The song that never ends
By: Elijah O’Donnell
Photo Courtesy Shutterstock & Amazon

Feature album: Brain Salad Surgery by Emmerson, Lake & Palmer. Released in 1979, this album shaped the way prog rock was perceived, especially in the UK. This album is a lot of fun, and you can tell that the band had a lot of fun producing it. With radical keyboard solos that go on for minutes, their lyrical trades and an overall tone that boasts, “we are Emmerson, Lake & Palmer, and it’s gonna get weird in here!”

Even the gatefold album cover, designed by H.R.Gieger of Alien fame, proudly announces the overall tone of this record. With a scary, industrial looking skull piece up front and a sweep of alien beauty underneath.

Brain Salad Surgery was EL&P’s 4th studio album with a five-song track listing that in the end was split into eight total songs. This is because the final track — Karn Evil 9 — was so long, standing at about 28 minutes, that it was divided into three separate parts. Each of these parts was called “Impressions.” That being said, they were still too long to all fit on one side of the vinyl, causing Karn Evil 9-1st Impression to be split in two. Part 1 on the A-side and part 2 on the B-side.

Overall, I give this album 4.5 Karn Evils out of 5.

Tracklisting
1. Jerusalem
2. Toccata
3. Still…you turn me on
4. Benny the Bouncer
5. Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression- Part 1
6. Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression- Part 2
7. Karn Evil 9: 2nd Impression
8. Karn Evil 9: 3rd Impression

Total Play Time: 45 minutes