in a volcanic eruption centuries before known history. The exact nature of Tarkus' origin and actions are unknown, and left ambiguous by its creator, Keith Emerson. "Eruption" itself presents a musical impression of cascading eruption on the keyboards in a 10 8 time signature, backed by Carl Palmer on drums. This segues into the "Stones of Years", the first of three vocal sections. The second, third, fourth and fifth are supposedly the movements that represent the enemies he meets: The interlude of the aforementioned "Stones of Years", the second movement, represents the travel of Tarkus and the enemy he meets first. The "Stones of Years" are thought to resemble a mixture of a "stone" version of a cybernetic spider-like creature with spikes like a stegosaurus; a shield embedded in its side; two antennae, each with its own set of eyes; and what looks like a set of two poison gas tanks on the back, sort of resembling a futuristic station. As the interlude is reaching its end, the enemy is overpowered and then finished off by Tarkus' turrets before the song returns to vocal. "Iconoclast" is the third movement and the movement which represents the enemy Tarkus meets second. The "Iconoclast", according to the inner gatefold, is a mixture of a pterodactyl and a war airplane, and is rapidly overpowered by guitar for "Mass". "Mass" is the name of Tarkus' third enemy and the fourth movement, which is filled with numerous religious references; it often had its lyrics dropped in tours by the Keith Emerson Band, as does Stones of Years. The "Mass" is often thought to be a mixture of a lizard, grasshopper and a rocket launcher. This is followed by "Manticore" in which the final enemy of Tarkus appears and a battle ensues between variations on the "Tarkus" theme and the Manticore's. Ultimately, Tarkus is defeated and "Battlefield" follows. The movement "Battlefield" is the only part written entirely by Greg Lake. "Aquatarkus" closes the track, centering mostly on a march based on the "Battlefield" theme and then returning to the original "Eruption" theme as a farewell to Tarkus and a greeting to the aquatic Aquatarkus.
I'm not a huge ELP fan, mainly due to Keith Emerson's keys playing. I love their song writing in some parts, but I find myself growing tired of listening to what feels like minutes of aimless, purposeless keyboard wandering. It's like they are asking questions that they never answer.
2.5 it sounds like a mix of video game music and boston
I don't think I can get with ELP and their prog ilk, it just feels really dated and musically staid compared to other music of the era (e.g. originally released the same year as Tago Mago which still sounds fresh). The lyrics are dreadful too: Can you believe / God makes you breathe Why did he lose / six million Jews
First know that I'm not a proghead so I had no idea who these dudes were, nor did i understand wtf was going on for the entire duration of this album. Usually i have zero patience for these meandering, self indulgent 20 min tracks. But unlike the allman bros, this was actually fun and entertaining to listen to. so, based on my enjoyment of the experience rather than my actual knowledge of the music, i'm giving this a 5. deal with it
not my cuppa tea. respect for the skillz tho
Very enjoyable listen. Love the atmospheric transitions of the first song (lasting for 20 minutes) while the other shorter songs made memorable hooks.
The opening track being so long threw me but it really got my ears jumping at about 8 minutes in. Fun listen!
nice prog snäppet över ambitiös men helt makalös
Hilariously over the top and ridiculous keyboard work throughout. The idea of a mecha-armadillo named Tarkus is just amazing. 9
song lengths look fun. i like the start! could be the soundtrack to an action scene in a weird trippy horror movie. tbh the only movie like that that i know is suspiria (1977) haha. makes me feel a little paranoid lol. i suppose with the slow down we enter the second part? REALLYYYY NICE VOCALS thank god! wow if it continues to be this fun it might be my second 5/5 (first one being an album i already knew and loved). okay, new guitar, change up, third part. yeah this is going to be the longest song in my playlist for songs over 7 minutes long. lyrics are really cool too im digging everything. UGH THIS IS SO FUN. so good. there's some sounds that remind me of pink floyd which is pretty much the only band ive listened to from the 70s so. this is from before their hits though. ugh im kinda sad the 20 minute song ended :( OH second song is quite different but still has the same flair. so funny that the follow up to the 20 minute song is 1:50 min long. im obsessed with the piano here. a lil unsettling. do you guys think these guys are just atheists or are they anarchists too. honestly i cant imagine this was very popular so shout out to whoever decided to include this, it was worth it to sit through 20 or so albums that felt absolutely pointless just to get to listen to this one. hopefully theres more like this in their discography :))
Now this is some good shit. One of prog rock classics. Not perfect, but really fucking good. Debut album is a bit better IMO, so a 4.5 (also insert JoJo reference here)
Excellent on all accounts. A bold musical experiment that was very successful! The first song being 20min long surprised me but I didn't even mind because it was so intricate and clearly told a story. Interesting song titles and good lyrics :)
Pretty sure Motoi Sakuraba ripped off this album for Star Ocean: Til the End of Time's OST.
