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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 2268 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This recording represents a startling and bold contrast to the two preceding efforts of this band. For the armchair critics and the pundits that led the battle cry that In the Wake of Poseidon was an ersatz rehash of In the Court of the Crimson King, this daring, complex and highly innovative recording must have represented a firm slap in the face or a cold bucket of ice water on the head. Firstly, on this effort, Keith Tippett's bandmates Miller, Evans and Charig (Keith Tippett Group) are additionally integrated into the King Crimson lineup. The result is a striking progressive rock/ free jazz fusion replete with wild explosions of piano, trombone, cornet, english horn and oboe which, along with Mel Collins' flutes and saxophones, Fripp's guitar and mellotron work, very effective percussion work by Andy McCullough (later of Greenslade) and the quirky timbre, register and delivery of Gordon Haskell's vocals over Peter Sinfield's highly evocative lyrics make Lizard one of the true pioneering events of progressive music in its era. Jon Anderson's cameo vocal on Prince Rupert Awakes is a pleasant and tasteful diversion but is not particularly special in its own right. It does, however, provide a brief interlude between the quirkiness of the songs on side one of the original vinyl and the highly intricate and heavy instrumental work that comprises most of the Lizard epic on side two of the original vinyl. A concept that sounds so entirely otherwordly wouldn't be quite complete without spinning totally out of control, which is exactly how Big Top finishes the recording. It sounds like a space ship shaped like a circus tent playing carousel music spinning faster and slower, notes getting sharper then flatter, getting louder then softer andmore distant and then off into the stratosphere and into space. Definitely an acquired taste, one worth cultivating and indulging, Lizard will not ever be wildly embraced by mainstream listeners because of its idiosyncratic nature. Nevertheless, it is a true classic and is an essential piece of progressive music history.


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