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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.95 | 2119 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Starless and Bible Black is the KC album which I love most. It's one of those albums I would take with me to an deserted island (even if the island wouldn't have electricity, I still would have the excellent artwork to look at). SaBB was the second KC album I ever heard, the first being Poseidon. At first I really couldn't figure the album out. All the players sounded fantastic, the singer was charismatic, but it was all such a chaos. It took me really a while to wholly appreciate this album, and now I regard it as one of the best things in music man has ever created.

The bulk of the album is culled from the performance at Amsterdam in 1973, and most of the album's songs are improvised. Some say that the release of The Nightwatch which contains the aforementioned gig in its entirety has made SaBB obsolete, but I beg to differ. While The Nightwatch is surely great live album, SaBB has to be considered as a studio album, no matter how some of the material is from a live gig.

And as a studio album, it's near perfection from start to finish. One might argue that We'll Let You Know and The Mincer are fillers, and I understand where they're coming from. They are a bit weaker songs than the rest of it, but they keep the flow of the album going, and quite perfectly I might add. It's such a musical and lyrical rollercoaster with some very funky parts, and also some of the most beautiful parts I've ever heard in music. Trio and The Night Watch are very beautiful, the former being it so musically and the latter one also with its fantastically poetic imagery.

The absolute highlight for me is Fracture which is a masterpiece in creating tension and then releasing it to an almost cathartic effect. It's also one of the most technical pieces of music I've heard. Fripp has said that he doesn't like to perform it live because it's so hard to play.

SaBB is without a doubt one of the dearest albums for me personally, and I consider it to be also one of the most inventive albums ever. It reaches such emotional, musical and lyrical depths that only a few other albums can reach. Definitely progressive, and worth 5 stars.

nikow | 5/5 |


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