Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Tuesday's Track - The Endless Enigma by Emerson, Lake & Palmer

This Tuesday let me take you back to the hot summer days of the 1970’s

For those of us around and growing up in those days

It was a time of:


Power Cuts and candles

Platform Shoes

Chopper bikes

Curly Whirly’s

Banana Splits

Glam Rock


Progressive Rock

And the kings of Progressive Rock was Emerson, Lake and Palmer

The first cassette tape I bought was from a school friend, he sold me ‘Trilogy’ by E.L.P.

And I was hooked forever as I heard the first track, ‘Endless Enigma’

I was just amazing and still gives me goose bumps today.


In an extract by François Couture over at All Music, he gives this appraisal of the song:

Lake's lyrics are once again metaphysical, something the title of the song already suggested. They imply trust ("You never spoke a word of truth") and the discovery of one's own nature ("I still don't know who I am") through life's stages ("Each part was played but the play was not shown/Everyone came but they all sat alone/Now that it's done, I begun to see the reason why I'm here").

The main part of the piece is the first one. After Lake's verses the theme comes to a halt to make way for a piano cadenza. The "Fugue" has all three musicians playing a slightly jazzy theme led by the piano (the jazzy interlude is a recurring technique in Emerson's compositions; see "The Barbarian," "Take a Pebble," "Infinite Space," and, of course, "Karn Evil 9: 2nd Impression"). Palmer switches from the drum set to the tubular bells and the piece gradually returns to the solemnity of the first section, resuming for one last verse and the finale, superbly dissonant. What makes "The Endless Enigma" a prized number of ELP's catalog is its relative lack of pomposity (something more frequent in the group's latter years) but also of arrogance (which plagued earlier pieces).”

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