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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 2128 ratings

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4 stars Even though Lizard was released the same year as In The Wake Of Poseidon, it was an entirely different album that moved away from Symponic Prog by adding experimental jazz arrangement into the mix. This direction can be attributed to the changes in the lineup. Giles brothers were out and Gordon Haskell had now replaced Greg Lake on vocals and bass guitar.

Since Lizard was one of my earliest King Crimson albums I really had no expectations when it came to its direction and that's a highly recommended approach. The opening mini-opus track Cirkus starts off in a subtle fashion while slowly increasing the volume level until the electric keyboards take over and mesmerize the unexpected listener. Gordon Haskell's vocals might not be as memorable as those by Greg Lake or John Wetton but he does an excellent job on Cirkus and Lady Of The Dancing Water which together show the complete spectrum of his capabilities.

The only way I can describe Indoor Games is that it's pure fun that still manages to maintain an adequate level of complexity outside of the Symponic Prog realm with prominent saxophone arrangements by Mel Collins. Happy Family has never been one of my personal favorites but it manages to progress the music very fluently from the unexpected twist of events that occurred on Indoor Games. Finally we have a magnificent ballad titled Lady Of The Dancing Water concluding side one on another highlight.

At the end of the day your final opinion of this album will depend on the 23 minute long title track that occupies the entire side two. As many have mentioned before me, Supper's Ready or Close To The Edge it is not. I find the progression of the piece to be very disjointed and outside of the beautiful intro section titled Prince Rupert Awakes and the later Prince Rupert's Lament the rest of the material just feels long, poorly produced and unsatisfying. Originally I assumed that the very down-mixed sound production had to do with my unremastered CD version of the record but after hearing the 30th anniversary edition of the album I felt that the sound was still very much the same.

Lizard is another unique album in King Crimson's discography which might not be saying much considering the band's persistence with changing their approach to music making. Still, this is as close to jazz that the band would ever get and that should count for something!

***** star songs: Cirkus (6:28) Indoor Games (5:41) Lady Of The Dancing Water (2:44)

**** star songs: Happy Family (4:16) Lizard (23:15)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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