Larks' Tongues in Aspic - Reviews

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Entire Release

Date Submitted: 28-Feb-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"Quite simply: one of the greatest albums ever recorded. An absolute must for any Crimson fan. You can revisit this 1972 meteor anytime and it sounds incredibly fresh and challenging."


Date Submitted: 12-Jul-96
By: Barry Rice (Nzo at prodigy dot com)

"The LP? One of the very first I ever bought - as my innocent 16 year old head was blown to smithereens by the diabolical uncompromising purity of this epic and protean work. And to this day, it still devastates. I have a question for you. Do you want to hear the most definitive Crimson LP? Have a heapin' helpful of Larks' Tongues In Aspic. And then you will know all is right with the world. Thank you, Robert, Jamie, Bill, David and John."


Date Submitted: 5-Aug-96
By: Bill Nicholas (newguy at buttercup dot cybernex dot net)

"This album is really the bridge between old and new KC. Gone is that certain....void that Fripp was trying to fill after the '69 band broke up on the road. Fripp had at last found a unit with just as much promise and confidence. Gone also are the horns and heavy mellotrons. Fripp at last found a new, updated medium which KC could grow in. It was as if he was able to transcend all the post '69 frustration, and wipe the slate clean. The highly detailed guitar work and distorted bite on this album are still alive and well in Discipline and THRAK. If you want to understand Crimso '96, begin HERE."


Date Submitted: 1-Sep-96
By: George Korein (Mopobeans at aol dot com)

"It's a cool album, but there is something awry about it - part of it is my disliking for most Muir's offbeat percussion, another part is that the album relies heavily on improvisation, which makes it very precarious - the album would been a great concert, but as a CD, I don't know..."


Date Submitted: 21-Sep-96
By: Jason Scruton (scruto19 at potsdam dot edu)

"Having heard all of the "pre-Belew" pieces far too many times to count, I find LTiA to be the best King Crimson LP for a plethora of reasons: 1. This is the closest to what King Crimson released in terms of being a Classical work. the way it is anchored by with the two instrumental sections (LTiA ptI and Talking Drum/LTiA pt. 2) gives the LP a certain balance with "organized chaos" at beginning and end and just plain lyrical and instrumental effectiveness of the center compositions. (I always thought of them as a break between two evils) 2. The piece Larks' Tongue in Aspic, part 2, is needless to say a classic because it pushes the ear to accept the lumbering, maniacal chording and riffery that this little ditty is full of. And the end sequence brings the entire auditory combat of odd improv at the beginning and the quaint and ethereal middle into a unified whole. The held out end note lulls the ear to think that it was almost listening soothing, rather than uncompromising progressive music."


Date Submitted: 5-Nov-96
By: Michael Zink (dpgumby at csd dot uwm dot edu)

"If you don't like this record, I will kill you."


Date Submitted: 7-Feb-97
By: Joshua Chase (jchase at ecovote dot org)

"Jamie Muir is unequivocally one of the highest evolved sentient beings on this planet. If you are smart, you will search out his earlier work with The Music Improvisation Company (also featuring Derek Bailey--a guitarist who makes Fripp sound like Jim Hall-- and soprano sax circular breather Evan Parker), as well as the film soundtrack for "Ghost Dance", where Jamie collaborates with ex-Crim drummer Michael Giles and guitar loopmaster David Cunningham... on the latter, Muir plays a 4-minute solo on thumb piano that is as good if not better than the one which begins Larks' Tongues. Also worth searching for is the Muir/Bailey collaboration from 1980 called "Dart Drug" on Bailey's awesome Incus label... all of these releases feature photography and paintings done by Jamie.

"If you are even smarter (as well as Courageous), you will demand that Mssr. Fripp put together a box set of no less than 2 CDs documenting this incarnation of KC featuring Jamie... when he was in, their sets were about 90% improvisation, so no 2 shows were at all alike."