Cool prog rock album! The organ is on point. I love me a 20 min. opening track. I may have become a fan of ELP.
Although being one of the more pretentious progressive rock albums of the seventies, I believe this one still holds up as one of the best with a fresh take on the genre that was greatly picking up speed. Tarkus can stand up there with most of the Pink Floyd and King Crimson's discography as well as being one of the longer pieces in that catalogue. While other ELP projects were more successful, Tarkus remains my favorite. Simplistic in nature, complex in execution (which is where I think a lot of modern progressive bands, The Mars Volta, Airbag, Porcupine Tree, and Tool go wrong). Highlights: 1, 3, and 4.
It doesn't make the strongest first impression, but the first song (epic?) gets way better as you listen along. It's the main "song" of the album, and most of the B-Sides feel tacked onto it. All in all, though, it was an enjoyable experience. I really enjoyed the keyboard, but I think the bass lines could be better. Favorite track: Tarkus (last quarter)
Classic alert! Although I've never actually heard this one before.. The best kind of prog rock: great chord progressions, creative songwriting, nice melodies. Also my mum likes it which is a plus
Какой же это офигенный альбом! Просто супер. Главное, он практически на едином дыхании слушается, песни неразрывны, несмотря на наличие полотна в виде самой композиции Tarkus.
Absolutely perfect. The title epic-length track holds up, I could listen to it forever despite its length. Some of my favorite instrumentation on a prog song!
really fun, super listenable, this is my new favorite album to listen to while working.
A very fun early prog album that packs a lot of depth into its short runtime ((the opposite of many other prog works). I like space jazz
Another album I have in different media from different eras.
Really excellent. Great bass tone. Some iffy singing.
I'm really surprised that this album is part of the challenge, I find it very "proghead only". In any case, it remains a great, complex, but somehow catchy record. Carl Palmer's drumming has always impressed me on Tarkus. He created a percussive musicality full of creativity. Keith Emerson's organ is full of virtuosity, as usual, but there is also good research in the sounds. Some have aged badly, but it gives a charm. On the side of Greg Lake, we find his more tragic singing, which comes to him from his previous group King Crimson. And it feels good. It brings the more personal and emotional aspect through all this musical complexity. Ok, to me, it's a masterpiece.
One of my favorite Prog album of all time. Huge ELP fan. Album cover - Wow. Story - Awesome. Drum - Incredible. Keyboard - Amazing. Everything is there - MASTERPIECE.
Prog masterpiece! Not very accessible, but very rewarding!
Another very positive surprise on the list. I have listened to the album twice already and it looks like I'm going to spend next weeks discovering Emerson, Lake and Palmer playlist. In few words, I would call Tarkus a much more progressive "Echoes" by Pink Floyd, with a very climactic vocal by Lake, on par with Gilmour, with prominent Hammond organs by Emerson and excellent drumming virtuoso - how come I didn't hear too much about Palmer before? I can blame only my ignorance. Side A of the album is filled with an epic 20-minutes song "Tarkus". Unlike the aforementioned "Echoes", the composition is less linear - it looks like ELP were experimenting with different styles and moods on this song, jumping from a very progressive and chaotic "Eruption", to much more chilled and atmospheric "Stones Of Years", for example. The song keeps you interested for the whole duration of the track and the multiple changes of tempo allow you to rediscover it once again. Surprisingly, I like the B side even better. Six short songs, by comparison, with instrumental "Infinite Space" and entertaining "A Time And Place" make it a great successor to the artful Tarkus. I really liked the album, even though it might be a little too "proggy" at times for my liking. But because it was my first experience with ELP, I will give it a round five bags of popcorn.
Brilliant from very early seventies. The cover art was pretty amazing too.
Very "funky". Really enjoyed the energy and the vibe. Didnt realize the first track was so long!
