also by King Crimson:
In 1970 it was anything goes for experimental and progressive music, and a lot of the time quality control went out of the window in favour of messing about and having a laugh. King Crimson seemed to be in that situation with their third album "Lizard". The first three songs are all daft, demented pop, with Peter Sinfield's usual hallucinatory lyrical wibble (example from "Happy Family": "Cheesecake, mousetrap, Grip-Pipe-Thynne cried out, We're not Rin Tin Tin.). "Cirkus" begins exactly like an early Marillion song, as Gordon Haskell's vocals here are very reminiscent of Fish.
There's occasionally some decent music among the wacky theatricals - "Indoor Games" has a good catchy hook, and "Lady of the Dancing Water" is a mellow hippyish flute number, in the manner of "I Talk to the Wind". However the title track is a very unsatisfying listen. The opening tune, entitled "Prince Rupert Awakes", sung by Jon Anderson, is good enough that we can forgive him singing "burn a bridge and burn a boat, stake a lizard by the throat". But for the rest of the track's 23 minutes they spoil this mood with some uninteresting instrumental music. After some noodling on the opening theme, the band try several times to build up a bit of tension, but their efforts fall flat.
February 2, 2004