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King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King CD (album) cover

IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.60 | 2992 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1800iareyay
Prog Reviewer
5 stars In The Court of the Crimson King is without question the first fully prog album and is arguably the finest album in the genre. In 1969, the failed trio of Giles, Giles and Fripp split up, but guitarist Robert Fripp and drummer Michael Giles weren't ready to throw in the towel. They found multi-instrumentalist Ian Macdonald, future legend bassist/vocalist Greg Lake, and the gifted songwriter Peter Sinfield to complete their lineup. The group immedaitely caused a buzz in Europe and played nearly every major rock concert at ta time when it seems all rock concerts were major.

A&R reps at Atlantic were salivating over the potential this band had and were waiting to milk the band for all it was worth. When this album finally hit stores, it climbed to the upper crust of Europe's album charts. Never before had an album had so much experimentation.

The albums opens with near silence, as a faint noise is heard in the background. Suddenly, about thirty seconds in, the band crashes in with KC's most recognizable song, 21st Century Schizoid Man. This song manages to highlight each member's instrumental prowess. Fripp's solo is one of, if not, his best, solos ever. Giles' drumming is one of the finest drum performance by any person. Lake's bass hints at his future triumphs with ELP, and Ian's mellotron has much of the spotlight. This song launched a movement that had been slowly forming since the advent of psychedelia.

I Talk to the Wind reworks a GGF tune with Ian's flute in the forefront. His playing is simply beautiful. It's a soft song and a good contrast to the hard edge of the opener.

Epitaph show Sinfield stepping up his game for some of his finest lyrics. It's dark tone hints at later heaviness on albums like Red, and Lake's vox are fantastic.

Moonchild starts with harmony before entering King Crimson's first proper improv in the studio number. It sounds out of place on the first few listens, but the more you listen to KC, the more you "get it." This track is the only one on the album I did not immediately enjoy, but now I revere it as essential Crimson.

The grandiose title track closes the album with classical guitar and Lake's grewat vocals, especially on the chorus. It doesn't match the bleakness of Epitaph, but it's probably the second darkest and heaviest song on the album.

This album kickstarted symphonic prg, considered to be the first true progressive sub- genre. People argue over which album is the greatest, but ITOTCK is really without a doubt the most important album in prog. If this hadn't come along, Zappa might not have broken through to his progressive masterpieces when he did. Like Eric Larson said, prog would have started, just not when it did. This is my favorite progressive album of all time and it stands the test of time as an absolute masterpiece. Long live the King.

1800iareyay | 5/5 |

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