Heaven ‘ELP Us! (GTLIYWI) 3

Well, that’s 2020 done and dusted. A strange year to be sure; Covid-19 ravaging the world, lockdowns, soaring death rates, massive evictions and job losses, no live concerts or festivals, Australian wildfires followed by the Californian wildfires, record temperatures around the world, icebergs shearing off, newly released alien spacecraft footage and the IceCapades. Strange days, indeed (most peculiar, mama). Still, 2021 should be a little brighter now a vaccine has been found and is being rolled out, which hopefully will see a sense of normality return. Yup, 2021 is looking to be a good year. And, after my Alternative Xmas Playlist, I’m back reviewing double live albums from the 70’s. Let’s see what’s on deck next…. OH GOD! OH, JESUS CHRIST!!

Sgt. Howie looks on in horror at what is about to be reviewed.
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate

Look, I know I’ve nobody but myself to blame for this. No one’s forcing me to listen to this; no one has a gun to my head or offering me money, sex or drugs to listen to this (more’s the pity!) but Jesus, Mary, Joseph and all his carpenter buddies, I never knew it would be this bad!

you can feel the excitement oozing from this photograph

Oscar Wilde famously once said “Life is too short to learn German.”, well luckily for the Irish bard, he never got to hear this steaming pile of bovine droppings, otherwise he’d have changed the saying to “life’s too short to listen to this album!”. I’m not trashing this album just for the sake of trashing it; this, genuinely, is one of the worst listening experiences I’ve ever had to endure. I do love 70’s prog, Genesis, Yes, Gentle Giant and such, but for some reason ELP never resonated with me; I owned Pictures At An Exhibition and Tarkus, but despite countless plays I couldn’t vibe with them.

The choice of songs on here are baffling: the first 3 songs are (bad) arrangements of other ‘serious’ composers works. Copland’s Hoedown is ho-hum and not a great way to open the album; next up is Jerusalem, one of my favourite hymns to sing when I was at school and they turn it into an utter dirge! How can you take an uplifting, gloriously grand song and suck all the joy and life out of it? I don’t know but somehow these hairy pieces of camel spunk manage it! By the time the third song came on I was ready to tap out, this was turning into a endurance test: Toccata is several minutes of noise, noise and a fucking drum/tympani solo that will test your resolve. It’s often said that Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music is one of the worst albums to listen to, but ladies and gentlemen of the jury, may I present a new contender to that crown. And this is just side one! You’ve got 5 more sides of this garbage!

Now, to find something, anything, to praise, I do enjoy the acoustic passages of Still You Turn Me On and erm….that’s about it! It’s just keyboard solos, squiggly noises, drum solos, piano recitals, noises and repeat for 6 sides. The album ends on a 35 minute track called Karn 9 (sides 5 & 6) which would have been greatly improved if we have a 35 minute loop of Captain Kirk yelling “KAAAAHHHHNNNN!” and less annoying too.

So is it excessive? A triple album. 4 of the 9 tracks over 10 minutes. Drum, keyboard and weird noise solos virtually every track. Oh yes, this is exhibit A in excessiveness. Would I recommend it? Only as an endurance test. Would I listen to it again? No, no, hell no! Show me the money or drugs first and I’d still say no! Is there a drum solo? TWO! Two fecking solos and they weren’t the worst things about the album!

So this is getting a 1/10. I really can’t say anything good about this. I know some people enjoy ELP, and if you’re one of them then bless your heart and godspeed but this has been one really awful experience. I’m gonna need a palate cleanser for my ears, so the next album better be a gud’un but until then, TTFN.

Published by labarbaazul8067

I'm just a creature from the heap so excuse my savage ignorance.

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