King Crimson

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Re: King Crimson

Postby yomptepi » 03 Nov 2021, 16:07

I love that McDonald and Giles album and I still have the copy I bought in 1972. As you say , full of the influence of both In the Court of the Crimson King, and the Beatles. I think the drumming in particular is superb.
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Re: King Crimson

Postby Matt Wilson » 03 Nov 2021, 16:28

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Islands 1971
Conventional wisdom tells us this is the weak link in the '70s Crimso canon. Which I guess it is - but that doesn't mean it's not a worthy listen. I'll take it over Beat, for instance. There's something about KC at this time... They sound like no other band, and even a lesser work like this is still pretty damn good. Fripp had a difficult time keeping a band together. I don't know if he was hard to work with, or the group simply weren't making enough money, or what, but we're four albums into the discography and there's no stability in terms of keeping the same personnel intact. Many prog groups had these same issues though and Bob was able to make beautiful music no matter who he played with.

Robert Fripp – guitar, mellotron, harmonium (6), sundry implements, production
Peter Sinfield – lyrics, sounds and visions, cover design and painting, production
Mel Collins – saxophones, flute, bass flute (6), backing vocals, production
Ian Wallace – drums, percussion, backing vocals, production
Boz – bass, lead vocals, choreography, production

Additional personnel
Paulina Lucas – soprano vocals (1)
Keith Tippett – piano
Robin Miller – oboe
Mark Charig – cornet
Harry Miller – double bass (1, 6)
Wilf Gibson - violin (1), string orchestra leader (5, 6) (uncredited)

All songs written by Robert Fripp, all lyrics written by Peter Sinfield.

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1. "Formentera Lady" 10:18
Love it, pastoral, mellow - somehow I take this stuff more seriously than I do the stuff on McDonald and Giles. Is that because it's a Crimson album? Probably. Fripp has a better sense of dynamics though. This sounds nothing like the music on Larks' Tongues through Red. It creates its own atmosphere, like you're in a universe made up by the musicians. I loooooooove King Crimson.

Wiki - "Islands is the fourth studio album by English band King Crimson, released in December 1971 on the record label Island. Islands is the only studio album to feature the 1971-1972 touring line-up of Robert Fripp, Mel Collins, Boz Burrell and Ian Wallace. This would be the last album before an entirely new group would record the trilogy of Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black and Red between 1973-1974. This is also the last album to feature the lyrics of co-founding member Peter Sinfield.The album received a mixed response from critics."

2. "Sailor's Tale" (instrumental) 7:29
Great segue into this track which is a fine illustration of how this version of the band could play. Have to give a shout-out to Steven Wilson's 5.1 mixes of the Crimson catalog. This stuff sounds awe-inspiring in surround. Nice jazzy feel to this cut, and when Robert's guitar comes in, and then the Mellotron, you know it's Crimson!

"The original United Kingdom and European LP cover depicts the Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius and displays neither the name of the band nor the title. The original United States and Canadian album cover (as released by Atlantic) was a Peter Sinfield painting of off-white with coloured "islands". This was used as an internal gatefold sleeve in the UK. When the King Crimson catalog was re-issued by EG, they standardized on the "Trifid Nebula" cover worldwide." - Wikipedia

3. "The Letters" 4:28
It begins gently (until that riff starts at about 1:30) and is a fine side-closer to an underrated record. Cool sax by Collins underscores a tale of a woman sending a wife a letter about her husband's infidelity. The wife takes her life as a result. Tragic stuff, folks.

Wiki: "The harmonic basis for the tune "The Letters" is derived from the Giles, Giles and Fripp song "Why Don't You Just Drop In", available on The Brondesbury Tapes compilation. The bridge section is also taken from the King Crimson version of the song, performed by the original line-up, titled simply "Drop In" and later released on the live-album Epitaph."

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4. "Ladies of the Road" 5:31
I know people who don't care for this song AT ALL. LOL. As if Fripp/Sinfield are above such mundane concerns as groupies or something. I dunno, there are tons of songs about sex on the road in the '70s. I don't see why we should hold Crimson accountable when Zappa gets a pass. I like this number, it doesn't bother me at all. Wiki - "In its current review, AllMusic called it "the weakest Crimson studio album from their first era" that "is only a real disappointment in relation to the extraordinarily high quality of the group's earlier efforts."

5. "Prelude: Song of the Gulls" (instrumental) 4:14
The orchestration is here in full effect like in "The Letters." But here it's all we have. The least Crimson-like track on the album. It's fine though, and I don't skip it. "The original basis for the song "Prelude: Song of the Gulls" is derived from the Giles, Giles and Fripp song "Suite No. 1". - Wiki

6. "Islands" (includes minute of silence and hidden track) 11:51
Another one which starts of slowly and then builds to a crescendo (but not a big one), and probably the centerpiece of the album. I wish I liked it more. Much like "The Devil's Triangle" on the second side of Poseidon, they could've ended things with a bang instead of merely another decent cut.

Wikipedia: "Islands" is the title track of the album of the same name by the progressive rock band, King Crimson, released in 1971. It is the album's closing track. The song's pastoral, mellow, and quiet feeling (the lyrics talk of a peaceful island) distinguish it from the album's first four tracks. The song was played live only a few times in 1971, with Collins using a regular concert flute, and Fripp playing guitar in place of Marc Charig's cornet.

