The British group Emerson Lake and Palmer (ELP)

became synonymous in the eyes of some critics with the

worst excesses of progressive rock.1 As only one example

of their tendency toward grandiose presentation, their

1973-74 world tour involved 36 tons of equipment

(including a quadraphonic sound system and lasers),2

which led critic Lester Bangs to brand them as "war crim-

inals" committing "energy atrocities" at the height of the

energy crisis.3 Keyboard player Keith Emerson's solos

(which often emphasized virtuosity at the expense of

restraint) attracted the most criticism, as well as the

group's overly precious "arrangements" of classical reper-

toire such as Modest Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibi-

tion. However, few critics have discussed ELP's original

songs, the bulk of their recorded output.