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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 19 June 2014
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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on 29 May 2016
In my opinion, Islands was a great album and indicated King Crimson had turned a corner in their progression but LTiA took them in a new direction - I saw them live in Edinburgh back in the day when this was the album being "toured" and they were amazing - I have one qualifier though, I wasn't really fond of David Cross' violin sound but it did make it different. Brilliant album from a brilliant band!
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on 7 May 2017
This is a lovely edition and the 5.1 mix is very clean with lots of depth in the audio mix! I really enjoyed listening to this album on my home cinema setup! The reason I bought this version was because the vinyl version had a pretty poor free download! Put it simply the digital download was ripped straight from a vinyl. But I guess I wouldn't have purchased the 40th anniversary edition had the download been any good. I really wanted to enjoy it in my car! I guess I can now as I have ripped this album onto my iPod!
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on 30 March 2017
Not as good as In The Court of The Crimson King or whatever it was called. A bit fiddly and over-intricate for my taste.
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on 1 May 2017
One of the best prog rock albums ever. If you don't have it then you really should buy it.
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on 17 March 2017
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on 16 March 2017
I just bought this cd for the song "Exiles". Great
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on 6 March 2013
I have to confess that I bought this massive box set on something of a whim. I'm a long standing, though not obsessive KC fan, and having placed my order I wondered if I was mad spending so much money on multiple versions of the same album. But having now listened to the whole box I consider my purchase an unqualified success. Some of the bootleg material is not great quality, but it's all listenable, and it's interesting to hear how the material and the band develops. For me personally the most interesting CD of the lot is actually the 70 odd minutes of the band in the studio rehearsing (CD no. 10 I think). The first takes of all the songs that ended up on the album are on this CD and you get a real feel of just how much of a contribution is made by everyone in the band. There is a blistering version of Easy Money and two brilliant takes of Talking Drum (my particular album favourite). These 'live' versions have an immediacy missing from the final polished versions and have a real power all of their own, and in some ways I prefer them.
There is stuff here that I'll probably only listen to very occasionally, but as a record of an incredibly powerful outfit putting together a album of great invention I can't see this being bettered.
Having bought this I will have no hesitation buying the box of Red when it sees the light of day.
If you have the cash available and are wondering if this is worth a punt, then I'd recommend you go for it.
If on the otherhand you are really only interested in the final product I'd go for the CD/DVD 40th anniversary pairings as you can pretty much get all of the ones available for the price of this one box. But it is a hell of a box!
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on 11 March 2014
For me this was King Crimson's finest. Don't get me wrong, "The Court of the Crimson King" changed rock music as we know it and I have never been without a copy of it since it was released in 1969! I was fourteen when Larks Tongues came out and the hard edge rock, tight percussion, lyrical moments and UNBELIEVABLE sound production blew me away. This album needs to be listened to disturbingly loud and will shake the most hardened metallists and send shivers up the back of musicians and intellectuals. Even after all these years the sound is as fresh and lively as ever, without a hint of the oppressive nature of some old prog albums. This is edgy and hard at times and yet lyrical and beautiful too. Mellotrons are subtle and percussive elements are impressive. An absolute must have. One of my "Desert Island Discs"!
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on 7 March 2015
Crimson's 5th studio album introduced their fans to a new and dynamic line-up with mainstay Robert Fripp (guitar/mellotron) joined here by the highly impressive bassist/vocalist John Wetton, versatile drummer Bill Bruford and two relative unknowns, David Cross on violin and the eccentric Jamie Muir on percussion. As ever, the emphasis is on complex, jazz influenced progressive rock and, after a painfully slow start on the 13½ minute opener 'Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part One', things gradually start to warm up. 'Book Of Saturday', the first of 3 vocal tracks, is beautifully short and sweet and 'Exiles' is very classy indeed. 'Easy Money', one of the rockier pieces here, is rather fiddly in places before finally delivering the goods but, as is so often the case, it is the instrumental pieces which dominate the set list. 'The Talking Drum' takes its time, but is a lovely demonstration of what this group is all about; the final piece 'Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part Two' is classic Crimson and, for me, represents the best track of this collection ~ I first heard it in the 1980s, when the line-up of Fripp, Belew, Levin and Bruford was in full flow, and have loved it ever since. One of this band's finest albums and well worth investing in if you enjoy challenging and diverse progressive rock.
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