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King Crimson – Three of a Perfect Pair

Review: 038
Date: 20 Aug 01


Rating: 4 Stars

Robert Fripp - Guitar and Genius
Adrian Belew - Guitar and Pop
Tony Levin - All things bass
Bill Bruford - The Ultimate Drummer

Tracks Listing:
1. Three of a Perfect Pair
2. Model Man
3. Sleepless
4. Man with an Open Heart
5. Nuages
6. Industry
7. Dig Me
8. No Warning
9. Larks Tonque In Aspic Part 3


Definitely a dog with two tails this collection from Britain’s premier progressive rockers King Crimson, who as ever are led by the musician’s musician Mr. Robert Fripp.

The first four songs on the album are more heavily influenced by Robert Fripps side kick Adrian Belew, showing off Crimsons, dare I say it, poppier sound, where all band members sound as if they are quite happy to entertain us, in fact “Sleepless” was very nearly a hit single for the band with it’s slap bass style, and the title song is classic pop rock with its exasperated call to make sense out of that thing we call love.

But after these four little ditties comes the heavy prog-rock dinosaur that is more probably the real King Crimson, you are lulled into a false sense of security by the lilting lullaby (“Nuages” that which passes, passes like clouds) then “Industry” gives you a sonic discription of a scrap yard crew at work, full of saws, drills, and piston engines, without even the faintest apology that they just plain don’t bother with any vocals to give you a glimmer of what’s going on, a crazy idea yes, but take a listen, it really works. By way of making it up to the listener the next piece of music (well you can hardly call them songs) is “Dig Me” the bands tribute to old cars, with the whimsical words of the forlorn car “Once I was worshipped, polished magnificently, now I live in decay by the dirty angry bay”, “Dig me but don’t bury me”, “No Warning” is a chance for Bill Bruford to show off his chops, on both the acoustic and electric drums.

The music is drawn to a conclusion by the latest chapter in “The larks tongue in aspic” this being part 3, a blend of all that’s gone before in all editions of every “King Crimson” line up from the beginning of time, a fitting end as this would be better termed as “King Black”, the music is heavy disturbing stuff that is just sure to alienate your neighbors.

It would be a far stretch to call this music Rock ‘n’ Roll, but it is certainly very invigorating.

The multi facets of this King Crimson obviously got too much for the musicians at this point, as without touring this album, Robert Fripp retired the band for the next decade, but as ever they came back and the story continues today. King Crimson are an acquired taste, well worth the effort, but I feel this album is a little confusing with its too very different parts, so not an easy album for a beginner, so therefore I deduct 1 star for self indulgence, but do highly recommend further investigation.


Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew


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