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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 | 2991 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Nuke
5 stars This album is historic. This can't be considered to the first prog album ever released, since there was some stuff that preceeded it that had enough qualities to call prog, case in point being frank zappa. However, this is the blueprint on which the prog explosion was based. This being my first prog album (apart from floyd), when I listened to other albums, I could hear the influence of this album all over the place. As a matter of fact, If you look at the 70's prog scene, and look at the music before this album, it is a larger jump to this album then it is from it. I seriously consider it to be that unprecedented. Heck, 21st century schizoid man is before bitches brew. How is that for anticipating? Before Bitches brew, fusion was somewhat like prog. existant but not there. So, historically, this album is absolutly essential. This album is a revolution.

If you aren't interested in history, but rather quality, then this album does not dissapoint. The members are what make this album so great. Robert fripp wasn't the king he is today, and this can be observed by looking at the next three albums, which while being very good, lack what this album has. Ian McDonald is quite the musician, and his influence is what I believe pushed this album over the edge. This album is a concept album of sorts, which runs backwards throught time, starting with the 21st century (the future) and moving to the past (the court of the crimson king). The centerpiece of this is the song Epitaph. This song is the present, in 1969, that was the vietnam war. The lyrics reflect this to a degree, with Will no one lay the laurel wreath/ As silence drowns the screams. being one of my favorite lines ever written in a song. Puzzling over the lyrics to this album as a great time waster, as they are very cryptic, but beautiful and full of meaning, all sorts of allusions and references. The music itself is brilliant. There ar plenty of other reviews that talk about it. Before you listen to the music, to get a context, play some beatles, beach boys, jimi hendrix, early the who. With context in mind, this album should absolutly blow you away. The first song is like heavy metal several years before it was this heavy, with a bunch of free jazz, standard jazz, and schizophrenia thrown in. The second song is a pretty ballad, which isn't revolutionary but is beautiful. The third song is absolutly epic, with etensive mellotron to mimic a string section, and this crescendo in the middle which gives me goosebumps to this day. The fourth song is a ballad with an extended improvisation in the middle. It is a lovely song, but it is a bit hard to appreciate for some people. This improv was initially done with Peter Sinfield (the lyricist) shining different colored lights and the musicians pllaying off of them. This is a point in the album where one can relax ones ears a bit and enjoy the ambience. It is a good song really, and it doesn't deserve the derision it gets. Fans of free jazz should appreciate this song. The final song is even more epic then epitaph. The lyrics are the most cryptic here, but the melody, the instrumentation, and everything is flawless. It is a fitting end to a perfect album.

Nuke | 5/5 |

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