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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defining album in the Crimson canon
Although "In the Court of the Crimson King" is usually taken as King Crimson's defining contribution to modern rock music, "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" is in fact their most important musical achievement. Even to this day there are elements from this album that can be found in the sound of the most recent incarnation of the band.
After years of struggling with line-up...
Published on 19 July 2004 by Dr. D. B. Sillars

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
There was considerable damage to the casing, which was not in the product description.
Published 28 days ago by kristian


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yummy!, 19 Jun. 2014
By 
Stotty (Bolton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Larks' Tongues in Aspic (40th Anniversary) (Audio CD)
After a couple of ho-hum albums and numerous line-up changes, Robert Fripp finally got the ingredients right with this one. John Wetton (Family, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, UK, Asia) comes in on vocals and bass whilst ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford takes over on skins. David Cross adds violin and Jamie Muir throws in some weird and wonderful percussion. The results are terrific.
The album is book-ended by parts 1 and 2 of the title track and it helps give the album a 'complete' feel to it. The first part is a bit 'out there' with the signature improvisation/jamming that we expect from Crimson, punctuated with the odd melody and loads of Muir's percussion. The second part is rockier, more guitar driven and borders on heavy metal. It closes the album superbly.
'Book of Saturday' and 'Exiles' show off the band's songwriting side, with the former, a beautiful and wistful ballad. It makes a nice change to have some more accessible material on a King Crimson album. 'Easy Money' is almost a fusion of rock and reggae, but is classic Crimson: erratic, intense and powerful.
'The Talking Drum' is a nice instrumental precursor to 'Larks Tongues In Aspic Part 2' and segues well into that track.
'Larks Tongues In Aspic' shows King Crimson reaching the heights of their debut album. It's more focused, with a perfect balance of light and shade, improvised moments and genuinely well-crafted tunes. John Wetton is a singer who can actually sing and his bass playing, along with Bruford's drumming, just raises the bar from a musicianship perspective, allowing Fripp space to do his thing on guitar/mellotron. More importantly, unlike the previous three records, this album isn't just Robert Fripp and company. King Crimson actually sound like a band.
'Larks Tongues In Aspic' is the first album of a trilogy of not only their best albums, but a run of albums that held a nucleus of band members together for a change. It might have been short-lived, but it was a highly creative and memorable period in the band's history. This first effort from the 'new' band is a true classic in every sense.
Oh, and the album sleeve is cool as well.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic shock, 1 Oct. 2007
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This album was my first intro to prog rock in the 70's. It was weird but exhilarating. There is a classical music style to the compositions, quiet moments with the percussion, beautifully played ballads and sonic blastings from great musicians who played with' and against each other. Astonishing. To me this became the best album of the 70's and the biggest influence on my musical tastes.
The band's live versions from this lineup of the group are even better. If you simply want to start with the power of the live band, I would recommend USA (recently repackaged as live at Asbury Park)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crim's Best Album of the 1970s, 30 May 2002
By 
Amazon Customer "matkudasai" (Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Larks Tongues in Aspic (Audio CD)
In my opinion this is simply the best King Crimson album of the 1970s. It is so far ahead of much other music out out under the label of progressive rock that its really hard to think of it in the same category. Part of this album's uniqueness come's from its peculiar juxtaposition of instruments with lots of outlandish percussion played by Jamie Muir mixed with Fripp's trademark guitars, Bruford's inspired drumming, Cross's violin work and Wetton's crunching bass sounds. The overall effect is a sound almost unique in rock music. The other things that strongly contribute to this album are the inspired compositions and the arrangement of the songs which are nothing short of genius. My personal favourites are Lark's Tongues in Aspic Part 1, Easy Money and Exiles but almost everything on this album is amazing. If you buy this album it may take some time to get into but its worth making the effort for one of the greatest records of the seventies.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delving the art envelope fantastic yeah, 19 Mar. 2006
By 
Elliot Davies "ahttt" (Liverpool, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It's difficult to tell how much of this is carefully composed and how much is tightly improvised. Well, the songs have structure, but these structures are ridiculously complex. It's like listening to a blueprint of a geometric dungeon space farm designed using mathematical theorem so advanced that the human brain could not possibly understand the schematics, let alone replicate them.
Guess it helps with such a wondrous line up. Quite possibly the best of the many King Crimson incarnations. Bill Bruford proving himself as one of the most underrated drummers (too rock for jazz, too jazz for rock?) Jamie Muir playing all manner of devices (pots, pans, chains etc.) David Cross displaying almost telepathic violin skills, and of course, the glue that holds it all together, Robert Fripp with his truly unique style. He's tone death, left handed (but playing right handed), one of the godfathers of art rock, and here's why.
It's a match made in heaven. King Crimson cook up a sonic storm, a volatile brew that demands you study it, not just listen to it. Even The Book Of Saturday, easily the most accessible of all songs on offer, has truly alien background sounds going on complete with a guitar line that mixes Baroque, Jazz and Blues stylings in a single bar. Rarely do these movements sound like the same song you started listening to when they reach their climax. They are like little stories, oddysseys, Zappa style "movies for the ears" with clearly defined beginnings, middles and ends, overall enthralling, thrilling, satisfying and nourishing.
I could spout a load of "why are you still reading this" and such now, but I won't. Make the leap yourself, you'll enjoy it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something... crazy, 15 Nov. 2007
By 
Kingcrimsonprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
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What an album, possibly one of the craziest things ever released that isn't just weird rubbish. This is the farthest anyone has ever pushed the boat out and still got good results. To top it all of its got some great rockin' moments as well!
'Lark Tongues in Aspic Part 2,' is a prog masterpiece, as powerful as it is baffling. 'Exiles,' is as chilling as it is rocking; and 'Easy Money,' ? how cool can you get?
John Wetton's voice is better here than with any of his other bands, Rob Fripp is at the top of his game and Bruford (fresh from Yes) nails it. Often underrated however, Dave Cross is a very integral part of this album, and should be more widely recognized.
A great album for anyone who likes progressive music!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy and esoteric, 17 Mar. 2009
I listened to this years ago and thought it was terrible. Just awful. There was some noise on the CD but nothing I would describe as music. Self indulgent audience hating twiddling of the worst kind. I got nothing but irritation from this album.

