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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.63 | 4185 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars (Review re-edit 5/16/2009)

I can't but agree that IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING is one of THE seminal albums in progressive rock. It's very debatable whether or not this is the first ever progressive rock album, but I do feel that the ''classic'' progressive rock sound was first achieved here, and this served as a blueprint for future prog rock bands.

The main weapon here is the mellotron. Tracks 2-5 feature the instrument quite heavily in spots, notably the title track. I think the reason why so many people melt over the mellotron passages on this album is because they act as a surrogate orchestra, therefore giving the pieces an overt classical type feel without overdoing it with an actual orchestra. Plus, the sound is very majestic and grandiose which fit prog rock well.

The trump card here is ''21st Century Schizoid Man'', a dark, loud, urgent piece of music that just begs for you to pay attention. This was the very first Crimson piece I ever heard, and as a consequence of the heavy guitars, amazing sax figures, offbeat unison sections and most notably, that recognisable riff, I quickly became latched onto the song and the band itself. It's only after a few listens that I've discovered how manic the bass and drums are, particularly in the middle instrumental section.

The only song that might give you a headache would be ''Moonchild''. I tend to think the ballad at the beginning is quite boring, but after two minutes the song goes into some weird improvisational stuff that can be best described as goofing around in the studio. Otherwise, I'd say that this might be a key album in understanding how progressive rock works. Although several other albums might do this as well, IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING is one of the bigger ones that can serve as a gateway into progressive rock.

Sinusoid | 5/5 |


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