Mostly solid prog rock. Extensive use of piano/organ is interesting. Title track (really suite of 7 songs) is very good and similar to Dark Side. “The only way (hymn)” is weird.
Great album through and through
The titular song is a 20 minute prog rock epic and it's very interesting. The rest is good but doesn't really compare to the first track.
diggin the prog
yeeeee. 20 min song > rest of the album. hell yeah king crimson dude. sick ass supergroup.
Much better than some of the progressive rock that came later that was just trying to be different and daring just for the sake of it, posturing with complex time signatures and random key changes. This was just pretty solid. And the keys on Bitches Crystal were actually pretty awesome. Should be 3.5, but I’m feeling generous today.
Tarkus was great. Forgot how much I like this silly group.
A really interesting prog-rock album. The first side is a seven-part suite, and by far the strongest on the album, whilst the second side is a weaker collection of 'unrelated' songs. 8/10
8. Biased upward because cool battle Amarillo on the cover
Never heard this band before but like the progressive nature.
pretty weird but also pretty good
The opening track threw me off a little, mainly due to how long it is. I'm not really used to listening to such long songs. But it wasn't bad. This album wasn't bad, but I didn't like some of the songs. 3.5-4/5 stars.
Great first song and not so great other songs. It still deserves a 4 because of the first song.
the title track takes its time to accelerate but it comes together very well, I love it sometimes, it overdoes things, though, like with voice modulation other tracks are mixed
Good early prog rock
22. Há um tempo e há um lugar, mas há muito não os visito. A única coisa útil para me dar alento é saber, todos os dias, de uma sirene aguda às onze e quinze, e com ela uma visita aos pátios de arame e betão. Não me recordo do sol brilhar tanto no tempo e no lugar. Também a memória me atraiçoou e delatou os meus crimes à Natureza. Tenham vergonha de alucinar um pobre homem! Que vos encha o decoro se da miséria alheia se aproveitam! A condição é minha e minha apenas. E dela me livrarei num dia de silêncio da sirene. MotA: "Tarkus" "Has the dawn ever seen your eyes? Have the days made you so unwise?"
Very interesting jazz inspired prog rock. I enjoyed reading about the Tarkus storyline behind the title track. I wish more mainstream artists today wrote songs with this sort of imagination.
To byl dobry dzien na taki material, bo zeby w pelni docenic progresywnego rocka, poza odpowiednim sprzetem potrzeba takze chwili spokoju i przemyslenia sluchanego albumu, moze dlatego tak niewiele progresywnego rocka jest na tej liscie, bo nie liczac floydow, to ciezko by szukac wsrod prawie dwustu pickow przedstawicieli tego jakze intelektualnie absorbujacego gatunku, a jeszcze dziwniejsze, ze nie natrafilem na taka ultrabande, dlaczego takie okreslenie, bo kazdy z trzech czlonkow przed powstaniem zespolu byl juz kims w muzycznym biznesie, zaskoczenie juz na pierwszym traku, tytulowym tarkusie, ktorego 21 minut stanowi pierwsza strone tego long pleja, jak przystalo na progresiva tarkus to siedmio czesciowy suit opowiadajacy epicka historie blizej nieokreslonego futurystycznego pancernikowatego zwanego tarkusem, kazda z czesci kawalka opowiada epizod epicki tarkusa, ktory mozna zlurkowac na materialach zawartych na sleevie, cale szczescie, ze jest bo historia 7 czesciowa, a tylko 3 zawieraja kontekst liryczny, reszta to instrumentale o bardzo atonalnym brzmieni i charakterystycznymi klawiszami, wrecz perkusyjnymi, pierwszym skojarzeniem po tej polowie, toz to przeciez crimson king, daleki od prawy nie bylem, bo jak nazwa zespolu glosi, znajduje sie w nim pewien lake, dokladnie ten sam greg lake, ktory byl odpowiedzialny za wokal i gitare basowa na dwoch pierwszych albumach crimsonow, a jako ze jestem fangejem dworku karmazynowego krola, to crimsony brzmia wlasnie jak ich debiutancki album, wiec tutaj jestem kupiony wokalami lakeowymi i kontentem lirycznym, bo jest on za niego odpowiedzialny, wiec zarowno pierwsza strona przypowiesci o pancerfaustowym pancerniku majacym propagowac wartosci pacyfistyczne pokazujac okrucienstwo i bezsens wojen prowadzonych przez ludzi, druga strona troche zmienia nastroj plyty kawalkami jeremy bender