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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 2481 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I am very tempted to give this album the full 5 stars. However, I will refrain. The reason for this is that it is one of my favorite Crimson albums, full of its own unique originality. Still, to put it on the same level as In the Court of the Crimson King and other albums like Close to the Edge and Wish You Were Here would not be right in my mind. Hence, the 4 star album, which I still hold in extremely high regard.

I was introduced to Lizard after learning ITCOTCK, ITWOP, and Lark's Tongues, and I had also recently acquired Islands. It came to me in a shipment along with Red and Discipline. I immediately set to work learning them. Lizard caught me off-guard on my first listen. I knew everyone called it the jazzy album by Crimso, but whoa, I wasn't expecting this much of a turnaround from ITWOP. Complete sax and jazz everywhere. Once I got used to it though, it proved to be one of the most rewarding albums in my collection.

One thing that also should be noted is that every song (other than Lady of the Dancing Water) has improv jazz sections in them. They vary in length, but 4 of the 5 songs have them. Some may see them as noodling. That's up to you. For me, they are brilliant.

Cirkus: A very haunting opener. Haskell, who is by no means as good as Greg Lake, still does well for himself. I can only imagine the power the album would have had if Lake was still here... anywho, Haskell's vocals do work here, and that strange yet amazing riff that appears between his singing verses is absolutely phenomenal. The perfect opener for the album.

Indoor Games: I laughed out loud at this song the first time I heard it. I thought it was the goofiest, silliest thing I'd ever heard. However, I have great respect for this song now. It just seemed so goofy, for lack of a better word, at first, but, of course, with more listens, it became a fantastic song.

Happy Family: In contrast to the previous song, I absolutely loved the opening to this song when I first heard it. Something about it just hit me, and it is still one of my favorite openings to a song. Then, Haskell's weird vocals set in. I say weird because they did something very strange with it in the studio. It took me a while to get over it, but now I find it extremely listenable.

Lady of the Dancing Water: In terms of the short Crimso songs, this is probably my favorite. Ending Side 1, it's a short yet absolutely beautiful song that closes out the first half of the album spectacularly. I don't know where'd I be without this song. It strikes a chord deep within me.

Lizard: An absolutely brilliant, I repeat, brilliant, track. Jon Anderson's vocals are heavenly. And, on a sidenote, I see strong, strong influences from his section of the song on Tales. Honestly, I could see this section of the song being on TFTO. I don't know if I'm the only person to think that, but, anywho, on with Lizard. Very different than, say, songs like Epitaph. It's a different Crimson here, and one must remember that. Part of the reason that I disliked Lark's Tongues (my second Crimso album) on my first listen was because it was so different than ITCOTCK, which I wasn't ready to let go of. Remember that it's a differed KC. Then you'll be able to recognize the majesty of this album, especially this song. Brilliant.

This one does pain me a bit, but I feel 5 stars would be too generous for it. Perhaps it is a 4.5 or so. However, I do not round numbers up to a 5. For me, an album has to be a 5 to get a 5. So, perhaps it's a 4, perhaps it's a 4.5 (more likely), but either way, I highly recommend it to the Crimson fan. If not a Crimson fan, DO NOT START HERE. That I'm sure about. Start with their debut. Work up to this one. I'll go with my original 4/5 stars. I don't want to get into decimals.

Yanns | 4/5 |


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