"Islands" was revived on the band's 2017 North American summer tour with the Radical Action lineup of Fripp, Collins (with bass flute, and covering the oboe and cornet parts on soprano saxophone), bassist Tony Levin, guitarist/vocalist Jakko Jakszyk, keyboardist Bill Rieflin (playing the harmonium part), drummers Pat Mastelotto and Gavin Harrison, and drummer/keyboardist Jeremy Stacey (on piano). The band has continued to perform the track live in subsequent tours.

The first vinyl release of the album features a hidden track. At the end of side two there is a recording of studio chatter followed by Fripp saying, among other things, "...What we're going to do, umm... do it twice more, once with the oboe, once without it, and then... we finish." This was included on the initial CD release but was accidentally left off the first pressings of the 1989 Definitive Edition CD remaster. It was restored on all subsequent reissues, and has been used as "walk on" music for all shows starting in 2014."

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it's weird how carlsson has managed to get wilson over a barrel and then persuade him to let the rest of the PROG goons perform anal chugs on him in said position.

my point is that wilson has sold his arse cheaply. it's embarrassing to read.

-skope

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Re: King Crimson

Postby ConnyOlivetti » 03 Nov 2021, 17:14

Islands, great album,
rank it as high as the albums before it.
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Re: King Crimson

Postby C » 03 Nov 2021, 17:16

ConnyOlivetti wrote:Islands, great album,
rank it as high as the albums before it.


Correct



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Re: King Crimson

Postby Matt Wilson » 03 Nov 2021, 18:37

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Earthbound 1972
Universally considered to be one of the poorest-sounding live albums ever, especially by a major band - I'm here to declare that if you can get past the audio, this is a kick-ass LP showing a great bunch of musicians at peak-level performance. The Sailors' Tales box has a shite-load of live material from this edition of King Crimson and I can attest that Earthbound is an accurate assessment of the way the band was playing at the time. There really is no inferior era for live Crimson in the 20th Century. Every show I've heard offers spellbinding performances, and the more of it you listen to, the less you care about the sound quality.

However, having said that - I can certainly see how some of us might not be able to get past the lack of clarity and overall fuzziness of the proceedings. I rarely play this. There are simply too many better-recorded shows (but not from this era) to choose from.

Robert Fripp – electric guitar
Boz Burrell – bass guitar, vocals
Mel Collins – alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, mellotron
Ian Wallace – drums

Additional personnel
Hunter MacDonald – VCS3 synthesizer, recording engineer

1. "21st Century Schizoid Man" (including "Mirrors") Fripp, Michael Giles, Greg Lake, Ian McDonald, Peter Sinfield recorded at the Armoury, Wilmington, Delaware, United States, 11 February 1972 11:45
Don't think I've ever heard a Crimson show where they didn't do this song. It's always a highlight too. Loud, abrasive, possibly the most aggressive prog number one can think of. Crank this for maximum effect.

Here's a list of some bands who have covered this song. Wiki: - "Rock band April Wine released a version of the song on their 1979 album Harder ... Faster.

Canadian rock band Voivod released a version of the song on their 1997 album Phobos.

Belgian trash metal band Jason Rawhead released a version of the song on their 2002 album Time.Stopped.Dead.

Rock artist Ozzy Osbourne released a version of the song on his 2005 album Under Cover.

Norwegian rock band Shining released a version of the song on their 2010 studio album Blackjazz.

British rock band Black Midi released a version of the song as a bonus track available in specific releases of their 2021 studio album Cavalcade.

Punk band Bad Religion paid homage by incorporating most of the song's first verse in the outro of their similarly-titled track "21st Century (Digital Boy)."

Rock band Fuzz released a version of the song as a B-side to their 2013 single "Sunderberry Dream".

Kanye West sampled the song on "Power", from his 2010 album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy."

2. "Peoria" Boz Burrell, Mel Collins, Fripp, Ian Wallace recorded at The Barn, Peoria, Illinois, United States, 10 March 1972 7:30
This is cool cut not found on any Crimson studio LP, probably because it's a jam named after the city it was recorded in. They did this a lot, and it illustrates the improvisational abilities of the group in a live setting. "Earthbound is a live album by the band King Crimson, released in 1972 as a budget record shortly after the line-up that recorded it had broken up. It contains the band's first official live release of their signature song "21st Century Schizoid Man", and an extended live version of their 1970 non-LP B-side "Groon". It also contains two improvised tracks with scat vocals from Boz Burrell." - Wikipedia

3. "Sailor's Tale" (instrumental) Fripp recorded at the Baseball Park, Jacksonville, Florida, United States, 26 February 1972 4:45
This probably works better in a live setting as some of Fripp's solos could take off into the stratosphere. Unfortunately, there are better in-concert recordings of this tune.

Wiki: "An expanded CD-DVD version of the album was released on 13 November 2017. The CD is expanded to twelve tracks, whereas the DVD features hi-res audio of the album along with additional audio material."

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4. "Earthbound" (instrumental) Burrell, Collins, Fripp, Wallace recorded at the Kemp Coliseum, Orlando, Florida, United States, 27 February 1972 6:08
This is another track which hadn't appeared previously. Another jam, folks.

