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King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.63 | 4413 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Back in the days of yore, before we even knew there was a genre called 'prog', a friend of mine put a new album on his turntable and cranked up the volume. What ensued was a jaw-dropping listening experience, though I admit I didn't know quite what to think of it initially. This was something different, something familiar yet stunningly new. This was King Crimson.

The guitarist was obviously accomplished, but didn't quite have the requisite facility of the standard Clapton/Page/Beck blues licks. No, he was going off on another tangent altogether. The use of mellotron was interesting, even radical. The singer -- who's this Greg Lake? -- was decent enough, but there was perhaps too much post-processing of the voice on that opening track. Good rhythm section though.

Well, those may have been my first thoughts, but about twenty listens later it all sank in and I became a KC fan for life. This album is almost perfect. What's amazing is the range of music presented here. Any regular to this site is familiar with the shock and awe of 21st Century Schizoid Man, but what's rare is for a such a song to be followed up with a song a gentle as I Talk To the Wind, which in turn is followed by the other-worldliness of Epitaph. Moonchild presents minor problems for some listeners, but in the context of this album and of music in general at the time, it's another great song. And of course the title cut eventually gathers all of these elements into an organic whole.

The musicianship is first-rate throughout. I won't get into the argument of whether or not this was the first prog album, but Fripp and company certainly took us on an exploratory trip into previously uncharted musical waters here. Worth every star of the five I give it; in fact I would call this mandatory listening for anyone with more than a passing interest in prog, or any music for that matter.

jammun | 5/5 |


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