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Starless And Bible Black 30th Original recording remastered

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Dec 1 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: eOne Music
  • ASIN: B00064WSNM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  DVD Audio  |  DVD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,025 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Great Deceiver
2. Lament
3. We'll Let You Know
4. The Night Watch
5. Trio
6. The Mincer
7. Starless And Bible Black
8. Fracture

Product Description

Product Description

"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, Starless 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.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Big Kahuna on April 7 2004
Format: Audio CD
I tell you, one star is way too much for what this thing deserves.
I admit it, once upon a time I also thought there was some beauty in chaos like KC puts into their albums. But then I learned some music, and got cured for good. Now I can proudly declare that a shrieking stream of noise is just that, ugly, disgusting noise, and not some mysterious, high form of musical art.
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Format: Audio CD
After the aggressive transitions made by King Crimson with "Larks' Tongues In Aspic," this inventive band continued that path with "Starless and Bible Black," which is slightly heavier than its predecessor due to the fact that a large portion of the recordings found here were lifted directly from a live performance in Amsterdam in 1973 and cleaned up in production. The impact of those recordings made "Starless and Bible Black" a landmark album for King Crimson, but more importantly (along with the subsequent "Red") it is solid proof of this legendary prog rock band's influence on the sound of today's rock and heavy metal output (bands such as Tool--who were priveleged enough to share a tour with Crimson in recent years--have cited this group as a major influence).
As with everything produced by the Crims, the material here is nothing short of challenging. The album is as intriguing as it is bizarre (i.e. complex), and difficult to absorb, especially to those uneducated in King Crimson's weighty role in the vast, mind-bending field of "progressive" rock. Perhaps the group saw their influence and jumped on the chance to address it; the aptly titled 'Lament' starts off with bassist John Wetton's voice mourning for lost rock and roll dreams, and becomes a schizophrenic musical attack, complementing the frenetic-to-erratic likes of 'Great Deceiver,' 'Fracture' and the essential title instrumental (not to be confused with 'Starless' from the "Red" album). But still, amidst all this, emerge two of King Crimson's most lovely songs, the whistful 'Night Watch' and the heartbreakingly serene 'Trio,' both of which still somehow manage to fit perfectly with the rest of the music.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is very good and very likable, but there just aren't too many standouts. First there are "The Great Deceiver" and "Lament," which were both studio-recorded. These two numbers sound like they could have even been on the radio, but compared to normal radio-rock, they just wouldn't have held their own. The rest of the album was taken from various live performances and has had the audience noise edited out. "We'll Let You Know" doesn't really go anywhere, but is still fine to listen to. "The Night Watch" is nearly perfect peacefulness with the violin and guitar chimes sounds except for the seemingly hurried vocals that contrast with the drawn out bell/ violin opener and the slow guitar soloing. "Trio" IS peacefulness. True, it's an improv and only develops a melody near the end, but I think that only adds to the singular beauty of a flute, violin and electric bass working in perfect harmony. "The Mincer" is another improv but no sooner does it promise excellence than the concert tape runs out and we are left to wonder just how that one turned out (it's a wonder that the band included such an obviously flawed track at all). "Starless and Bible Black," though it has the most poetic name and gets the album named after it, is surprisingly lacking in musical poetry. It just doesn't "come together" into a song or even seem to have a discernable beginning, middle or end except that the volume is lower at the beginning. "Fracture" is my favorite song from this album and in my opinion, one of the best instrumentals King Crimson has ever done (right up there with Red and Larks' Tongues in Aspic but it has a very distinctive structure to it where the other two share more structurewise than Fracture).Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
The sole subject of this review is the song 'Trio' (the entire "Starless and Bible Black" album has been newly remastered and re-released on CD).
In a sentence, 'Trio' is: a hypnotic instrumental that makes the listener's heart ache with melancholy, but somehow keeps their brain attentive with a hint of carefree serenity. Violin and mellotron-induced flute sounds wander hand-in-hand about the concert hall. In the liner notes to the live King Crimson release "The Night Watch" (which documents the group's November 1973 performance at Concertgebouw, Amsterdam), violinist David Cross offers some comments which may be the most important and relevant as to the origin of 'Trio;' "The morale of the band was low and we went on stage that night as four tired and separate individuals." Cross goes on to explain that, when the musicians' spirits had reached the doldrums, they began to play a "happy/sad" tune that became known as 'Trio' (overdubs from this concert were used for the "Starless and Bible Black" album). Knowing this makes listening to the song a better experience for the listener, because they won't become quite as lost in wondering where such beauty could come from. 'Trio' is a genuine, spontaneous personal expression by a group of cheerless men that perfectly described their personal state through instrumental music because, as is the case all too often, words and lyrics cannot give that feeling justice. One can imagine drummer Bill Bruford sitting behind his drum kit, sticks folded across his chest, a serene but sad stare on his face as 'Trio' filled the air that night in Concertgebouw.
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