Brain Salad Surgery was an incredible album produced at the peak of ELP's creativity and perhaps what could also be considered the peak of the more symphonic episode of prog rock, 1973. Opening with the classic "Jerusalem", the band shifs into high gear with their (very unique) interpretation of Ginastera's 1st Piano Concerto, 4th Movement ("Tocatta") to land in the peaceful (and one of ELP's most beautiful songs) "Still... You Turn Me On". After a ragtime-based "Benny the Bouncer", the album finishes you up with the 29+ minute long "Karn Evil 9", a 3-movement suite where the musicians bring out an extravaganza of showmanship. Lake showcases his vocals and exquisite bass/guitar, Emerson displays his skills at the Piano and Keyboards equally impressively, and Palmer is able to rock the house in the quick sections of the piece, and slow down to an almost stand still during the quieter parts. Complementing this reissue of the original are three extra tracks, taken from their album "Works 2", which belong approximately to the same musical period, yet not to the original album.
Contrary to what you may think, and in spite of its sheer length (an entire side of the original vynil album) the album is not ONLY Karn Evil 9. The other pieces complement the suite in a way that is rather unique, since in most cases with similar prog rock bands, one-side pieces normally "made" the album where they appeared. As usual in their work, ELP are able to shift gears and shift styles in a way unique in music, playing equally well (and this production is a very good example of this) rock, ballads, ragtime and classic pieces. If you are new to ELP's music, I don't know if this would be an album I'd recommend to get you started (I'd probably go with 1972's Trilogy), but eventually you will HAVE to own it: you cannot escape one of prog rock's best productions.