Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Trilogy


4.5
superb

Review

by e210013 USER (159 Reviews)
November 23rd, 2020 | 26 replies


Release Date: 1972 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Trilogy is probably ELP’s most prog album. It’s perhaps the most listenable too.

“Trilogy” is the third studio album of Emerson, Lake & Palmer and was released in 1972. The line up on the album is Keith Emerson, Greg Lake and Carl Palmer.


“Trilogy” is a very special album in the group’s discography. In spite of many artistic tragedies in the progressive rock, which occurred in the late of the 70’s with the advent of the punk rock movement, the early moments of those years were times of high productivity for most of the groups, including Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The band released five great albums with original material, between 1970 and 1973. While some fans might question the need of “Pictures At An Exhibition” to have been released because is too much classical, and some others might regard “Tarkus” as a relatively minor work for the group, despite it has probably their best composition, the title track, the other three albums, their eponymous debut, “Brain Salad Surgery” and this one, are generally regarded as the artistic peak of the band’s career.

“Trilogy” is regarded by some fans and many critics as the most consistent work that the trio ever produced, which is probably true. While I definitely agree the album does contain excellent material, some of their best, I’m still thinking that “Trilogy” is only their third most successful release, after “Emerson, Lake & Palmer” and “Brain Salad Surgery”.

So, though they were barely two years into their existence, the progressive rock super group known as Emerson Lake & Palmer released their fourth album, after two studio works and one live album, in 1972, titled “Trilogy”. It was another remarkable achievement that saw the excellent musical and compositional skills of the trio once again taking another giant leap, as the album was filled with not only uncanny playing but also memorable songs brimming with intelligent melodies and daring arrangements. “Trilogy” is, without any doubt, a bona fide classic from the band, top to bottom filled with gems that have stood the test of time in the annals of prog rock and that helped put the band to the stardom.

“Trilogy” is a very different album. After the heavily distorted bass and doomsday church organ of Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s debut album, the exhilarating prog rock of epic proportions on “Tarkus”, and the violent removal of the sacred aura of classical tunes on “Pictures At An Exhibition”, “Trilogy” features the trio settling down in more crowd pleasing pastures. Actually, the group was gaining in maturity what they lost in raw energy. Every track on this album has been carefully thought, arranged, and performed to perfection, a process that also included some form of music sterilization.

The three parts, “The Endless Enigma, Pt. 1”, “Fugue” and “The Endless Enigma, Pt. 2” is a single piece. It’s a fantastic vehicle for the keyboard work of Emerson, with Palmer’s rumbling drums and Lake’s melodic vocals. It’s among their highest moments. Still, it was rarely performed live and that was probably the main reason why it never reached the recognition it deserved. “From The Beginning” is a beautiful acoustic track featuring Lake on vocals and guitar and with a short participation of Emerson. While it has a simplistic structure, it’s a crafted piece. “The Sheriff” has the same mood of “Are You Ready Eddie?”, “Jeremy Bender/The Sheriff” and “Benny The Bouncer”. As the name suggests, it has a Wild West feel. It’s a well crafted piece despite I don’t like this kind of songs. “Hoedown” is their version from a ballet named “Rodeo” of Aaron Copland. It’s another western flavour track that instead of violins has Emerson’s Hammond and synthesizers taking the lead. It’s a great piece, especially performed live. The title track is largely an instrumental track, heavy on synthesizers with a driving wall of sound with various time changes in the best prog tradition. It’s one of the highest moments on the album. “Living Sin” is a heavy and dark short track. It’s the heaviest and darkest song on the album. It’s not the best but it’s still good. “Abaddon’s Bolero” is presumably the band’s interpretation of the prophecy in the Book of Revelation. Its structure is simple with only a brief deviation from the main theme, which is usual on boleros, with the gradual build of the hypnotic climax. This is a great ending to the album.


Conclusion: Of their four first and best studio albums, “Trilogy” was my most recent purchase. But, since I listened to it for the first time, I always loved it. It’s one of their less known albums and is probably their most underrated work. “Trilogy” is undoubtedly a great album, one of their best, and features the trio settling down in more crowd pleasing structures. Of those four albums, it hasn’t the immediacy of their eponymous debut or the pomposity of “Brain Salad Surgery” but it’s more balanced than “Tarkus”, despite hasn’t the suite masterpiece “Tarkus”. “Trilogy” is the less pompous, the most complete, the most progressive and the most classic, and perhaps their finest work. “Trilogy” still belongs to Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s classic period and should not be overlooked. While not perfect, it still is a strong effort by a gifted group of music explorers. For the newcomers to prog it can even make a less menacing point of entry.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
November 23rd 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

As we know, ELP was the first rock supergroup in history. The three members of the band came out from three well known bands at the time, The Nice, Atomic Rooster and especially King Crimson. However, ELP never was a conventional band and due to that was never a consensual band. They are seen as too much pompous and a bombastic band. Still, during their short golden era they really shine and were responsable for some of the best prog albums in history. Because of that, they also became as one of the most influentail prog bands too.

About their best works, Trilogy always was, strangely, the less known of all. I say strangely because it's one of their better balanced albums and is, for many, their finest work too.

