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Lark's Tongues in Aspic Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 218 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, October 17, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

British prog group's 1973. Six tracks including 'The Talking Drum'. Standard Jewelcase.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part One
  2. Book Of Saturday
  3. Exiles
  4. Easy Money
  5. The Talking Drum
  6. Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part Two


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 17, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: E.G. Records
  • ASIN: B000003S0I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #225,100 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Once again, King Crimson shifted lineups, only this time it was far more dramatic-- after having toured without lyricist Peter Sinfield, the entire band left, leaving Fripp on his own. A blessing in disguise, the band that assembled for this recording was full of such musical muscle and subtlety that they were able to turn out what may be the best of the King Crimson material (its a tough call, there's a number of stunning albums by them). This is also the first Crimson formation not to feature a saxaphone. Joining Robert Fripp (guitar, mellotron) are David Cross (violin, viola, mellotron), John Wetton (bass, vocals), Bill Bruford (drum kit), and Jamie Muir (percussion). Lyrics this time were handled by Richard Palmer-James-- getting away from the imagery of Peter Sinfield allowed the band's songs to flourish in different fashions.

But also allowing the band to flourish is the delicate balance they created-- Muir as a percussionist would play everything from mouth harps, thumb pianos, and chains slamming against gongs created his own dynamics without the influence of everyone else, likewise Bill Bruford at the kit could manage both power and subtlety, whereas Cross' violin and Wetton's bass were in opposition, both in register and in expressiveness-- Wetton is a brutally aggressive bass player. Fripp somehow counterbalanced all of this.

In many ways, this is also the band shedding their progressive rock leanings in terms of the traditional "prog" sound-- there's not the emphasis on harmonied instruments, mellotrons, etc. The approach is a lot cleaner and in many ways far less limiting.
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Format: Audio CD
Along with Islands and Starless and Bible Black(see my review) this is the absolute peak of King Crimson. In 1972 King Crimson (the Peter Sinfield era) completely dissintegrated after a disasterous tour that produced the subpar live album Earthbound. Many believed this to be the end of King Crimson. However this was not the case a year later Larks Tongues in Aspic was released to the world and what an album it is. Completely departing from Crimsons former somber symphonic style, Lark's is an avant garde masterpiece that is absolutely drenched in darkness as well as beauty. Kicking off with the blueprint to every extended instrumental King Crimson has done since is LTIA part 1. This song show Fripps new found approach to songwriting, slowly building tension that ends with an explosive climax. The entire song is a roller coaster of sounds ranging from David Cross's beautiful(and more than a little sinister) violin soloes to Fripps Sabbathesque guitar passages, this song is more than a little strange. Even stranger is the fact that the song is followed up by a short ballad(Book Of Saturdays) that is the complete musical oppisite of the opening song. Exiles follows and is the second best song off the album. This song like the last song is a wonderful ballad driven by violin, mellotron, and Fripps acoustic guitar. John Wetton does a great job with the vocals. Easy Money is a fantastic rocker loaded with distortion and a great solo from Fripp. The Talking Drum is pretty much just an extended intro for the final song on the album but its a great build up. The closing song is LTIA part 2 which in my humble opinion is King Crimsons best instrumental. Alternating between heavy distorted passages and an absolutely awe inspiring interlude, this song is the reason i bought the album.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Ten to 15 albums in rock history are unlike anything that came before them, and have never been matched. Lark's Tounges In Aspic is one of them.
King Crimson created a strange mix of Stravinsky, Jungle Grooves and abstract jazz here. The title suite builds from little nature noises to a wrecking ball Les Paul riff to an eccentric, thorny funk. Each part sounds like nothing else in popular music; yet it all fits together as organically as the verse, bridge and courus of a Brill Building song.
Book Of Saturday and Exiles are ballads--in theory. But the lyrics are so filled with wry twists, and the playing is so angular, any equation with pop proves absurd a few seconds into a first listen. The two songs seem to form a genre of their very own.
The second half of the album-"Easy Money," "Talking Drum," and the second part of the title track-further experiment with the hybrids layed out on the first half. Jazz solos are played over strange animal noises. The violin is given a Mozart-like line while gongs are banged with chains. It is incredibly wierd, incredibly fresh and incrediably brilliant.
If you are sick of the same old sounds, try this. "But its from 1973!" you say.
Yes, but rock has yet to catch up to Larks Tounges In Aspic.
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Format: Audio CD
To worship at the sonic temple of King Crimson always meant dispensing with preconceived notions, and Fripp and company proved more than ready to lay waste to their more staid contemporaries on this 1973 masterwork.

The recording itself, which won technical awards way back in 1973, is clear as a bell: every nuance from Jamie Muir's eccentric percussion to John Wetton's vocal growls comes through crisply (Wetton no doubt a better vocalist for his going at it with Roger Chapman during his stint in the mighty Family before joining KC). Bill Bruford obviously loved this band, and unfettered of the art-rock formula that Yes was starting to fall into, he unleashes some powerful drumming that, along with Wetton's meaty bass lines, help hold together this sonic supernova. David Cross sometimes plays against Fripp's leads with great effect, his violin swooping and soaring like a flying prehistoric reptile chasing its next meal.

And Fripp, well, praise be to whatever the source of his muse here, for it is both balm to the jaded nerves of those disenfranchised by the corporate takeover of FM radio and anathema to the lobotomized program directors who have laid waste to creative playlists.

I'm keeping a star back because the two versions of the title track sometimes veer off so far that the music dissolves into a vapor. Still the explosiveness of Easy Money clears the mind and feeds one's bellicose instincts, while Exiles calms the soul of the wanderer and hermit found somewhere deep down in us all.

Like any King Crimson outing, "Larks Tongues in Aspic" is not everyone's cup of tea, but everyone needs to sample this one as a reminder of the power of imagination fueled by technique.
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