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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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Fight Club
Prog Reviewer
5 stars "But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying."

Because they just don't make music this good anymore. A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, simple early rock and Beatles clones plagued the radio airwaves. I can't say I remember that time (considering my existence had yet to even be conceived), but I can only imagine the patience it took to endure acts such as The Dave Clark Five and Gary Lewis & the Playboys. By the late 60's it seemed music was beginning to evolve, however. Artists such as The Moody Blues and Procol Harum were just making their debut on the rock scene, and their response was well received. By the time 1969 came around, In the Court of the Crimson King must have felt like a rejuvenating breath of fresh air among a polluted atmosphere.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is it - the one historical recording that renders all those preceding it obsolete. The instant "21st Century Schizoid Man's" thunderous chords strike down upon the listener's ears, he can tell this will be a storm unlike any the 60's had ever seen. Never before had classical structures been interwoven with rock and roll aesthetics before, nor with such energy. Actually, "21st Century Schizoid Man" may in fact be the first metal song ever recorded. Honestly, can one listen to the history of rock and roll chronologically and say that anything pre-1969 sounded like this? Coming to this realization triggered a heightened appreciation for the album that I did not initially hold.

Don't be fooled though, this album may be one of the most important landmarks in history, but that does not overshadow the overall musical quality. Each musician performs at the top of his game, and is never bombastic or ridiculous as later King Crimson would show. The completely unexpected (and in my opinion unnecessary) noodling in "Moonchild" may be the only sign of pretentiousness on the entire album. Honestly, this section tests my patience to the point where instead I almost wish I was listening to my mom babble on about soap operas. Sadly, it's the one part I skip over nearly every listen. Can someone please explain why they included this on the album? In addition to the random tuning "Moonchild", In the Court of the Crimson King has its faults - one of these being the overall length of the album, which in my opinion falls way too short. I have to admit though; this is a problem I find with many "old" albums. I guess one could only fit so much time on a single LP!

Even though the album has its flaws, the high points are so pronounced that I cannot give this album anything less than a full five stars. "Epitaph" and the title track have rightfully earned their places amongst the most profound pieces of music to ever enter my life. The walls are down and the emotions flood loose, submerging the listener in a wave of minor key despair. "Epitaph's" opening washes of mellotron never fail to send a chill spiraling down my spine, offering me a sense of euphoria that just cannot be found elsewhere. I am carried off into an mystical land, and it is times like this that I think "this must be what heaven is like." Other points as well, such as the mellotron interlude in the title track, cause me to wonder how mere humans are capable of producing such extraordinary power. It is almost as if ancient, earthly spirit is channeling its will into these musicians, in an attempt to convey a long lost message. Honestly, I feel like this music is supernatural at times!

Anyway, I think those familiar to prog have already arrived at a consensus that this is one of the great art works of our time. As for anyone making an attempt at their first progressive recipe, In the Court of the Crimson King is one of its absolute essential ingredients.

Fight Club | 5/5 |


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