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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 1938 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Hey all in the land of the prog archives, here is the 3rd album by Prog Rock practitioners King Crimson (or whom I like to call the great Crimson King). By this point in the band's history Greg Lake and Michael Giles (uh oh, it's not good that he left, ouch!!!) had left and were replaced by Gordon Haskell and Andy McCulloch respectively (a slew of other musicians played on this album). King Crimson had build a bit of a reputation up to the release of this album as they had been known for their weird and odd approaches to music with albums such as In the Court of the Crimson King and In the Wake of Poseidon. Lizard, brought a somewhat familiar but different sound to the band. Here is my review of this odd recording.

Here is the low down for this album known as "Lizard"

1) Cirkus - Note to the guys in King Crimson when you do something like this I'll listen and then maybe admire you and become a fan but you guys don't do it enough though. I love this song, it's the epitome of Prog Rock for me, McCulloch literaly kills the drums on here (only song that he does it good enough though). 10/10

2) Indoor Games - This track does nothing for me. Gordon Haskell sounds a lot like Stewie Griffin from Family Guy on this album but mostly on this song (no, no Stewie prog!!!!!!!!!) and I don't want Stewie Griffin singing for any band especially a Prog Rock band (ahh!!!!!!!). While listening I actually find myself thinking 'What's the point of this?" Anywho, it's a terrible and chaotic mess with no musicality to it at all (it's important to remember that when you are sober you will realize that "it's crap"). I am not a fan of this track at all. One of their worst in their discography in my opinion. 2/10

3) Happy Family - To me this sounds exactly the same as Indoor Games. It tries to confuse you (fails terribly to do so though) and keep you on your music listening toes but personally it does nothing for me. Gordon Haskell has this weird and odd vocal delivery and the instrumentation to it just doesn't cut it. Unfortunately, this is yet another song by Crimso that does absolutely nothing for me. Yes, yes I know that the guys in this band know how to play but they just don't do it in an engaging manner on this track. This song sounds a lot like Indoor Games (in the way it's structured and delivered) as it has me screaming "change it up please!!!!!" Another awful piece of fluff. 2/10

4) Lady of the Dancing Water - This is a great song. I love Haskell vocals on here and although a bit formulaic (with a ballad on the first 3 albums) it's actually very good. I pretty much love everything about this song, it's beautiful and well crafted. If only Crimson did this more often (sighs). What a waste of talents. 10/10

5. Lizard - Ahh, now we reach the big bloated epic of the album entitled Lizard. However, as an epic I feel it just doesn't hold up. It drags on without really going anywhere in my opinion. Here is the epic examined in its many portions a) Prince Rupert Awakes - This has a guest appearance from Jon Anderson( of Yes fame, yes that Jon Anderson) and it is beautifully done."Wake your reasons hollowed vote, wear your blizzard season-coat, burn a bridge and burn a boat, stake a lizard by he throat." I love that line (whatever the hell that means I don't know but it sounds pretty good?). Unfortunately for me it's the best part of the song. I bet they couldn't get Haskell to sing this (probably because it doesn't fit his vocal rang??). Just try to imagine Gordon Haskell singing this. I know, it doesn't fit well at all.

b) Bolero - The Peacock's Tale - I like the first few minutes of this piece (the jazzy bits are pretty nice) but then it starts to tail off and it goes nowhere leading to the next part of the song.

c) The Battle of Glass Tears - This part of the song is just terrible as it ruins the epic for me. It repeats itself over and over and over (maybe it's my intolerance but believe me I have a ton of patience). A fine example of repeating your piece of music over and over and actually making it good is "Abaddon's Bolero" by ELP as it's structured, very complex and multi-layered but on here it just keeps going and going like a bad hip hop beat from Tyga or some other bad rapper. The kitchen sink is thrown at you but it just doesn't get me in any way. Fripp tries to be inventive and interesting with a little guitar piece but it's nowhere near a Hackett or Howe. Just not interesting enough for me

d) Big Top - This portion of the song is pure fluff to me. It also does nothing for me. Altogether the piece is ok but just not really to my liking. 7/10

Overall, even though this album is indeed very progressive and even though it has a lot going, it just sounds like a confused mess that goes nowhere (a genre crisis perhaps??). It's an album that's definitely out there as it has some moments of sheer brilliance but also has plenty of moments of confusion. Fripp himself actually dismisses this album as he has considered it "crap." Not a bad album at all it's just confused. Yet another 3 star rating for the Crimso. Peace out!!!

ProgMetaller2112 | 3/5 |


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