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King Crimson - Starless And Bible Black CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.91 | 1396 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Don't let 'em fool you. The many improvisations that can be found on this album (and usually slightly embellished in the studio) do not exactly make it inferior, because all improvisations are first rate. Whenever you put Fripp, Wetton, Bruford and Cross together on a stage, sparks did not necessarily fly, but this album certainly captures some moments when they did. No, the most serious problem with STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK is that 'a heap of fascinating snippets do not an album make'. There's a disjointed feel to the whole thing. Now that most of this music can be heard in its original context (and unembellished) on superior live albums such as THE NIGHT WATCH (Live in Amsterdam) or THE GREAT DECEIVER (4-CD live box set), I would advise new fans to go for those TRUE live versions straightaway.

However, I understand many of you may still be interested in STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK. You may want to know in what format this music was originally released. So if you insist on getting the album, let me just tell you this: I can't think of any Crimso ballad that's lovelier than 'The Nightwatch'; there's probably no Crimso improv lovelier than 'Trio'; and as for 'Fracture', well, that's ominous, high-class instrumental prog with an orchestral feel, which (in my view) surpasses even the middle section of '20st Century Schizoid Man'.

Did you ever long for a four-man rock band who sometimes seem to equal (in symphonic power) the Concertgebouw Orchestra or the Berlin Phil? Well here they are.

fuxi | 4/5 |


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