i crystal bitches, tylko po to zeby zaraz wrocic do klimatu pierwszej strony z utworem rozbitym na dwa traki, to znaczy the only way i infinite space, zglebiajacym sie w to jaki sens czlowieczenstwo i progresja czlowieka przez pryzmat zbrodni wojennych XX wieku, to jakze mocne odniesienie do zydow, pierwsza czesc pod wzgledem instrumentalnym wyroznia sie wykorzystaniem organow koscielnych, zeby stoponiowo przejsc w bardziej bogata instrumentalnie infinite space, gdzie obok klawiszy fortepanowych mozna uslyszec perkusje i bas, nadal jest atonalnie, ale tym razem bardziej jazzowo, to wlasnie tam skojarzylem skad znam te drumsy, bo o ile nazwisko palmera nie mowilo mi zbyt wiele, ale tak to jest jak sie jest laikiem progowym, lecz oryginalny atomic rooster jest juz mi znany i bardzo dobrze oceniany, do czego z pewnoscia przylozyly sie te drumy, kompozycje tych dwoch trakow sa oparte na bachowej tworczosci, choc takich niuansow juz nie bylem w stanie wylapac, zakonczenie plyty wraca do bardziej klasycznego rocka, zwlaszcza kawalek are you ready eddy, bedacy dosc luznym zwrotem do pana plyty z ekipy producenckiej, slabe jest wstawianie 20 minutowych kawalkow na plejki, wiec tym razem daruje sobie te przyjemnosc i caly albumik leci na miejsce do biblioteczki, zasiadzie w lozych progresowych dzikow, zaraz obok crimsonowych kingow
Sé que es un disco raro, pero me pareció bastante agradable. Es algo así como una mezcla de Santana con The Who y Pink Floyd, bastante experimental, pero nada pretencioso.
prog prog prog prog
“Tarkus” by Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1971) Musical excellence does not always yield artistic excellence, and this album, while very good overall, is a case in point. For example, the thematic bashing of religious hypocrisy, deceptive symbolism, and the dilemma of theodicy seems to be a hobbyhorse (in “Tarkus [IV. Mass]”, “The Only Way (Hymn)” and elsewhere), and it’s quite understandable in the target-rich Anglican environment. But the obscene “Jeremy Bender” puts sexual deviancy in a categorically Catholic context. I would have liked to hear them explore this in greater depth. As it is, they just skim the surface. For it to be art, Emerson, Lake & Palmer would have to take a deeper dive into the tensions inherent in sex and religion, and drag us along with them. I wouldn’t put up too much of a fight. This is their second studio album. In contrast to their debut album (“Emerson, Lake & Palmer”), these compositions seem to be more rhythmic, relying on drummer Carl Palmer to provide structure, to generally good effect. But the rapid 5/4 (several places in the 20-minute long “Tarkus”) is very taxing on the listener. It takes a lot of energy for two ears to keep up with five beats in every one step. Keith Emerson demonstrates on this album why he is one the two greatest progressive rock keyboardists of all time (the other being Rick Wakeman). His compositional and performing skills, combining classical, jazz, and prog rock, are outstanding. He isolates Hammond organ overtones and harmonics into one channel (e.g., the left channel on “Tarkus [III. Iconoclast]”) for a signature sound. Guitarist/bassist/vocalist Greg Lake is another giant in the genre. On guitar, he has some stellar solos. Marvel at how he utilizes sustain and reverb on “Tarkus [VI. Battlefield]”. Frequently, though, his lead vocals are driven back in the mix, forcing the listener to lean in to the music in order to get to the song. Plus, his struggles with pitch (“A Time and a Place” and elsewhere) require a certain amount of strain for the listener to grab the melody. It’s all very tiring. Regarding the two instances of comic relief on this album, “Jeremy Bender” begs to not be taken seriously. But “Are You Ready Eddie?” is genuine fun—throwback rock and roll on the theme of (of all things!) the work of the studio engineer. This is excellent music, if you’re willing to expend the energy. Now it’s nap time. 4/5
Title track is great, a jazzy prog epic. By comparison the other tracks feel like b-sides
Lengthy but full of incredible freestyle solos, riffs and licks. The tightness of the songs diminishes as the album progresses but it’s a great snapshot of the best of the genre
I think this prog rock hit me at the right moment. I put it on and started walking and it was actually pretty nice.
