What did they do next? Part 3b – Bill Bruford – Larks’ Tongues in Aspic – 389

Produced by Jeffrey Crecelius, Wayne Hall, Preston Frazier, Bill Govier and VR Hoisington

This week we finally get back to the second part of our look at what Bill Bruford did after leaving Yes. So Mark and I talk individually and then together about King Crimson’s Larks’ Tongues in Aspic.

Listen and let us know what you think!

  • What did Bruford take with him from Yes?
  • How is this new rhythm section??
  • Does Larks’ Tongues in Aspic still sound good today?

If you would like to support the Yes Music Podcast financially and also have access to exclusive activity and opportunities, there is a special page you can use to sign up and 2019 is the time to join us:
Become a Patron!

Show notes and links

Mark’s Larks’ Tongues Photos:

YMP Patrons:


  • Jeffrey Crecelius
  • Preston Frazier
  • VR Hoisington
  • Bill Govier and
  • Wayne Hall


Aaron Steelman
Dave Owen
Mark James Lang
Paul Tomei
Joost Maglev
David Heyden
Martin Kjellberg
Paul Wilson
Bob Martilotta
Michael O’Connor
Peter Hearnden
Brian Sullivan
David Pannell
Miguel Falcão
Lobate Scarp
Chris Bandini
David Watkinson
Neal Kaforey
Rachel Hadaway
Craig Estenes
Paul Hailes
Mark ‘Zarkol’ Baggs
Doug Curran
Robert Nasir
Fergus Cubbage
Scott Colombo
Fred Barringer
Scott Smith
Geoff Bailie
Simon Barrow
Geoffrey Mason
Stephen Lambe
Guy R DeRome
Steve Dill
Henrik Antonsson
Steve Perry
Hogne Bø Pettersen
Steve Rode
Steve Scott
Jamie McQuinn
Steven Roehr
Ken Fuller
Terence Sadler
Jeremy North
Tim Stannard
Todd Dudley
John Cowan
Tony Handley
John Holden
Joseph Cottrell
John Parry
Keith Hoisington
John Thomson
William Hayes
Barry GorskyMichael Handerhan

Robert and David

Please subscribe!

If you are still listening to the podcast on the website, please consider subscribing so you don’t risk missing anything:

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts
Subscribe on Google Podcasts

Subscribe with RSSSubscribe on Android
Listen on Stitcher

Theme music

The music I use is the last movement of Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. This has been used as introduction music at many Yes concerts. My theme music is not take from a live concert – I put it together from the following two creative commons sources: thanvannispen and archive.org

7 thoughts on “What did they do next? Part 3b – Bill Bruford – Larks’ Tongues in Aspic – 389”

  1. Fantastic episode again. Great to hear this music treated with the seriousness it deserves and contextualised against the highest level of art music. That is rare (in prog circles), especially the name check for John Cage. In my adult lifetime Cage has been dismissed by many people as a musical analogue for Carl Andre’s”pile of bricks”- the single work of art most beloved of our nation’s tabloid news editors. There’s lots to love for the more adventurous prog fan in Cage’s work.

    I read a terrifying interview with Jakko Jakszyk recently about playing the old Crimson music on stage. What he said about the technical difficulties and the preparation required reminded me of the documentaries Free Solo and Man On Wire. If you suffer from musical vertigo probably best avoided. As a fairly mediocre musician it brought me out in a sweat just thinking about the demands it would make on me. Mainly demands on my memory for complex arrangements. Something for which Yes are of course also renowned.

    Last two gigs I have been to were actually Crimson (both parts of Larks Tongues and East Money are in the current set list) and Kiss so there is a contrast for you if you want to study the difference between art and showbiz. Both represent the apogee of completely different approaches to rock music. Starting to think there is no middle ground left to occupy here. Needless to say if you need to really work at bringing the most out of the music you are performing then the best thing is to avoid unnecessary interactions with the audience or displays of showmanship – especially running around venues or waving arms in the air could be better employed on the fret board or keyboard. Kiss have no such problems and Fripp and his cohort know better.