Date Submitted: 23-Feb-97
By: radhaz (radhaz at redshift dot com)

"This is my all-time favorite album. I started with the emerson-lake-palmer crimson I heard on KLRB 101.7 FM Carmel, the local underground radio, but this was the real deal. I think this album was the reason my JVC Quadraphonic integrated amp smoked. I have a very nice Japanese release of this recording, bought when I was stationed in Japan. Is the CD worth buying?"


Date Submitted: 23-Feb-97
By: George Selinsky (selinsky at worldnet dot att dot net)

"If you hear this album after Islands, which is what I did (I insisted on buying all Crimso releases in chronological order), it comes as a complete shock. I had both good and bad reactions to it. This would be what many would consider to be the most definitive live King Crimson, in contrast to the Islands era band. John Wetton proved to be the best vocalist and bassist since Greg Lake, David Cross' string work replaced the usual woodwind and brass section, sequestering the jazz idiom in Crimson's music, Bill Bruford was a solid percussionist that was bolder than any other Crimson drummer, Jamie Muir replaced Peter Sinfield as a more subdued and musical spiritual guide to Fripp's music, as well as Richard Palmer-James, who wrote more down to earth lyrics. However, on this studio release, Fripp is apparently trying to fill the hole that was usually plugged in by the Mellotron and other instrumental arrangements (which are now minimal), along with trying to play more with the avante guard (as opposed to the more classically oriented Islands). As a result, the album is a bit loose and overextended, and the music slips in and out of control.

"The first track (LTiA part 1) is where this is most avid. The introduction is too long, with Muir going crazy for about 2 minutes before Cross begins his staccato violins and Fripp plays the beginning riff. After the beginning theme is played,(which is well composed), Fripp looses control and starts playing what seems like random notes, with Wetton's bass exploding into his own world. What follows sounds like a random interchange of dissonant musical phrases and riffs. There are some good musical moments, mostly thanks to David Cross, but the track is too musically inconsistent. Book of Saturday is a very nice ballad, with wonderful interplay between Wetton, Cross, and Fripp (the magic was repeated on "Trio"). Exiles is another wonderful sad ballad, but the noisy beginning is a bit off key, with Fripp's "devices" getting carried away. "Easy Money" is a great, dramatic slow rocking song, but the "devices" (all of the "special effects" noises by Muir and Fripp) truly ruin this track by being obnoxious. "Talking Drum" is a good groovy tune, but the beginning is too long, again. The true winner on this album is "LTiA part 2", a well structured piece where the violin/guitar interplay create mesmerizing sonic exercises that are later bought to their peak on "Fracture". In retrospect, the album is a rough start for this new King Crimson, but these growing pains were taken care of by their live work with this material and the next two albums."


Date Submitted: 15-Mar-97
By: Ralph Bentley (rbentley at kittelson dot com)

"The perfect King Crimson Album. Straddles a transition era both for the band and the world at that time. A changing of the guard from a peace-love-dope indiscriminate love love love thing to a recognition of cold some realities. The 70's drove a lot of people underground. And that's where the King Crimson lived. It was art music. It inoculated us against any possible commercial perversion. Artists need to live on the outside or at least on the periphery of commonly accepted reality. This music was out there waiting for us."


Date Submitted: 24-Jun-97
By: John Gray (solroth at pldi dot net)

"The best music you can listen to on the effect's of (blotter or mesc) !!! One of the best album's ever, even straight --No Shit... A classic indeed.. Thank's ROBERT&CREW..."


Date Submitted: 15-Sep-97
By: Dave Kean (mellod at netwood dot net)

"Perhaps oddly, this is the album that eventually most addicted me to Mellotrons. There is a power here that I have not seen since."


Date Submitted: 3-Oct-97
By: Marco Castelani (marcast at pisoft dot it)

"What can I say? Simply the best album I've ever listened to."


