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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 2976 ratings

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Say what? OK, I'm not sure if it is because I live in the United States, or if it is because I didn't start listening to progressive rock music until the late 1980's but as I remember it I really didn't know who King Crimson was, other than that they were the 21st Century Schizoid band. On the other hand, I was then and I am still a really huge Yes fan. Being a Yes fan, I am on a mission to collect all albums that Yes and former Yes members appear on. A highly unlikely goal since there are so many, and many of them are out of print, but it was fairly easy to find albums from Bill Bruford's side band King Crimson. Yes, I know that this is Robert Fripp's band, and that this is the 5th King Crimson album with the 5th different lineup, but for me it was just another band that I needed to collect for the Yes collection.

As usual, Robert Fripp plays guitar and mellotron on this album, but joining him in the band for the first time was the lineup of Bill Bruford on drums, John Wetton on bass guitar and vocals, David Cross on violin, and Jamie Muir on percussion. In addition, Richard Palmer-James replaced Peter Sinfield as the band's lyricist. This album consists of 6 songs and is quite simply a progressive rock masterpiece. Bill Bruford makes his presence known very quickly on the opening instrumental track Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part One, which starts off with Jamie Muir showing his chops on percussion. This is followed by the mellow Book of Saturdays, which clocks in at two and a half minutes and is the only song on the album not over seven minutes. This song as well as the next two feature John Wetton's fabulous voice on lead vocals. The last two songs, The Talking Drum and Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two, are both splendid instrumentals. Although, the song is called The Talking Drum, it is not a drum solo as one might expect. All band members participate in this song, and it seems to me that the lead instrument is actually David Cross on violin. The final track, Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two, is also an instrumental that features all band members. If you listen closely enough during the songs the band makes noises reminiscent to the sound that larks might make.

When I first started writing reviews for PA over a year ago, I had a goal to review all of the King Crimson albums. This was to be a way for me to get to know King Crimson better as a band, since they are probably the giant prog band that I know the least about. Since then I have also learned that there are quite a few classic prog bands that I am not that familiar with. Anyhow, I previously reviewed the first four albums and then I stopped. Ironically, I reviewed Islands exactly one year to the day that I am reviewing this album. Hopefully, I will review the others before another year has passed.

Anyhow, I am giving this album 5 stars. Larks' Tongues In Aspic is most definitely an essential album for Progressive Rock fans, and a masterpiece of progressive music. A must have for all prog rock fans.

rushfan4 | 5/5 |


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