Larks' Tongues in Aspic

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the composition, see Larks' Tongues in Aspic (instrumental).
Larks' Tongues in Aspic
Studio album by King Crimson
Released 23 March 1973
Recorded January–February 1973
Command Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, experimental rock, jazz fusion, heavy metal
Length 46:36
Label Island
Producer King Crimson
King Crimson chronology
Earthbound
(1972)
Larks' Tongues in Aspic
(1973)
Starless and Bible Black
(1974)

Larks' Tongues in Aspic is the fifth studio album by the English progressive rock group King Crimson, originally released in 1973. This album is the debut of King Crimson's third incarnation, featuring original member and guitarist Robert Fripp and new members John Wetton (vocals, bass guitar), David Cross (violin, Mellotron), Jamie Muir (percussion), and Bill Bruford (drums). Bruford had just left Yes before they embarked on their Close to the Edge tour. Bruford felt that he had done all he could with Yes at that point, and thought the more jazz-oriented King Crimson would be a more expansive outlet.

Song info[edit]

The album sees the band incorporate into its sound violin and also various exotic percussion instruments, including sheet metal and mbiras.

The album opens with a long experimental instrumental piece titled "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part One)". After that there are three vocal pieces, "Book of Saturday", "Exiles" and "Easy Money", with lyrics written by Richard Palmer-James. These are followed by two more instrumentals, "The Talking Drum" and "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part Two)". The instrumental pieces on this album have strong jazz fusion influences, and portions have an almost heavy metal feel.

The album spawned the concert staple "Exiles", whose Mellotron introduction had been adapted from an instrumental piece called "Mantra" the band's original line up performed throughout 1969. At that time, as well as in late 1972, the melody was played by Fripp on guitar. It is the only studio album with this 5-man line up, since Muir left the group while on tour in 1973. Attrition took this incarnation of King Crimson through the next several albums until Fripp's "retirement" in 1975.

In 2012 the album was issued as part of the King Crimson 40th Anniversary Series, including the release of an expansive box set subtitled "The Complete Recordings". This CD, DVD-A and Blu-ray set includes every available recording of the short-lived 5 man line-up, through live performances and studio sessions. As with the rest of the 40th Anniversary Series, the release features new stereo and 5.1 surround mixes produced by Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp, taken from the original multi-track master tapes, as well as a selection of alternative versions. Clean video footage of the band performing early versions of "Exiles", "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I)" and a 30 minute improvisation became available publicly for the first time as part of this reissue; previously only one of the pieces had been broadcast on German television, with heavy visual effects applied to the image.[1] In addition, all known concert-recordings with this line-up are enclosed. Some of them were previously released through the King Crimson Collectors Club. There are two new recordings; one is from Glasgow, and was delivered from Ole Petter Dronen and the other one is Muir's penultimate gig with the band in Portsmouth, without credited source. The box also contains a link to a free download of a London-gig whose unrestorably poor audio quality renders it barely listenable; its internet-only release is meant for completists only.[2]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau B−[4]

Allmusic's retrospective review was resoundingly positive, marking every aspect of the band's transition from a jazz-influenced vein to a more experimental one as a complete success. They deemed John Wetton "the group's strongest singer/bassist since Greg Lake's departure." They especially praised the remastered edition.[3]

Robert Christgau's retrospective review gave a more ambivalent view, saying of the band's instrumental work, "not only doesn't it cook, which figures, it doesn't quite jell either."[4]

In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came number 22 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums".[5]

