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Saturday, March 23, 2013

It Was 40 Years Ago Today - Larks' Tongues In Aspic

On this date 40 years ago I sat in the living room of my parent’s flat in Wallsend and dropped the needle onto this record for the very first time.

There are probably better albums than King Crimson’s Larks’ Tongues In Aspic. Better in terms of its production, better playing, better covers, etc., etc.

Yet this is the album, which, were I ever marooned on that mythical desert island, would be the one that would provide me with pretty much everything I need from an album of rock music; drama, mystery, elation, excitement, wonder and bliss.

It’s always hard to pin down why a particular album occupies a position of importance that is greater than all the others you’ve heard or own. Time and place though are probably the key to the whole thing.

The music has been with me ever since, transposed over, and intimately hard-wired into, many events and happenings in my life.

Hearing the album felt like arriving somewhere you’d always wanted to be. 40 years on, I arrive in that place every time it plays. That’s what makes it so special.



Mike said...

Another fine comment on an auspicious day.
As I have commented before to you I saw the LTIA incarnation of KC live in 1972 so when the LP was released and purchased I had heard much of the music already.
LTIA along with ITCOTCK became markers in my life, and here I am due to hit 60 in two months time still listening, still hearing new things and still impressed by how so much of this stuff sounds so fresh and surprising (and enjoyable!) What was it about those people, their coming together.
In an odd way this comment fits in with a post I have just made to the DGM Live on how we can hear the same music differently, how you write about LTIA is the way it effected me too.
Which leads to me a question - what is happening with the Toxic Tome 2nd Ed? I bought the first Ed. (and still have it in pristine condition and I have re-read it and referred to it over the years) I was impressed and envious - I had the idea for such a book years before but knew I did not have the writing skills or the motivation to research and write it - so thanks for doing that!
Is the 2nd Ed. any closer to publication?

Sid Smith said...

Hi Mike - great observations and thanks for sharing them.

re TT2 - working on it as time allows. Planned another writing / research surge during April. Will keep folks posted here and elsewhere!

MarkN said...

Larks' Tongues in Aspic was actually the fifth KC album to find its way to my turntable. Good God, I started with Earthbound after KC had already "disbanded"! I won't deny that understanding the ideas herein was difficult. But Larks definitely took root and grew; it is a wondrous listen these days.
I have more old music mags (not KC-related) if you are interested. I hope the first batch (that was KC-related) made it to your mailbox many moons ago. In the interim, I've lost your mailing address (oops). Let me know if you want them and where to mail them.
May all be well with you and family, Sid!

Sour Grapes said...

Well said Sid! I have always felt the planets certainly aligned for this outing. Nothing before or after was ever the same.

I'm going to go and put it on now!

cheers Ryan

Jerry Grossman said...

Being 55 and hearing LP went it 1st hit all our friends considered it up there as a a "head" album. Mystical with the local NY boys..The Mid East breaks, demonic bass, African rhythm...totally unlike anything I heard.
Indeed now after loving the Deluxe edition, and just ordering the LTIA box due any day now, and reacquainting myself with all of these reissues...and your wonderful commentary and insights I plan on the Road To Red and enjoy your intelligent writing.
1 question though on the audiophile side....what is the discernable difference between MLP and DTS on it all subjective since both sound fine to me...It is very precious these nuances and attention to detail found in KC, and refreshing that their intent is serious..Best.

Sid Smith said...

Hello Jerry
thanks for dropping by and your kind words. I'm not an audiophile and so have no idea of difference really. I just play whichever one is at the top of the menu - yes I am as technically vacuous as that!

Jerry Grossman said...

Glad to hear that from an erudite gentleman such as yourself...Looking forward to good things ahead and your notes on Yes and the others...cheers.


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