KING CRIMSON — Lizard (review)

KING CRIMSON — Lizard album cover Album · 1970 · Jazz Related Rock Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Sean Trane
Fripp is the King Lizard This is probably the toughest Crimson album to get into (but what a superb artwork), but it is well worth the effort. As with Poseidon, Keith Tippet makes another appearance but this time he brings along the reed players from his own group - Charig, Miller, Evans etc... so the jazz-tinged prog developed in the present album is of course not easily that accessible. Very few of these tracks were played live and this line-up never toured. Circus is a fine opener but the Indoor Games is along with Happy Family some of the stranger tunes ever from Crimson. Lady is another tune in the mould of Cadence or Talk to the Wind. Of course everyone waits for LIZARD and its 23+ min. The first part most everybody knows because of the Yes-man on vocals and is quite fine. Comes a very delicate Bolero (a better version on the 4 cd box-set) that is the only one that does honour to Ravel and then comes the heart of the album - the Battle - savage war-like drumming flying reeds and mellotron layers making it my fave number from Crimson.

Lizard is definitely not easy album to master, but once you will, there is absolutely no doubt you'll find it one of Crimson's best album. By the time the album had been released, singer Gordon Haskell, pretending to hate this album, left the band and had returned to his solo career, prompting drummer Andy McCullough to follow suit. So for the second straight album Crimson was unable to tour to promote their album.
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