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Brain Salad Surgery
Emerson Lake & Palmer
Brain Salad Surgery
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Brain Salad Surgery is Emerson Lake and Palmer's masterpiece. The trio's fourth album (fifth if you include the live Pictures At An Exhibition), Brain Salad Surgery was released in December 1973, and went to #2 in the UK, ...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Emerson Lake & Palmer
Title: Brain Salad Surgery
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Shout! Factory
Original Release Date: 1/1/1973
Re-Release Date: 10/9/2007
Album Type: Extra tracks
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 826663106428

Synopsis

Album Description
Brain Salad Surgery is Emerson Lake and Palmer's masterpiece. The trio's fourth album (fifth if you include the live Pictures At An Exhibition), Brain Salad Surgery was released in December 1973, and went to #2 in the UK, #11 in the US. The album boasted some of ELP's most popular numbers: the ballad "Still... You Turn Me On," the spellbinding "Jerusalem" and the epochal "Karn Evil 9." Add to that a sleeve design that regularly tops artwork polls (and introduced the world to the work of HR Giger, years before his work on the Alien movie), pile on one of the most thought-provoking titles any album has carried, and Brain Salad Surgery remains one of the most effectively packaged, performed and produced records of all time. Completely remastered from the original analog tapes. Features two previously unreleased bonus tracks. Housed in a replica of the original LP packaging, including deluxe fold-out sleeve and die-cut mini-poster. Also includes a 24-page booklet featuring rare photos and a detailed essay by music journalist Dave Thompson.

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CD Reviews

Brain Salad Surgery...Missed Again to Hit the Mark
Richard Thompson | El Paso, Texas | 11/23/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Brain Salad Surgery, ELP's 1973 crowning achievement. There is a lot to like about this record. The music of course, which was highly innovative for that era. The interesting and thought provoking cover art. Even the title of the album was innovative. In the short span of four years and five albums, Emerson Lake and Palmer truly pushed the envelope of early progressive classical/rock fusion to another level. In fact they took it right to the top of mainstream music on both sides of the Atlantic.

As much as I've enjoyed the other Shout! Factory re-issues, I have to agree with some of the other reviewers and say this time, they fumbled the ball. The games not a total loss, there are some high-lights. I commend the fact that Shout tried to recreate the original style opening cover art. But why on earth did they crop the artwork so bad? (see my thumbnail photo). That is the actual view on the front cover. P. Jackson's photo gives a good example of how it is designed to open, but does not show the mis-alignment of the outer cover with the inner photo. The inner circle is supposed to lay exactly over the photo beneath it. Notice how high up the skull's eye sockets are? They don't match the woman's face underneath. Also, see the letters ELP at the bottom. They are virtually cut in half! This is how badly the cover is cropped. I have an original album, and this is not how it's supposed to be. The inclusion of a replica of the original poster is nice. But, again, the cover art is cropped and it's not printed on all sides as was the original poster. The booklet is great. Interesting liner notes and good photos of the band on stage from that era.

Now let's get to the most important part: the Sound of the Music. As Noel Pratt points out, there are some problems with the mastering. At approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds into Jerusalem the volume level jumps up dramatically. About 10 decibels in just a few seconds. It's as if someone in the control room noticed how low the level was and tried too quickly to run it up to the correct level. If it was done slowly over the course of 30 seconds or so things would have been much better. I think this is just a bad case of the producer trying to make this re-issue more dynamic than previous renditions. My suggestion would be to skip track one and record the alternate mix of Jerusalem provided here as a bonus track (#9). And as far as the complaints about "muffled" sound. I agree...somewhat. In a close comparison of this re-issue with the former Rhino issue from `96, there is major difference. The Shout issue has a more prominent bottom-end. The problem is it's not isolated to the bass or kick drum, it's an over-all increase in the entire low-end spectrum, even effecting the vocals. The impression is the vocals getting slightly "buried" in the murkiness and sounding a little more distant. The Rhino issue has a much cleaner and crisper sound. Note that this comparison took place on a pair of high-quality head-phones that allow every little nuance to be heard. If one is comparing sound on various speaker systems it can be a very different and subjective comparison to the human ear. For instance, If you played this Shout re-issue in a car with a stock stereo system, you may want the extended bottom-end compensating for the lack of, due to poor quality speakers.

Now I'm glad I picked up a copy of Rhinos `96 re-issue of Brain Salad Surgery at a used record store (it's currently out of print). I liked the 3-D cover that changes as you tilt it from the Skull shot to the Female face. I actually bought it because I thought it would be a collector's item. Now I think I prefer the sound on it to any thing else that's been put out so far.

Maybe, just maybe, some record company will finally create the Definitive Remastered Expanded Deluxe version with all the possible bonus tracks available, and get all the newest most creative packaging avialable to bring it all together for the Grang Finale of this most deserving Masterpiece. Until then..."
Worst Masterging I've Heard on a "Re-Mastered" CD
R. Ripberger | 09/14/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I'm not going to talk about whether I like ELP or their music or this album other than I really liked this LP as a kid and was happy to bump into a "Re-Mastered" CD version of it.

However, I have to say that the sound is about the worst re-mastered CD I've heard to date. Most noticable on my system is that the precussion parts have been severely obliterated - the cymbals are mostly missing and when noticable sound unreal - not at all like the LP - and most of the rest of the drum kit is noticably muted. Levels are inconsistent within single tracks and from track to track. Karn-evil 9 part 1 seems to have grossly filtered, muted, and muffled. The other reviewer's comment about low pass filtering seems accurate. This CD seems to have lost much of the realism and clarity of the LP.

What a disappointment."
(UPDATED)ELP's Masterpiece Gets The Royal Treatment in Packa
B. J O'Connor | Holmdel,NJ USA | 10/09/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)

""Brain Salad Surgery" was ELP's undisputed masterwork.Released in December 1973,it hit #11 on the Billboard Album charts and it is home to some of the band's most popular and enduring songs:the gentle ballad "Still...You Turn Me On",the spellbinding hymn "Jerusalem",the Moog-fried classical-rock piece "Toccata"(an adaptation from Ginastera's 1'st Piano Concerto,4th movement)and the towering muti-part epic "Karn Evil 9".But unlike the previous ELP Shout! Factory remasters,this reissue's remastering of this album is an inept disaster."Karl Evil 9(1st Impressions Parts 1 & 2)" is viturally unlistenable-the volume is so low and muffled you have to crank it up to 12 to hear it,and "Jerusalum" has a volume increase halfway thorough the track-very poor QC at Shout!Factory. Unlike the others,however,it has two bonus tracks,one's an alternate mix of "Jerusalem",with Greg Lake's vocal more upfront than in the original mix,and an instrumental version of "Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression Parts 1 & 2".It also has a cool gatefold sleeve-opening design of the controversial H.R Giger album cover,a neat foldout poster of the trio containing lyrics,and a deluxe 24-page booklet with informative liner notes by Dave Thompson and rare photos of the band live in concert.I would advise fans of BSS,however, to hold to the Rhino CD version,which has none of the sound quality problems and has held up very well.(Updated:6/25/2010)"