Date Submitted: 12-Oct-97
By: Steven Nyland (sqmfa at aol dot com)

"Now we ALL know, deep down inside, that this is the best album that Fripp ever had released under the name King Crimson. Yes, we may PREFER to credit COURT with being the most important, DISCIPLINE as the most well-received, RED as the heaviest and WAKE as the most fun to talk about, but LARK'S TONGUES rules. It was like a whole new band, with no ties to the previous Crimso incarnations after Pete Sinfield got the ejector seat. This is also the one Crimson lineup that I shed tears for never getting to see live: the album is like a "book of the film", to quote a phrase I've read before. Like the Marx Bros., it must have been SO much better live.

"This is also the one Crimson record that always takes me back to hearing it for the 1st time as a 16 yr old pothead....with the lights off and a candle burning...ahh yes, I can see it now.....

"No, Mom, that's only my rug burning. I dropped a lamp. It's OK now.

"Well anyway, Steven! Stop drumming on your desk!"

"Like, yeah right."


Date Submitted: 8-Nov-97
By: Hadert von Dicke (5107.inf.tsu at adm dot tsu dot tomsk dot su)

"The songs are very good. The instrumental tracks are impossibly perfect, the band too. No words can do right about it... Lizard, LTiA, SaBB & Red ARE the best - I cannot place any of them above or below the other 3. They're all PERFECT."


Date Submitted: 13-Jan-98
By: Ted Zimmer (fyodor at mixcom dot com)

"This album is obvously one of the greatest kc albums ever. However, I think that John Wetton's vocal are bad and which hurts Lark toungue a little bit. He's even worse than Gordon Haskall. But he is the greatest bass player ever to bless kc and were lucky that this album is mostly intrumental."


Date Submitted: 17-Feb-98
By: Nate Olmos (royalscam at hotmail dot com)

"For all that Robert Fripp had to go through with the previously unstable King Crimson lineups, this album is a signal of a revivified Crimson, music- and personnel-wise. Fripp brings a more-than-talented cast of musicians into King Crimson, the coup de grace being the recruitment of drummer Bill Bruford from YES!!

"The playing on this album shows Fripp exorcising the ghost of the original King Crimson of 1969. For a change, the violin replaces the woodwinds (flute and saxophones) as a second melody instrument. Also, the mellotron, though still in the KC picture, is relegated to an atmospheric color in the instrumental palette. Especially noteworthy is the use of interplay and empathy among the musicians on improvisational works such as "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part I" and "The Talking Drum".

"What also makes the album cohesive is the fact that everybody contributed something to the composition of the pieces (though "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part II" is solely, and rightfully so, Fripp's composition). That helps remove from Fripp the stigma that he WAS/IS King Crimson.

"John Wetton contributes some punchy, underpinning bass playing, as well as some gutsy vocals. David Cross's violin and keyboards provide nice flourishes on tracks like "Book of Saturday" and "Exiles". And the dual percussion assault of Bruford and percussionist Jamie Muir provide the catalyst for the near-anarchic raveups like "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Parts I and II". And, as always, Fripp's guitar continues to intrigue, this time emphasizing some fat power chording and riffing.

"For anyone who would like to know where to start with the 1970s KC, THIS is the place. ***** out of *****."


Date Submitted: 31-Mar-98
By: Gary Weimer (gary.l.weimer at awo dot com)

"This is THE album to own if you're into King Crimson. This covers such an incredible dynamic range; listen to the rippling openings of "Lark's Tongue in Aspic pt.1" suddenly explode into what, at the time, was more bombastic than anything by Black Sabbath. This album covers the ground that defines what King Crimson is all about; blending rhythm over texture over musical content (or is it the other way around?). "Easy Money" : what can I say -- this is probably how Robert Fripp translates funk. Not the raw funk from Earthbound, but a true Fripp adaptation of style. "Lark's Tongue in Aspic pt.2" is still my all-time favorite. The rhythm they lay down haunts me. One of these days, I'm going to have to get the cover art tattooed on my arm."