Wiki - "The album's sound quality is relatively poor, because of being recorded onto cassette tape (a low-fidelity recording medium, even by 1972 standards) by live sound engineer Hunter MacDonald. The liner notes to the original LP cover and recent CD reissues of the album state that it was "captured live on an Ampex stereo cassette fed from a Kelsey Morris custom built mixer ... in the rain from the back of a Volkswagen truck." Atlantic Records, the original distributor for King Crimson in the United States and Canada, declined to release Earthbound because of its poor sound. Because of the origins of the masters, the sound could not be significantly improved on later CD reissues of the album."

5. "Groon" (instrumental) Fripp recorded at the Armoury, Wilmington, Delaware, United States, 11 February 1972 15:30
"Groon" was the B-side to "Cat Food." A totally great track which could've easily been on Poseidon, and probably should have been, and is expanded into epic-length here. Performance-wise, this is the highlight of the LP.
Last edited by Matt Wilson on 03 Nov 2021, 21:14, edited 1 time in total.
it's weird how carlsson has managed to get wilson over a barrel and then persuade him to let the rest of the PROG goons perform anal chugs on him in said position.

my point is that wilson has sold his arse cheaply. it's embarrassing to read.

-skope

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Re: King Crimson

Postby Hightea » 03 Nov 2021, 18:48

ConnyOlivetti wrote:Islands, great album,
rank it as high as the albums before it.


It' funny back in the day I wasn't really that much a fan of Islands.
But for the past 20 years I've changed my mind about it.
I agree its another strong album by KC

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Re: King Crimson

Postby mudshark » 03 Nov 2021, 20:21

Will League Of Gentlemen be part of this thread? Best thing Fripp ever did,
I'm sorry but I seriously can't listen to a KC album throughout. It wears me out.
Not even Discipline.
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Re: King Crimson

Postby Matt Wilson » 03 Nov 2021, 20:24

mudshark wrote:Will League Of Gentlemen be part of this thread? Best thing Fripp ever did,
I'm sorry but I seriously can't listen to a KC album throughout. It wears me out.
Not even Discipline.


I've never heard it. I don't do vinyl and that album has never been on CD.

Actually, I'm listening to it right now on youtube and it's not bad. Maybe I'll review it like that.
it's weird how carlsson has managed to get wilson over a barrel and then persuade him to let the rest of the PROG goons perform anal chugs on him in said position.

my point is that wilson has sold his arse cheaply. it's embarrassing to read.

-skope

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Re: King Crimson

Postby OUTPLAY » 03 Nov 2021, 21:07

Matt Wilson wrote:shite-load of live material



:o

MATTHEW!


stop bloody SWEARING
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Re: King Crimson

Postby C » 03 Nov 2021, 22:22

Matt Wilson wrote:Image
Earthbound 1972

However, having said that - I can certainly see how some of us might not be able to get past the lack of clarity and overall fuzziness of the proceedings. I rarely play this. There are simply too many better-recorded shows (but not from this era) to choose from.

I totally agree. I bought it the day it came out and was devastated by the poor sound quality.

1. "21st Century Schizoid Man"
Don't think I've ever heard a Crimson show where they didn't do this song. It's always a highlight too. Loud, abrasive, possibly the most aggressive prog number one can think of. Crank this for maximum effect.

One of the times I saw them was on the Larks' Tongues tour with Jamie Muir and they did not perform Schizoid Man

5. "Groon" (instrumental)
"Groon" was the B-side to "Cat Food." A totally great track which could've easily been on Poseidon, and probably should have been, and is expanded into epic-length here. Performance-wise, this is the highlight of the LP.

A very robust track - indeed a highlight.

I bought four singles post 1966 and Catfood/Groon was one of them



Nice write up Matt

Good lad

I will play the album tomorrow - it's been while





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Re: King Crimson

Postby Matt Wilson » 03 Nov 2021, 23:03

There's a LOT of sax, C. Should've mentioned that in my review.
it's weird how carlsson has managed to get wilson over a barrel and then persuade him to let the rest of the PROG goons perform anal chugs on him in said position.

my point is that wilson has sold his arse cheaply. it's embarrassing to read.

-skope

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Re: King Crimson

Postby C » 04 Nov 2021, 09:19

Matt Wilson wrote:There's a LOT of sax, C. Should've mentioned that in my review.


You can never have too much sax

mwhahahahahaha!





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Re: King Crimson

Postby Neige » 04 Nov 2021, 09:33

Hightea wrote:I've always been a big fan of side one of Lizard. Quite a change from the first two albums.


Me too.
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Re: King Crimson

Postby Matt Wilson » 09 Nov 2021, 16:44

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Larks' Tongues in Aspic 1973
The first major progression after In the Court of... Lizard could've shown a new direction for that edition of the band had they stayed together, but ever-changing personnel plagued Fripp to no end in the '70s. The group almost broke up during the Earthbound era, but lucky for us Robert got it together with yet another version of KC to give us this masterpiece of invention and studio production. A prog highlight from an era with more of them than any other.

So if consensus opinion is that the debut is the greatest Crimso LP, what would be the second best? Most people would say it's either this or Red. In terms of radical reinvention of the band's sound, I'd give it to Larks' Tongues, if you're looking for consistent, more listener-friendly cuts, it has to be Red. You can't go wrong with either one of course.

Wiki - "Larks' Tongues in Aspic is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock group King Crimson, released on 23 March 1973 through Island Records in the UK and Atlantic Records in the United States and Canada. This album is the debut of King Crimson's third incarnation, featuring co-founder and guitarist Robert Fripp along with four new members: bass guitarist and vocalist John Wetton, violinist and keyboardist David Cross, percussionist Jamie Muir, and drummer Bill Bruford. It is a key album in the band's evolution, drawing on Eastern European classical music and European free improvisation as central influences."

