How many grandiose and technically awesome tracks ELP created in their career! How maany suites and rapsodies, revisited classical compositions, stunning experiments... but when it comes to choose just one song from their vast repertoire for my own pleasure, I can't help picking up this short and fascinating one, the opening track of "Brain Salad Surgery" album.
The iconic cover art for "Brain Salad Surgery".
Why is that? I think it's because there's a mysterious aurea in it, partly due to Keith Emerson's organ, partly to the lyrics, a William Blake's poem originally called "And did those feet in ancient time", partly to the music, a baroque hymn written by the victorian composer Hubert Parry. But there's something more, of course. The trio transformed this hymn without betraying its soul: they added a special strength and a martial pace, a devilish atmosphere, that's somewhat in tune with Blake's poem. Simply perfect, IMHO.