It certainly is no accident that Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer each had a hand in actually defining the Prog Rock sound, albeit individually in separate bands, Emerson as a keyboard innovator with The Nice; Greg Lake writing and singing on the 1969 King Crimson groundbreaker In the Court of the Crimson King ; and Carl Palmer exhibiting power and space-filling percussion in the trio Atomic Rooster. On Brain Salad Surgery, no one can deny that the Emerson, Lake, and Palmer repertoire is undeniably eclectic and adventurous. The album opener ” Jerusalem” features lyrics by English poet William Blake; the over-the-top synthesizer and electronic percussion in “Toccata” occurs while re-interpreting Argentinian composer Alberto Ginestera‘s “First Piano Concerto, 4th Movement”;” Still You Turn Me On” continues the gorgeous Greg Lake ballads in the tradition of his “Lucky Man” and “From the Beginning” ; and the album centerpiece “Karn Evil 9” was uncannily prescient by predicting the Computer Age over four decades ago.Do not let revisionists try to convince you otherwise: Emerson, Lake, and Palmer were HUGE arena fillers and sales monsters ( UK #2 sales, Top 10 US ) and quite innovative progressive rockers when Brain Salad Surgery came out in early 1974. Any accounting of Progressive Rock’s defining albums from the genre’s golden age must include this fourth ELP studio album. And you must hear Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer tell the story of visiting Swiss cover artist the late H.R.Giger!
With Keith Emerson and Greg Lake now gone, their recollections from In the Studio archives are precious indeed, along with recent updates from Carl Palmer. – Redbeard