Chapter 21

Earthbound and Beyond

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page 1 - Earthbound
page 2 - Larks' Tongues in Aspic
page 3 - Starless and Bible Black
page 4 - Red

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"The mythological creature associated with the earth element is the gnome. "Gnomes are engaged in a downward spiral of involution toward ultimate crystallization. We, on the other hand, are engaged in the upward, evolutionary struggle towards total liberation of the spirit from its prison of flesh. Both we and the earth elementals occupy contrasting realms of reality normally inaccessible to one another. So the gnomes seek to unload on us the burden of their physical powers and material riches, as we seek to transcend the appetites of the flesh. In the mysterious exchange between our different levels of being the gnomes acquire from us the concretizations they need in order to shed abstraction and draw more deeply inward to their infinitely dense centers. We, on the other hand, discover a new respect within ourselves for the physical universe and a subtler understanding of how it operates. This enables us to work creatively with forms until we can free ourselves and break out of matter altogether. By learning how to stand on the earth firmly,"


"…trusting and depending upon its support, we can make successful launchings into "outer space".

- The Magician's Dictionary
by E.E. Rhemus

he next King Crimson album, a live bootleg performed by the same line up as Islands, was entitled Earthbound. The title may have been, among other things, Fripp's subconscious (?) way of lamenting the departure of his collaborator, Pete Sinfield. After all, conceptually, where was King Crimson to go after the loss of Pete Sinfield? I understand Fripp was looking forward to new directions for King Crimson, but surely he must have experienced some ambivalence regarding Sinfield's leaving. It wasn't just the split with Pete Sinfield, but also the departure of all the other band members. While the album was being prepared for release the future of the group was questionable. King Crimson was going through a moratorium period and, for all anybody knew, Earthbound might turn out to be the band's swan song. In these respects, the title suggests, "King Crimson has not progressed beyond the artistic aspirations of the fourth studio album (the earth element). The title also conveys the message, "On this tour, King Crimson was bound to promote the Earth album, Islands".
There is also an alchemical connotation to the album title. In alchemical terms, Robert Fripp might have been describing King Crimson as leaden, as in the leaden flock of Prince Rupert Awakes. Lead is a base metal, far removed from gold, and could indicate that change, or progress towards transformation, is not occurring.

Earthbound by Evelyn DeMorgan
Earthbound by Evelyn DeMorgan

Because King Crimson was known for (as it says above) "making successful launchings into outer space" perhaps Fripp was being somewhat ironic in calling the album "Earthbound". Given that on much of the album, Fripp's performances are quite subdued, if not obscured, maybe he was expressing frustration at being part of what was essentially a white rhythm and blues band. The remnants of the Islands band went on to align themselves with Alexis Korner.

The line from Peoria, "It makes no difference what you think about me, it makes a whole lot of difference what I think about you," is from the 1949 Louis Jordan R&B hit Beans and Cornbread.

Boz Burrel includes Louis Jordan among his favoorite singers. Jordan also was also a wonderful soprano saxophonist, writer, arranger and performer. Some of the unison playing on Lizard, particularly on Indoor Games, is reminiscent of Jordan's arrangements.

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Still II ~ Promenade the Puzzle Earthbound and Beyond ~ Larks' Tongues in Aspic

Sign the Dreambook Dreambook Read the Dreambook

Chapter One The Metaphysical Record In The Court Of the Crimson King In The Wake Of Poseidon Lizard The King In Yellow The Sun King Eight
The Lake Which Mirrors the Sky In the Beginning Was the Word In the Beginning was the Word...side two Eros and Strife Dark Night of the Soul...Cirkus Dark Night of the Soul...Wilderness Big Top Islands
Islands Two Footnotes in the Sand Still Still 2
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