Brain Salad Surgery is the fourth studio album by progressive British rock band Emerson, Lake & Palmer. The album was released in 1973 after their hugely successful Trilogy album. As Trilogy was recorded on (then) state of the art 24-track recorders with creative options for overdubbing it made their music quite difficult to perform in concerts. ELP was determined that the next record they’d make they would make it in a manner that would allow them to perform, it live on stage without too much difficulties; Brain Salad Surgery was born.
In order to accomplish this task the band just went and purchased an entire cinema! There they would be able to perform and record their new music in a ‘live’ setting.
According to a rumour the some what obscure title came from Dr. John’s hit song Right Place, Wrong Time: ‘Just need a little brain salad surgery. Got to cure this insecurity’. Originally the ELP album had a working title ‘Whip Some Skull on Yer’ but was later replaced by ‘Brain Salad Surgery’. Never the less, both these titles are slang expressions for fellatio.
Swiss surrealist painter, sculptor and set designer Hans Rudolf (H. R.) Giger designed the famous album cover. He won an Academy Award for Best Achievement for Visual Effects for his design work on the film Alien. This image was used as an album cover for Brain Salad Surgery.
The cover features distinctive Giger monochromatic biomechanical artwork integrating industrial mechanisms with a human elements. Giger also designed the new ELP logo. Giger’s ELP logo became a standard for the band and has been used extensively since.