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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.63 | 4188 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Hoorah for the birth of progressive rock! Quite a genius, this Robert Fripp is. In the Court of the Crimson King effectively changed the world of rock music with its crazy genre-crossing, sloppy playing and aimless noodling. And hey, it's even enjoyable half of the time! Wow, you almost have to own this just because its so historically important! I wonder if Robert Fripp knew he only had to make King Crimson's debut half-good in order for it to be called a masterpiece by everybody. That man had to have been playing somewhat of a joke on us with "Moonchild." "Hey guys here's what we're going to do: play this song I wrote, and then when I finish my guitar solo, let's hit random notes lightly for 7-8 minutes." I don't think anyone else has been able to receive praise for that approach. Goodness this must have been a fun album to make. And check out those drum fills! How did those get on the album? I guess if an album is as innovative as this, it doesn't matter how well it's played. I need to figure out how to make this work for my band! Did they realize how sloppy those fills were? It sounds like Giles had the chance to play a fill and couldn't figure out what he wanted to do, practically every single time! Now, I understand that technology at the time wouldn't allow an easy way to correct the fills, but man, Giles must have been at least a little disappointed with himself. Fripp certainly reassured him that it is inconsequential and hey, everyone else sounded great so all is well. There is no way those fills would have passed in the past two decades. Lucky guys. It's especially surprising that the drum work is the best on the fastest, most difficult drum song on the album, "21st Century Schizoid Man." I'll be fair, not all of the drum fills are bad, but it's hard to get over some of those fills.

And yet, after all that bashing, I can still say that this is a very good album. "21st Century Schizoid Man" could possibly be the anthem of progressive rock. It is gritty, it rocks hard, and has an awesome jazzy mid-section. "I Talk to Wind" is nice and the music, especially the flute work, is beautiful. "Epitaph" is possibly Greg Lake's most passionate vocal performance of his career (which is sad because it's just starting here, but you don't have to view it that way if you don't want to) and its a great song in general, "Moonchild" is another nice tune before the band invented the concept of filler, and "In the Court of the Crimson King" is a great closer.

It goes without saying that this album holds probably the most importance of all prog rock albums, but unlike a lot of the band's other innovative albums, this one still manages to be quite captivating and enjoyable, at least most of the time. The dissonant side doesn't show a lot, but oh man will it soon. There are few King Crimson albums I could recommened to somebody in this day and age, and their debut manages to be one of them.

Moatilliatta | 5/5 |


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