Record #305: Emerson Lake & Palmer – Works, Vol. 1 (1977)

elp works 1.jpgWhilst picking through my parents’ collection, I saw this and said, “Emerson Lake & Palmer…I wonder what all the fuss is about.“

I have since learned that this probably isn’t the best place to start.

The four sides are divided among each member, with only two tracks of full band collaboration (one of those being an Aaron Copeland composition), ending with a bloated, self-indulgent mess that I have enjoyed very little of.

Emerson’s piano concerto aims for Aaron Copeland but ends closer to the Sims soundtrack (not an entirely bad thing). Lake’s side is more pop-oriented, but like…bad soft rock. Like, really bad.

Palmer can’t decide what the hell he wants to do, switching between aggressive classical and funky blues riffing within the same track. Then he does a track with like fifteen different mallet instruments? Jeez. And of course, a pointless, unenjoyable drum solo that lasts way too long.

I can usually forgive most of prog rock’s ambition, but this is just too far. On Works, Emerson Lake & Palmer was so busy trying to figure out whether or not they could that they forgot to ask whether or not they should.

And they should not have.

One thought on “Record #305: Emerson Lake & Palmer – Works, Vol. 1 (1977)

  1. Pingback: Record #471: Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery (1973) | A Year of Vinyl

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