Title: Easy Money

Artist:King Crimson

Album: Larks’ Tongues In Aspic (plus about a skidillion live albums from this generation of King Crimson)

Year Released: 1973

What It Is:A relatively accessible piece of prog-rock from one of the bands that started it all. This was probably Fripp’s best group of all of the King Crimson’s he’s put out there. Bill Bruford is an ace drummer, of course, and John Wetton later played with Roxy Music, Uriah Heep (needed the cash, I think), UK, and was the first voice of Asia. David Cross (no, not part of Mr. Show) added a great touch to the mix with his violin (and mellotron). Plus, the studio album features Jamie Muir on percussion, adding a wild card to the proceedings.

Riffage / Hookage:For all of the bad mouthing prog-rock got with critics, the opening riff here is monster rock-and-roll and the transition to the quieter verses is startling and powerful. (It’s funny, the riff reminds me of the riff from “Old Siam Sir” by Wings. Did McCartney nick it?)

Cowbell?:Muir will throw anything on a track, or so it seemed. I can’t say if there is cowbell, but there are bells, triangles, and other things being slapped around, hit, struck, and clattered.

Words Of Wisdom: “Your admirers on the street
Gotta hoot and stamp their feet
In the heat from your physique
As you twinkle by in moccasin sneakers”

I think this is somehow or another a boo-hoo it’s easy money being a rock star song, but really, the lyrics of Crimson aren’t why I pay admission.

Mixology Report: I am always careful about mixing Crimson. It has a hard time snuggling into places nicely.

For The Good Of The Order: You can buy a boatload of live shows from this Crimson era on their web site. They’re available via torrent, for those of you who have the patience for that sort of thing.

Here’s a clip of this Crimson incarnation (without Muir, who left soon after the record. Finding live stuff with Muir is pretty tough). This must have been at a festival or something like that.