King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues In Aspic (1973)

AllMusic Review: King Crimson reborn yet again — the then-newly configured band makes its debut with a violin (courtesy of David Cross) sharing center stage with Robert Fripp’s guitars and his Mellotron, which is pushed into the background. The music is the most experimental of Fripp’s career up to this time — though some of it actually dated (in embryonic form) back to the tail-end of the Boz Burrell-Ian Wallace-Mel Collins lineup. And John Wetton was the group’s strongest singer/bassist since Greg Lake’s departure three years earlier. What’s more, this lineup quickly established itself as a powerful performing unit, working in a more purely experimental, less jazz-oriented vein than its immediate predecessor. “Outer Limits music” was how one reviewer referred to it, mixing Cross’ demonic fiddling with shrieking electronics, Bill Bruford’s astounding dexterity at the drum kit, Jamie Muir’s melodic and usually understated percussion, Wetton’s thundering yet melodic bass, and Fripp’s guitar, which generated sounds ranging from traditional classical and soft pop-jazz licks to hair-curling electric flourishes. — Bruce Eder

Track Listing:

Side A
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Part One” David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford, Jamie Muir 13:36
2. “Book of Saturday” Fripp, Wetton, Richard Palmer-James 2:53
3. “Exiles” Cross, Fripp, Palmer-James 7:40
Side B
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Easy Money” Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 7:54
2. “The Talking Drum” Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 7:26
3. “Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Part Two” Fripp 7:07


Schill Score:  1/10


Schill Comment:  The only reason this album gets a 1 is because there is no zero.  This is a terrible album from start to finish.  It’s 46 minutes of pure noise, and even the album title is stupid.  However for some reason there are lots of critics who always praise this album for being so genius. I’m fairly certain that those critic are the types of people that listened to it, were confused about how crappy it is, but instead of admitting it’s a piece of garbage wanted to seem like they were more cultured than other people and “get it” on another level.  Just like with movies, and paintings. Sometimes there’s not a magical meaning, it’s just a piece of garbage.  And this album is garbage.  However everyone should suffer through this album once, because after hearing it it will give you a greater appreciation of EVERY OTHER ALBUM you’ve ever heard in your life.


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King Crimson – In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)

AllMusic Review: The group’s definitive album, and one of the most daring debut albums ever recorded by anybody. At the time, it blew all of the progressive/psychedelic competition (the Moody Blues, the Nice, etc.) out of the running, although it was almost too good for the band’s own good — it took King Crimson nearly four years to come up with a record as strong or concise. Ian McDonald’s Mellotron is the dominant instrument, along with his saxes and Fripp’s guitar, making this a somewhat different-sounding record from everything else they ever did. And even though that Mellotron sound is muted and toned down compared to their concert work of the era (e.g., Epitaph), it is still fierce and overpowering, on an album highlighted by strong songwriting (most of it filled with dark and doom-laden visions), the strongest singing of Greg Lake’s entire career, and Fripp’s guitar playing that strangely mixed elegant classical, Hendrix-like rock explosions, and jazz noodling. Lineup changes commenced immediately upon the album’s release, and Fripp would ultimately be the only survivor on later King Crimson records. — Bruce Eder

Track Listing:

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “21st Century Schizoid Man” Robert Fripp, Ian McDonald, Greg Lake, Michael Giles, Pete Sinfield 7:24
2. “I Talk to the Wind” McDonald, Sinfield 6:04
3. “Epitaph” Fripp, McDonald, Lake, Giles, Sinfield 8:49
Total length: 22:17
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
4. “Moonchild” Fripp, McDonald, Lake, Giles, Sinfield 12:13
5. “The Court of the Crimson King” McDonald, Sinfield 9:26
Total length: 21:39


Schill Score: 8/10


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