SD 19123 Trilogy
Produced by Greg Lake
Released on July 6, 1972
Find it at GEMM
SD 19123 cover  

T rilogy is a challenge to the status quo of popular music, a confident coronation of majestic tendencies seen on Tarkus and Pictures. Though Peter Sinfield had yet to join, ELP’s lyrical vision is hardly clumsy here, suggesting a literate bravado. This combined with what handily represent the band’s most artful arrangements (“The Sheriff,” “Hoedown”) take the band to a new level. No longer are they flinging arrows at the battlements of mediocrity and fear (as Tarkus did), but on Trilogy the trio has scaled the wall and assumed the mantle of the new musical vanguard that Crimson wore but briefly. On Trilogy, we meet new feats that were later equalled but never bettered: the almost offhand genius of “The Endless Enigma” and “Trilogy,” the compelling tale of “The Sheriff,” a sublime ballad in “From The Beginning,” and the energized interpretation of Aaron Copland’s “Hoedown.” If Trilogy and the subsequent Surgery rank among the trio’s great achievements, it’s no accident. Tarkus took them in a new direction, and their musical styles flourished in this conjoined creative environment. It’s not simply that they complemented one another, but that they drove one another to excellence. Listen to Keith Emerson’s spacey solo on “From The Beginning,” Carl Palmer’s tireless rhythms on “Trilogy,” or Lake’s brave handling of “The Sheriff,” and you’ll hear how each member could push the dialogue past old boundaries. Though it proved to be an unsustainable level of activity, Trilogy remains one of ELP’s finest achievements, and thus one of the great records in the annals of progressive rock. It’s amazing to think that listeners would soon dismiss this music in favor of punk, when the same revolutionary sentiments are at work in each. Of course, prog (at its best) required superlative musicianship, while punk crashed down the gates to let anyone in. Both will become blips in the big musical screen with time, but with the distinction that punk coldcocked convention while prog (in the person of works like Trilogy) outdueled it in a swordfight of youthful grace matched with an admirable cunning.

SD 19123 inner gatefold SD 19123 back cover
SD 19123 inner gatefold SD 19123 back cover


  1. THE ENDLESS ENIGMA (PART 1)    (Keith Emerson/Greg Lake)    6:37
  2. FUGUE    (Keith Emerson)    1:57
  3. THE ENDLESS ENIGMA (PART 2)    (Keith Emerson/Greg Lake)    2:00
  4. FROM THE BEGINNING    (Greg Lake)    4:14
  5. THE SHERIFF    (Keith Emerson/Greg Lake)    3:22
  6. HOEDOWN    (Aaron Copland)    3:48
  7. TRILOGY    (Keith Emerson/Greg Lake)    8:54
  8. LIVING SIN    (Keith Emerson/Greg Lake/Carl Palmer)    3:11
  9. ABADDON'S BOLERO    (Keith Emerson)    8:13

    CD reissue bonus track

    Arranged by Emerson, Lake & Palmer


KEITH EMERSON -- Hammond organ C3, Steinway piano, zoukra, Moog synthesizer III C, Mini Moog model D
GREG LAKE -- vocals, bass, acoustic & electric guitars, lyrics
CARL PALMER -- percussion
Eddie Offord -- production engineer
Hipgnosis -- cover design & photography
Phil Crennell -- tinting

return to EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER discography

UK/DEN/GER July 6, 1972 Island LP ILPS 9168 gatefold cover
US/CAN July 6, 1972 Cotillion LP SD 9903 gatefold cover
ARG   Cotillion LP 83271 gatefold cover
NET   Island LP 86230IT gatefold cover
UK 1974 Manticore LP K43505 gatefold cover
GER 1974? Manticore LP 87227XOT gatefold cover
US 1977? Atlantic LP/CS SD 19123 gatefold cover
ARG   Atlantic LP 5014059  
JPN   Atlantic LP P-8260A  
BRA 1979 Atco LP 6047 006  
US Nov/Dec 1993 Victory CD 80019  
US 1995? Mobile Fidelity LP 218 original master recording
US 1995? Mobile Fidelity CD UDCD-621 original master recording
UK 1996 Essential CD ESMCD 343 original master recording
US May 21, 1996 Rhino CD 72226  
JPN   Victor CD VICP-60742 digital remaster
UK 2001 Sanctuary CD CMRCD 200 digital remaster w. bonus track
JPN 2002 Victor CD VICP-62117 K2 digital remaster


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