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Lizard (1970)

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Postby vrooom on Mon May 17, 2004 3:44 pm

The Crimson Avenger wrote:(I don't have anything positive to say about this record so I am contributing silence.)


Of course it is perfectly acceptable to talk about what you don't like about the record. :D


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Postby Riverman on Mon May 17, 2004 4:27 pm

Lizard is the one KC album I've always had a love/hate relationship with. Some parts I've always liked (e.g. "Cirkus," "Indoor games," "Prince Rupert's Lament" and the mesmerizing "Bolero"). Some I've never liked - "Happy Family" has always seemed tossed-off and amateurish (and my general dislike for the Beatles probably doesn't help my enjoyment much), and "Lady of the Dancing Water" is just too cute and whimsical for me. I understand the inclusion of "Big Top" as a mad capper to the lunacy of the battle theme and a bookend to "Cirkus" itself, but it's not among my favorite moments either.

All that being said, the album does have some monstrous Crimsoid moments.. like the rest of the early quartet, there were some flashes of the true KC sound they'd finally hit on later with LTiA. And considering the circumstaces it was made under, I'm damn impressed it still turned out as well as it did.
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Postby Whiskey Vengeance on Fri Jan 14, 2005 5:44 am

I'm kind of suprised that so many people here love this album... Pretty much every review I've read has been negative (most actually too critical). Before I heard it, I'd heard from pretty much everyone that except for Cirkus and Prince Rupert Awakes, the whole thing is a dissonant mess with every nook and cranny of every measure stuffed with a multitude of instruments going every which way without a care as to where they were going. Upon actually hearing it, though, I see that aspect has been grossly exaggerated. Probably the closest thing to what I had heard the album sounded like is "Happy Family", which has an overly dense arrangement which can get dissonant at times (although it's not nearly as noisy as I had been told). Multiple instruments solo at the same time without much connection to each other all throughout the track, even during the vocal parts (and during the non-vocal parts, it gets close to being annoying). A real shame, too, because the actual song is good and has a smokin' chorus. "Lizard" is a tough one to sit through, and I probably have only listened to it past the Bolero/The Peacock's Tale part once or twice, because I honestly don't find anything interesting in the suite and found many parts of it to be almost as dissonant as the wags say it is. Cirkus, however, is a stone-cold classic, and I don't think there's much arguement here about that. The chorus sounds like something the band would start doing two years later with the rippingly heavy KC3 lineup, and it should also be noted that Mel Collins' beautiful sax solo doubled with the melancholy mellotron strings foreshadows the studio version of Starless four years before the fact. As for the other songs... Lady of the Dancing Water foreshadows future Crimsonising (like Cirkus), sounding uncannily like something off of "Islands", whilst Indoor Games is a strange amalgam of Pictures of a City, crazy synth lines, and Cat Food (as a matter of fact, the acoustic guitar in the chorus is a carbon copy of the latter tune).
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Postby Owen on Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:55 pm

I f you haven't listened past Bolero then you are missing the best part of the album IMO. The Battle Of Glass Tears is my favourite suite within a suite within a suite. It's dense as all hell, but don't think of it as Crimson, rather as a avantjazz/canterbury/prog crossover masterpiece and you'll appreciate it more.

Or, you could agree with Mr Haskell and think of it as "11 minutes of someone wandering around up his own arse".

One small thing I will say against the song is that the bass line in the fast instrumental sections is too busy. It sounds like a guitar line (and I think the song would have worked better if it had been a guitar line). Was it written by Fripp? I think so. If I am right it just gives a bit more weight to my argument that good guitarists rarely make good bass players. The bass guitar is a completely different kettle of herring.

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Postby RYG on Tue Oct 25, 2005 8:09 pm

I was listening to this album yesterday and have a stupid question...What instrument or instruments are used to create the begining portion of "Happy Family", right after the laughing from "Indoor Games" and just before the silly organ parts ? I'm talking about the first 30 seconds or so.

I'm no musician so I can't figure it out.
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Postby Whiskey Vengeance on Wed Oct 26, 2005 3:38 am

RYG wrote:I was listening to this album yesterday and have a stupid question...What instrument or instruments are used to create the begining portion of "Happy Family", right after the laughing from "Indoor Games" and just before the silly organ parts ? I'm talking about the first 30 seconds or so.

I'm no musician so I can't figure it out.


Drums, guitar, bass, and VCS3 synthesizer. The guitar and bass do the descending riff and the VCS3 plays the ringing melody.
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Postby MiKcrobe on Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:35 pm

Whiskey Vengeance wrote:"Lizard" is a tough one to sit through, and I probably have only listened to it past the Bolero/The Peacock's Tale part once or twice, because I honestly don't find anything interesting in the suite and found many parts of it to be almost as dissonant as the wags say it is.

Wow. Owen's right, you really should give The Battle of Glass Tears another--attentive--listen. I admit "Last Skirmish" gets a bit noisy, but you should at least go over "Dawn Song" and "Prince Rupert's Lament" again. You might be pleasantly surprised.
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Postby Owen on Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:40 pm

MiKcrobe wrote:Wow. Owen's right


Well, I won't argue, but you sound surprised.

8)

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Postby RYG on Wed Oct 26, 2005 1:47 pm

Thanks WV. I never would have guessed the dreaded VCS3. Now that you mention it though it kind of makes sense. Surprisingly, it isn't quite as grating in this case as it is when used live.
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Postby MiKcrobe on Wed Oct 26, 2005 2:09 pm

Owen wrote:
MiKcrobe wrote:Wow. Owen's right


Well, I won't argue, but you sound surprised.

8)

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Ha! Sorry about that. The "Wow" was for WV's comment that he didn't find anything interesting in the suite, not about you being right. (Notice where the comma is in my sentence). If I ever say, "Wow, Owen's right!" then you can smack me. :lol:
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