My First Record Purchase

It was the first record I bought with my own money, hard earned from my morning paper round.

It was 1973.

It was Brain Salad Surgery, by Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

I remember the stunning artwork. At the time I had no idea who H R Giger was, but I liked what I saw.

I remember the reworking of Jerusalem:

“…and did those feet, in ancient times, walk upon England’s green and pleasant land?”

And the slapstick comedy of Benny the Bouncer:

“…he’d sell you back all the bits, all for less than half a quid. He thought he was the meanest, until he met with Savage Sid.”

Why did I buy that record? I don’t remember. It’s possible that I wanted something new and fell for the artwork. However, I should also give credit to a couple of my school contemporaries who were much more into music – and mainly music outside of Radio 1 and the Top 20 – and from whom I picked up a couple of tips. So, it’s also possible I bought it on a recommendation from one of these scholars.

It was my first ELP purchase. But the music, enjoyable as it was, did not connect well enough with me to convert me to an ELP fan and make me want more. Therefore, it was also my last ELP purchase. I had heard of Tarkus, for example, but never showed any interest in getting hold of a copy.