King Crimson

Larks' Tongues in Aspic - Island Records - 1973

Tracks: 1. Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 1 / 2. Book of Saturday / 3. Exiles / 4. Easy Money / 5. The Talking Drum / 6. Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 2


"Larks' Tongues in Aspic" released in 1973 is King Crimson's fifth album. Musically, there have been radical changes since the symphonic debut "In The Court of the Crimson King" from 1969. The magnificent melodic numbers are replaced by complex compositions, where the melodic only in flashes are predominant. It's obvious that the group under its distinctive musical metamorphosis has lost some fans but on the other hand has managed to win others.

The fact that the musical changes have been so striking, is partly due to large changes in the group's lineup. Thus it is only guitarist Robert Fripp, who is left from 1969 debut. This is only a part of the explanation, because there is little doubt that leader Robert Fripp, never had any desire simply to repeat himself, but always wanted to explore new musical expressions.

Half of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" is instrumental, with the two title tracks playing more than twenty minutes. These numbers are pretty complex, especially Part One contains several very different sequences, some of which may be heavy for the ear.

Also "The Taking Drum" is instrumental, and as the title suggests, the number is a showcase for drummer Bill Bruford. It should be no secret that these types of instrumentals are not really my cup of tea, so I must resort to the second half of the album to find numbers that justify expanding my music collection with the album.

There are fine things in the short and quiet "Book of Saturday", though John Wetton never reaches the magic of Greg Lake. The closest you get to the classic King Crimson sound is on "Exiles" which has some of the melodic approach that typified the group's earliest albums.

"Easy Money" is more hard hitting, and it can glimpsewise appear reminiscent of Pink Floyd. The group's desire to experiement is also reflected in these vocal-numbers, but they are generally more accessible, and the reason why I still think that the album belongs to a King Crimson collection.

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