8 Songs, 1 Hour 7 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released in early 1973, Larks’ represents King Crimson's third distinct lineup. John Wetton joins Robert Fripp as the finest singer since Greg Lake, while drummer Bill Bruford provides a kinetic power that serves the material elegantly. David Cross’ violin, viola, and flute (on “Exiles”) color the two-part instrumental title track and add an eerie sense to “Book of Saturday.” The bonus tracks further explore the chemistry among the players. Often considered the first part of a trilogy that features Starless and Bible Black and Red, Larks’ is arguably the toughest for new fans to process (though “Exiles” is gorgeous).

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Released in early 1973, Larks’ represents King Crimson's third distinct lineup. John Wetton joins Robert Fripp as the finest singer since Greg Lake, while drummer Bill Bruford provides a kinetic power that serves the material elegantly. David Cross’ violin, viola, and flute (on “Exiles”) color the two-part instrumental title track and add an eerie sense to “Book of Saturday.” The bonus tracks further explore the chemistry among the players. Often considered the first part of a trilogy that features Starless and Bible Black and Red, Larks’ is arguably the toughest for new fans to process (though “Exiles” is gorgeous).

Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics. Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
90 Ratings
90 Ratings
JBSF ,

Parental Advisory ??

This is a great album from one of the greatest groups of all time, but parental advisory ?? For what ? Warning this may expand your child's mind !

gen14 ,

Show the Colour of your Crimson Suspenders...

By 1972, Fripp had tired of the conflict inherent in the Islands-Era lineup of the group, and desired to reconfigure the band to fit a radical new vision of King Crimson. The first recruit of the 5th Lineup of the Crims was improvisational percussionist Jamie Muir, whose use of found objects and unordinary sound effects would prove vital to the coming sessions. Next up was legendary drummer Bill Bruford, who would make the longest association of his career by leaving Yes at the height of their popularity due to dissatisfaction with the material; feeling that the more experimental Crimson freed him up to expand his creative talents. Singer and bassist John Wetton was secured from the band Family (who he had turned Fripp down to join nearly two years earlier), and the resulting lineup was completed by music teacher David Cross on violin.

Within a month of forming, the new band had composed much of the material on the album, and set about honing their challenging compositions live. First up was the mammoth "Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part One", which laid all of the skills of the new members out for all to see: replete with searing guitar, walls of percussion, thundering bass lines, and punctuating bursts of violin, the piece has remained a KC classic, and spawned a number of sequels over 30 years of recording. Next up was the relatively simple ballad "Book Of Saturday", the sole respite from the chaos surrounding it; a beautiful track, it demonstrates the beauty KC is capable of when they tone down their grand ambitions. Side one closes with the epic "Exiles", a holdover from the late 60s that was completed by musical contributions from Wetton (including a rare KC piano showcase; the last ever in KC's discography) and lyrics from Wetton's friend, former Supertramp guitarist Richard Palmer-James. The song is a truly wonderful piece that echoes the powerful nostalgia present in its lyrics.

Side two opens with "Easy Money", a piece that more than any other on the album displays Muir's talents at percussion. The wet slap he provides to accompany Bill Bruford in the track's opening really makes the song's abrupt intro stand out all the more, and he drums alongside Bruford fantastically in the song's extended instrumental middle section. Next up is "The Talking Drum", which builds very slowly to become a frenetic drum showcase, also featuring blistering guitar from Fripp and a typically monstrous bass line from Wetton. The high-pitched screech that ends the track bleeds into the immortal classic "Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part Two", which is hands down the most brutal cut KC ever laid down. A thundering riff played on both guitar and bass is repeated throughout the song, held down by stunning rhythmic work from Bruford and Muir. My only criticism of the piece is what is, in my opinion, a truly awful violin solo from Cross that is atonal, screechy, and just plain bad; a sad counterpoint to the genius work he put forth earlier in the record.

Larks' Tongues is probably my favorite overall Crimson album; if you have to own one, you could do a lot worse. Sadly, Muir would quit early in 1973, never appearing on another Crimson album, but the lineup itself would endure past this loss, and David Cross' 1974 firing, to produce two more albums, both of which easily stand as KC classics in their own right.

Jonathan_Meyers ,

Amazing album!

Finally! Crimson is on iTunes! To bad I have all three of the albums. Hopefully they’ll Release USA or Thrak on iTunes as well. Anyway this album is a must have for prog fans. Bill Bruford and Jamie Muir’s drumming combined with John Wetton’s bass and vocals, David Cross’s violin and mellotron, and of corse Robert Fripp’s guitar combine to make an album that will leave a lasting impression on you! By all means buy this album! You won’t regret it.

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