EGKC 6 Larks' Tongues In Aspic
Produced by King Crimson
Released on March 1973
UK CHART POSITION #20 . . . US CHART POSITION #61
Find it at GEMM
EGKC 6 cover  

I ’m sitting here, waiting for “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, Part One” to explode all over again, convinced that Crimson is King. For all intents and purposes, this is King Crimson Part Two. Robert Fripp assembled a new cast, including seasoned veterans that invoked the maiden voyage of the King: John Wetton, Bill Bruford, Jamie Muir, David Cross, lyricist Robert Palmer-James. Not since the original Court has so much talent been brought to bear on the King’s vision. In a sense, Crimson had handed the crown to Emerson, Lake & Palmer after their debut, only to reclaim it on Larks’ Tongues In Aspic. The addition of Wetton (a Greg Lake soundalike) and Bruford now aligned Crimson with ELP, enabling them to again make propulsive music at once pretty and profane. Lest they be overlooked, the roles of Cross and Muir are equally important, expanding the range of what might be considered music and giving Larks a decidedly Eastern and adventurous flavor. Exotic percussion, violins, the mournful and otherworldly sounds of Fripp’s leads, strange noises, unconventional rhythms... the musical objects in this picture are to traditional drums/bass/guitar rock what the Sistine Chapel is to a simple portrait. Starless might be the more stunning record, Red the more remarkable for its simple cunning, but Larks is no less luminous an achievement. The records that initially followed Court tried to replicate its sound and effect while expanding the experiment slightly (e.g., adding orchestral elements). Larks is a reinvention of the band that stays true to their original mission statement. In The Court of The Crimson King asked the musical question: How do we take the rock music of 1969 and push it as far as we can? Larks does the same, substituting “1973” for “1969,” which as it turns out makes quite a difference. Every track on here is essential, though the improbably easy “Book of Saturday” and the caustic “Easy Money” have garnered the most attention over the years (in part because John Wetton has kept them alive in his live repertoire). It’s something of a daunting appetizer, so start with Court and Wake; by then you’ll have developed a taste for Larks’ Tongues In Aspic. Do yourself a favor and save for a nice digital remaster of this, since many of the passages are very quiet (moreso than any other Crimson release).

EGKC 6 back cover EGKC 6 lyric sleeve
EGKC 6 back cover EGKC 6 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC, PART ONE    (David Cross/Robert Fripp/John Wetton/Bill Bruford/Jamie Muir)    13:36
  2. BOOK OF SATURDAY    (Robert Fripp/John Wetton/Robert Palmer-James)    2:59
  3. EXILES    (David Cross/Robert Fripp/Robert Palmer-James)    7:37
  4. EASY MONEY    (Robert Fripp/John Wetton/Robert Palmer-James)    7:51
  5. THE TALKING DRUM    (David Cross/Robert Fripp/John Wetton/Bill Bruford/Jamie Muir)    7:28
  6. LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC, PART TWO    (Robert Fripp)    7:10

CREDITS

BILL BRUFORD -- drums
DAVID CROSS -- violin, viola, mellotron
ROBERT FRIPP -- guitar, mellotron & devices
JAMIE MUIR -- percussion & allsorts
JOHN WETTON -- bass & vocals
Nick Ryan -- engineer
Tantra Designs -- cover design

return to KING CRIMSON discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK March 1973 Island LP ILPS 9230  
US March 1973 Atlantic LP/8T SD/TP 7263  
ARG   Atlantic LP 14116 lyric sleeve
UK Mar/Apr 1977 Polydor LP/CS 2302 061  
US January 1987 Editions EG LP/CD/CS EGKC/EGKCC 6 Collectors' Edition remaster
UK 1989 E.G. Records CD EGCD 7  
US 1999 Caroline CD 1506  
EUR   Virgin CD 44070 24-bit digital remaster
UK   Virgin CD CDVKC 5 30th anniversary remaster

 

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