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King Crimson - Lizard CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 2191 ratings

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5 stars After another round of personal changes, new vocalist, new drummer, new bass. King Crimson realeased Lizard in late 197O, second album that year.!!

Crimson moves away from that very dark mood's they had in the previus 2 recordings, to a lighter, sometimes even humerous music and sound, somewhat related to what you could call medival music. You might then think that Lizard would be an easy album to get into, compared to the earlier once, but no, quite the opposite, this is an allmost indescribable complex, offbeat, odd, and very hard for the 4/4 rock/pop loving ear to controll. This is a fusion of avantgard jazz, rock, medival, all at the same time. The Album opens with a soft vocal on a piano solo like texture, not even a clear melody in the piano but it works out great. Suddently the band kicks in, bass, drum, melotron, Fripp a supreme acustic guitar, one of the most incredible acustic guitars, he ever did, flutes, horns, piano coming in and out in smaller and longer sections. Haskell vocals singing Sinfields surreal lyrics: "Worship!" - cried the clown. "I'm a T.V. Making bandsmen go clockwork, See the slinky seal Cirkus policeman, Bareback ladies have fish." Won`t go into to any analyse of lyrics, to me its just fun, it makes me smile. After about 4 minutes the track changes into a quiet passage, and after that it turns back to the main theme (dare call it that), now with a longer solo part on the sax, and ending it a sort of chaotic climax.

Next track even more based on a jazz feel with horn's all over the place, Fripp's electric, now perfectly mixed in, but still also acustic guitar here and there. The arrangement even more complicated on this one, with the instruments jumping in and out of the sound picture all the time. Even though i`m listning hard i`m not allways sure what instruments i`m hearing. More or less the same goes for the third track "HAPPY FAMILY", Tippets Piano at the early parts eminent, same goes for Frips guitar, and the duel between the two. This is the most chaotic track on the album. But that is not a problem, quite the contrary, a very lovable track. But my mum dont think so !

After this three shell bombartment we need a break,and that what we are getting. "LADY OF THE DANCING WATERS" a small beauty, soft, gentle, The flute solo ingenious.

Now to the epic, "LIZARD". Starting out with a rather straight forward Jon Anderson vocal preformance, done with all that sensitivity that only Jon could do. This on a foundation of a limited but yet complicated arrangement. Not that far from the compositions on the previus records, like "Epitaph", but lighter and more piano driven. From here we move to a symphonic secquence with only a light drumming in the background, in a style you will later find similarty too on "Islands" and "Starless", but in this case, it turns more jazzy, horns and piano duels, of very high standart. Hereafter another small vocal piece within "LIZARD" called "DAWN SONG", allmost without accompaniment, only a flute and sparse piano. The band kicks in with a melotron drive theme on a bass line, and shortly after a lot of horn and flute, guitar incoming, dissonant and abstract but never the less beautiful. After that a secquence of a continuing bass note, with Fripp on top doing a guitar solo, in the well knows style, later to be repeatedly reinvented. The "Lizard" epic, ends off with a small outtro "BIG TOP", strange circus like music, just mad !

From a prog. rock view this is another milestone, in a long line of stones, where Crimson again evolve the genre dramaticly. Fripp showing his full potentiale as the most interesting prog. composer. Essential ? , Did Hendrix play the Guitar ?, Was Sid making psychedelic's ? This is as Essential as they come !

tamijo | 5/5 |


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