Date Submitted: 3-Feb-98
By: Jeff DeFabio (defab4 at earthlink dot net)

"While in the King Crimson restaurant one evening, I asked the waiter what he reccommended. He recommended I try some tasty Larks' Tongues In Aspic. "Larks' Tongues In Aspic?" I asked? I was reluctant to try this strange sounding meal, but I said, "What the heck? Bring it on!" What followed was one of the strangest yet most delicious things I had ever tasted. The guitar was just how I liked it: extra crunchy. The violin gave it a most interesting texture which I very much enjoyed. I loved the constant improvisation which gave the dish a variety I also loved. With a name like Larks' Tongues In Aspic, it sounds disgusting, but once you get it in your mouth, you'll be glad you tried it."


Date Submitted: 24-Jun-98
By: (OffThClock at aol dot com)

"The KC album of the seventies. The music is a brain tickler and quite scary compared to the stark white sunny cover. Jamie Muir was the icing that kept them bouncing wildly around before his absence created a more fusion'rock tug- of-war between Fripp/Wetton/Bruford. David Cross didn't stand a chance after Muir left as he so stated in Great Deciever. But on this album, there is definitely an air of exitement that anything could happen at any moment. Everyone was equal. They cleaned the friggin' house with this one. All previous incarnations are wiped from memory. They kicked ass! They broke up two years later! Intense."


Date Submitted: 8-Aug-98
By: Strzyz (janusz at silesia dot top dot pl)

"This album is really great, the instrumental parts are beautiful and perfectly played, but... Well. Book Of Saturday and Exiles are great, well-composed ballads, but The Night Watch is better. LTIA Part One is well-constructed instrumental piece, but last 8 minutes of the album Red or the track Fracture outclass it. And there is no track here like Trio on SABB. The highlights of the album are two final tracks, but... Well, the brilliant final parts of Starless are more... intriguing. For me, this album is a calm before the storm. ****1/2 / ******."


Date Submitted: 15-Oct-98
By: (vedalanz at ix dot netcom dot com)

"Earth shattering! The 60's were really over, I was getting older, music was changing, collective conciousness was expanding. Live, they were unbelievable. It was the first time I decided not to take drugs at a concert. The music was too important. Fripp was INTENSE. Their just wasn't enough of it though, Larks Tongue ended too soon! My god what a year."


Date Submitted: 9-Dec-98
By: Frank Edgar (frankedgar at hotmail dot com)

"Este fue el primer álbum de King Crimson que escuché allá por el lejano1978. Básicamente siguiendo la trayectoria de Bill Bruford me encontré con este grupo (y este disco en particular) que realmente me hizo comprender la verdadera razón del rock sinfónico y la genialidad de Robert Fripp. Sutileza y agresión, compases de amalgama y un uso realmente imaginativo de los ambientes sonoros, este permanecerá como uno de los grandes clásicos del rock de todas las eras. Tan vigente hoy como ayer. Larga vida a King Crimson."


Date Submitted: 23-Mar-99
By: Antonio Recuenco (Ottia at gmx dot net)

"This album is simply gorgeus -actually the only one which threatens to push "Islands" of the first place in my Crimso-ranking: I heard it for the first time two months after having purchased the second one, and I was completely shocked -from the nearly soporific perfection of the symphonic King Crimson to an agressive -yet without the heavy metal taste of the two follow-up albums-, daring avantgarde style... flamboyant guitars, vibrating bass, not much steely mellotron, distortion, effects, elegant strings, complex drums and brilliant disjointed percussion fit in the trip... beginning: "Lark's Tongues in Aspic 1" -Muir flirts with minimal music until the roaring guitar comes up, leading to minutes of frantic rhythm, funk and wah-wah... but just when the noise reaches its climax comes a calm violin with an exotic background; a transition and a coda with some electronics leave the listener with the mouth widely open. "Book of Saturday" changes the mood again -a sparse, transparent tune. "Exiles" drives towards symphonic rock again: it's maybe the only weak point of the album. Superb are the percussions in "Easy Money" -the slow building jam ows the drums and the madcap devices at least the half of its value... The end comes again to the geniality of the beginning -"The Talking Drum" brings after a suggestive introduction a hypnotic crescendo, with wonderful interplay between guitar and violin, and a furious drum groove (maybe one of the best moments of King Crimson ever). "Lark's Tongues in Aspic 2" offers with Stravinsky-like banging chords the most equilibrated sound of the album: a perfect sum up. The record is worth the highest mark."