Robert Fripp – electric and acoustic guitars, Mellotron, Hohner pianet, devices
John Wetton – bass, vocals, piano on "Exiles"
Bill Bruford – drums, timbales, cowbell, wood block
David Cross – violin, viola, Mellotron, Hohner pianet, flute on "Exiles"[20]
Jamie Muir – percussion, drums, "allsorts" (assorted found items and sundry instruments)

Additional personnel
Richard Palmer-James – lyrics

1. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One" (David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford, Jamie Muir) 13:36
Not even a song as such, more of an exercise in atmospherics, the track begins with lots of cool percussion from Muir - who was quite the character on stage, banging about on "allsorts of found items and sundry instruments." This record is quite the experience in 5.1 as you can imagine. David Cross' violin makes an impression and when Fripp's guitar comes in there can be no doubt what band you're listening to. Should I also mention that Bruford is the finest drummer the group ever worked with? Those guitar chords almost sound like metal.

"Larks' Tongues in Aspic" is a suite of music by the English progressive rock band King Crimson. Spanning thirty years and four albums, the series comprises five parts, all of which carry unifying musical motifs. Parts I and II were released as the introductory and final tracks on King Crimson's 1973 album of the same name, part III was featured on their 1984 album Three of a Perfect Pair, part IV (itself divided into three identically titled parts) appeared on 2000's The Construkction of Light, and the final part, "Level Five", was included on the 2003 album The Power to Believe. Despite breaking the naming convention, Robert Fripp, King Crimson founder and only constant contributor to the suite, insists that "Level Five" is part of the pentalogy.

"Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One", the longest entry in the pentalogy, was first released as the introductory track to the album of the same name. The song is guided by the shifting guitar of Robert Fripp, but it is in the tense violin of David Cross and the chaotic percussion of Jamie Muir that part I is defined. The track goes through numerous varied acts and passages, with somber moments and a calm violin solo falling alongside periods of heightened aggression where Fripp's guitar borders on heavy metal and Muir's clangs reach cacophony. Bird calls, metallic clangs, horns, breaking crockery and tin ripping are all featured in Muir's repertoire, and, along with his percussive contributions, he coined the title "Larks' Tongues in Aspic". In a 1991 interview, Muir said it was a "very admirable creative decision" for Fripp to work with him. Much of the track originated from full-band improvisations that began in 1971, with Cross calling it "grown" instead of written. Drummer Bill Bruford said the songs were "hell" to make given the deliberate lack of in-studio structure. An early version of part I recorded by the 1971 lineup appeared as a bonus track on the 40th-anniversary edition of Islands under the name "A Peacemaking Stint Unrolls".

According to Fripp, part I was conceived as the beginning of a King Crimson performance, and part II as the end. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One" was performed from 1972 to 1974, predominantly in a shortened seven-minute version that left out most of the violin solo and protracted ending passage. Part I was not performed again until 2014, when it was reintroduced as a setlist staple; it remained there through 2019. The new arrangement featured all of the violin segments played on guitar, save for the solo, which was performed by Mel Collins on flute. Part II, alternatively, persisted in King Crimson's sets throughout most of their career.

Both the first and second parts of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" have been met with critical acclaim. In 2011, Sean Murphy of PopMatters ranked the "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One" as the eighth best progressive rock song ever. He revised his placement in 2017, putting part I as number fifteen and "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two" as eighty-five. Marc Malitz of Louder Sound judged the first part as the forty-second best progressive song ever." - Wikipedia

2. "Book of Saturday" (Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Richard Palmer-James) 2:53
Shortest piece on the record introduces the voice of John Wetton, whom I've always thought of as having a similar voice to Greg Lake. This is one of those mellow, pastoral numbers like "Cascade and Cadence" that Crimson liked to perform. Pleasant, in other words.

Wiki: "At the end of the tour to promote King Crimson's previous album, Islands, Fripp had parted company with the three other members of the band (Mel Collins, Boz Burrell and Ian Wallace). Collins has stated that he was asked to stay on with the new lineup of the band, but that he decided not to continue. The previous year had also seen the ousting of the band's lyricist and artistic co-director Peter Sinfield. Fripp had cited a developing musical (and sometimes personal) incompatibility with the other members, and was now writing starker music drawing less on familiar American influences and more on influences such as Béla Bartók and free improvisation."

3. "Exiles" (David Cross, Robert Fripp, Richard Palmer-James) 7:40
A major track on the album with a slow build and excellent violin from Cross. There's almost an In the Court of... feel to this cut. It's difficult to describe the music here as it sounds like no other band I know. If the holy trinity of Yes is The Yes Album/Fragile/Close to the Edge, then surely then it's Larks' Tongues/Starless/Red for Crimso.

Wikipedia: "In order to pursue these new (for King Crimson) ideas, Fripp first recruited bass guitarist/singer John Wetton (a longstanding friend of the band who had lobbied to join at least once before but had become a member of Family in the meantime). The second recruit was Jamie Muir, an experimental free-improvising percussionist who had previously been performing in the Music Improvisation Company with Derek Bailey and Evan Parker, as well as in Sunship (with Alan Gowen and Allan Holdsworth) and Boris (with Don Weller and Jimmy Roche, both later of jazz-rock band Major Surgery).

