Though they were barely two years into their existence, the progressive rock supergroup known as Emerson Lake & Palmer released their fourth album (third studio, one live album) in 1972 titled Trilogy. It was another remarkable achievement that saw the musical & compositional skills of the trio once again taking another giant leap, as the album was filled with not only uncanny playing but also memorable songs brimming with intelligent melodies and daring arrangements. BMG continues on with their reissue series of the ELP catalog, this one also a 2CD set, the first containing the original album remastered in 2015, and the second an alternate version of the album featuring a 2015 stereo mix courtesy of Jakko Jakszyk. It all comes housed in a double digipack with the original artwork, photos, and new essay from Chris Welch.
Trilogy is without a doubt a bona fide classic from the band, top to bottom filled with gems that have stood the test of time in the annals of progressive rock. The three part "The Endless Enigma, Pt. 1", "Fugue" and "The Endless Enigma, Pt. 2" is a fantastic vehicle for the keyboard workhorse Keith Emerson, littered with incredible Hammond organ and other keyboards, with Carl Palmer's rumbling drums and Greg Lake's melodic vocals providing the rest of the icing on the cake. Lake's "From the Beginning" was the lone hit from the album, a gorgeous rocker littered with his lush acoustic guitar tones, a thrilling lead electric guitar solo, as well as Emerson dropping in a Moog excursion to join in on the fun. If you didn't think Lake was one of the better vocalists in rock at that time, listen to this little gem. "The Sheriff" is a whimsical number, Emerson's Hammond & piano saddling right up to Lake's vocal while busy drum & bass lines hold the groove, while the wild "Hoedown" became one of the bands most beloved songs, an energetic romp through classical & rock motifs, Palmer & Lake getting busy underneath acrobatic Hammond courtesy of the late virtuoso Emerson before he closes out with a blazing flurry of Moog blasts. Lake's gentle crooning soars over Emerson's majestic piano on the lengthy title track, that is until about the halfway point where drums & bass crash the party and signal the arrival of chaotic Moog explorations, turning this tranquil piece into a complete prog rock workout of gigantic proportions. Things don't let up from there, as Emerson's heavy Hammond organ rampages over tricky Palmer fills on "Living Sin", complete with Lake's most aggressive vocals on the album (yes, this one rocks folks, easily one of the bands heaviest tracks), and the album closes on a triumphant note with the majestic "Abaddon's Bolero", another tour de force for the master Keith Emerson and his array of keyboards.
Both the remastered original album and Jakszyk's stereo mix sound fantastic, absolutely crystal clear with each nuance perfectly audible and powerful. It's as if the band are playing right there in the room with you, no matter whether you are enjoying through headphones or cranking it up through a good stereo system. Overall, this is just a stellar package of a milestone recording from a legendary band.
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1. The Endless Enigma, Pt. 1
3. The Endless Enigma, Pt. 2
4. From the Beginning
5. The Sheriff
8. Living Sin
9. Abaddon's Bolero
1. From the Beginning (Alt Version)
2. The Endless Enigma, Pt. 1 (New Stereo Mix)
3. Fugue (New Stereo Mix)
4. The Endless Enigma, Pt. 2 (New Stereo Mix)
5. From the Beginning (New Stereo Mix)
6. The Sheriff (New Stereo Mix)
7. Hoedown (New Stereo Mix)
8. Trilogy (New Stereo Mix)
9. Living Sin (New Stereo Mix)
10. Abaddon's Bolero (New Stereo Mix)