Date Submitted: 10-Apr-99
By: Stephen De Prospero (StephenfromNY at webtv dot net)

"What an absolutily brillant album. The very first of Crimson I ever owned, and one of my true favories. This is the album KC really made a lot of alterations but came up sounding the most provocative, and unusual. They had lost their classical phase for a muck darker and heavier sound. But yet balanced as all KC albums are.Their first phase emphasized on woodwinds, reeds, and brass. This new lineup focuses on strings and it off sets the music perfectly. Bravo. Its true as Robert Fripp once said. "Creating a KC album is like re inventing the wheel" . But as with other albums of this era Lark's, Starless, and Red make for three of a perfect pait in my book. Wetton's bass is remarkable balanced perfectly with Bruford's drums and Fripp's Guitar. Muir's offbeat percussion and allsorts is wonderful. These are true perfectionists and are all truely mastful at their art!"


Date Submitted: 18-Apr-99
By: Kevin Patrick MacNutt (kevin.macnutt at england dot com)

"Crimso's masterwork!!!!! Gone are the pointess solos (of Lizard and Islands) and dumb, mulitparted epics (Lizard's title track). Everything is here for a purpose and works well. If there is only one Crimso album to own, actually if there is only one album to own ever, this is the one!!!!!!"


Date Submitted: 8-May-99
By: James Hannigan (jjh210 at stern dot nyu dot edu)

"I think the majority of the songs on this album were not realized in the studio to full effect, with the exception of Larks' Tongues in Aspic Pt. 1, which is perfect and powerful. For the best versions of Exiles, Easy Money, and LTIA Pt. II, consult USA or The Great Deceiver box set. On this record they sound stilted, unnatural."


Date Submitted: 9-May-99
By: Russell Salas (kcrimson at earthlink dot net)

"Lark's Tongues ranks right up there with Dark Side of The Moon, Exile on Main Street, LZ4 as one of the greatest of all time. I've listed to it a hundred times and I still hear something new and fresh everytime. Unfortunately, it's the greatest album that largely no one has heard of except Crimheads and the fortunate few the find it the 25 cent bin at a neighborhood used record store."


Date Submitted: 16-Jun-99
By: Alberto Santillan (amluz at mixmail dot com)

"A lot of records rocked my world: roger water's amused to death,eno's another green world,supertramps' crime of the century,robin gibb's secret agent,beatle's white album,and many more. But the music that has perhaps had the most lasting impact on my life may be found on king crimson's music. larks tongues in aspic,starless and bible black and red are so amazing. performance on LTIA possesed a strange,exotic power and mistery that begged to be decipherd.

"Hot spots: larks tongues in aspic part 1 and 2. the talking drum."


Date Submitted: 6-Aug-99
By: Massimo Isola (sundaybl at tin dot it)

"This is a true masterpiece! Robert Fripp sounds completely liberated for the first time; he has left behind the "progressive" incarnation of the early Crimsons and he is finally free to play great MUSIC.

"I know many K.C. fans would disagree with this but I have never particulary liked the first album (too progressive to my ear) and I consider it to be an album belonging more to Lake and MacDonald than to Fripp himself.

"But here the Crimsons really shine for the first time: it is un common to find an album including the whole story of the sound of a band, past, present and future: here we have memories of the sound of the first two albums, but from this point of view we are also able to foresee the future of this band: the heavy riffs and improvvisation of "Starless" and "Red" and the cyber-rhythms of the Belew/Levin era.

"A mysterious album that grows and grows every time I listen to it."


