Saturday, April 10, 2010

King Crimson - Larks' Tongues In Aspic (1973)

This album marks the start of a three album run that defines the very sound, no- the attitude of Robert Fripp's King Crimson. The albums aren't necessarily related in any way (it's not a thematic trilogy per se) but 1973's Larks' Tongues In Aspic kicked off the most adventurous period of this band outside of their 1969 debut In The Court Of The Crimson King.

This is exactly what I think of when I think of '70s prog rock; the over-the-top production, the start-stop drumming, the strange and hard to name instruments (gamelan and mbira, courtesy of percussionist Jamie Muir), the odd time signatures (drummer Bill Bruford quit Yes to join Fripp and his jazzier explorations), the classical flourishes (this album has a lot of viola, violin and flute on it from David Cross) and deep, satisfying bass work from John Wetton.

The main focal point of this record is the title track(s), split into two parts that bookend the album. There are some parts to this record that are insanely heavy and there are others that are ridiculously light and airy. Running throughout the whole thing is a jazz-fusion feel, creating a cohesive quality to the entire work.

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