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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.42 | 3267 ratings

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4 stars Highly Inventive.

While Schizoid Man defined the originality of the first incarnation of Crimson, it is really only with this album that the new sound for which Crimson has since become known became fully established. While I love Sinfield's lyrics (and Greg Lake's singing) on the early albums, I think it was the right decision for Fripp to move on from Sinfield, and particularly to recruit Bruford (and Muir). The two parts of the title track which open and close this album are nothing like any sort of music that came before. Like many others, it was when I heard Lark's Tongues part II on the radio as a teenager that I knew I had to get more acquainted with this band. But it was Lark's Tongues Part I that even more blew me away when I heard the album. It is so inventive, not rock, not jazz, certainly not classical. Tinged with both world music and jazz-like improvisation, it set a standard for a new hybrid form of music that few bands have been able to meet since. It is on this album that the now-standard Fripp guitar sound was announced. And it is on this album that Bruford's very distinct and wonderful drum style was introduced to the world. So, in this sense it is truly essential, particularly for PA listeners. This album is not perfect, though. "Exiles" is fine, but somehow doesn't live up to its potential, while "the Talking Drum" seems too flat, and after hearing it many times, I have to skip over it now. Easy Money is great, but a number of live versions are even better. Still, this album stands the test of time as one of the most original inventive albums ever released, and the two title tracks remain remarkable and unsurpassed. I give the whole album 8.7 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 4 PA stars.

Walkscore | 4/5 |


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