Emerson, Lake & Palmer
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Francois Couture [allmusic.com]
After the heavily distorted bass and doomsday church organ of Emerson, Lake & Palmer's debut album, the exhilarating prog rock of epic proportions on Tarkus, and the violent removal of the sacred aura of classical tunes on Pictures at an Exhibition, Trilogy, ELP's fourth album, features the trio settling down in more crowd-pleasing pastures. Actually, the group was gaining in maturity what they lost in raw energy. Every track on this album has been carefully thought, arranged, and performed to perfection, a process that also included some form of sterilization. Greg Lake's acoustic ballad ''From the Beginning'' put the group on the charts for a second time. The adaptation of Aaron Copland's ''Hoedown'' also yielded a crowd-pleaser. Prog rock fans had to satisfy themselves with the three-part ''The Endless Enigma'' and ''Trilogy,'' both very strong but paced compositions. By 1972, Eddie Offord's recording and producing techniques had reached a peak. He provided a lush, comfy finish to the album that made it particularly suited for living-room listening and the FM airwaves. Yet the material lacks a bit of excitement. Trilogy still belongs to ELP's classic period and should not be overlooked. For newcomers to prog rock it can even make a less-menacing point of entry.