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Starless And Bible Black 30th [Original recording remastered]

King Crimson Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 16.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Starless And Bible Black 30th + Larks' Tongues In Aspic (40th Anniversary Series) + Red (30th Anniversary Edition)
Price For All Three: CDN$ 56.14

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Product Details


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.

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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

Most helpful customer reviews
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Would be three stars except for Fracture. May 4 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars The Song That Came From Nowhere May 4 2004
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of crimsons best.
Again - Simply a great reworking of this album from the basic remaster to the 5.1 - could have done without 1 or 2 tracks, but love it.
Published 4 months ago by This is not a review it is a comment on Amazon setting ates. Before rendering a review read the book
5.0 out of 5 stars Crimson Dark horse classic
This is one album, I've been waiting for a long while, mainly because they were sold out of the 40th Anniversary edition for a while and didn't want to get the 30th, and also... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Marcus Almighty
5.0 out of 5 stars Several Sources Of Genius
Sandwiched in-between, "Lark's Tongue In Aspic" (LTIA) and "Red", "Starless and Bible Black" (SABB) is a composite of live, studio and concert performances; something I never knew... Read more
Published on Dec 19 2011 by Martin A Hogan
4.0 out of 5 stars Great 5.1 mix
Steven Wilson has given us another great 5.1 mix. I think this could be the best mix yet. This is the second of three CD's this line up put out. Read more
Published on Oct. 5 2011 by Stephen Bieth
5.0 out of 5 stars Starless? 5 Stars!!!
"The Night Watch" is worth the whole album. John Wetton's vocal is amazing and Robert Fripp and David Cross's guitar/ violin intro delivers instant chills. Read more
Published on June 23 2004 by Paul L. Raukar
1.0 out of 5 stars Why isn't there a zero star review option?
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. Read more
Published on April 7 2004 by Big Kahuna
5.0 out of 5 stars Brain Fracture - -
Most of this stuff was recorded live and "The Great Deceiver" box set has ALL this stuff. But back to this album - when this came out I knew I could never come back, knew... Read more
Published on March 3 2004 by Robert J. Salo
4.0 out of 5 stars A True Lament
The album begins in blistering pace with the delivery of Great Deceiver, a rock classic in perfect timing (albeit I sense the engineer has speeded it up slightly), accompanied by... Read more
Published on Dec 31 2003 by jason woodards
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated glimpse of Crimson at their finest
Sandwiched in time between two undeniable Crimson masterpieces ("Larks' Tongues in Aspic" and "Red"), the second of the three Bruford/Wetton era albums is often overlooked. Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2003 by Eddie Konczal
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars: Building up where "Larks..." left off
With the same line up as 1973's "Larks Tongues in Aspic" (except for Muir, the percussionist), this album is the natural evolution of the KC's previous musical effort,... Read more
Published on Oct. 24 2003 by Manny Hernandez
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