vdgg-h2hwThe opener, Killer seems to be about both sharks and love, is to be the most straight up rocker of the album, and has a really nice piano break. Here’s a slightly distorted 1972 version from French TV. And here’s a very clean live version from 2005. Crazy double saxophone playing! This is the first indication of what I’ve missed not having gotten into them earlier. I really wish I’d been at that show.
Fripp shows up on The Emperor In His War Room, though his playing isn’t that distinctive. (Was it so on early KC? Good question – the style we’re all familiar with may have come later.)
Lost and Pioneers in c have that great theatrical feel of contemporary dramas (think Bowie’s Cygnet Committee and Width of a Circle or Genesis’ The Knife and The Musical Box). The first, in two parts, reminds me a bit of Refugees from the previous album, but extended and generally weirder. The latter, which closed the original album is kinda sci-fi. Note the distinct lack of fade-out. The 2005 reissue on Spotify goes right into Squid/Octopus, a crazy jam recorded for the following album, Pawn Hearts. (It sort of makes sense to include it, given the shark theme of Killer.) The 2005 version closes with another version of the Emperor In His War Room, but I’m not sure what the differences are. The alternate seems a little gentler.
H To He was engineered by Robin Cable who worked on several Queen albums and produced the first two Dickies albums. (Yeah, check those out – back from the golden age of punk harmonizing.)