274. King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic (1973)
1. Lark's Tongues In Aspic
2. Book Of Saturday
4. Easy Money
5. Talking Drum
6. Lark's Tongues In Aspic
And the Grammy of best use of Mbira in western rock goes to... King Crimson! Yay! The fact that the album starts with a solo on the african Mbira doesn't even start to scratch the surface of all that is happening in this album; there is just so much happening here and a lot of it at the same time that the first listen through are just overwhelming.
The first times I listened to the album I got a similar feeling to the one I get when I listen to Bartok's Concerto for Strings, Celesta and Percussion. An uneasy feeling in the pit of the stomach, but as it goes on and as you persist you are most definitely rewarded by one of the most exquisite albums of the 70's. There are abilities here on show that go much beyond the ability to play instruments well, the compositional skill is way up there and it is one of the Prog albums which actually managed to make art-rock. This is not a poor atempt like most ELP or Yes albums, this is much more in the realm of Can and Faust as a successful attemp to bring rock music to a more exalted level of erudition.
The genius of Robert Fripp is most definitely leading the qualities of the album, but it can at times feel slightly pretentious; the four tracks in the middle save it from that, however, with tracks that substitute the weirdness of the title track for something more immediately approachable. This is another essential album no one should be without, but you need to give it the right time for it to flower in your ears. Get it from Amazon UK or US.
1. Book Of Saturday
2. Larks' Tongue in Aspic (Part One)
4. Easy Money
The album sees the band incorporate into its sound violin and also various exotic percussion instruments, including sheet metal and mbiras. The title was invented by percussionist Jamie Muir and is meant to signify what he heard in this album's music: something fragile and delicate (larks' tongues) encased in something corrosive and acidic (aspic).
Ahhh the wonders of the Internet! A Video of some other song by King Crimson with Book of Saturday as the soundtrack... well this is just so you can listen to the song anyway: