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King Crimson - Starless And Bible Black CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.93 | 1696 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A controversial album indeed, but still containing exceptional music. The positive sides of this record are the wonderful live tracks from the Amsterdam concert; The improvisation "Starless and Bible Black" is one of their most powerful jams, reaching long duration and having eerie, mystical feeling, it is like a religious experience borne from amazing musicianship and talent. This is followed with the band's most important composition "Fracture", and this is also the most essential recording of it from the versions which I have ever heard. The "Trio" is also from the same concert, a quiet, beautiful musical wandering, where Bill doesn't play a single note. The only problem with these tracks is that they are also found now from "The Night Watch" double CD, which has the whole Amsterdam concert in it.

The few studio recordings on this album are good though; "The Great Deceiver" which they didn't quite manage to play in satisfying way at the concert stages, and "Lament" which then worked in the concerts much better. "The Night Watch" is a beautiful ballad from Rembrandt's famous painting which being held at the Amsterdam's national museum, but the version presented here is a bit weird. The pastoral opening is from the Amsterdam concert, but the main song is redone in the studio, as mellotron crashed during the concert. If this kind of editing doesn't bother, this is a good version, but I have heard the best rendering of it on their "Live in Mainz, Germany 1974" CD. "We'll Let You Know" is in my opinion their dullest improvisation, almost nothing happening there, and "The Mincer" is a quite stupid track. It has a recording from a live jam, where the tape runs off during middle of the play, and then there's some studio overdubbed singing on it. Quite disappointing, the version without these studio overdubs can be found from "The Great Deceiver" box.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 4/5 |


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