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Starless & Bible Black (1974)

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Starless & Bible Black (1974)

Postby vrooom on Sat Apr 17, 2004 11:34 am

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Your thoughts about this album to be posted here - so feel free to talk about your first listen, what you like about this album, what you don't like, etc.


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Postby Indyrod on Wed May 05, 2004 12:28 am

When I first bought this unique Crimson album, I didn't know quite what to think about it. Except for being totally amazed by Fracture, and I still am, the rest of the album just didn't interest me too much. Keep in mind, this was an evolution thing for me, and I hadn't heard much if any of the live Crim yet. The track Starless and Bible Black I found unlistenable. I even burned some of the album to mp3s, and then deleted that particular track because I couldn't stand it. To be honest, I'm still not too fond of it, but the The Great Deceiver, Lament, and especially The Night Watch and Trio did hold my interest, but only slightly. So initially I was very disappointed, except for one thing, the monster epic Fracture. That was enough of a reward for buying this album, and it has remained one of my favorite Crimson songs period. I think Fracture is the single song that made me realize Robert Fripp was one of the greatest guitarists to ever grace the world of music.

Since then, and my love being firmly cast for the LTIA lineup of Crimson, and hearing all the other live versions of these tracks, I can now say this is one hell of an album. I don't play it hardly at all, but I consider it a pivotal point in time for the LTIA Crimson and the tracks it contains. "The Great Deceiver" box set has almost made this studio release obsolete, but it still holds a firm position as one of the great Crim releases considering the time and date it was released.
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Postby Whiskey Vengeance on Fri Jan 14, 2005 6:01 am

One thing I don't get about this album is why they chose recordings of some of their more boring improvs to put on the album. There are other live recordings of the era that are just as good sound quality-wise, but with much better improv.
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Postby Gilesfan on Fri Jan 14, 2005 10:24 am

Whiskey Vengeance wrote:One thing I don't get about this album is why they chose recordings of some of their more boring improvs to put on the album. There are other live recordings of the era that are just as good sound quality-wise, but with much better improv.


Well, I think there are a couple of reasons. One being that so many of their improvs are long and there was not enough time, hence the abrupt ending to "The Mincer". "Starless And Bible Black" can be a little drawn out I admit, but again I think it said something abuot where they were at the time and again, I think they wanted to watch their time lengths for tunes.

"Trio" itself to me is worth the price of admission. That has got to be one of the most beautiful and emotional, if not the most beautiful and emotional piece of music King Crimson has ever done. That song has moved me to tears on more than one occasion. :cry: It has such a tremendous wide range of emotions and feelings in it and brings out so many inner feelings. If you have not done so, listen to it in the dark alone and just let the music take you.
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Postby Owen on Fri Jan 14, 2005 11:04 pm

Gilesfan wrote:so many of their improvs are long and there was not enough time, hence the abrupt ending to "The Mincer".


Comments on The Mincer issue: Firstly, the abrupt ending was the tape running off the reel, certainly not a deliberate move to cut time. And I believe that the part of the improv used in The Mincer was carefully selected as it had ceratin elements of "groove" that befit vocalisation. The complete Law Of Maximum Distress Pt 1, leading up to the improv used for The Mincer doesn't always have that "groove" element, so it was necessarily cut. To me it is a VERY craftily constructed piece, of appropriate length, and a highlight of the album.

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Postby Whiskey Vengeance on Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:47 am

Gilesfan wrote:
Whiskey Vengeance wrote:"Trio" itself to me is worth the price of admission. That has got to be one of the most beautiful and emotional, if not the most beautiful and emotional piece of music King Crimson has ever done. That song has moved me to tears on more than one occasion. :cry: It has such a tremendous wide range of emotions and feelings in it and brings out so many inner feelings. If you have not done so, listen to it in the dark alone and just let the music take you.


Now that I'm going to have to agree with, although I think there are some better performances of Trio on other discs (legit and otherwise) than the one from Starless & Bible Black. It may be the most structured of the recurring improvs of the era, to the point where it's almost a song in itself.
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Postby Owen on Sat Jan 15, 2005 12:54 am

Whiskey Vengeance wrote:Now that I'm going to have to agree with, although I think there are some better performances of Trio on other discs (legit and otherwise) than the one from Starless & Bible Black.


Huh? Trio was an improv, lifted from the Amsterdam show, later heard in full on The NightWatch (though often bootlegged). If it is a different performance, then it isn't Trio!

There are at least two different mixes/edits of Trio, but only one performance!

Explain yourself young man! (you had that coming, should have kept your age to yourself)

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Postby Whiskey Vengeance on Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:28 am

Owen wrote:
Whiskey Vengeance wrote:Now that I'm going to have to agree with, although I think there are some better performances of Trio on other discs (legit and otherwise) than the one from Starless & Bible Black.


Huh? Trio was an improv, lifted from the Amsterdam show, later heard in full on The NightWatch (though often bootlegged). If it is a different performance, then it isn't Trio!

There are at least two different mixes/edits of Trio, but only one performance!

Explain yourself young man! (you had that coming, should have kept your age to yourself)

Cheers,


KCCC15 (Live in Mainz '74) has an improv called "Trio", and utilizes that same guitar theme and general arrangement/structure (although it has Bruford on bells, so I guess the title "Trio" is a little deceptive). There are even more improvs based around this basic theme on various bootlegs.

The descending guitar theme is put to good use on an improv from the 5/14/73 show at the Agora Club in Cleveland, so elements of the song have been around long before S&BB. When Fripp first introduces the theme to the improv (and the last time he uses it), he has a fuzz box on it and it sounds awesome and powerful... Almost forcefully pretty, in a way I haven't heard on any performance of "Trio" yet.

If I'm wrong on this or if there's a misunderstanding, please correct me... I'm sure there are people much more knowledgeable about KC that are just waiting to put me in my place, so don't hold back. :wink:

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Postby Owen on Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:41 am

Very good explanation there WV.

I still say the SABB/Nightwatch Trio is the only *real* Trio, but there certainly were many improvs exploring similar territory. Hence "Improv: Trio" from KCCC15 is not "Trio" in my book, though I can see how it could be to others (yourself included).

Nope, I'm done, happy with that, you may go. (sends the young scalliwag scampering from his office)

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Postby when i say stop continue on Sat Jan 15, 2005 1:51 am

I read somewhere that Fripp himself wasn't happy of "Lament" cause he thought that the differents parts don't fit together well.
I love this track, what do you think of it ?
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