Date Submitted: 10-Aug-99
By: Guillermo Villegas (gvillegas at hotmail dot com)

"I´ve only listened to this album once(of course,I have USA which includes LTiA part 2,Exiles,and Easy Money),and I really loved it,Lark´s Tongues in Aspic part one is sick!Jamie Muir team up with David Cross and Robert Fripp to make this song sound strange,while the Talking Drum is areal good instrumental,LTiA part two is one of the best songs ever recorded by the Crimson King,Jamie´s percussion in this song is outstanding,many of you think it is bad because of the offbeat of the percussions,let me tell you,that´s proggressive ock about!long live KING CRIMSON."


Date Submitted: 20-Apr-00
By: Darryl Weppler (zravkapt at yahoo dot ca)

"My second favorite KC album next to the first. Unfortunately this is the only album with Jamie Muir. His parts really help the sound of this amazing l.p. "Lark's Tongues...Pt.1" is great throughout, but the middle section can be a bit boring. "Book Of Saturday" is an excellent example of KC's slower songs. "Exiles" builds towards an great ending. "Easy Money" is definately one of the best songs the '73-'74 line-up ever recorded. "The Talking Drum" is an almost hypnotizing great instrumental. "Lark's Tongues...Pt.2" is better than the first, with excellent guitar playing. Overall, a excellent album. 4.5 out of 5."


Date Submitted: 18-Jun-00
By: (p.d.marriott at talk21 dot com)

"When I bought this about 12 years ago, I hadnt heard of Crimson at all. Only bought it for the fact that Bruford was on drums. (Yes fan you see!!) So I bought it on tape, got on the bus put on my Walkman and was quite taken back!!! What the f*** is this? After a few plays I was totally hooked and ended up getting all their stuff on CD. Larks Tongues In Aspic is by far the best Crimson album, Part 1 sends shivers down the spine everytime, brilliant. Book of Saturday is a nice mellow tune and finishes before it becomes dull. Exiles is a tad tedious. Easy Money is prog at its finest. I love that song!!! The Talking Drum builds up into a earth shattering climax, excellent. Part 2 is a classic track, good tune to play if you have had a shit day at work. Arise Sir Fripp you are a genius."


Date Submitted: 21-Oct-00
By: Eric (ericodijk at wanadoo dot nl)

"The album is a must-have for Crimsonites, you won't be disappointed. But you already knew that, didn't you? All I would say about the album itself would be just a copy of what others have already penned down here.

"What I personally would like to add to it, is that I recently bought the three remastered albums from this line-up, and I think this particular album benefits the most from the increased sound quality. I found the older cd version that my brother let me listen to is put down a little due to the quality of the recording. But listening to the new edition, I must admit that it was the quality of that original cd that was poor, since now I discovered that the recording itself was very good. This remaster is almost a re-recording. Although every instrument is exactly the same, this new cd sounds totally different. If you have the original cd, this one is the first one you'll have to update. You will thank me for this tip if you do. And if you did buy the remaster, get back to the record shop (or buy it on-line right here and now) and buy the other two as well! Go, go, go..."


Date Submitted: 5-May-01
By: John Williams (jojolary at optusnet dot com dot au)

"There I was in a record store with my 9 year old daughter looking for a CD by someone called Aguilera & there it was, a CD import Of Larks...(my LP's were boxed away years ago). And so now this 51 year old is out of exile and listening to two of the three most hauntingly beautiful songs, Saturday & Exiles. The other being The Cure's Homesick, from the Disintegration set. So now to scout for other KC's on CD."


Date Submitted: 2-Jun-01
By: Mike Mclaughlin (mikemclaughli41 at hotmail dot com)

"Ok so I've had a good few years listening to this album and loving it but I just wanted to impart to you my new favourite way of listening to King Crimson (beware if you try this at home much sleep could be lost). I sat up last night watching TV till late and then when I had had enough I remembered reading somewhere in a review of Starless & Bible Black that Fracture is nightmarish with headphones on in the dark, so having just bought Larks Tongues on remaster, I decided to listen to it in the dark with my headphones on, I was hooked and terrified simultaneously. I found elements of that album I'd never heard before and they scared me (I'm even shivering now in the clear light of day). I lay back hooked to this new experience and absorbed the whole album it was revelationary (is this the way Crimson meant for it to be listened to? cause to my mind it's one of the best ways), the voices on Larks Tongues part one became nightmarish and so did David Cross' violin passages, exiles scared the life out of me when it came on after the gentle Book Of Saturday, and Easy Money came to life in a way that I had only previously experienced with the live version. If you've never listened to Lark's Tongues In Aspic in the dark around midnight do it tonight lie down and let the terror and paranoia take you in it's exhillirating (it's what headphones were made for)."


