Song of the Day – “Starless” by King Crimson

“Starless” (part 1)
“Starless” (part 2)

My favorite song.  No, actually my second favorite song, right after “Paranoid Android” by Radiohead.  I think.  That’s variable.  One of my faves for sure.

This song is fucking amazing.  I know I’ve described songs as awesome and amazing before, but lets just do something here for a bit.

1.  To affect with great wonder; astonish.

1.  Inspiring awe: an awesome thunderstorm.

Okay, those definitions don’t really explain what I’m talking about.  But this is the kind of song that you listen to and then say “what the fuck just happened to me?”

This isn’t really difficult music to play, except maybe for the speedy 7/8 section near the end.  But the song as a whole is like a force of nature.  I first got into King Crimson thanks to some great reviews done my a man who had a website called “CapnMarvel’s Rock Album Review Bonanza”.  Sadly, the site is now down.

But he had an ecxellent review of the album “Red” from 1974, from which “Starless” comes.  To quote:

“Music like this simply does not come around every day”

He also described this song as a nervous breakdown performed as music.

That’s pretty damn accurate.  It starts out with pure despair – unrelenting sorrow.  Then it makes a short outburst and settles into nervous tension.  Pure fucking nervous tension.  Fingernails digging into the arm of your chair tension.  That tension builds, and then….

and then…

In what is almost impossible to convey musically, that tension SNAPS.

It snaps and becomes manically enraged and insane.  It screams and shrieks with frightening control.  That goes on and on, screaming like that with little breaks of crying.  It goes on until that despairing sorrow bursts back, soaring like a flaming phoenix over everything, burning everything else to ashes as it does.  Everything is set alight and everything burns as the music comes to a close like the hands of a clock completing a circle.

How’s that for a description?

Listen to the song and tell me if you agree.  Seriously, if you haven’t already, put aside 12:19 of your day and listen to this song.

Holy shit.  What have I done?  Have I really just described the actual “Song of the Day”?  Have I spent all the sentences and paragraphs of this post in the act of telling you what to expect when you hear this masterpiece of a song?

No, not quite: