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Robert Fripp: guitar, mellotron & devices
Mel Collins: saxes & flute
Gordon Haskell: bass & vocals
Andy McCulloch: drums
Peter Sinfield: words
Robin Miller: oboe & cor anglais
Mark Charig: cornet
Nick Evans: trombone
Keith Tippett: Piano
Jon Anderson: vocal
'Lizard' - King Crimson's 3rd studio album & 2nd recording of 1970, was, like its predecessor 'In the Wake of Poseidon', the product of a studio band. It was also the 1st 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 & under-appreciated gem from their 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. 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
Cirkus (including Entry of the Chameleons)
Lady of the Dancing Water
Prince Rupert Awakes
Bolero - The Peacock's Tale
The Battle of Glass Tears (including Dawn Song)
Prince Rupert's Lament