On drums (and to be paired with Muir) Fripp recruited original Yes drummer Bill Bruford. Another longstanding King Crimson admirer, Bruford felt that he had done all he could with Yes at that point, and was keen to leave the band before they embarked on their Close to the Edge tour, believing that the jazz – and experimentation-oriented King Crimson would be a more expansive outlet for his musical ideas. The final member of the new band was David Cross, a violinist, keyboardist and occasional flute player.

The album spawned the concert staple "Exiles", whose Mellotron introduction had been adapted from an instrumental piece called "Mantra" the band's original line up performed throughout 1969. At that time, as well as in late 1972, the melody was played by Fripp on guitar. In addition, a section of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One" was reworked from a piece entitled "A Peacemaking Stint Unrolls", which was recorded by the Islands-era band and finally released in 2010 as a bonus track on that album's 40th anniversary edition."

Image Image

4. "Easy Money" (Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Richard Palmer-James) 7:54
A more conventional-sounding rock tune which would have sounded fine on the radio, but you know how that goes. New lyricist Palmer-Jones only wrote words for three numbers here and this is the last. Personally, I prefer Sinfield. Like this song though.

"Larks' Tongues in Aspic showed several significant changes in King Crimson's sound. Having previously relied on saxophone and flute as significant melodic and textural instruments, the band had replaced them with a single violin. Muir's percussion rig featured exotic, eccentric instrumentation including chimes, bells, thumb pianos, a musical saw, shakers, rattles, found objects (such as sheet metal, toys and baking trays), plus miscellaneous drums and chains. The Mellotron (a staple part of King Crimson's instrumentation since their debut album) was retained for this new phase and was played by Fripp and Cross, both of whom also played electric piano. The instrumental pieces on this album have strong jazz fusion and European free-improvisation influences, and some aggressively hard-hitting portions verging on heavy metal.

The band's multi-instrumentalism initially extended to Wetton and Muir playing (respectively) violin and trombone on occasion at early gigs. Wetton and Cross contributed additional piano and flute respectively to the album sessions. Larks' Tongues in Aspic is the only studio album with this particular lineup, since Muir left the group in February 1973, shortly after the album was completed and before they could embark for touring.

"Easy Money" was composed piecemeal, with Fripp writing the verse and Wetton later adding the chorus part." - Wiki

5. "The Talking Drum" (David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford, Jamie Muir) 7:26
I suppose if one had to chose a filler cut, this would be it. But the entire LP is so exquisitely-recorded, that I love it in its entirety. A showcase for Muir and Bruford I reckon, not to mention Cross. Another slow build.

Wiki: "In his contemporary review, Alan Niester of Rolling Stone summarized the album saying "You can't dance to it, can't keep a beat to it, and it doesn't even make good background music for washing the dishes" and recommended listeners to "approach it with a completely open mind." He described the songs on the album saying that they were "a total study in contrasts, especially in moods and tempos—blazing and electric one moment, soft and intricate the next." While not fully appreciative of the music on the record, he complimented the violin playing as "tasteful [...] in the best classical tradition."

Bill Martin wrote in 1998, "[f]or sheer formal inventiveness, the most important progressive rock record of 1973 was... Larks' Tongues in Aspic", adding that listening to this album and Yes's Close to the Edge will demonstrate "what progressive rock is all about".

AllMusic's retrospective review was resoundingly positive, marking every aspect of the band's transition from a jazz-influenced vein to a more experimental one as a complete success. It deemed John Wetton "the group's strongest singer/bassist since Greg Lake's departure," and gave special praise to the remastered edition.

Robert Christgau's retrospective review gave a more ambivalent view, saying of the band's instrumental work, "not only doesn't it cook, which figures, it doesn't quite jell either."

In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came number 22 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".

The album is featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die."

6. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two" (Robert Fripp) 7:07
The big rock number which went down so well live, and another one which would have sounded awe-inspiring had DJ's had the balls to play it on the airwaves. Absolutely killer Fripp riff!

Wiki - "While the first part is a many-sectioned, dynamic song that has been described as having a "kitchen-sink sensibility", "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two" is much more straightforward and riff-focused, with the sole writing credit going to Fripp. PopMatters called the track a "roller-coaster of wrath and control". The main riff of part II, which emerged in 1972 during a live performance at Richmond, Kentucky, is heavy and driving, drawing its host album to a dramatic climax. While the guitar in part II may be the most immediately obvious aspect, John Goldsby of Bass Player called the bass in the song something that "bass players will still be talking about four decades later". Fripp considered the first two parts of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" as the refinement of his role as composer in King Crimson."

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Last edited by Matt Wilson on 10 Nov 2021, 03:03, edited 1 time in total.
it's weird how carlsson has managed to get wilson over a barrel and then persuade him to let the rest of the PROG goons perform anal chugs on him in said position.

my point is that wilson has sold his arse cheaply. it's embarrassing to read.

-skope

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Re: King Crimson

Postby Matt Wilson » 09 Nov 2021, 17:43

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Fripp/Eno - (No Pussyfooting) 1973
This is a major prog or electronic album for a few reasons. It's the first time Fripp and Eno collaborated, the first time Brian used tape delay and looping extensively - which would become a major part of his music subsequently, and the first time Robert developed ideas which would go on to become "Frippertronics." I like it more than Eno's later ambient albums (and more than the pair's Evening Star, which I'll review later). The album sounds nothing like Crimson, and leans more towards the Eno spectrum, but you can definitely tell it's Rob's guitar you're listening to.

