Friday, August 14, 2009

Musical Interlude:

King Crimson Elephant talk

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"Elephant Talk" by King Crimson (a tune off their album, Discipline). H/t BLCKDGRD. I'm guessing this must have come from SNL around 1982 (a period of that show that I generally ignored).

I'm sure fans of King Crimson's earlier recordings must have had no idea what hit them when the band started recording again in the early 1980s. For the rest of us, the albums that came out of that period, Discipline, Beat, and Three of a Perfect Pair were a breath of fresh air. I would have most likely encountered the tunes from these albums initially thanks to a friend who had installed a killer stereo system in his Ford Pinto - he'd pop in those cassettes along with contemporary solo recordings that Adrian Belew (guitarist and vocalist for King Crimson) had led. In a way, I'd already developed some familiarity with each of these musicians from other songs and recordings I'd either already acquired (with not much in the way of dinero, not too many of those), or simply heard on the radio (much more likely). Belew appeared on some tracks for David Bowie's Lodger album, Fripp had also made some appearances on Bowie's late 1970s recordings (Low and Heroes), Tony Levin's bass work anchored anything Peter Gabriel recorded during the period, and Bill Bruford had drummed for Yes (you couldn't grow up in 1970s suburbia without having encountered a few Yes tunes, it seemed). Combined, these cats were easily on par with, if not surpassing, similar outfits such as Talking Heads - very angular, funky, off-kilter music with vocals by Belew that seemed somewhat reminiscent of David Byrne's.

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