Archive for September, 2008

Of Queues and Cures

September 20, 2008

Freed from the onus of Alan Gowen‘s jazzier tendencies, Of Queues and Cures (1978) is the tightest thing any of the remaining members of National Health produced this side of the first two Egg records, with newly-added bassist John Greaves‘ “Squarer for Maud” triumphantly outshining his earlier, discombobulated attempts at epic form for Henry Cow on “Half Asleep/Half Awake”.

Side one of this splendid album can be heard here:
National Health

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Lizard

September 5, 2008

Lizard is not only my favorite King Crimson album; it’s their only album that I listen to in its entirety anymore. Whereas their first two albums proposed an unsteady balance between tight compositions (“Epitath”, “Cat Food”) and diffuse atmospherics (“Moonchild”) which they devalued through redundancy – most evidently through the recycling of thematics from “21st Century Schizoid Man” into the (dubiously superior) “Pictures of a City” – Lizard harnessed both strengths into a dazzlingly unique and overwhelmingly satisfying whole, with a majestic title-suite that secured their knighthood in the maximalist pantheon comprising ornate prog rock, eclectic art rock, and lavish pomp pop for all this world over.