Date Submitted: 4-Apr-02
By: (WeatheredWall at aol dot com)

"What is most important about this album is that Fripp has taken a back seat (more or less) and allowed the ideas of other musicians to complement his own. On the whole, the music sounds more "democratic" - many players, though one mind.

"The first album to feature the Wetton/Bruford rhythm section which lasted well over four years (even after Fripp unceremoniously disbanded Crimson).

"This album is so original, so fiery and earthy - I honor Larks' as an equal to Court - both in innovation and influence. The music continues to stay fresh.

"I believe I once heard or read a remark that LTIA Part I was "music to peel wallpaper by." (Well, there is a somewhat shredding quality to Fripp's guitar.)"


Date Submitted: 14-Jan-04
By: Scott McFarland (mcfarland at ac-tech dot com)

"A rather exceptional record wherein Fripp finds his footing as an exceptional rock composer (mixing European structure with American passion, as he set out to do), and a band of interesting players make interesting music with one foot in the avant-garde and one foot in commercial viability. Side A may be a bit slow in places, perhaps more editing could have been done, but this is still an exceptional record full of ideas."


Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part One

Date Submitted: 28-Feb-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"Incredible dynamics: from tiny percussion sounds, distant "found" vocals to manic fuzz bass and frippian riffing, this instrumental takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. David Cross' solo violin interludes are melodic and beautiful. Jamie Muir contributes amazing, unheard-of percussion parts."


Date Submitted: 3-Jul-02
By: Jordan Clifford (GrooveHolmes394 at hotmail dot com)

"I cannot believe more hasn't been written about this brilliant piece. This is one of my all time favorite KC songs. I feel it is largely overlooked and left in the dust of Part 2 because everyone is always saying how LTIA pt2 is the definitive KC track, at least of the 70s. Well LTIA pt 1 encompasses everything that I love about that incarnation of the band.

"Starting with the madness of Muirs beautiful bells and percussion continuing into the truly haunting and sinister violin from Cross and then BOOM! it takes you into a whirwind of guitar cords and symbols.. then back to the strange violin building once again a great anticipation... then onto Fripps wild guitar craft where the song really starts moving and i just want to jump out of my skin with excitement. the bass starts in with amazing percussives to compliment its off beat funky sound...fast foward a bit past some more amazing stuff..

"on to a long violin solo piece that sounds a bit like the opening of "exiles" or "the night watch" and a strange little and then we get to my personal favorite part of the song: when the follow up to the beginning comes in to round the song off with an even more evil violin from Cross over the complimenting guitar part and mindblowing sound effects from Muir.. seriously, how could no one mention the voice samples on this song? they scare the hell out of me. they are just low enough to not understand exactly whats going on, making the song even more mysterious and frightening.. it sounds like a woman in desperation, searching for something desperately that she cant find in some sort of anguish...during this part of the song i want to tear my hair out of my head because i cant take how amazing it is. and then to top it all of we end with that great guitar part layering the brilliant mix of violin and conversation sample.

"Then the climax of the song ..with a swift drum roll that violin harmony ends, the guitar seemingly pulling out my heart with its brilliant cords and the conversation voice samples at their eerie height in a much faster pace then earlier;somehow bringing it all together in a very emotional and very fulfilling experiance.

"This song is completely incredible. i never get tired of hearing it from beginning to end. The entire album in my opinion is just one of the finest pieces of art to ever be produced, and this song is jsut a fine example of why."


