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Lizard, King Crimson's third studio album and second release of 1970, was, like its predecessor In the Wake of Poseidon, the product of a studio band. It was also the first Crimson album for which Robert Fripp provided all of the music. Remarkably self-contained & sounding somewhat atypical for a King Crimson album, even by the standards of a band that rarely sounded similar from album to album, Lizard is an often overlooked and under-appreciated gem from the band's early years. Certainly at the time of release, anyone expecting an extension of the soundscapes introduced & explored on the band's earlier two albums was in for a surprise.
Lizard featured a lighter, more delicate sound than the earlier albums - an approach perhaps necessitated by an extended instrumental lineup. The expanded range of instruments allowed for intricately interwoven instrumental passages - with Fripp's guitar & Tippett's piano pleasingly to the fore - and this combination, along with the prominence afforded to Mel Collins & the guest players on the album's main title suite, led some to believe that Fripp was guiding Crimson towards the world of Jazz & away from Rock altogether. But such claims were misguided. Crimson was, as ever, seeking to expand the vocabulary of rock music & Lizard was, in some ways, the band's most ambitious album to date.
As this lineup never toured, very little of the material was performed live & Lizard remained a product of the studio environment & the musicians who performed on it (amongst other things, Lizard includes a beautiful Jon Anderson cameo).
Lizard's standalone nature makes it difficult even to compile in context next to Crimson's other material - with only Bolero featuring on the box sets covering Crimson's extensive history. Lizard remains a fascinating, intriguing album - an album only a band called King Crimson could make - even if it was a very different King Crimson to that which had gone before or would come after.
Now completely remixed from the original multitrack recording tapes by Steven Wilson for 5.1 Surround Sound & featuring a new stereo mix from the same source tapes by Robert Fripp & Steven Wilson, Lizard finally reveals its true beauty.
Steven Wilson - "I've always felt that if presented in the right way, I could make a case for this being the most experimental rock record ever made. It's extraordinary what they're doing on this album. In terms of fusing free-jazz with progressive rock for me there's almost no parallel."
2. Indoor Games
3. Happy Family
4. Lady of the Dancing Water
6. Lady of the Dancing Water (alt. Mix)
7. Bolero (Frame by Frame remix)
8. Cirkus (studio run through)
Lizard - Album DVD-A Lossless Surround Sound, DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
Lizard - Album original mix - High Resolution Stereo
Lizard - Album new mix - High Resolution Stereo
3 Bonus tracks in
High Resolution Stereo