Price: £12.50
Format: cd/dvd-a
Artist: King Crimson
CatNo: KCSP6
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CD Starless And Bible Black King Crimson Surround DVD-A
The sixth release in the King Crimson 40th Anniversary series.
 
An experimental hybrid of live material and studio recordings, 'Starless' sits between the landmark releases, 'Larks' Tongues In Aspic' and 'Red'.
 
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Coming as it does between the startling re-invention of 'Larks' Tongues In Aspic' and the far-reaching repercussions of 'Red', when it comes to assessments of the King Crimson canon, 'Starless In Bible Black' has often been overlooked. Yet even a cursory listen reveals this to be a powerful record, brimming with confidence borne out of the band's increasing mastery of the concert platform. 
 
Though the public weren't aware of it when it was originally released in March 1974, 'Starless And Bible Black' was in essence largely a live album, an experimental hybrid of in-concert material (much of it  improvised) and studio recordings. Often the two are so finely dovetailed together it's difficult to tell them apart. 
 
Only two tracks on the record ('The Great Deceiver' and 'Lament') were fully recorded in the studio. 'The Night Watch' contained a live introduction, while the instrumental backing to 'The Mincer' was excised from an in-concert improvisation with vocals overdubbed later.  The rest of the tracks were taken from concert recordings from the UK and Europe with the audience carefully edited out. 
 
'Starless and Bible Black' demanded the attention and concentration of the listener. Crimson's audience responded to the challenge, making it a much loved album by the band. As with the other recordings by the mid 1970s line-up, the intervening years have seen the album's reputation increase among fans and musicians alike, while the then unusual approach to using live performances as core elements of subsequent studio recordings has also become increasingly commonplace.       
 
Robert Fripp once talked about an album being a love-letter, and a concert a hot date. Arguably, "Starless" combined the best of both worlds, making it the most accurate representation of the band's uniquely powerful mid-70s identity.
 
As with other albums in the King Crimson CD/DVD-A series, the stereo CD features a new stereo mix by Robert Fripp and Steven Wilson, while the DVD-A features 5.1 mixes of the album by Steven Wilson, high resolution stereo mixes of the original and new stereo mixes, the full 'Law of Maximum Distress' parts 1 and 2 improvs with 'The Mincer' in their original unedited form/running order, 'Lament', 'The Night Watch' and 'Fracture' from the same Zurich concert, (completing the show presented in part on 'The Great Deceiver' boxed set), a 1973 live recording of the concert favourite 'Dr. Diamond' and an audio restored bootleg recording of the played-once-only 'Guts on my Side'. The DVD-A also features live footage from New York's Central Park in 1973 of 'Easy Money' and the improv 'Fragged Dusty Wall Carpet' the track that formed the basis of 'Guts on my Side'.
 
* As a result of lost multi track tapes 'Trio' and 'The Mincer' have been up-mixed to 5.1 by Simon Heyworth and Robert Fripp.
CD:
 
1. The Great Deceiver
2. Lament
3. We'll Let You Know
4. The Night Watch
5. Trio
6. The Mincer
7. Starless and Bible Black
8. Fracture
 
Bonus tracks:
 
Law of Maximum Distress (parts 1 and 2)
The Mincer improv
Dr. Diamond 
Guts on my Side 
 
DVD-A:
 
- 5.1 Lossless Surround Sound, DTS 5.1 Surround Sound mix
- Album new mix - High Resolution Stereo
- Album original mix - High Resolution Stereo
 
Live Video footage from New York 1973
 
9 additional live recordings including:
Law of Maximum Distress (parts 1 and 2)
The Mincer improv
Dr. Diamond 
Guts on my Side 
 
Single edits 
 
Radio adverts
 
Personnel:
 
Robert Fripp:- Guitar, Mellotron, Devices,
John Wetton: Bass and Voice                                                       
David Cross: Violin, Viola, Keyboards
William Bruford: Percussives