EGKC 3 Lizard
Produced by Robert Fripp & Peter Sinfield
Released on December 1970
UK CHART POSITION #30 . . . US CHART POSITION #113
Find it at GEMM
EGKC 3 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

I had something here before about dark towers and deep libraries, which sounds about right, since that’s where Lizard takes me. What I failed to mention is how brilliant this is. Standoffish, yes, noisier and more complicated than it needs to be, which I find by turns fascinating and forbidding. Today it’s the former, and even the little black imp is dancing on the bookcase like a pinned insect, limbs akimbo. So much music gets swirled into the mix, horns and piano and mellotron and tripping snare rolls, that musical indigestion is a distinct possibility. The devastating force of earlier albums remains, but it competes with dissonant jazzy nonsense some of the time. (At the moment, I’m lost in the mid-song maze of “Happy Family” and there doesn’t seem to be any way out of it.) If you seek the respite of “Cadence and Cascade,” there is “Lady of the Dancing Water,” featuring the lovely flute work of Mel Collins. It’s not quite the sublime creature of Cadence; oddly, it’s another vocal anomaly (Jon Anderson) who changes the tone of the record this time. As much as Lizard wants to assume its own landscape, the arrangements are too self-conscious to fully transport me. I suppose that’s where the tower and the library come into play. It’s a beautiful world glimpsed from a distance, Fripp intruding into the picture with black and sour commentary to yank the listener out of their immersion in Lizard’s warm protection. Interesting though the Anderson cameo is, it’s not the sympathetic setting he’d find on The Yes Album, instead siding more with the overwrought Time And A Word. Better by far is Gordon Haskell on “Cirkus,” though tampering with his voice on “Indoor Games” and “Happy Family” lessens the stakes of his dulcet throat. Joining them (and expanding Crimson’s musical dialogue considerably) are pianist Keith Tippet, drummer Andy McCulloch and a trio of horn players. It’s arguably one of Crimson’s most accomplished lineups, underscored by the fact that Islands was found lacking with the departure of McCulloch and Haskell. Adorned with delicate passages, Lizard could be seen as a sinister cousin to Anthony Phillips’ The Geese & The Ghost (he wrote, guilty of greasing Geese's sales again). Ornate, ornery and orfully good, Crimson’s third is a diabolical cirkus of the senses.

EGKC 3 back cover EGKC 3 lyric gatefold
EGKC 3 back cover EGKC 3 lyric gatefold

TRACK LISTING

  1. CIRKUS incl. ENTRY OF THE CHAMELEONS    6:28
  2. INDOOR GAMES    5:38
  3. HAPPY FAMILY    4:15
  4. LADY OF THE DANCING WATER    2:43
  5. LIZARD
    a. PRINCE RUPERT AWAKES    4:34
    b. BOLERO - THE PEACOCK'S TALE    6:30
    c. THE BATTLE OF GLASS TEARS    10:55
      including
      I) Dawn Song
      II) Last Skirmish
      III) Prince Rupert's Lament
    d. BIG TOP    1:05

    All songs written by Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield

CREDITS

MEL COLLINS -- flute & saxes
ROBERT FRIPP -- guitar, mellotron, electric keyboards & devices
GORDON HASKELL -- bass guitar & vocals
ANDY MCCULLOCH -- drums
PETER SINFIELD -- words & pictures, sleeve conception
Jon Anderson -- vocals (5a)
Marc Charig -- cornet
Nick Evans -- trombone
Robin Miller -- oboe & cor anglais
Keith Tippet -- piano & electric piano
Robin Thompson -- engineer
Geoff Workman -- tapes
Gini Barris -- outside painting
Koraz Wallpapers -- inside marbling
C.C.S. -- typography

return to KING CRIMSON discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK December 1970 Island LP ILPS 9141 gatefold cover
US December 1970 Atlantic LP SD 8278 gatefold cover
GER 1970 EMI LP 1C 062 92231  
ITA   Polydor LP 2310 518  
JPN 1971 Atlantic LP P-10347A gatefold cover
UK 1977 Polydor LP 2302 059 gatefold cover reissue
GER 1977 Polydor LP 2344 071 gatefold cover reissue
JPN   Polydor LP 25MM-0263 gatefold cover
US January 1987 Editions EG LP/CS EGKC/EGKCC 3 Collector's Edition remaster
WW   Editions EG LP/CD EGLP/EGCD4  
US 1999 Caroline CD 1504 digital remaster
UK March 21, 2000 Virgin CD CDVKC3 30th anniversary remaster
US 2000 Virgin CD 44068 30th anniversary edition remaster
JPN 2000 Discipline CD PCCY-01423 30th anniversary gold remaster
JPN 2002 Discipline CD PCCY-1525 30th anniversary remaster
JPN 2005 Universal CD UICE-9053 HDCD remaster
US 2005 DGM CD 0503 digital remaster

 

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