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King Crimson - Three of a Perfect Pair CD (album) cover

THREE OF A PERFECT PAIR

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.28 | 1191 ratings

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Walkscore
4 stars Original, excellent.

This album is better than Beat, but not as good as Discipline. By this time, Fripp was in a sulky mood. The new lineup was, it turns out, even more talented than he was (and of course, Fripp is exceptionally talented). Beat showed that Adrian Belew had even stronger songwriting skills, and that he could disproportionately meet the challenge of coming up with quality material in rushed times. Fripp never really liked Bruford either, probably because he was his musical equal, and didn't sulk away like Fripp did whenever the band voted against him. At any rate, the band voted against Fripp to go into the studio and record the new slate of songs, and to put the more vocally-oriented Adrian Belew songs on side one, and the more classically-Crimson-like tunes and improvs on side two. Despite the bad feelings on Fripp's part, the result is actually fantastic. Belew's more radio-friendly songs on side one are excellent, and once again demonstrate just what a talented songwriter he is, mixing complex interlocking-weaving guitars into otherwise catchy pop songs. 'Three of a Perfect Pair' and 'Sleepless' are really great songs, and the latter would become their radio single. The improvs begin at the end of side one with the excellent if muted 'Nudges'. Side two is even better, with the fantastic improv 'Industry' - which would become a highlight of their forthcoming tour - the excellent Belew song "Dig Me", and the penultimate return to form in "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part III". The latter would effectively open the tour, and is exactly the kind of piece that was missing from Beat. According to Bruford, after recording this album, Fripp was clearly no longer happy with the band, and during the subsequent tour would sit there on stage grumpily as if holding a sign that said "I don't want to be here". After the tour, Fripp disbanded the new lineup. This is a real shame, because the three albums it made are truly original and show this band to be really talented and creative. Fripp may be a genius, but he would seem very self-centred and jealous too. But they made great music while it lasted. I give this album 8.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 4 PA stars.

Walkscore | 4/5 |

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