Although a psychadelic record , this album turns out to be the first progressive rock album ever made along with the Moody Blues's Days Of Future Past and Procol Harum's debut(even if the original vinyl did not have Whiter Shade Of Pale), two years before the Crimson King's ITCOTCK. Yes , without this record most of the progressive masterpieces probably would've never come out in the form we know them. One of the main flaws is the muddy sound recording qualty but we are in 1967!

Although I am not a real fan of Emerson this the only album where he has someone giving him a reply and did Mr. David O'List ever managed that well but he must've been disgusted after that one and never really recovered (brief spell in Roxy). Flower King of Flies , the title track ,Maggie , Eugene and Bonnie K are psych pop tunes a bit in the realm of Pink Floyd's Emily and Arnold and do sound dated nowadays. But the real gems are the two longer tracks Blue Rondo and War & Peace, both reworks of classical themes but unlike any other Emerson work with a superb guitar. The apex of the album though is Dawn with its deep gothic feel , great monumental ambiances and it is written by them. BTW: this Emerlist Davjack person getting the writing credits is a contraction of Emerson . O'List , Davidson and Jackson.

Get the remaster with the bonus track "America"with O'List on it to find out the real quality and potential of this band as a foursome. Simply put": the best of many version of this track. His searing guitars add so much on, that the other version pales in comparison.

Not perfect, but such an important album in the historical context of Prog Rock history , that I rounded up to the fifth star. - Review by Sean Trane (Hugues Chantraine)

Track Listings

1. Flower king of flies
2. Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack
3. Bonnie K
4. Rondo
5. War and peace
6. Tantalizing Maggie
7. Dawn
8. The cry of Eugene

Total Time: 37:50

- Brian Davidson / drums, tympanis, tubular bells
- Keith Emerson / organ, harpsichord, piano, backing vocals
- Lee Jackson / lead vocals, bass, guitar, tympani
- David O'List / guitar, flute, trumpet, backing vocals


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