    I would definitely fancy my chances of getting through the two hour Kiss set playing Gene’s parts. It’s the fire breathing, the nine inch platforms and the flying around in the air I would struggle with. I would have literal vertigo in that case.

  2. Very pleased with your discussion of Larks Tongues in Aspic. While not my favorite King Crimson album, it is near the top.

    After discovering Yes, I was ready to start consuming other progressive rock bands. First came Genesis and Emerson Lake & Palmer. What next? One day I walked into my favorite record store, where I knew the store clerk was very prog-friendly. I asked him what I should try next. I mentioned that I had heard of this band called King Crimson. I only knew of King Crimson because I heard that was where Bill Bruford went. He convinced me to purchase “The Young Persons Guide to King Crimson”. Released on two discs in 1976, it was an excellent representation of the Crimson output up to that point. King Crimson quickly became one of my top five favorite bands of all-time (behind Yes and Genesis). I purchased several of their albums, including Larks. My favorites of their first decade are the first and last, “In the Court of” and “Red”. However, my favorite lineup of King Crimson is the 80s version with Bruford, Levin, Belew and Fripp. They were tight, complicated yet always melodic.

    1. “Young Person’s Guide” was my way in too. The role compilation albums and live albums played in bands’ building audiences has been more or less forgotten over the last 20 years. Especially the mid-price ones like VdGG’s “69-71”, ELP’s “Pictures At An Exhibition” and Genesis “Live”.

      If I remember correctly the Crimson best of was less expensive than a regular double too (£3.50 rings a bell) whereas I think “Free Story” for example was a fiver. Now you can listen to anything you want for free the economic factors in a process of musical discovery have been completely forgotten. Nothing concentrates the mind on unfamiliar music like paying for it with your own money!

  3. Put this comment last time but I think it was too late so posting again, plus I like it when Mark says “Thanks”on the next YMP – Love the ‘What did they …’ concept as I never heard this album.
    I had in New Zealand a book of ‘great album covers’ and KC’s first album was on it (In the court…’) and 10 years ago I just bought it based on the album cover and also knowing Robert Fripp of Bowie’s amazing albums, esp ‘Scary Monsters,’ fame was on it. I liked it a lot so then saw a KC album with Fripp, Bruford and Tony Kaye on it so bought that. It was the album ‘Beat’ which I have to say is a ‘be in the mood’ to enjoy it – so worlds apart from the first (well 60’s vs 80’s will do that) that I gave up on KC until a few years ago there was a ‘greatest Prog albums’ poll in some magazine. I think ‘Close to the Edge’ was No.3 and Genesis ‘Selling England’ was No.1 and I think KC ‘Red’ was 2 or 4 – seeing that had Bruford and Fripp I thought I would try that….Success!! – A truly great album, just the stuff I like – so good in fact I didn’t want to tarnish my love of that album by buying another one and left it at that …until this latest eps. I bought ‘Larks, Tongues…’ and I love it, all of it. Some of it is similar to ‘Red’ in that I feel ‘Easy Money’ sounds like ‘Starless’ in the build up way.
    I recognised the last song being ‘Part ‘2’ – and then remembered it was a cover version on (controversial) Dream Theaters last great album as a bonus track…no wonder they did it.
    So thank you for expanding my mind again…I wonder if ‘Starless and Bible Black’ is any good

  4. I’m a huge KC fan, ever since first hearing “The Court of the Crimson King” on the radio in 1970, which blew my mind! After the debut album, my favorites are the 70s Bruford records, which I bought as they were released. While I was disappointed that Bill left Yes, I was thrilled hearing what he was doing on Larks’, Starless & Red. Having met Bill starting in ’76 with Genesis, I can tell you that he was thrilled with the challenge of this new KC music, and of playing with Jamie Muir. And he became great friends with John Wetton. They were a formidable rhythm section in KC and UK.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.