While Crimson may have been contemporaries of ELP, Genesis and Yes, as Fripp puts it: “King Crimson were nothing like the other bands of its generation. More accurately: the other bands, all more popular, liked and commercially successful, with their own triumphs and failures, were nothing like King Crimson.”
Back in the UK in January 1974, and with three new tracks in the can at George Martin’s AIR Studios, the band sifted through the many live multitracks from the tour, choosing the best improvisations and scrupulously editing the tapes to remove any hint of audience noise or applause. It was impossible to tell what had been improvised in concert and what had been recorded in the studio.
When it was released in that spring, not even the record company knew that Starless And Bible Black was essentially a live recording. Such secrecy by the band might have resulted from knowing that record labels paid a reduced royalty rate on live albums. The truth only emerged several years after Crimson had split up.