Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Works Volume 1


3.0
good

Review

by NightmareCinema16 USER (36 Reviews)
February 25th, 2013 | 16 replies


Release Date: 1977 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The beginning of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s progressive downfall…

Emerson, Lake and Palmer, as a band, were already reaching the end of their glory days after finishing Brain Salad Surgery, an album which only Tarkus and Trilogy’s standards could be easily met. This was the point when creativity would begin to run short, and botchery, treachery, pretentiousness, overindulgence, and disaster would begin to run wild out of control. All of this would begin in Works, Vol One, an album with a mixed bag of treats and tricks.

The one only real treat in this album that should deserve respect and stands on level with Tarkus and Karn Evil is Piano Concerto No. 1, written by Keith Emerson and the acclaimed London Philharmonic Orchestra. This is perhaps one of the last songs with no loss of creativity, and should easily get across to the listener. Composed into three movements, this entire piece demonstrates Keith Emerson’s classical musical prowess on the piano, which is quite impressive, along with the incredible chemistry with the orchestra. It really especially emanates a contemporary mood to the music, creating a wave of calm soothing piano passages as well as intense, hot, blistery fast movements, and a brilliant overall sound to the beginning of the album. This has to the only real impressive piece of Works Vol. One.

The rest of album is a trick at work. It is ruled by the realms of mostly overindulgence and ELP, unlike its predecessor, Brain Salad Surgery, which managed to control it. It is also overdriven, putting too much emphasis on each of members rather than the band as a whole. Whether this was meant to be an ego-stroke or not, this ultimately results in a lack of real creativity and an almost fake taste of emotion and quality. Take for example; while C’est La Vie is a very calming, emotional ballad done well by Greg Lake, it’s just another repeat of Still…You Turn Me On, French style. Plus, the mood created in the song seems almost a little fake, and not as charming as what Lake, or ELP, for that matter, would create in their earlier albums.

And as usual, Emerson, Lake, and Palmer are the kings of pretentiousness and botchery, a skill they can never seem to lose. However, in this album, it only gets worse. ELP in the process of a few years is beginning to switch their act from serious to just plain silly, placing ridiculously annoying solo passages whenever they can get the chance in almost every song. Some of the soloist passages are ok or great, but most of them aren’t very good or clever, if any of them were even worth listening to in the first place. The worst part about this is that they’re spread throughout a double album. What could’ve made this double album better is if they blew all of their disadvantages out in a few songs rather than throughout the entire two discs. This resulted in a loss of originality, something that ELP would suffer from for the rest of their band life.

All in all, Works One has a few great songs that would be worth listening to, especially Piano Concerto, but other than that, ELP really had nothing else to lean on or save them. They try to make the listener think that it’s Brain Salad Surgery, when in reality; this is something way different…something else. This is more like a pretentious copy of Brain Salad Surgery, containing copious amounts of solo sections, and botched up performances. Thankfully, this is not what Works One is completely ruled by, leaving just enough worthwhile material. If anything, Piano Concerto is still recommended, and the rest is highly cautionary, if the listener is willing to withstand overindulgence and solos.



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user ratings (74)
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2.7
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Comments:Add a Comment 
NightmareCinema16
February 25th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Personal lesson learned: Piano Concerto is the only real brilliant song. That's just my personal opinion. Anybody have thoughts or suggestions???

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2013


4435 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

Can't believe no one has commented yet. I pretty much agree with your opinion, though I think it's still a pretty solid record. POS'd.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 25th 2013


20742 Comments


Never listened to this one. I haven't really botherred checking out anything after Brain Salad Surgery.

Props for reviewing ELP.

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

Jethro42
February 25th 2013


12456 Comments


I never listened to this one either. I'm listening to Piano Concerto atm (great track). Great review!

NightmareCinema16
February 25th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Thanks guys. I've got a few other reviews I'm getting finished, so I getting back to reviewing status. Anybody perhaps have any requests?

dannyboy89
February 26th 2013


11975 Comments


Nice review.

I'm listening to the Spellbound album by Tygers of Pan Tang, perhaps you can review that.

Jethro42
February 26th 2013


12456 Comments


Some suggestions;
Triumvirat - Spartacus
Strawbs - Hero and Heroine
Premiata Forneria Marconi (PFM) - The World Became the World
Traffic - The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
Horslips - Book of Invasions
Brand x - Morrocan Roll

NightmareCinema16
February 26th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I'll be on some of those, espeicially Strawbs and Traffic.

Jethro42
February 26th 2013


12456 Comments


You have a reader on your side, then ;)

NightmareCinema16
February 28th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

And you have my word, my good sir. :D

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2013


20742 Comments


Make that two readers on your side.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
February 28th 2013


20742 Comments


I'd love to see a review for that Horslips album in particular.

Jethro42
February 28th 2013


12456 Comments


^Yeah that would be cool. To be considered by ProgJect otherwise.

NightmareCinema16
February 28th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

I'll check out Horslips. I'm also at work reviewing for a 1970s Swedish Psyche/Prog Band called Jorm. Want to check out their music, I can give you guys the Bandcamp link. I'm pretty sure it still says name your price, so I think you could still legally get it for free.

http://jorm.bandcamp.com/

KILL
March 5th 2013


71856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol what the fuck someone reviewed this sweet

Digging: A Guy Called Gerald - Black Secret Technology

NightmareCinema16
August 9th 2013


2016 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

surprise. that was me. I don't even know if I want to review vol 2 if this one was only ok...



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