Few bands of the era offered as much variety in material from night to night. King Crimson’s propensity for improvisation & fondness for playing its newest material – often unreleased on record at the time of the concerts - is legendary. Fewer bands still, whether by accident or design, recorded so many of their live shows…
Alternately trippy and thunderous, this 1974 LP (featuring Fripp, Bruford and Wetton) hit the U.S. charts almost a year to the day after Larks' Tongues in Aspic did. The Great Deceiver; Lament; The Night Watch; Trio this experimental gem managed to outdo the prog classic that preceded it; this reissue is full of alternate mixes and other special treats. The CD features a new stereo mix plus bonus tracks including the ultra-rare (performed once only) Guts on My Side . The DVD-Audio disc has the original and new mixes plus a 5.1 surround mix, 5.1 Lossless audio and stereo mixes, video footage of Easy Money and an improv from NY's Central Park ('73), audio extras including live cuts and radio edits and more!
The sixth release in the King Crimson 40th Anniversary series. 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.
Interesting concept with this Crimson album, as half of the album is performed live in front of an audience (the same concert as the live release The Night Watch), and the other half performed in the studio. The live tracks on this album range from totally out there improvs (Starless and Bible Black) and impeccably structured songs (Fracture).
"One of KC best albums ever!!! Very experimental ( in sense of containing many raw improvs in it), heavy and perfectly mixed! Plenty of guitar, strong bass line , quite acoustic sound. For sure much more better production, than on Red album. I know many fans don't like this album much because of it's improvs and heavy sound. I think, this is stronger side of that album, guys! The album contains three very strong songs as well: The Great Deceiver, Lament and The Night Watch. In combination with improvs, filling the space between them, album is very interesting mix. This album as well doesn't have this jazzy elements so usual for KC of that time. Real Progresive ROCK! Another strong point - looking now from all these years, many early period KC albums sound as dated classics. And SABB is one of a few ( near ITCCK), that dated well, and sound perfectly fresh till now. Very recommended to all listeners, searching on heavy and experimental side of KC Mk I."progarchives.com