Wiki - "(No Pussyfooting) was recorded in three days over the course of a year. Its release was close to that of Eno's own debut solo album Here Come the Warm Jets (1974), and it constitutes one of his early experiments in ambient music. Brian Eno invited Robert Fripp to his London home studio in September 1972. Eno was experimenting with a tape system developed by Terry Riley and Pauline Oliveros where two reel-to-reel tape recorders were set up side-by side. Sounds recorded on the first deck would be played back by the second deck, and then routed back into the first deck to create a long looping tape delay. Fripp played guitar over Eno's loops, while Eno selectively looped or recorded Fripp's guitar without looping it. The result is a dense, multi-layered piece of ambient music. This technique later came to be known as "Frippertronics"

And that is an apt description of the music on this record.

Brian Eno – synthesizer, keyboards, treatments, VCS 3 synthesizer
Robert Fripp – electric and acoustic guitars

All tracks are written by Brian Eno and Robert Fripp.

1. "The Heavenly Music Corporation" 20:55
The more popular of the two pieces is over twenty minutes of Eno's tape loops with Fripp playing on top and then looped back into the first tape. The result is a seductive ride into atmospherics which functions as great background noise, or something to pay attention to - as your mood dictates. Robert's guitar tones keep this from the usual Brian-ambient fest we've come to expect from his solo LPs.

"(No Pussyfooting)'s first track, which fills one side, is a 21-minute piece titled "The Heavenly Music Corporation". Fripp originally wanted the track titled "The Transcendental Music Corporation", which Eno didn't allow as he feared it would make people "think they were serious". It was recorded in two takes, first creating the background looping track, then adding an extended non-looped guitar solo over the backing track. This track features Fripp's electric guitar as the sole sound source.

Released in November 1973, (No Pussyfooting) failed to chart in either the US or UK. Island Records actively opposed it. The album was released in the same year as Eno's more rock-based solo album Here Come the Warm Jets. Eno was attempting to launch a solo career, having left Roxy Music, and his management bemoaned the confusion caused by two albums with such different styles. Robert Fripp's bandmates in King Crimson also disliked the album. The mainstream rock press paid the album little attention compared to Fripp's work with King Crimson and Eno's solo album.

In the UK, the album was released at a large discount compared to normal prices and was regarded as something of a novelty. In 1975, Robert Christgau, critic for The Village Voice, gave the album a B+ rating, calling it "the most enjoyable pop electronics since Terry Riley's A Rainbow in Curved Air" and that it was "...more visionary and more romantic than James Taylor could dream of being."

The album was rereleased on vinyl in 1982, and on CD in 1987 by E.G. Records. Modern reception has been mostly positive. Ted Mills of AllMusic gave the album four and a half stars out of five, praising "Heavenly Music Corporation" and noting "the beauty" of their tape deck setup, yet giving a negative view of "Swastika Girls", suggesting the loop system was abused with "too many disconnected sounds sharing the space, some discordant, some melodic... the resulting work lacks form and structure". Eric Tamm, the author of the Eno biography Brian Eno: His Music and the Vertical Color of Sound (1995) reacted similarly to Mills, stating that "The Heavenly Music Corporation" "anticipated Eno's own ambient style." About "Swastika Girls" Tamm said, "if it is less successful than the earlier piece, it is because of the much greater overall saturation of the acoustical space. There seems to be a perceptual rule that possibilities for appreciation of timbral subtleties decrease in proportion to the rate of actual notes being played. 'Swastika Girls' shows that Eno and Fripp had not yet understood the full weight of this principle". - Wikipedia

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2. "Swastika Girls" 18:43
There's a bit more going on in terms of what's on the tapes, but I'm still left with a feeling that this is the less successful of the two pieces. I don't skip it, and goodness knows if you enjoy these two tracks, the two-disc CD gives them to you in slowed down versions as bonus cuts which aren't that dissimilar (as a listening experience) than the LP versions.

"More recent reviews of Fripp & Eno's album The Equatorial Stars (2004) cite (No Pussyfooting) in a positive light. Peter Marsh for the BBC's experimental music review referred to the album as "now one of those albums that's spoken about in hushed, reverential tones as a proto-ambient classic". Dominique Leone of the music webzine Pitchfork noted that "to [Fripp's] and Eno's credit, it didn't really sound like anything that had come before it".

"I was told later," recalled Fripp, "that, as a consequence of the album, Eno's management decided he was ready to go solo. They thought he had a far more glittering commercial career available to him than working with the progressive rock, left-field guitarist Robert Fripp, which now seems absurd. However, here are the ironies: David Bowie was a fan, I believe, of (No Pussyfooting); and I was told that Iggy Pop, who David was working with at the time, could sing all the main guitar themes.

