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King Crimson - Larks' Tongues In Aspic CD (album) cover

LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.40 | 1966 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

daveconn
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I 'm sitting here, waiting for "Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part One" to explode all over again, convinced that CRIMSON is King. For all intents and purposes, this is KING CRIMSON Part Two. ROBERT FRIPP assembled a new cast, including seasoned veterans that invoked the maiden voyage of the KING: JOHN WETTON, BILL BRUFORD, JAMIE MUIR, DAVID CROSS, lyricist ROBERT PALMER-JAMES. Not since the original Court has so much talent been brought to bear on the KING's vision. In a sense, CRIMSON had handed the crown to EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER after their debut, only to reclaim it on "Larks' Tongues In Aspic". The addition of WETTON (a GREG LAKE soundalike) and BRUFORD now aligned CRIMSON with ELP, enabling them to again make propulsive music at once pretty and profane. Lest they be overlooked, the roles of Cross and Muir are equally important, expanding the range of what might be considered music and giving "Larks" a decidedly Eastern and adventurous flavor. Exotic percussion, violins, the mournful and otherworldly sounds of FRIPP's leads, strange noises, unconventional rhythms... the musical objects in this picture are to traditional drums/bass/guitar rock what the Sistine Chapel is to a simple portrait. "Starless" might be the more stunning record, Red the more remarkable for its simple cunning, but "Larks" is no less luminous an achievement. The records that initially followed Court tried to replicate its sound and effect while expanding the experiment slightly (e.g., adding orchestral elements). "Larks" is a reinvention of the band that stays true to their original mission statement. "In The Court of the Crimson King" asked the musical question: How do we take the rock music of 1969 and push it as far as we can?

"Larks" does the same, substituting "1973" for "1969", which as it turns out makes quite a difference. Every track on here is essential, though the improbably easy "Book of Saturday" and the caustic "Easy Money" have garnered the most attention over the years (in part because JOHN WETTON has kept them alive in his live repertoire). It's something of a daunting appetizer, so start with "Court" and "Wake"; by then you'll have developed a taste for "Larks' Tongues In Aspic". Do yourself a favor and save for a nice digital remaster of this, since many of the passages are very quiet (moreso than any other CRIMSON release).

daveconn | 4/5 |

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