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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover

ISLANDS

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 1264 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is the last album that I have listened from KING CRIMSON in their best period which is from 1969 to 1974, in my opinion. The Adrian Belew`s King Crimson line-ups have composed and played music which is very different from the band`s music style of their 1969-74 period. Even if "Islands" is considered by many people to be their worst album from the seventies, I still think that this album is by far more interesting than any of the albums that the Belew`s line-ups have released (and I say this even if I have not yet listened to most of the Belew`s line-ups albums, and I think that I`m not going to bother to listen to them anyway). In the eighties, nineties and in the present century, there has been a KING CRIMSON band which is very far in musical style to the original very good Progressive Rock music style that this band had between 1969-74. I still don`t understand why Fripp chose to name the Belew`s line-ups as KING CRIMSON, but that is another history.

I agree with some of the previous reviewers: this is their less interesting album from their 1969-74 period. It is mostly a "tranquility" album with some moments when the music changes to heavy sounds. "Formentera Lady" has very few participations from Boz on bass guitar and Ian Wallace on drums. "Sailor`s Tale" is more heavy with the use of the mellotron, Fripp`s lead guitar and Mel Collins`s sax playing. "Ladies of the Road" is the most "rocker" in this album. "Prelude: Song of the Gulls" is a musical piece played with an uncredited strings section. "Islands" is another relaxed musical piece on which Fripp plays a bit in an Harmonium, and there is a bit of piano playing too.

Maybe the line-up in this album was considered as the less interesting and maybe the worst from the seventies. But Burell, Collins and Walllace were good musicians. Maybe Burrell wasn`t considered as a good bassist in comparison to others that the band had in those years, but his lead vocals are good, sounding similar to Gordon Haskell`s and Greg Lake`s in style. So, him being chosen by Fripp as lead singer was a good decision. I really expected worst things from Boz`s vocals after reading some reviews! Ian Wallace was also a good drummer, more in the style of previous drummers of the band (Michael Giles, Andy McCulloch) than in Bill Bruford`s style. A curious thing about Wallace and Bruford was that Wallace was one of the drummers who replaced Bruford in YES (for only one gig) when Bruford left the band for some weeks to go to the University, in the early days of the band in 1968! It is curious that Brufod replaced Wallace in KING CRIMSON in 1972! Mel Collins was maybe the musician in this line-up who was more close to Fripp`s musical ideas for the band. His participations are very good in general.

In conclusion, this is a good album from the band which was recorded by their most underrated line-up from the seventies, but this album still has some very enjoyable moments. This album also was the last album of the band on which lyricist Peter Sinfield participated. With him out of the band, the music of KING CRIMSON became more heavy in their last years as a band in the seventies.

Guillermo | 3/5 |

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