Listening Log – [Pt. IV]- King Crimson- Fractured (1974) from ‘Starless And Bible Black’ album.


King Crimson- Fractured (1974) from ‘Starless And Bible Black’ album.

Listening Log – [Pt. IV]- King Crimson- Fractured (1974) from ‘Starless And Bible Black’ album. Throughout March- April 2020 Listened /watched (streaming) to youtube video: For copyright info and credits see information under video clip.

King Crimson’s ‘Fractured’ is another example of an inventive use of the wholetone scale in another musical genre, this time Prog Rock. Fractured is another one of those songs which has reached a cult status because of its unusual flavour, brought on by the guitarists Robert Fripp’s use of the wholetone scale as a lick underlying the entire song. Fractured starts with this asymmetrical and jagged guitar riff. It is constructed of a part of the wholetone scale and frequently plays a tritone. After several repeats the guitar is joined by a very soft cymbal. Bass and rhythm guitars slowly join in, playing heavily affected wah wah stabs. Eventually the whole band plays chords in the shape of a very ‘heavy’ and minor sounding chord progression.

The next section it is back to solo lead guitar. After two repeats there is a new theme presented on a mellotron. Again, elements of the wholetone scale are incorporated. New atonal riffs come in. All the while the first wholetone theme on lead guitar is playing underneath the band at a very soft dynamic. Like a background mantra. As different sections progress the overall dynamics get louder and louder. The drummers rhythm patterns get more and more complex and approach virtuoso levels. There is a big climax which eventually settles down into a soft ambient section. This is quickly overturned by an enormous eruption into an accelerating crescendo of a rhythmic extravaganza over which a frenetic and furious bass solo plays. The time signatures and rhythms keep changing at a rapid pace with new styles from bar to bar until an overpowering ending. Prog Rock at its very best.

King Crimson – Fracture (OFFICIAL)
Robert Fripp guitar & Mellotron
John Wetton bass & vocals,
Bill Bruford, drums & percussion,
David Cross violin, Mellotron, electric piano.
Appears on Starless And Bible Black (1974)
Album;The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson, Vol.1_ In The Studio 1972-1974
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