24 bit remaster by Simon Heyworth and Robert Fripp. This edition also divides "Heavenly" into five CD tracks and "Swastika Girls" into two. The inclusion of the reversed versions is based on the incident where Fripp and Eno sent John Peel a copy of the album on open reel tape instead of standard vinyl, and had it "tails out" on what was meant to be the take-up reel, meaning that the tape had to be rewound to the beginning before playing it. On the December 18, 1973 broadcast of his Radio 1 show Top Gear, John played the entire album - backwards, showing that the "tails out" notice was disregarded. Eno had been listening to Peel's show and phoned the BBC demanding to speak with him, but the receptionist took exception to his tone and hung up on him, and the playback continued unabated. After the second track, Peel said on the air, "I'd like to see what they made of that on Come Dancing...Opinion in here is divided...I think it's great, I really do, magnificent, in fact, in the Tangerine [Dream] tradition, I suppose, in a sense. Very very good, and well worth having the LP, incidentally.

The album artwork influenced the music video set for The 1975's 2018 single, "Give Yourself a Try", and The Strokes's 2003 single "The End Has No End". Electronic music composer Kim Cascone uses the moniker Heavenly Music Corporation in tribute to Fripp & Eno." - Wiki

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it's weird how carlsson has managed to get wilson over a barrel and then persuade him to let the rest of the PROG goons perform anal chugs on him in said position.

my point is that wilson has sold his arse cheaply. it's embarrassing to read.

-skope

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Re: King Crimson

Postby The Slider » 09 Nov 2021, 21:10

Earthbound is a rotten recording of some great performances.
But as a live document of that era, you can't Ladies of the Road

I don't get the love for Lizard it is by far my least favourite of the pre-Belew records.
Cirkus is ok and I like the instrumental sections on side two but the songs on side one are awful and Gordon Haskell is just the first of string of second/third rate singers that Fripp used.

Islands is loads loads loads better
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Re: King Crimson

Postby C » 10 Nov 2021, 12:50

(No Pussyfooting) is an excellent album but I prefer Evening Star and most all of Brian's ambient stuff [with the exception of some of his other collaborations]

I am massive fan of Brian Eno's solo work





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Re: King Crimson

Postby yomptepi » 10 Nov 2021, 17:09

ConnyOlivetti wrote:Islands, great album,
rank it as high as the albums before it.


Absolutely. Every bit as good as anything they had done up to that point.
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Re: King Crimson

Postby The Slider » 10 Nov 2021, 19:32

The music is great but the songs are not anywhere near as good as the ones that Ian McDonald had a hand in
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Re: King Crimson

Postby Matt Wilson » 10 Nov 2021, 20:38

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Starless and Bible Black 1974
The next step in the evolution of KC was largely improvisational and live. Perhaps the most challenging of the '73 - '74 trilogy, Starless still stands as a classic and a must-hear for anyone interested in both the band and prog rock in general. The years of 1972 - 1974 were highlights of the genre with many emblematic LPs seeing release. Prog would begin its decline in the latter part of the decade, but in '74 things were still looking good. Though not as famous or written about as The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, Red, Relayer, Mirage, The Power and the Glory, Rock Bottom, Hatfield & The North, etc. Starless and Bible Black has nonetheless given me just as much pleasure as most of those titles.

Robert Fripp – guitar, Mellotron, devices, Hohner pianet, production
John Wetton – bass, vocals, production
Bill Bruford – drums, percussion, production
David Cross – violin, viola, Mellotron, Hohner pianet, production

1. "The Great Deceiver" (John Wetton, Robert Fripp, Richard Palmer-James) 4:02
Wicked sounds permeate your ears when this song shoots out of the starting gate. What prog band played this fast? Wetton is channeling Greg Lake circa "Cat Food," but no bother - it's still great. I would put this number on any Crimson compilation. There weren't in competition with anyone by this time, they were in their own league.

Wiki - "The only songs recorded entirely in the studio were the first two tracks, "The Great Deceiver" and "Lament". "We'll Let You Know" was an entirely improvised piece recorded in Glasgow. "The Mincer" was another improvised piece, originally recorded in concert at the Volkshaus in Zürich but overdubbed with Wetton's vocals in the studio; The track was the edited-out middle section of a longer improvisation, the other parts released on The Great Deceiver as "The Law of Maximum Distress". "Trio", "Starless and Bible Black" and "Fracture" (the last of which Robert Fripp has cited as one of the most difficult guitar pieces he has ever played) were recorded live at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Also recorded at the Concertgebouw was the introduction to "The Night Watch" (the band's Mellotron broke down at the start of the next section, meaning that the remainder of the song needed to be recorded in the studio and dubbed in later). In all cases, live applause was removed from the recordings wherever possible (although the remains of it can be heard by an attentive listener). The complete Amsterdam Concertgebouw concert was eventually released by the band in 1997 as The Night Watch."

2. "Lament" (Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Richard Palmer-James) 4:00
Also a strong track, "Lament" is a study in contrasts compared with the first cut. I don't feel that Palmer-Jones was the equal of Sinfield in terms of lyrics, but he acquits himself well on these songs - not all of which have words anyway. This stuff should be played LOUD!

"Only four tracks on the album have lyrics. As had been the case with Larks' Tongues in Aspic, these were written by John Wetton's friend Richard Palmer-James (the former Supertramp guitarist who'd left the band after its first, self-titled album). "The Great Deceiver" refers to The Devil and is an ironic commentary on commercialism (Fripp contributed the line "cigarettes, ice cream, figurines of the Virgin Mary" after seeing souvenirs being marketed in Vatican City). "Lament" is about fame. "The Night Watch" is a short essay on Rembrandt's painting of the same name, describing the painting as an observer sees it and attempting to understand the subjects. "The Mincer" has more ambiguous lyrics, though lines such as "fingers reaching, linger shrieking", "you're all alone, baby's breathing", and the song's title could be references to a home invader or killer. Original issues of the album include the lyrics to "The Great Deceiver," "Lament" and "The Night Watch" on the album's inner sleeve." - Wikipedia

3. "We'll Let You Know" (instrumental) (David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford) 3:46
This is one of those improvisational pieces that some have issues with. Crimson always made music like though, both in concert and the studio. They're playing off of each other in a mode more akin to jazz than anything else - so your appreciation of said music depends on this.