So, when unfortunatly two of the members of the band are no longer with us, Emerson and Lake, it's now time to bring another review of it to Sputnik. They deserve not to be forgotten.

normaloctagon
November 23rd 2020


3672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice rev. this is my favorite ELP

Digging: Madvillain - Madvillainy

e210013
November 23rd 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, really? It seems I'm right. Many think this is their finest work. It's nice to know one of those persons. Cool.

Thanks for you share your comment, pal. And thanks for the pos too.

normaloctagon
November 23rd 2020


3672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

indeed, it seems you are right! Tarkus is awesome, but not one I revisit often. when it comes to more "out there" prog, ELP is not usually the band I pick to listen to



and sure thing! cheers

JeremiahBullfrog
November 23rd 2020


788 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

my dad rams this down my throat every christmas, the keyboards are hideous. Good review.

e210013
November 23rd 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ah, ah. Very funny. And it seems the time is coming again.

I really liked your comment. Still, your father is a man of fine taste.

I'm glad you liked it. And thanks for the pos, dude.

e210013
November 23rd 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

@ norma

Sorry I don't see your last comment before.

Yeah, it's the same with me. I usually don't listen to this band often too.

About Tarkus, it has the best composition ever made by the band the title track suite. But, the rest of the album is poorer. It's great album, but a bit unballanced.

My favourites are, perhaps, their debut and Brain Salad Surgery. Both are really amazing. Still, my favourite is and always was their live Welcome Back... This is, in my opinion, one of the best live albums ever.

LeddSledd
November 23rd 2020


2870 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Favorite ELP is still BSS. Still, great album and From the Beginning and the Sheriff are jamz

Digging: Cryptopsy - Blasphemy Made Flesh

wham49
November 23rd 2020


5493 Comments


not a huge fan of ELP but this would be my favorite album form them, From the begining has such nostalgic memories for me

normaloctagon
November 23rd 2020


3672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@e210013 ur good I didn't expect a response! I'll have to check "Welcome Back," been watching more recorded live shows lately to make up for not being able to go to shows irl. you speak very highly of this one, so it's going on my to-do list!

e210013
November 23rd 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks for the comment Ledd.

e210013
November 23rd 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm very glad wham this album gives you nice memories.

Thanks for the comment too.

e210013
November 23rd 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Do that norma. If you like ELP, I'm sure you'll like that live album too. It has some of the best tracks of them. Besides, it has an amazing sound production, at least my version. I think you can have the best ELP in only one package.

BlondeGuardian
November 23rd 2020


56 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review. I heard "From the Beginning" at an impressionable age so this album gives me many happy beautiful feelings. Anyway, I enjoyed the songs that didn't have too much prog in them.

e210013
November 23rd 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks Blonde. Yeah, all album is great. Thanks for the comment dude.

Jethro42
November 24th 2020


16200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've rated all the great ELP's albums at a 4, except for their first album at a 4.5, probably for its kind of concept, in the sense that the album’s first half showcases their group efforts, and the individual prowess of the three band members on the second.

The sound of the band is strongly dominated by the Hammond organ and Moog synthesizer of Emerson. I'd have liked if Lake would have taken more room, like doing more songs such as ''From the Beginning''. On the other angle, Palmer's drum playing suits well Emerson's playing.

The opener is probably my favorite track on Trilogy.

Nice review, buddy!



e210013
November 24th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks bro. It's always a pleasure to see your point of view.

Sabrutin
November 24th 2020


7327 Comments


I see you're still proggin', have a pos.

Am I a bad person if I kind of stopped listening to ELP ever since I discovered Pictures by Island in one of Friday's tournaments?

Anyway, I never listened to ELP particularly in depth, but my favorite has always been Tarkus. I know it has the fame of being "the title track plus some okay songs", but I always felt like those "okay songs" are actually pretty great (like The Only Way) and make it very consistent.
And didn't Iron Maiden take inspiration from the first seconds of A Time and a Place to write their song Revelations?

e210013
November 24th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I'm still proggin. Someone needs to do that. And thanks for the pos.

I really don't think that you're a bad person due to that. But, I sincerely think that Pictures At An Exhibition is also a great album of them. Maybe not as good as their best, but still is great.

I sincerelly think that you should listen to ELP deeper, particularly their debut studio album and their second live album. Of course, if you like pompous and a bombastic music. Besides, one of the best and most important prog bands of your country, Le Orme, was deeply influenced by ELP, as you know. But, probably you aren't so enthusiastic by keyboards as I am.

About Iron Maiden, I really don't know. Sincerelly I never paid much attention to them, till now. Probably I should, especially because I have an amout of albums of them. But, I always was more interested in other simillar bands, such as Black Sabbath and Uriah Heep. Again the keyboards. Lol.

Cheers my friend. I hope that everything remains ok with you.

Sabrutin
November 24th 2020


7327 Comments


I will surely go back to them as it'd be silly to explore prog without them.

As for Iron Maiden, I only meant that the start of those two songs sounds suspiciously similar.

Thank you by the way, I'm fine. At home, but fine. Hope it's the same for you.



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