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  • Starless and Bible Black: 40th Anniversary Series
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Starless and Bible Black: 40th Anniversary Series CD+DVD

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DVD Audio, CD+DVD, October 24, 2011
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"King Crimson is, as always, more a way of doing things. When there is nothing to be done, nothing is done: Crimson disappears. When there is music to be played, Crimson reappears. If all of life were this simple". Robert Fripp

King Crimson was conceived in November 1968 and born on January 13th 1969 in the Fulham Palace Cafe, London (Fripp/Ian McDonald/Greg Lake/Michael ... Read more in Amazon's King Crimson Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Starless and Bible Black: 40th Anniversary Series + Larks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered + Red 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Price for all three: $48.34

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Product Details

  • DVD Audio (October 24, 2011)
  • Please Note: This is a DVD-Audio disc which is playable on most DVD players as well as all DVD-Audio players. Click here for additional information regarding compatibility.
  • Original Release Date: 2011
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD+DVD
  • Label: Discipline Us
  • ASIN: B005FMB8ZY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,485 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Great Deceiver
2. Lament
3. We'll Let You Know
4. The Night Watch
5. Trio
6. The Mincer
7. Starless & Bible Black
8. Fracture
9. The Law of Maximum Distress, Pt. 1 [*]
10. Improv: The Mincer [*]
11. The Law of Maximum Distress, Pt. 2 [*]
12. Dr. Diamond [Live, June 23rd 1973] [Live][*]
13. Guts on My Side [Live, March 19th 1974] [Live][*]

Editorial Reviews

Alternately trippy and thunderous, this 1974 LP (featuring Fripp, Bruford and Wetton) hit the U.S. charts almost a year to the day after Larks' Tongues in Aspic did. The Great Deceiver; Lament; The Night Watch; Trio this experimental gem managed to outdo the prog classic that preceded it; this reissue is full of alternate mixes and other special treats. The CD features a new stereo mix plus bonus tracks including the ultra-rare (performed once only) Guts on My Side . The DVD-Audio disc has the original and new mixes plus a 5.1 surround mix, 5.1 Lossless audio and stereo mixes, video footage of Easy Money and an improv from NY's Central Park ('73), audio extras including live cuts and radio edits and more!

Customer Reviews

That's good and bad for music listeners.
Wayne Klein
Fripp's enigmatic guitar again, in a very complex structure, it's a mix of improvise and precise rhythm variation.
James Bang
In fact, any King Crimson fan, period, should own it!

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Martin A Hogan HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 19, 2011
Format: DVD Audio Verified Purchase
Sandwiched in-between, "Lark's Tongue In Aspic" (LTIA) and "Red", "Starless and Bible Black" (SABB) is a composite of live, studio and concert performances; something I never knew in 1974. Following on the heels of the successful LTIA, King Crimson was in full drive concert mode all over the world. With little time to sit and write or record, the band took advantage of what they had and pieced together parts of concert performances, edited out the audience, added studio vocals and instrumental overdubs and created near perfect sounding songs.

All of the songs were recorded in multi-tracks, enabling the amazing Steven Wilson under the guidance of Robert Fripp to produce this edition. However, "Trio" and "The Mincer" were only available in stereo form, giving Wilson the opportunity to `Upmix' or sensibly create a surround effect with no gimmicks. The first few minutes of "The Night Watch" are from a live performance (Amsterdam) and the rest of the track was completed in the studio. Something you would never know. Even "Fracture" was taken from that show and Fripp double-tracked the lead line; something amazingly difficult to do.

Wilson's 5.1 surround mixing makes the album sound like brand new, eliminating any harshness and deepening and enriching every instrument and vocal. Much of this was necessary, given the inclusion of so much live material. The result is fantastic without being gimmicky (wait for LTIA to see what Wilson does with the sound effects). You get the full surround effect with minimal separation of instruments, but the clarity and immersion into the album is as good as anything King Crimson has released yet in this 40th anniversary collection.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey J.Park VINE VOICE on May 29, 2007
Format: Audio CD
This 1974 release by King Crimson presents a nice mixture of studio tracks and live tracks. With respect to the live tracks, We'll Let You Know was a purely improvisational piece taken from a concert held in Glasgow Scotland, while The Mincer (another improvised jam) was recorded in Zurich, Switzerland and overdubbed in the studio. Three tracks including Trio; Fracture; and Starless and Bible Black were recorded at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, as was the introduction to The Night Watch (the remainder was recorded in the studio). For those of you that are curious, the complete Amsterdam Concertgebouw concert was released by the band as The Night Watch, which is a fantastic sounding 2-CD document of this powerful lineup live.

The lineup on this album is considered to be the finest Crimson lineup assembled and I do not disagree. The players at this point included David Cross (violin, viola, mellotron); Robert Fripp (electric guitar; mellotron; and devices); John Wetton (electric bass guitar; lead vocals); and the incredible Bill Bruford (drums and percussion). The performances on the live tracks are out of this world and amply demonstrate the power of this group as an improvisational unit of considerable power and imagination. Robert Fripp turns in some excellent performances throughout (his complex, cross-picking technique really shines on the closing track) and seems to favor a heavily distorted tone played at bone-crushing volumes - he is however, capable of some delicate playing as well. John Wetton seems to favor taking the same approach on the bass guitar and his thunderous bass lines rumble throughout - like Fripp, John is also capable of some fairly delicate playing.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on February 3, 2003
Format: Audio CD
King Crimson in the early 1970s was a monster like no other. The previous Larks' Tongues in Aspic had broken open the doors of chaos, and now a quartet remained - mad percussionist Jamie Muir had left to join a monastery in Scotland after releasing that album (no, I'm not joking). This lineup was one of the band's most inventive and powerful, mixing outlandish composition with the wild and unpredictable improvisations they produced on stage every night. While I still consider Red the strongest of their three albums overall (and probably a better introduction for newcomers), Starless & Bible Black stands as just as important a KC release for two main reasons. First: only a third of it was created in a studio, the remainder of the tracks being recorded live with the audience noise wiped out and an overdub or two added. This Crimson's full power came out in their live performances, and this album captured it more than any other 'regular' release. And secondly: "Fracture."
Guitarist Robert Fripp has produced a number of stellar compositions, but the mind-wracking "Fracture" remains one of the most.. for lack of a better word.. evil. Not only was it a technical nightmare for the group to play (instrumental parts crossing and interweaving with the precision of a Swiss watch and a devilish cross-picking guitar interlude at 130 bpm), it has a maniacal edge that's both fiendishly bizarre and primally unnerving. The song builds plenty of tension over the course of its 11 minutes, even during the crazy-fast middle section, finding release in a loud crashing finale full of enough sturm und drang to give any of today's metal bands a run for their money.
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