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King Crimson: Larks' Tongues in Aspic (40th Anniversary Edition)

1973 saw a reforming of influential prog-rock pioneers King Crimson into what many fans consider their seminal line-up, as Robert Fripp brought on board former Yes drummer Bill Bruford, ex-Family bassist/vocalist John Wetton, violinist/keyboard player David Cross, and percussionist Jamie Muir. Though Muir would only stick around for a year, the Fripp/Bruford/Wetton/Cross configuration would continue to make groundbreaking music for a few more years before splitting up, but it all began here with Larks' Tongues in Aspic, an incredible album that combined loud, heavy progressive rock with menacing jazz and brooding, often times frightening atmospherics. As with the rest of the 40th Anniversary series, the album here has been remixed by Steven Wilson, with a stunning Stereo Mix on the CD, and a DVD containing the album remixed in MLP Lossless 5.1 Surround, DTS 5.1 Digital Surround, MLP Lossless Stereo (24/96), PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48), as well as the original album mix from the 30th Anniversary edition in PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48). A few bonus tracks are included on the CD, mostly alternate takes & mixes of a few tunes, and the DVD contains 4 Beat Club live videos. All of this comes housed in a glorious digipack complete with a cool booklet stacked with photos and info on the album.

Though of course you've heard me say this before regarding all of Wilson's remixes, and specifically the Crimson ones, but Larks' Tongues in Aspic has never sounded better. To really appreciate Wilson's touch, popping the DVD into your home theater system will really reveal all the little nuances of this already astounding album. Though Muir might have only been a brief side player in this version of the band, his layering of odd percussion added a lot to the sound, and Wilson's remix brings all of his little noodling out of hiding for the first time ever, and paired up with Bruford's intricate stick work and Wetton's absolutely booming bass, rhythmically speaking Larks' takes on new life here. Both "Larks' Tongues in Aspic I & II" crackle with metallic might, and "Easy Money" combines both hard rock & haunting prog for a delightful experience. Of course, you can't overlook the gorgeous "Book of Saturday", complete with soaring violin from Cross, and the majestic yet creepy "Exiles", featuring the ominous Mellotron, both songs now crystal clear and every instrument standing on its own. "The Talking Drum" is one of the best 'slow build' tunes ever recorded, as Muir & Bruford slowly layer in all sorts of percussive sounds, eventually giving way to searing guitar and violin workouts. As a whole, Larks' Tongues in Aspic signaled a heavier, more ferocious & guitar oriented band, with both Fripp & Wetton adding high levels of volume and fuzz to the overall sound. Add in Bruford's stunning jazz chops, Cross' wispy violin and haunting Mellotron, and the wild card that is Muir, and you have the makings of one of King Crimson's all time great albums.

Having all the great media options here to enjoy this newly remixed version is the real draw, so throw the CD on in your car, or blast the DVD through your home theater system, either way, the listening experience is mind-blowing. A great treat are the live in studio clips from the Beat Club TV show, as the band blow through an eerie improv, as well as "Exiles" and "Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I)". You can really see the synergy developing within the band on this footage, and Muir's antics are just hilarious. Overall, this is a must own for any King Crimson fan, but if you haven't yet discovered the wonders of this album, obviously this is the version to get.

Track Listing
1) Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I) (13:36),
2) Book of Saturday (2:53),
3) Exiles (7:40),
4) Easy Money (7:54),
5) The Talking Drum (7:26),
6) Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part II) (7:07)
Bonus Tracks:
7) Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I) [Alternative Mix] (11:14),
8) Book Of Saturday [Alternative Take] (2:56),
9) The Talking Drum [Alternative Mix] (6:58)

DVD-A: 5.1, Original Album remixed in MLP Lossless 5.1 Surround and DTS 5.1 Digital Surround
2012 stereo album mix in MLP Lossless Stereo (24/96) and PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48)
Original album mix (30th anniversary edition) and Alternative Takes and Mixes in PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48)
Video Content (Dual Mono): The Rich Tapestry Of Life, Exiles, Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I), Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part I) [as broadcast on Beat Club]

Added: November 26th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 3055
Language: english

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