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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 2218 ratings

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3 stars Lizard is the third King Crimson album; or at least the third album by Robert Fripp using the King Crimson name. Gone are Giles and Giles and Lake. The only returning member was Mel Collins on sax and flutes. Gordon Haskell took over most of the lead vocal duties (he also appeared on Cascade and Credence on the previous album). This is as much a jazz album as it is a progressive rock album. While listening to it to prepare this review I actually enjoyed this album much more than I had at any previous time. There is a prevalent use of horns and flutes throughout this album. The highlights are Cirkus, Lady of the Dancing Water, and the title track Lizard. Lizard features Yes' lead singer Jon Anderson on vocals for the first part called Prince Rupert Awakes. I must admit that I am not a very big fan of Peter Sinfields lyrics. I suppose that some of their meanings are too abstract for me to comprehend.

Cirkus is a really good song with strange lyrics regarding a cirkus. Not sure if there is any other meaning to this or not. It does go along well with the album's cover artwork. Interestingly to me, is that although Jon Anderson does not sing on this song, he would go on to create and sing a strange song titled "Circus of Heaven". I wonder if this was in anyway an inspiration.

Indoor Games is musically a good rocking jazz song containing very strange lyrics, which do fit in nicely with the music. I suppose this song is in reference to the fun "Indoor Games" that ones participate in behind closed doors in the privacy of our own homes, and yet these games are being participated in in front of guests and servants. I suppose that this was age of love, peace, and happiness.

Happy Family is another musically good rocking song with very strange lyrics. Again they lyrics fit in nicely with the music and actually have a cool flow to them, but they are just strange. A previous reviewer mentioned it has something to do with the Beatles breaking up. Other than the reference to "four went on and none came back" I don't pick up on this reference.

Lady of the Dancing Water is a short melodic acoustical piece. No problems with the lyrics, singing or sound here. It is nice little song featuring lots of horns and flutes.

Lizard is the highlight of this album. As previously mentioned it features Jon Anderson on vocals, which for me is definitely a plus since he is one of my favorites. Lyrically however, I will be honest and say that I truly have no idea what this song is about. There are a couple very lengthy jazz instrumental passages in this song. For me these instrumental passage are far better than those that were on the song In the Wake of Poseidon. The playing here sounds organized because the instruments appear to be on the same page playing the same song versus having instrument play their own song and throwing it together.

In my opinion this album would be an excellent addition to any prog music collection strictly with the music alone, but because there are also strange lyrics and some strange singing I have to downgrade it to good, but not essential.

rushfan4 | 3/5 |


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