I have listened to at least three full albums from Emerson, Lake, and Palmer all the way through, maybe more. I could probably find a track on any one of ELP's albums that would get 4 or 5 stars from me (except THAT album - you know the one... yeesh). Somehow I still have mixed feelings about the band. Tarkus is a perfect example of my mixed reaction. The title track (Side A) is something that eventually makes it's way back into my playlist for another listen, but I forget about the rest of the tracks on the album (Side B). Yes, this album is worth a listen, but it feels inconsistent to me. Rounding bumps this album up to 4 stars.
Great musicianship. Side 2 gets a little goofy.
Bit trippy but good music
ELP was a big part of my high school years. Brain Salad Surgery was a top 10 album for me but other than Lucky Man, their other "hit" C'est la Vie and a live album, I didn't dig any deeper into their catalog. The side long opus is very good not as good as Karn Evil 9 but it had me engaged from first note until the last. Side 2 has its moments but makes no mistake Tarkus is the star. 4 🌟
This one is interesting, we will see
Gostei muito do álbum!
Daklen, album cover je meni među dražima upravo. Baš bi takvu yu gi oh kartu, da se može napraviti. Dosta dobar progresivni rock. Puno organa i sintisajzera. Njihovo razmišljanje za ovaj album: "Alo Palmere, jesmo roknuli pjesmu od 20min.." "Ma slušaj ti mene Lake, mi moramo i B stranu napravit" "Asti gospe, ništa, roknut nekih ovako pjesama nek se ima i to neka bude B strana, ne mora sve valjat skroz." i bi tako. Velikodušan sam, nije čista četvorka, zna se di sam stavio točan rejting.
It is a solid prog rock album that takes the listener on a musical journey. The title track (with its many parts) was a great listen and the conceptual-ness of it all allowed me to really think about themes such as life, religion, war, death and the fate of the world. Being not as experimental, I felt the second half was lacking in overall feel and sound in comparison. They almost sound like two different albums. Best: Tarkus (all parts) Worst: A Time and a Place
Awesome early keyboard driven prog. The title track could be mistaken for Super Nintendo era JRPG battle music.
Pretty interesting prog. Some weird atheist lyrics? But overall just squeaks out a 4-star.
Well this is certainly an interesting thing. I feel like I should have taken a lot more of something when I listened to this and it might have gotten a 5, but I still enjoyed all the surreal madness. How often do I get to listen to an album themed around the transition to aquatic of a manticore-fighting armored armadillo tank? It’s all a bit fascinating. Not sure this will be a regular listen but it is certainly something I’m glad to have become acquainted with.
The beauty of the late 60s and early 70s was the ability to unironically try something absolutely "out there" for the sake of Art. "It's gonna be about the de-evolution of a giant armadillo tank!" This is not an album that will be in my casual playlists, but I appreciated what went into creating it. (Mostly. Some of the songs on side 2 were a little WTF.) Low listenability but high creativity and musical skill.
Lame but impressive
-In general, solid Emerson, Lake & Palmer jams. Lots of weird and interesting keyboard and drum rhythms and things. "Are You Ready Eddy?" stood out as being catchy but that might be because it repeats the title a lot and is last. In any case, many fun parts, but nothing standing out as insanely cool to boost it to 5 stars
Underrated second side
On their second album, ELP throw off the training wheels and show what they’re really capable of. The multi-part suite Tarkus is astonishing in its complexity, and the venomous Bitches Crystal crashes through the speakers like a speeding train.
I'm the oddball that likes this music.. Title track is great, the rest of the album is ok, very classic prog rock.
A really fun album overall. I really enjoy the progressive instrumentals of this album.
Spectacular musicianship and composition. Really amazing. Not a great listen in my opinion. I mean I wouldn't put it on while cleaning the house. But certainly a great study.
It's all about the first side, of course, but the side B shouldn't be slept on. It has a lot of good moments. Last song is bad and kinda makes me wonder if everything that came before was just a dream, but that's the only real low point.
This is my comfort genre. 4/5
Awesome, something totally unique but not niche by any means, I really liked it
There are a few moments where it is a bit too much but overall this is very good
A versatile album with quite a lot of musical complexity. I'm not very familiar with the songs of ELP, but I definitely dive into this after listening to this album.