4. "The Night Watch" (Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Richard Palmer-James) 4:37
A slow build to a cacophony of sound in this companion piece to the previous cut. "A song about Rembrandt" you say? Sure, why not? LOL.

Wikipedia: "King Crimson's previous album, Larks' Tongues in Aspic (on which they had moved decisively away from a more traditional progressive rock sound drawing on American jazz, and towards the influence of European free improvisation), had been recorded by a quintet lineup of the band, including experimental percussionist Jamie Muir. Early in 1973, Muir abruptly left the band, ostensibly due to an onstage injury, but in fact due to an overwhelming spiritual need which led him to retreat from music and join a monastery (something which was not communicated to his bandmates at that time). The band's drummer, Bill Bruford, absorbed Muir's percussion role in addition to his own kit drumming, and the band continued to tour as a quartet.

These upheavals and the pressure of touring left King Crimson short of new written material when it came to the time to record their next album. Having increased their level of onstage improvisation during recent tours, the band opted to take advantage of this to solve the problem. New compositions tried out in concert and captured on several live recordings were presented as part of the new album material, alternating and in some cases blending with studio recordings."

5. "Trio" (instrumental) (David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford) 5:41
Cross' violin slowly creeps up on the listener until the other two join in sans Bruford:

Wiki: "Trio" was notable for being a quartet piece with only three active players – John Wetton on bass guitar, David Cross on viola and Robert Fripp on "flute" Mellotron. Bruford spent the entire piece with his drumsticks crossed over his chest, waiting for the right moment to join in but eventually realized that the improvised piece was progressing better without him. His decision not to add any percussion was seen by the rest of the band as a crucial choice, and he received co-writing credit for the piece. "Trio" was later included on the 1975 compilation album A Young Person's Guide to King Crimson, the performance credits of which cite Bruford's contribution to the piece as having been "admirable restraint."

LOL

6. "The Mincer" (David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford, Richard Palmer-James) 4:10
Like most numbers here, a combination of live and studio work combine for an immersive experience not akin to sounds created by any other band I know of. By now one realizes Crimso aren't going to give us normal-sounding rock songs on this record, that they're more interested in recorded pieces of an improvisational nature whether because they were short of actual written tunes, or because this is what they wanted to do. Regardless, if you're in the right frame of mind, this is transcendent.

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7. "Starless and Bible Black" (instrumental) (David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford) 9:11
The longest piece on display is also one of the most impressive. The usual KC dynamics apply as Robert's guitar goes from barely audible to screaming. Bill on tubs is his normal wonderful self as well.

"The phrase "Starless and Bible Black" is a quotation from the first two lines of poet Dylan Thomas's play, Under Milk Wood. The band's next album, Red, contains a song called "Starless", which contains the phrase "Starless and bible black", whereas "Starless and Bible Black" is an improvised instrumental. The title track on both the album and the compact disc is an edit of the original Amsterdam improvisation as performed at the Concertgebouw, which presumably ran several minutes longer (as improvisations of this tour often did). (The sleeve notes included with the CDs indicate that it was cut short for the 1974 album "due to the constraints of vinyl"). All currently-available master tapes contain the 9:11 version.

The album art is by painter Tom Phillips. The phrase "this night wounds time", which appears on the back cover, is a quotation from Phillips's signature work, the "treated Victorian novel" A Humument (p. 222). - Wiki

8. "Fracture" (instrumental) (Robert Fripp) 11:14
Perhaps the high point of the LP, and one of Fripp's best guitar workouts. It has the usual slow build until reaching a crescendo almost three quarters of the way through. Crank this one if you can!

Wiki - "Rolling Stone called the album "as stunningly powerful as In the Court of the Crimson King", praising Bruford's mastery of his percussive style and the successful integration of David Cross's violin and viola as a counter-soloist to Fripp. They found the album's variety of tones and lengthy instrumental improvisations particularly impressive, and concluded, "Fripp has finally assembled the band of his dreams – hopefully it'll stay together long enough to continue producing albums as excellent as this one."

AllMusic also praised the album's variety of tones in their retrospective review, and remarked that the album's second side "threw the group's hardest sounds right in the face of the listener, and gained some converts in the process." Robert Christgau's review was more ambiguous, deeming it "as close as this chronically interesting group has ever come to a good album", though he would eventually give higher ratings to Red and USA.

In 2004, Pitchfork ranked it at number 94 in their list of the "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s."

The Japanese band Acid Mothers Temple recorded an album entitled Starless and Bible Black Sabbath in 2006 as a double homage to Starless and Bible Black and Black Sabbath's self-titled album."

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it's weird how carlsson has managed to get wilson over a barrel and then persuade him to let the rest of the PROG goons perform anal chugs on him in said position.

my point is that wilson has sold his arse cheaply. it's embarrassing to read.

-skope