STARLESS & BIBLE BLACK 40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
Posted by Sid Smith on Aug 3, 2011 - This post is archived and may no longer be relevant

Here's the details for the 40th Anniversary Editions of Starless And Bible Black



Starless And Bible Black

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.

*****

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 & 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 & Steven Wilson, while the DVD-A features 5.1 mixes of the album by Steven Wilson, high resolution stereo mixes of the original & new stereo mixes, the full Law of Maximum Distress parts 1 & 2 improvs with The Mincer in their original unedited form/running order, Lament, The Night Watch & 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 & an audio restored bootleg recording of the played onceonly  Guts on my Side.

The DVD-A also features live footage from New York’s Central Park in 1973 of Easy Money & 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 & The Mincer have been up-mixed to 5.1 by Simon Heyworth & Robert Fripp.

Preorder now for 3rd October 2011 release

DGM Mail Order

Burning Shed

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
8. Black
9. Fracture

Bonus tracks:

Law of Maximum Distress (parts 1 and 2)
The Mincer improv
Dr. Diamond
Guts on my Side

DVD Content
Starless And Bible Black
24/96 MLP Lossless 5.1 Surround DTS|9624 5.1 Digital Surround
The Great Deceiver (Wetton, Fripp, Palmer-James)
 Lament (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James)
 We’ll Let You Know (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford)
 The Night Watch (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James)
 Trio (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) *
 The Mincer (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Palmer-James)  *
 Starless And Bible Black  (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford)
 Fracture (Fripp)  
                                                                                 
Mixed and produced from the original multi track tapes by Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp
Mastered by Simon Heyworth and Robert Fripp at Super Audio Mastering, Devon, assisted by Andy Miles
Tracks marked *
*Upmixed to 5.1 from the original stereo masters by Simon Heyworth and Robert Fripp
                                      ---------------------------------------------------------
24/96 MLP Lossless 5.1 Surround DTS|9624 5.1 Digital Surround
Easy Money
Taken from the album “The Night Watch”
Mixed and produced from the original multi track tapes by Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp
                               ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
24/96 MLP stereo 24/48 LPCM stereo Original album 2011 stereo mix
The Great Deceiver (Wetton, Fripp, Palmer-James)
 Lament (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James)
 We’ll Let You Know (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford)
 The Night Watch (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James)
 Trio (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) *
 The Mincer (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Palmer-James)  *
 Starless And Bible Black  (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford)
 Fracture (Fripp)                                                                                    

Mixed and produced from the original multi track tapes by Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp
Mastered by Simon Heyworth and Robert Fripp at Super Audio Mastering, Devon, assisted by Andy Miles
Tracks marked *
*Produced by King Crimson – taken from the original stereo masters (30th anniversary mix) Mastered by Simon Heyworth and Robert Fripp

Original album 1974 mix, 30th anniversary remaster
The Great Deceiver (Wetton, Fripp, Palmer-James)
 Lament (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James)
 We’ll Let You Know (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford)
 The Night Watch (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James)
 Trio (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford)
 The Mincer (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Palmer-James) 
 Starless And Bible Black  (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford)
 Fracture (Fripp)                                                                                    
Produced by King Crimson Mastered by Simon Heyworth and Robert Fripp

24/48 LPCM Stereo
Zurich Volkshaus: November 15th 1973
Lament (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James)
The Night Watch (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James)
Fracture (Fripp)                                                                                    
Improv – The Law Of Maximum Distress: Part One (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford)
Improv - The Mincer (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Palmer-James) 
Improv – The Law Of Maximum Distress: Part Two (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) 

1 – 4, 6 mixed by Robert Fripp, Tony Arnold & David Singleton,
Produced by Robert Fripp
5 audio restoration to audience recording by David Singleton and Alex R. Mundy at DGM

Much of the Zurich concert was presented as part of “The Great Deceiver” 4CD boxed set overview of King Crimson live1973/74 (since reissued as two double CD sets). Tracks 1 – 3 were excluded from that set. ‘The Mincer’- the mid-section of ‘The Law Of Maximum Distress’ was extracted from this concert and ovrdubbed for the original “Starless and Bible Black” album. The multi-tracks for this extract remain, stubbornly, unfound. A more recently discovered bootleg audience recording of the ocncert, when restored, allowed DGM to reinstate the original version of ‘The Mincer’ into its original context as performed, between the parts of what would become ‘The Law Of Maximum Distress’. The difference in audio quality between the tracks is much reduced as a result of the restoration.

Additional Tracks
We’ll Let You Know (Unedited from “The Great Deceiver”)
Dr. Diamond (Live, June 23rd  1973, Richards Club, Atlanta, Georgia)
Guts On My Side (Live, March 19th 1974, Palazzo dello Sport, Udine, Italy
The Night Watch (Single edit – stereo)
The Night Watch (US radio single edit – mono)
30 second radio advert
60 second radio advert

1 mixed by Robert Fripp, Tony Arnold & David Singleton,
2, 3 audio restoration to audience recording by David Singleton and Alex R. Mundy at DGM
4 Produced by King Crimson
5 Reduced to mono without knowledge of or reference to the band

‘We’ll Let You Know’ was an improv taken from a concert on October 23rd 1973 in Glasgow. The original piece (as presented here) is slightly longer.
‘Dr. Diamond’ was a concert favourite from 1973 onwards, though never featured on a studio album. The 1973 performances differ somewhat from those in 1974.

‘Guts On My Side’ was, to the best of our knowledge, only performed once by the band in 1974. The song grew out of the improv ‘Fragged, Dusty, Wall Carpet’ (see video section).

The version presented here is a composite of two audience recordings that were layered together, mixed & mastered at DGM in 2011 by David Singleton & Alex R. Mundy.

‘The Night Watch’ single was issued in several countries. In the UK it was issued prior to the album. It is not clear that anyone in the band ever approved this edit prior to release.

The American mono mix – almost certainly a ‘fold- down’ of the stereo edit as no mono master was mixed by the band – was issued to radio stations. No member of the band would have been aware of this.

The radio adverts for the US & UK adverts were discovered in tapes returned to DGM some years ago.

Video Section
            Central Park, New York, June 25th 1973
Easy Money
Fragged, Dusty, Wall Carpet.

King Crimson shared a concert platform in Central Park 1973 with fellow Atlantic artists Black Oak Arkansas. Both sets were filmed for promotional purposes by Atlantic Records with ‘Easy Money’ edited & widely distributed. The balance of the King Crimson performance, if filmed, has not been found, although a few seconds of a performance of ‘Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (part II), with the full credits for the filming of King Crimson and Black Oak Arkansas have been seen online.

DVD Design & Layout by Claire Bidwell at Opus Productions LtdDVD Authoring & Assembly by Neil Wilkes at Opus Productions LtdDVD QC testing by Jon Urban, Bob Romano, Bob Squires, Tim McDonnell & Chris Gerhard Audio tape transfers by Kevin Vanbergen at FX Copyroom
DGM tape Archive: Alex R. Mundy Package Art & Design by Hugh O’Donnell

Compiled & Coordinated by Declan Colgan for DGM, with input & suggestions from Sid Smith, Steven Wilson & Alex R. Mundy

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