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Thread: Starless - The greatest song ever?

  1. #26
    Member gearHed289's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    Okay you prog literalists, not THE GREATEST, so put your peacock feathers down.

    Make your case for why Starless is indeed the greatest song ever, at least for a prog fan.

    - 12 minutes, goes by effortlessly
    - 3 distinct movements in the song
    - Crimson during their (arguably) peak period
    - Mellotron
    - John Wetton's vocals
    - Just enough dissonance to make your guests leave the room
    - The spine chilling crescendo that brings the main theme home in such a powerful way (contrasting with the melancholy of the opening)

    Rock on.
    I think you've covered it. Great song, great emotion.

  2. #27
    I find the vocal melody and Fripp's melodic lead remarkable.

  3. #28
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    I like it a lot, but the ending is a bit ... standing still.

    As NogbadTheBad said: Mumps and Dense would be ahead for certain.

    And its not my favorite track on Red.

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Udi Koomran View Post
    That and Epitaph are the greatest KC for me
    This.

  5. #30
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Oh shoot, I thought the greatest song ever was 'Nile For A While' by Mr. Sirius?? And for some reason I was under the impression that the greatest KC track of all time was Bolero-The Peacock's Tale. Looks like I was way off yet again. I feel so ashamed!

  6. #31
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by littleatlas_steve View Post
    I find the vocal melody and Fripp's melodic lead remarkable.
    In all seriousness though, the lead guitar melody is outstandingly remarkable!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    I like it a lot, but the ending is a bit ... standing still.

    As NogbadTheBad said: Mumps and Dense would be ahead for certain.

    And its not my favorite track on Red.
    Yes 'Mumps' is ahead of most everything for me too.... that and 'Nile For a While'

  7. #32
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    p.s.

    must be a s-l-o-w Cozy day.
    I wish. This was the first time I got to look at the thread after starting it. Anyway, just trying to add some content and try an experiment. It worked out pretty much as planned.
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  8. #33
    Member bill g's Avatar
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    Funny I just watched this on youtube the other day. That guitar melody is just so beautiful. It really is a great piece of music.

  9. #34
    Okay, I'll play along:

    Starless is the greatest song ever because the wonderful opening song part is just so melancholy and mellotronic, following by Fripp experting building tension in the second part while Bruford (live versions particularly) embodies the Flying Brick Wall. The third part brilliantly releases the tension and brings it home by restating the theme. Sounds like a best song ever candidate.

    Other candidates for Best Song Ever: The Musical Box, Firth of Fifth, Starship Trooper and (modern-ish prog edition) Jordrok

    Jeff

  10. #35
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    You could also raise the question of whether "Starless" is a song, or a shortish epic. And whether they're the same thing, or can be the same thing. Or not.

    Looking at a few other prog classics, "Firth of Fifth" could be either a song or an epic, as can "The Cinema Show" and "The Musical Box"; whereas "Watcher of the Skies" is clearly a song; "Supper's Ready" is an epic; and "Can-Utility..." is somewhere in-between. Although "Close to the Edge" does have some resemblance to a short symphony, you could also make that same case, since it can be seen as a vastly expanded AABA song form. "Roundabout" is a song, "Awaken" is an epic. In contrast to all of these, "Living in the Heart of the Beast" is mostly through-composed - except for the proletarian call-to-arms march at the end - so it doesn't quite fit into either category; neither does "Erk Gah/Hold to the Zero Burn". "Inca Roads" is a song, "Greggary Peccary" is an epic, and Side Two of Roxy (comprising "Village of the Sun", "Echidna's Arf", and "Don't you Ever Wash that Thing") is a song suite, somewhere between an epic and three songs that were usually played back-to-back.
    Last edited by Baribrotzer; 01-25-2018 at 06:52 PM.

  11. #36
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
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    luv me sum Crim and luv me sum Starless...

    but there are a ton of pieces better than Starless, even if Starless *is* one of the 5 best Crim pieces ever
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  12. #37
    Love the first section, like the second section, then the saxes come in and I usually pull the plug.

  13. #38
    Yeah, I just don't care for Ian McDonald on sax, he's great on flute though.
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  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by MudShark22 View Post
    Any Starless (live 73-74) is their greatest track.

    I had only heard the studio version for years and it was my fave, but once the TGD boxset arrived in the early 90s, the studio version went to the back of the line for its timidity.

    And I think peeps know my feelings on current version! lol

    Some days its Starless and other days its Awaken.
    I was thinking Awaken was right up there with Starless too.

    It's funny, because in both cases I also don't think a definitive version exists. For example, I love the guitar on the coda instead of the sax, but also for the opening instead of the violin. The live versions are amazing, and the current line-up is doing better and better, but it just doesn't have the edge that the '74 live versions did in terms of tone.

