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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 2239 ratings

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Tom Ozric
Prog Reviewer
5 stars The Crimson King's 3rd album in 2 years has an incredible shift in sound, direction, personnel, instrumentation and composition. Even if all the Crimsonian fundamentals, such as Robert Fripp's virtuosic guitar playing, blaring mellotron, inventive sax charts and complex arrangements are in place, he has chosen to augment the line-up to include various players from the jazz scene, notably those who have helped SOFT MACHINE give their sound a broader pallette at the time of their Third and Fourth albums, recorded around the same time as 'Lizard'. The talents of woodwinds man Robin Miller, trombonist Nick Evans, cornet player Mark Charig and jazz-pianist Keith Tippet along with regular sax-player Mel Collins give this album a good dose of jazziness, with parts of looseness and free-form jamming and, at times, a great baroque soundscape - especially side two's 4-part epic 'Lizard'. We also get to hear JON ANDERSON sing on part 1. The main vocalist here though is Gordon Haskell, who also contributes some crunching bass guitar. His voice was heard on the previous album's 'Cadence and Cascade', and for those that are interested, he has a charming solo album called 'It Is And It Isn't', featuring the likes of John Wetton, Dave Kaffinetti, Alan Barry etc. Fripp has challenged himself and everyone around him with mastery of eclectic composition, almost crushed them all with his searing mellotron work, but also incorporated enough quirks to make light of the complexities displayed, such as amusing synth sounds and vocal treatments (Indoor Games, Happy Family) or the pitch-shifting carnival merry-go-round mellotron piece 'Big Top'. The lyrics of Peter Sinfield can be described as remarkably inspired and eccentric. So much can be said, has been said and will be said about this wonderful album, both positive and negative, from fans and non-fans alike. I have been delighted with this album since 1987 - masterpiece.....
Tom Ozric | 5/5 |


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