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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.12 | 2104 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars King Crimson - Lizard (1970)

This record proves King Crimson was really far more grownup then all other progacts around. Already in 1970 they made a record that didn't remind me at all to their older works. This is a TRUE progressive record without any doubt (for those who follow the discussions about 'prog or not prog'). The influences on this record are clearly avantgarde and jazz. Rock was somehow put aside for most of the time. I don't think any of the members of King Crimson could have understood where this record was going to, not even Fripp himself.

Cirkus(including Entry Of The Chameleons). This is a true classic KC song. Dark, with punching wave of mellotron I never heard before. Though a very intelligent composition, it is still acceptable for the most proggers. The ending has orchestrations that remind me of the Roman Empire music you hear in movies. Very impressive song! 100% score.

Indoor Games. This is where the avantgarde trouble starts. Though it has a catchy refrain, most of the song is messy and chaotic. It takes time to get into this song, but I like it quite much. I still don't however wether this is great or avaragel.

Happy Family. This is dark and pessimistic. "Happy family, one hand clap, four went by and None came back". The vocals of Gordon Haskell are not my taste. The vocals sound like a German propaganda movie... it would have suited Captain Beefheart. Not my favourite song this is.

Lady Of The Dancing Water. Where Happy Family is quite ponderous, Lady of the Dancing Water is a pure gentle song like I talk to the Wind and Cadance and Cascade. I loved this song from first spin and it's still one of the greatest melodic songs of King Crimson. The presence of the flute of Mel Collings make this a masterfull song.

Lizard. The epic of the album taking side two of the vinyl record on its own. The first parts are quite like the 'normal' progressive sound of the first two KC records. Yes vocalist Jon Anderson was asked to sing the first vocal parts of the song and does so perfectly. This is by far my favourite Anderson vocalpart of his whole carrere. After the symphonic parts the jazz improvisation parts with psychedelic/avant-garde sound appear. It's hard to discribe how the music evolves, but it's different then all other prog epics. The song has the symphonic sound of the prog classics combined with the jazzy sounds and atmospheres of Miles Davis led by Robert Fripp's dark ambitions. It is record pretty well.

This record is a essential masterpiece of progressive rock. Not because I like every moment of this album, but for some moments that are so special and progressive that it's quality could not be doubted. I have no record in my collection that sounds like this, progresses like this and has an impact like this. It's hard to get into, but it's worth it! It might not be everyone's cooky (modern symphoproggers might find it horrible), still it desevers the full five stars!

friso | 5/5 |


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