Book of Saturday

Date Submitted: 28-Feb-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"An achingly beautiful ballad, surpassing anything the King had done before. Fripp's clean guitar picking illuminates Wetton's warm and gutsy vocal. The violin surges and recedes, tying everything seamlessly. A gem."


Date Submitted: 3-Feb-98
By: Nate Olmos (royalscam at hotmail dot com)

"This track is a welcome breather after the dramatically paced dynamics of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part I". Robert Fripp, David Cross and John Wetton make the most out of a trio setting. Fripp's rapid guitar picking is astonishing technique-wise, and it provides a relaxing backdrop for this piece, with Cross's violin providing nice embellishments. Wetton's vocals carry this ballad very well. This is the one piece on the album that I listen to most often. It is simply irresistable."


Exiles

Date Submitted: 28-Feb-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"Another ballad, punctuated by jungle-like interludes filled with exotic, ambient sounds. Wetton's voice gets pushed a little on this one (high notes!). High point: the mellotron "changes hands" as Fripp launches into one of his trademark infinite sustain solos. Ends on a climactic drum roll+mellotron+cymbal wash giving way to delicate guitar arpeggios and mellotron flute."


Easy Money

Date Submitted: 28-Feb-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"Destined to become a live workhorse, the original version still stands out mainly due to Muir's sound creation: bowed cymbals, rattles and "allsorts" are just incredible. The primitive main riff is effective under Wetton's wordless vocal intro. Verses are delivered over gut-wrenching glissando bass. Fripp slowly builds up an ostinato part leading to a desperate strumming wash. The song ends with the now famous laughing box."


The Talking Drum

Date Submitted: 28-Feb-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"Instrumental. Again, a crescendo affair. Fades in over wind effect with bass ostinato and then solo violin in an exotic, mid-oriental type mode. Gets increasingly louder and more frenetic as Bruford adds more and more, to suddenly stop dead over a completely frightening, screechy sound (violin, I think)."


Date Submitted: 29-Mar-96
By: William Campbell (stdwbc01 at shsu dot edu)

"I think this paticular song really kicks ass! It starts off distant and without much form or shape and winds up building to a fever pitch that explodes into LTA Pt2."


Date Submitted: 3-Nov-98
By: Matthew Stull (mhsst18+ at pitt dot edu)

"I borrowed the album off of my neighbor. The thing was terribly scratched and most of the songs skipped annoyingly. But then came this quite addicting humming. The bass of talking drum started to pull me over a hill and the tapping drums crossed the distance from the speaker to my ear and then i was amazed at the psychological intensity of the song. It was like driving a car through a hellish circus. and I loved it. This song was my introduction to king Crimson, Is that appropriate? The true power of the violin is evident in this song, nothing else evokes that sensation."


Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part Two

Date Submitted: 28-Feb-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"Follows TTD with no interruption. That opening riff has travelled well into the '90s and still shreds! Impossible to describe in words...but: highly polyryhtmic; you can isolate any instrument and enjoy its relationship to the others. In particular, the bass line is amazing. Fripp's solitary riffing just before the coda is scary! The final apocalyptic descending chord sequence brings the whole album to a fitting conclusion."


Date Submitted: 17-Nov-99
By: Robert McColl Millar (enl097 at abdn dot ac dot uk)

"I was listening to Radio 3 a few weeks ago, and heard part of Stravinsky's _Rite of Spring_. I had been listening to this album again for the first time in years and was struck with the similarity between the central riff of both pieces. This is not a criticism: I came to Crimson in the 80's as a fan of the Talking Heads, and tended to steer clear of the 70's stuff, since I despised Genesis and Yes (much more readily available at the time), and tended to lump Crimson in with them. Yet it's worth making a comparison here. Yes in particular lifted from romantic sources. Crimson has always struck me as being influenced by both the baroque and the post-classical. Structure and chaos.

"Most importantly, this track -- with the possible exception of Red -- has to be one of the most dynamic of musical events ever to be classified as 'popular'. It transcends 'Rock' (Thank God.)"
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