Behold Tarkus, the mighty mythical beast! Rarely has such a powerful image come to define both a band and a genre of rock music with such forthright aggression. But Tarkus, the second album released by Emerson, Lake & Palmer, not only solidified the group's success but established 'progressive rock' an important facet of '70s music.
Tarkus, originally released in 1971, is one of only two ELP records to reach the Top 10 in the U.S., making it to #9, while in Britain it was their only number one album.
The cover artwork was commissioned to the artist painter and graphic designer William Neal. Keith Emerson said, "To everyone, it represented what we were doing in that studio. The next day on my drive up from Sussex the imagery of the armadillo kept hitting me. It had to have a name. Something guttural. It had to begin with the letter 'T' and end with a flourish. 'Tarka the Otter' may have come into it, but this armadillo needed a science fiction kind of name that represented Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in reverse. Some mutilation of the species caused by radiation...'Tarkus!'"
Side one of the original LP is occupied by the 21-minute title epic track, beating both Genesis' 'Supper's Ready' and Yes' 'Close to the Edge' by a year. Unlike the latter group's cut-and-paste technique to obtain long suites, 'Tarkus' is a thoroughly written, focused piece of music. It remains among the Top Ten classic tracks in progressive rock history.
- 24 Bit/96khz remaster of the original 1971 LP
- Mastered from the original tapes
- Original gatefold sleeve & artwork
- Foreword on the LP audio by Greg Lake
- Live music
- i. Eruption
- ii. Stones Of Years
- iii. Iconoclast
- iv. Mass
- v. Manticore
- vi. The Battlefield
- vii. Aquatarkus
- Jeremy Bender
- B*tches Crystal
- The Only Way (Hymn)
- Infinite Space (Conclusion)
- A Time And A Place
- Are You Ready Eddy?