Tarkus (Emerson, Lake & Palmer)

This classic album by Emerson, Lake & Palmer was released on 14 June 1971, and I still don’t fully understand what it’s all about. But Tarkus is prog rock, and so it doesn’t really matter. Overblown, pretentious, and glorious. I probably drove my parents mad playing this vinyl LP.

The first side (yes, this is before CDs) comprises a long, seven part piece that is open to interpretation. Towards the end there’s a contrapuntal section, when the two parts are separated by the left and right channels so you can switch between the two using the balance control.

There’s a variety of tracks on the second side, including an obligatory church organ, de rigueur for any self-respecting prog rock keyboard player of the 70s.

The album ends with a wonderfully exuberant rock and roll tribute to engineer Eddy Offord, Are You Ready Eddy?

Are you ready, Eddy, to turn out rock-and-roll?
Are you ready, Eddy, ready to rock-and-roll?
Are you ready, Eddy, to give me some of your soul?

Are you ready, Eddy, to pull those faders down?
Are you ready, Eddy, to pull those faders down?
Are you ready, Eddy, to turn your scully round?

Not the greatest prog rock album ever, but worth a revisit nevertheless.

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