|1. Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part One|
|2. Book Of Saturday|
|4. Easy Money|
|5. The Talking Drum|
|6. Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part Two|
For Crimson Mark V, Fripp recruited ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford, veteran bassist/vocalist John Wetton, and violinist David Cross. Percussionist Jamie Muir added his unorthodox talents to this record before departing for a Buddhist monastery. Many have rightly considered this the finest array of talent assembled by a progressive rock band.
In many ways, "Larks' Tongues" is even more impressive than Crimson's debut. This album marks the band's successful entry into the realm of improvisational instrumental composition. The mind-blowing opening title track is an unprecedented long-form exercise in progressive deconstructionism. "The Talking Drum," Arabesque in rhythm and tone color, builds magnificently to a chaos of guitar pick slides. The abrupt segue from this into the chunky power chord intro of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part 2" might be the most euphoric moment in the Crimso discography. The rest of "Part 2" deftly brings its hypnotic main riff through an series of ascending key changes, before culminating in yet another grand climax of controlled chaos.
The more traditional, vocal-based numbers impress equally. Jamie Muir's irreverent percussion highlights the whimsical rocker "Easy Money.Read more ›
The first track and its subseqent opening show signs of the influences of early minimalism. 1973 is really important in the development of minimalism, with Philip Glass, Brian Eno and Steve Reich and a couple of others at their apexes. Fripp's open-mindedness into new stages of harmony is seen from the get go in "Larks' Tongues Pt. I" and in the last track as well.
David Cross' immense neoclassical overhaul of harmony through strings is something really remarkable here. By far this is the most pastoral of 70s Crimson, simply because the "Cross sound" is so peaceful and seems to me a throwback to the folksy sounds that defined Crimson and a lot of other indie bands in the late 60s, when they were just beginning to find their musical language.
I must say that although the prevalence of minimalism is not as defined as, say, the "colors" albums of 80s Crimson, nevertheless the vision is there. It's kind of like looking through a crystal ball in the future of Crimson when one listens to this album; you can hear the band progressing into the bright new world of minimalism without necessarily forgetting the neoclassical and serialistic roots that brought them there in the first place. I can hear a little bit of every great modern composer here; first I hear Stravinsky, then Messiaen, and then finally Pendereki. So all in all this is one of the most intriguing albums I've ever listened to.