Emerson Lake and Palmer: Pictures at an Exhibition a jpoc music review
Brilliant, inspired, ELP at their best.
Ten out of ten.
A monumental achievement.
The best way to judge this music is not to compare it with the original piano work or with one of the orchestrated versions of which the Ravel is the best known. The ELP version of Pictures covers just half of the original material and also it includes much material that is not in the original and can only be said to be loosely based at the most.
So, viewing this as another ELP album, in the context of, say ELP, Tarkus and Trilogy, how does it stand up?
The most remarkable aspect of this album is that it was recorded live. Few bands are capable of producing music of this scale outside the studio. From the majestic opening "Promenade" to the final romp through "The Great Gates of Kiev" the music powers on.
The album is as good as any of the studio albums and seen as a piece, "Pictures" is a match for the "Tarkus" suite and, as an individual track, "Kiev" is, for me their finest achievement.
The keyboard work of Keith Emerson and the drumming of Carl Palmer are what really grab the attention but, if you listen carefully to this album, it is clear that Greg Lake is also laying down some truely memorable bass licks.
This album, along with the debut album "ELP" and "Tarkus" the band's second studio album stand together as a benchmark of just what three great musicians can achieve.