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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 2114 ratings

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3 stars By mid-1970 Fripp and Sinfield had enough material to record a third album, but the formation of a stable line-up was still a problem.Thus, they asked Gordon Haskell and Mel Collins, who participated as guests in the previous effort, to join permanently and then they recruited Andy McCulloch on drums, formerly of Shy Limbs.The sophisticated sound of the pieces forced them to also recruit session musicians, Keith Tippett was once again among the guests along with cornet player Mark Charig, trombonist Nick Evans and oboe player Robin Miller as well as Jon Anderson of Yes, who sung the opening section of the title-track.The recordings took place between August?September 1970, again at the Wessex Sound Studios and ''Lizard'' was released in mid-December of the same year.

''Cirkus'' has to be among the ultimate classics of the Crimsonian's repertoire, a beautiful connection between the sound of the 69' debut with the slight psychedelic tunes and the Mellotron-denched haunting symphonicism with the jazzier lines, which will appear in this album, featuring great work on sax by Mel Collins and some great trumpet parts with Haskell delivering a nice singing performance.''Indoor games'' is more along the lines of GENTLE GIANT, the atmosphere is same as on the opener, albeit slightly jazzier, with impressive use of VCS3 synth by Sinfield and sweet organ and Mellotron parts with the sax prevailing and the acoustic guitars in evidence.The closing section features smooth but complex Jazz Rock of great inspiration.The naughty singing parts of ''Indoor games'' reappear in the following ''Happy family'', highlighted by Tippet's performance on electric piano, in contast with the complex Fripp-ian guitar moves, the VCS3 synth of Sinfield and the sax/flute alternations of Collins.The dissonances start to become a regular component in the sound of King Crimson.The short ''Lady of the dancing water'' is a relaxing ballad with flute and acoustic guitars and Haskell prooving to be a sensitive and expressive singer.''Lizard'' (taking up the whole flipside of the original version'') is the longest cut ever composed by King Crimson.A manifest of Classical, Jazz, Chamber and Experimental elements, wrappred up in a long suite, which has its moments, but sounds overall a bit stretched.From the opening minutes with Jon Anderson's vocals and the mellow atmosphere to the Classical-oriented parts with the Mellotron and the oboe creating an orchestral mood and even to the abstract jazzy improvisations with the wind instruments and piano in the forefront, King Crimson attempted to mix different music paths into an attractive blend, the composition is largely instrumental with the typical King Crimson-ian atmosphere, switching from romantic soundscapes and cinematic textures to sinister and complicated moods.

A controversial, excessive but extremely progressive work by King Crimson.Imagine elements of VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR, GENTLE GIANT, THE SOFT MACHINE and THE ENID in the same album.Chaotic, but pretty elegant at the same time.Strongly recommended for all fans of messed-up yet genuine prog adventures...3.5 stars.

apps79 | 3/5 |


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