The progressive metal bands Dream Theater and Murmur [6] both covered "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Pt. II". The cover is featured on the special edition of Dream Theater's album Black Clouds & Silver Linings.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writers Length
1. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One" (instrumental) David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford, Jamie Muir 13:36
2. "Book of Saturday"   Fripp, Wetton, Richard Palmer-James 2:53
3. "Exiles"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 7:40
Side two
No. Title Writers Length
4. "Easy Money"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 7:54
5. "The Talking Drum" (instrumental) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 7:26
6. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two" (instrumental) Fripp 7:07
2012 40th Anniversary Series re-issue alternative takes and mixes
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One" (Alternative Mix) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 11:14
2. "Book of Saturday" (Alternative Take) Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 2:56
3. "Exiles" (Alternative Mix) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James  
4. "Easy Money" (Jamie Muir Solo) Muir  
5. "The Talking Drum" (Alternative Mix) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 6:58
6. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two" (Alternative Mix) Fripp  
7. "Easy Money" (Alternative Take) Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James  
2012 40th Anniversary Series re-issue video content (Live in the Studio, Bremen, October 17, 1972)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Rich Tapestry of Life" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 29:49
2. "Exiles"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 7:52
3. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 6:51
4. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One" (as broadcast on Beat-Club) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 6:51
The Complete Recordings Discs 1 & 2 (Live at the Zoom Club, Frankfurt, October 13. 1972)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I)"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 8:22
2. "Book of Saturday"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 3:16
3. "Zoom"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 22:03
4. "Zoom Zoom" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 44:48
5. "Easy Money"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 4:08
6. "Fallen Angel" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 4:12
7. "Z'Zoom" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 4:47
8. "Exiles"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 8:36
9. "The Talking Drum"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 6:13
10. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part II)"   Fripp 8:37
The Complete Recordings Discs 4 & 5 (Hull Technical College, Kingston upon Hull, November 10, 1972)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Walk On (No Pussyfooting)"   Fripp, Brian Eno 2:05
2. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I)"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 10:09
3. "Book of Saturday"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 3:23
4. "RF Announcement"   Fripp 1:41
5. "Vista Training College Under Spotlight" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 29:31
6. "Exiles"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 7:52
7. "Easy Money"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 7:21
8. "Fallen Angel Hullabaloo" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 9:22
9. "The Talking Drum"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 4:49
10. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part II)"   Fripp 10:03
11. "21st Century Schizoid Man"   Fripp, Ian McDonald, Greg Lake, Michael Giles, Peter Sinfield 7:37
12. "John Wetton interview"   Wetton 8:53
The Complete Recordings Disc 6 (Guildford Civic Hall, Guildford, November 13, 1972)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I)"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 8:57
2. "Book of Saturday (Daily Games)"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 3:24
3. "RF Announcement"   Fripp 0:59
4. "All That Glitters Is Not Nail Polish" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 25:39
5. "Exiles"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 2:55
6. "A Deniable Bloodline" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 0:43
The Complete Recordings Disc 7 (New Theatre Oxford, Oxford, November 25, 1972)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I)"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 14:00
2. "RF Announcement"   Fripp 2:28
3. "Book of Saturday"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 2:52
4. "A Boolean Melody Medley" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 19:42
5. "Exiles"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 7:06
The Complete Recordings Disc 8 (Green's Playhouse, Glasgow, December 1, 1972)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I)"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 11:16
2. "RF Announcement
Book of Saturday"  
Fripp
Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James
2:12
2:52
3. "A Vinyl Hobby Job" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 20:35
4. "Exiles"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 7:35
5. "Easy Money"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 10:04
6. "Behold! Blond Bedlam" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 6:04
The Complete Recordings Disc 9 (Portsmouth Guildhall, Portsmouth, December 15, 1972)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Book of Saturday"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 2:57
2. "An Edible Bovine Dynamo" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 8:55
3. "Exiles"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 6:47
4. "Easy Money"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 9:38
5. "Ahoy! Modal Mania" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 16:06
6. "The Talking Drum"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 3:22
7. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part II)"   Fripp 7:28
8. "21st Century Schizoid Man"   Fripp, McDonald, Lake, Giles, Sinfield 8:52
The Complete Recordings Disc 10 (Session Reels)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Keep That One, Nick"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 79:16
The Complete Recordings Disc 11 bonus tracks (US promo EP)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "US Radio Ad"     0:58
8. "Easy Money" (edit) Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 5:02
9. "Exiles" (edit) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 3:02
10. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part II)"   Fripp 7:12
The Complete Recordings Downloadable Content (Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, December 13, 1972)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Larks Tongues In Aspic Pt I"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 14:42
2. "RF Announcement"   Fripp 2:31
3. "Book Of Saturday"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 2:48
4. "Yeah A Vile Limey Body" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 14:50
5. "Exiles"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 6:05
6. "Easy Money"   Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James 9:15
7. "Abominable Ballyhoo" (Improv) Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 12:53
8. "The Talking Drum"   Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir 7:17
9. "Larks Tongues In Aspic Pt II"   Fripp 6:23
10. "21st Century Schizoid Man"   Fripp, McDonald, Lake, Giles, Sinfield 7:53

Personnel[edit]

King Crimson
Additional personnel

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Reissue announcement". 
  2. ^ "Rainbow Theatre - MP3 Download". 
  3. ^ a b Eder, Bruce (2011). "Larks' Tongues in Aspic - King Crimson | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: King Crimson". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 28 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Q Classic: Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, 2005.
  6. ^ http://seasonofmist.bandcamp.com/track/larks-tongues-in-aspic
  7. ^ "Interview with DAVID CROSS".