    For Awaken, the '91 and many of the later versions build in a way that the original (studio or live) doesn't quite manage. One of the things that the '90s+ Yes does really well is the build up at during the final third of the song, just like the last part of And You And I before the coda.

    Either way, they are two near the top of my list,

  15. #40
    King Crimson's best song?

    Starless

    vs.

    Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part 1


    Best song ever?

    "Close to the Edge"

  16. #41
    Every song mentioned so far is in my top 5.
    Infinite Ceiling on www.ckcufm.com every Thursday night at 8:30 with me or Mark Keill, archived shows: https://cod.ckcufm.com/programs/112/...tml?filter=all
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  17. #42
    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smcfee View Post
    Every song mentioned so far is in my top 5.
    Big deal. This is PE. Everyone's Top 5 has 50 songs in it.

  18. #43
    I agree with everything written about Starless in the OP. Starless and Epitaph are my top KC tracks. Impossible to pick one best ever, but those 2 would be on my short list with the following....

    Yes--Awaken
    And You and I
    Heart of the Sunrise

    Genesis--Suppers Ready
    Musical Box
    Cinema Show

    Pink Floyd--Echoes
    Shine On You Crazy Diamond

    Kansas--The Pinnacle

    ....as the most impactful and moving tracks of music I love

  19. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by gearHed289 View Post
    I think you've covered it. Great song, great emotion.
    +1
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  20. #45
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Man In The Mountain View Post
    And my wife does indeed make me skip to the next song.
    I guess she knows it's the last track on the album, uh?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post
    Surprisingly boring last section where nothing happens 3 times in a row, in louder and louder succession.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    One man's Surprisingly boring last section where nothing happens 3 times in a row is another man's STRUCTURED INSTRUMENTAL CRESCENDO - DEVELOPMENT (4'37").
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    I like it a lot, but the ending is a bit ... standing still.
    Wow... I mean, the last section and the way it ends is simply poignantly awesome. Still gives me the chills every time, and makes me replay the track
    If you love the opening part, I can't really understand how you could find the closing section boring
    The only thing that could've enhanced it is that Wetton could've sung another verse (even after 30 years, I still expect him to ... or wish he did anyways). As for the triple crescendo, one could argue that it is more concise than the middle section's crescendo. FTM, the middle section took me a fair amount of time to like


    Quote Originally Posted by Udi Koomran View Post
    That and Epitaph are the greatest KC for me
    Add Lizard and you've got my top 3

    Quote Originally Posted by noisynoise View Post
    Yeah, I just don't care for Ian McDonald on sax, he's great on flute though.
    So do I, but the sax parts is really poignant (not even taking intio account of McD's return to KC).
    IMHO, the flute was impossible in Starless, u nless managing a spot for it in the debut

    Quote Originally Posted by smcfee View Post
    Every song mentioned so far is in my top 5.
    Yup, all 15 of them
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  21. #46
    IMO it's the opening part with the vocals that's boring and uninteresting. I would put the song among Crimson's better ones if that stuff wasn't part of the song.

  22. #47
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    just like it's twin Moonchild, you got a haunting classic that transforms after the second verse and goes on a downward instrumental spiral towards it's conclusion. both would have been better with a tradition third verse and finale and a duration of half it's length. but back in the 70's most bands were putting out albums every year, so they had deadlines to record. it's all about filler filler filler! and in KC case, just cut and paste this jam and put it here and there- make it longer.

  23. #48
    Starless is the perfect closer to the best album ever made. Some of the negative comments on here really have me scratching my head. The slow-building ending and incredible crescendo is one of the finest moments in music ever. I think some people just try to be controversial for controversy’s sake.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve F. View Post

    One of the weaker songs on the weakest album by my favorite line up of the band (Wetton version of KC).

    IMO.
    I have always felt this way, too. Red is over-rated as is this song. A big chunk of nothing new happening for too long. For years and years I didn't even like it, although when the latest three drummer version of Crim swung through town, it was okay. Fallen Angel, on the other hand, is, for me, easily the best song on this album.

    neil

  25. #50
    Starless has never been among my favorite KC tracks. I don't hate it, but I don't have the love for it some seem to. The thing that always disappoints me is that all that tension built up between about 4:30 and 9:10 resolves in... a blues jam. It just seems a bit anticlimactic and underwhelming to me, and feels like it's somewhat self-consciously reaching back to 21st Century Schizoid Man. I like the mingling of the opening melody and the bass line from the middle in this part, but I wish they'd found a different way to express those elements. Just my opinion, but that's just how I react to it, and that hasn't changed much since I first heard the song umpteen years ago; though I enjoyed it more in this recent tour than ever before - not quite certain why.

    So, not a top song for me, but not a "skipper" either.

    Bill

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