Scary intimidating music
Among the list of widely acknowledged "classic" prog rock groups (note that "widely acknowledged" ends up excluding a lot of the major players in prog rock, such as Gentle Giant and Van Der Graaf Generator; by widely acknowledged I basically mean bands that somebody who knows older music solely through classic rock radio or games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero might be familiar with) they often tend to be rated near the bottom, even below some bands that I despise (like Styx or Kansas).
But sometimes, ads are beyond creepy without even meaning to be.Some comments below reference that paragraph, but I'm so tired of looking at it that I don't even care about making them anachronistic at this point.The greatest insult of all, of course, is that even among some prog lovers, they're hated like crazy!The first, and the most obvious, was the group's relatively heavy emphasis on classical music in their sound.Yes, progressive rock almost always has at least a tinge of some classical elements, but ELP's music had the greatest concentration of it in their music, BY FAR.Rush focused on the blistering chops of their guitar and bass players.
Yes, regardless of Wakeman's presence, rotated around their amazing bassist, Chris Squire.
Add in Carl Palmer's technically perfect drumming, and you have a group created for pretentiousness and lots of it.
There is one more aspect that sets ELP apart from the other groups, and that deals with the center of the band's sound.
Regardless, however, this is a perfectly legitimate statement on the general level.
Fans of punk have always detested them as they would any prog band, but this extended far beyond normal levels of loathing; as an example, one of the staples of late 70's Sex Pistols shows was to burn life-size statues of Keith Emerson in effigy (or so the legend goes, and I really hope it's true because it's a hilarious legend).
Or maybe the older generation was just mad about all these young whippersnappers infiltrating their societal niche ....