Watch King Crimson play blistering versions of Larks Tongues In Aspic Part Two and Easy Money

King Crimson on The Midnight Special
(Image credit: The Midnight Special)

Rare footage of King Crimson playing two songs in 1973 are amongst the latest clips to be uploaded to the The Midnight Special's recently launched YouTube channel.

The performances come from an episode of The Midnight Special broadcast on October 13 1973, six months after the release of Crimson's Larks' Tongues In Aspic album, and find band founder Robert Fripp alongside bassist/singer John Wetton, drummer Bill Bruford and violinist David Cross, who had all joined the band prior to the recording of the album.

On the show – which was hosted by the Bee Gees and also featured performances by Chuck Berry, soul singer Barbara Mason and Do You Know What I Mean hitmaker Lee Michaels – the band play fiery versions of Easy Money and Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two, both shortened from the studio versions, but neither any less fierce than the originals.

The 50th anniversary of Larks' Tongues In Aspic is celebrated in the current issue of Prog magazine, which tells the story behind the album's recording, and includes Bruford's memories of a Los Angeles limousine ride with a senior vice president at Atlantic Records, who were releasing the album in the States.

"The voice on the car radio announced, ‘Here it is, the great new album from King Crimson’, remembers Bruford. "They played Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, Part One and the first three minutes were quieter than the road noise coming from the wheels of the car. He looked at me, thinking, ‘Is this what Atlantic Records has just bought?’

"And I’m thinking, ‘Oh, God, please come on to the riff, something that sounds like rock music.’ Of course, if your version of rock music is sex, drugs and rock’n’roll, or three chords and the truth, there isn’t an awful lot of that on Larks’ Tongues In Aspic.”

There's also an interview with King Crimson leader Robert Fripp in the new issue of Classic Rock, in which he discusses choosing the guitar, musical influences, band principles and heartbreaking departures.

Other clips uploaded to the Midnight Special YouTube channel since its launch include David Bowie covering The Who's I Can't Explain, Fleetwood Mac playing You Make Loving Fun, and Journey performing That Special Feeling.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.