Years later I wanted to listen to some heavy rock instrumental music. Birds Of Fire by The Mahavishnu Orchestra was the obvious CD to reach for. Then I realised that Larks' Tongues In Aspic was very similar sounding. So I decided to listen to that instead.

I liked it as I didn't think of it as rock music, but as a jazz album.

The music was very heavy in places, way heavier than The Mahavishnu Orchestra. The last track is just evil sounding. The violin creates some very interesting undulating slashing sounds that are very arresting to listen to.

A great album but not one that will give you any immediate thrills. Certainly one of the best prog albums I've ever heard.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A PINNACLE OF ACHIEVEMENT, 3 May 2002
By 
Mr. I. Stephen "dj_dadrock" - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Larks Tongues in Aspic (Audio CD)
Are 6 stars possible ? Of the thousand or so LP's in my possession this remains, over 35 years later, an undisputed favourite. Whether in the field of 'Progressive Rock' or any other music for that matter - this captures an ensemble firing on all cylinders in terms of creativity, empathy and performance. Unreservedly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exhilarating and edgy, 7 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Larks' Tongues in Aspic (40th Anniversary) (Audio CD)
Others here have reviewed the 1973 album itself and its songs and it's time so I won't do that.

I admit I haven't listened to everything in this package in all its sonic formats. I've listened to the 2012 remastered album on CD, the 5.1 surround sound 2012 mix, some of the retrieved alternate takes from 1973, and the only live video of this lineup.

Taken together, the power of this lineup and this Crimson vision or way-of-doing-things has been a revelation. A couple of things strike me:

Firstly, the interplay, the edge between composition and improvisation. Always finely balanced here. Precarious. In-the-moment. The video sets this up well, beginning with an extended improvisation owing much to the free-music aesthetic/philosophy of the time. And demanding that the listener pays attention and participates in the flow. It's also a sort of challenge to the listener/viewer/audient. Once you've entered this different mind-set as a listener, the subsequent written compositions sound different, I was paying more attention to the playing and interplay this time round. But some might not get through the 20 minute improvisation.

The second revelation was how this album now fits into a King Crimson conceptual continuity. When LTIA first came out I was shocked and initially disappointed. It didn't have anything of what I'd found sublime about the earlier albums. But it had something completely different that kept me intrigued and was wonderful.

For the first time in 40 years this remix has shown me how this lineup kept some traces of the Boz Burrell funky Earthbound band, and some occasional textures are now more clearly reminiscent of In-The-Court-Of era band. This mix has somehow stitched this lineup more clearly into the continuity of KC. And of course there's LTIA Part 2 presaging a whole new soundworld to explore, and given more bite here. The bite was probably always there, but this remaster/remix allows it to breathe and thrak in a way the original mix didn't.

And the 5.1 mix both separates and clarifies the individual parts/musicians but also puts you inside the interplay of the music/performance.

A friend's comment was along the lines of "Why buy it again? You've already got it! More money to Fripp etc and aren't you being a sucker?"

Fair point. But this music has been part of me for 40 years and now I'm feeling closer to it than ever. Exhilarating!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Special Box Set, 21 Nov. 2012
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If, like myself, you are old enough to have seen this incarnation of King Crimson performing this album live then this 40th Anniversary Edition is a must buy! It's expensive, but it's worth the asking price for the remixed versions of the album and alternative mixes. The sound quality on a lot of the live CD's isn't great even after remixing, but they take you back to a moment in time where you can enjoy the atmosphere created by these great musicians.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Groundbreaking, 3 Jun. 2012
By 
Gary Howchen "No Turn Unstoned" (Essex, UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought this album on vinyl around 1974 and it has been one of my favourites ever since.
Having disbanded the previous versions of King Crimson that had embraced poetry, mysticism, jazz and even metal along the way Robert Fripp had assembled the classic 5 piece line up that included drummer Bill Bruford and the free form percussionist Jamie Muir and the outcome is a masterpiece consisting of three instrumental pieces and three more conventionally structured "songs".
The most striking quality that becomes immediately apparent from the opening title track is the way in which they have used silence and near emptiness to build an atmosphere of foreboding that something cataclysmic is approaching as indeed is the case. Best not to turn the volume up too soon......
Muirs use of "found sounds" and David Cross' viola fully complement the cruel technical brilliance of Fripp in his prime, whilst John Wetton's vocals are perfectly wistful for the more conventional "Book of Saturday", "Exiles" and "Easy Money".
The closing track bursts in violently via a screeching segue from "The Talking Drum" and is the signature piece of the band in this its finest era.
Jamie Muir left soon afterwards never to return and whilst many of his innovations were continued on "Starless and Bible Black" and on later recordings this remains the pinnacle of Crimson output that remains ahead of its time and inspired countless others; personally I feel this album is the British cousin of "Spiderland" by Slint in its content, structure and feel.
A watershed in progressive music and a monument to the talent of its performers.
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Larks' Tongues in Aspic (40th Anniversary)
Larks' Tongues in Aspic (40th Anniversary) by King Crimson (Audio CD - 2012)
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