Overall, the whole phenomenon of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer was a fever that took too long to run its course. For all their mechanical onanism, they did at times amuse or impress me to an extent. After all, musicians as good as these fellows were had to be do something appealing from time to time. Tarkus, their second studio album, was such an extreme example of unplayable, undanceable, unlistenable, jig-sawing time signatures that I wound up respecting it as something wherein we have a band that accomplished exactly what they set out to do, produce a loud, grinding, smoke and spark belching bit of unloveable Avant gard music. I would assert that if a college music department had their resident experimental music ensemble take up this album as a proposed project in search of some grant money, it would come pouring it. That is to say that its very unlovability fits right in with much more contemporary noisemakers at the edges of listenability. Also, these fellows had the chutzpah to take Copeland's sacrosanct "Hoe-Down" and turn it into a keyboard-dominated speed metal blitz. We must all insist that Copeland be played as Copeland wished, and yet one must also admit that it's often great fun to speed something up from it's intended tempo and observe how well the framework holds.
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