Starless (And Bible Black)
One of the BEST King Crimson songs ever composed, and it has a very fascinating story.
This song was initially supposed to show up on their previous album "Starless And Bible Black" But apparently Robert Fripp and Bill Bruford didn't like the tune that much, so they ended up calling one of their improv pieces that for the record. They would perform the song in early 1974 with various lyrical changes and such, until finally when the "Red" sessions came about all the members came to a consensus.
The early live versions of the song actually have David Cross playing the lead melody on violin with Fripp playing the mellotron for that section. There was no saxophone, and the guitar part didn't come in until the buildup section after the verses. The saxophone solo that's in the studio version was also performed on the violin during those shows. The 13/8 section in the latter half of the song was actually written/performed even earlier with some early versions of "Fracture" having that same 13/8 section in it.
It's a fascinating story about this song, It's kind of crazy to think of a King Crimson WITHOUT this in their repertoire, but that seemed to have been a real possibility. It's a great example of tension and release. That build up is so subtle yet near the end it's so satisfying. The reincorporation of the main melody at the end of the song just ties it all into a perfect little 12 minute bow. It's on of the few songs where 12 minutes feels like 2. It's a King Crimson classic, and it's now finally a full band custom!
Special thanks to AJFOne23 for the glorious venue
And to NSW1-6 for helping me with the guitar and bass parts