"Starless and Bible Black" demanded the attention and concentration of the listener. Crimson's audience responded to the challenge, making it a much loved album by the band. As with the other recordings by the mid 70s lineup, the intervening years have seen the album's reputation increase among fans & musicians alike, while the then unusual approach to using live performances as core elements of subsequent studio recordings has also become increasingly commonplace.
The second Crimson album to feature the core lineup of guitarist Robert Fripp, bassist-singer John Wetton, and drummer Bill Bruford (plus violinist David Cross), 1974's Starless
continues the complex structures and hard-edged grooves of Larks' Tongues in Aspic
. It's a sound that's firmly departed from the mellotron-assisted psychedelic symphony approach of Lizard
and In the Wake of Poseidon
. The precursor to the landmark Red
includes such Crimson classics as "The Great Deceiver," the eccentric ballad "Lament," the menacing 11-minute "Fracture," and the sprawling title track, an avant-rock "Bolero" that builds into a cacophony of abstract noise guitar, chattering percussion, fleshy funk bass lines and, yep, mellotron, this time in the service of dissonant harmonies and spooky sound bursts. A must for Crimson completists, and a great first bite for neophytes. --James Rotondi
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.