The Barbarian

Album: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (1970)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • ELP keyboardist Keith Emerson was not against borrowing from classical music. This instrumental is a pretty direct takeoff from "Allegro Barbaro," a piano piece by Bela Bartok. A group arrangement, it shows off some of the musicianship the group would become known for, including Emerson's high-speed piano and Carl Palmer's deft drumming.
  • This was the first track on the first Emerson, Lake & Palmer album. A very intense track, it was offset by the more mellow "Take A Pebble," which came next.

Comments: 2

  • Rojer Weller from Auburn, Washington. UsaWhat sweet sounding distortion device did Greg Lake use on the song The Barbarian? Such a sweet sound!
  • Tom from Freiburg, GermanyAfter the song was released, Emerson got a call from Bartok's widow. He was a little disturbed to hear the voice of someone who he thought was "some 100 years dead already".
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Michael Franti

Michael FrantiSongwriter Interviews

Franti tells the story behind his hit "Say Hey (I Love You)" and explains why yoga is an integral part of his lifestyle and his Soulshine tour.

Evolution Of The Prince Symbol

Evolution Of The Prince SymbolSong Writing

The evolution of the symbol that was Prince's name from 1993-2000.

Matt Sorum

Matt SorumSongwriter Interviews

When he joined Guns N' Roses in 1990, Matt helped them craft an orchestral sound; his mezzo fortes and pianissimos are all over "November Rain."

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.

Spot The Real Red Hot Chili Peppers Song Titles

Spot The Real Red Hot Chili Peppers Song TitlesMusic Quiz

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have some rather unusual song titles - see if you can spot the real ones.

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go's

Charlotte Caffey of The Go-Go'sSongwriter Interviews

Charlotte was established in the LA punk scene when a freaky girl named Belinda approached her wearing a garbage bag.