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  • Lizard [CASSETTE]
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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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Product details

  • Audio Cassette (18 Sept. 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Eg
  • ASIN: B000003S0E
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  DVD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,267,018 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Cirkus (Including Entry of the Chameleons)
2. Indoor Games
3. Happy Family
4. Lady of the Dancing Water
5. Lizard: Prince Rupert Awakes/Bolero: The Peacock's Tale/The Battle of G

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Martin A Hogan HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on 12 Jan. 2010
Format: Audio CD
Robert Fripp provides some skeptical and cynical notes about this album. In 2009, he wrote of "Lizard": "Labour and laboring, mostly joyous, strive effortfully to present appearance of cohesion". He also reminds us that "Lizard" was both not as commercially successful as other King Crimson albums and that he doesn't feel it is the most critically accomplished of his albums. That's a lot to say about your work. All the more amazing that Steven Wilson was able to convince Fripp to release this 5.1 surround sound version. This is even more surprising when you realize that "In The Wake Of Poseidon" was skipped temporarily.

Always an amazing mix of progressive rock and jazz, "Lizard" arguably stands out among the best King Crimson accomplishments. Noted for a variety of distortions/effects of different vocals, Wilson manages to extract them and balance them so they stand out clearly and crisply. In fact, all the instrumentals on every track are separated or enhanced to truly bring attention to every detail. These are things that are often missed on the stereo mixes.

"Cirkus" flat out rattles your senses with its mix of rock and freeform blasts. Fripp's mellotron is so powerful, it's stunning. Andy McCulloch on drums is dizzying and emphatic. These tracks (along with others here) take Pete Sinfield's lyrics and elevate the entire song to a nearly psychedelic level. "Happy Family", allegedly a comment on the Beatles break-up is one of the few songs that get muddied in the new mix, but not for great effort from Wilson. The original tracks and "scraps and fragments of stuff" were meticulously remixed. As Sid Smith notes: "For me `Lizard' has always been an album that was too big for stereo to contain.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By S. Holland on 14 Mar. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Not everyone seems to get Lizard, but for musicians in particular, it is safe to recommend it strongly and unreservedly. Some masterpieces reveal themselves on first listening. Others may need numerous hearings before revealing their true glory. Lizard needs several listens. Thereafter it just keeps steadilyimproving (thirty years and counting so far).
The second half of the twentieth century included many pockets of intense innovation in music. Glenn Gould, John Coltrane and the Beatles, amongst many others, come to mind. One Holy Grail for musically ambitious musicians was (and remains) to find ways to create new kinds of music combining the strengths of the long tonal music tradition, mainstream popular music, and jazz. This proved hard to do well. It led to highpoints by, amongst others, Miles Davis, Soft Machine, Steely Dan, Stevie Wonder and Radiohead (though the results were never to everyone’s taste). Lizard represents a magnificent and triumphantly successful original solution to this deep musical challenge, never achieved in anything like this form elsewhere. Despite many well-documented problems in making the album, the key elements are balanced in a way not achieved in any other Crimson album or indeed any other album. Harmonically, the songs are based around spines of carefully structured, mostly modal, harmonic sequences. The harmony is stated in textures which are often highly contrapuntal, with artfully inverted bass lines from famously disenchanted vocalist Gordon Haskell. As well as intricate and precise electric guitar from Fripp and emotionally compelling mellotron washes, it’s wonderful to hear Fripp playing a lot of deft acoustic guitar, and placing sparingly precise synth bleeps to great effect.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Tahir Hamid on 19 Jan. 2009
Format: Audio CD
Lizard is without doubt the most fully realised, perfectly executed and mysterious of all Crimson albums from their many pre-1974 line-ups. It takes many dozens of repeated listenings to reveal its manifest treasures and I'm still staggered at the sheer musicality and unflinching experimentation on this masterpiece. There's an all-pervading atmosphere of strangeness that colours this album and every track is genuinely a true work of art, as was the original gatefold sleeve of the vinyl LP, that I bought 2nd hand in the late 70s in my early teens and is something that I still treasure today (having bought the CD version as soon as it came out).

Having first been captivated by 'In the Court of the Crimson King', 'Islands' and 'In the Wake of Poseidon', I must confess being utterly lost the first half a dozen times I played it! There are almost TOO many musical ideas jostling for position in most of the songs and this can be disorientating at first. Apart from 'Lady of the Dancing Water' which is a beautiful, tender, almost madrigal-like ballad, every other track contains odd time signatures, impenetrable lyrics and astonishing non-linear structures where much of the instrumental passages are more reminiscent of free-form jazz than rock music. However, with some patience and an open mind, the beauty of this album and its long term rewards will surely be revealed to any true music lover.

There is little point on trying to describe the individual songs or comparing this to any other album created in the 1970s by ANY band, let alone Crimson themselves who were always trying to set the bar ridiculously high because of their leader Robert Fripp.
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