Saturday, September 17, 2011

Emerson, Lake, and Palmer: Still . . . You Turn Me On

It’s Bubbling Under Saturday and we step back to 1973 with an album cut by Emerson, Lake, and Palmer’s LP “Brain Salad Surgery.” Typically, every ELP album had a Greg Lake ballad and it usually was released as a single. Although “Still . . . You Turn Me On” was not issued as a 45, it did manage to get a fair amount of airplay on the album stations and some on the Top 40 side.

Several things stick out in my mind regarding this tune. First, it gives the audio experience of being recorded live in concert. Second, Greg Lake adds a wah-wah guitar as part of the accompaniment. Third, Keith Emerson adds a trio (at least) of keyboards that include a piano, synthesizer, and a harpsichord. Fourth, there appears to be a koto on this track – but, I can’t swear to it. Fifth, there is an interesting percussive sound which could have come from the guitar, keyboards, or even tunable percussion. I simply do not know.

The granddaddy of them all is the lyrical content of one line in particular: “Every day a little sadder; a little madder; someone get me a ladder.” It’s such a bizarre rhyme that I love it. You can’t blame Pete Sinfield on this one – it’s all Greg Lake. It is a great little ballad that showcases the softer side of ELP.

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