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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

4.59 | 2921 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Kestrel
5 stars Interestingly, one of the first prog albums I ever heard continues to be one of my favorites. The few flaws this album has aren't even worthy of mention, in my opinion. Actually, that might be a lie... the only flaw is the extended instrumental in Moonchild which I'm seeing less and less as a flaw nowadays.

One of my wishes is to be able to forget all of the music I have heard until now and travel back to 1969. I would love to know what it was like to hear 21st Century Schizoid Man for the first time; it must have been a shock! Granted, there was some heavy stuff back in those days like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, but I do not think anything those two bands have written is comparable to the in- your-face-ness of Schizoid Man. And with a saxophone!

Another stark contrast this album has with my general feeling of the 1960s culture is the utter hopelessness and despair of Epitaph. When most songs were quite poppy and hunky dory, Greg Lake was singing, Confusion will be my epitaph as I crawl a cracked and broken path. Hell, the despair of this song beats any of the relationship problems modern music focuses so much on since this song deals with the despair of life, not some petty and uninteresting break up.

Epitaph also showed us (and the bands King Crimson would come to influence like Genesis) how emotional a Mellotron could be. In just a couple chords the entire mood of a song can change and give you an overwhelming feeling of sadness. It's incredible.

I wonder if there is a song more debated on the Archives than Moonchild. I don't even know which side to take. Sometimes I really enjoy the instrumental bit, and sometimes I can't help but skip to the title track. I think it just depends on what mood you're in. If you are just in for a casual listening, skip it. If you're giving the album a serious listen, then it is unskippable. As I'm becoming a bit more interested in ambient music, my appreciation for this song isn't as harsh as it used to be now that I can listen to all of the interplay between the instruments. I particularly like the ideas from certif1ed's review of this album so be sure to check that review out as well. While I'm still trying to understand it through the lens he gives, the last two minutes or so are definitely the sound of the sunrise, and is done quite beautifully.

I have some fond memories of this album even though I've only been listening to it for a few years. It's strange how one of the albums that allegedly kicked off the genre is still held in high regard. Even though bands took what King Crimson started and tried to perfect it, very few were able to actually succeed. From the album cover (one of the best) to the music (some of the best) and the lyrics (some of the best), this album is about as perfect as anyone can get.

Highlights: 21st Century Schizoid Man, I Talk to the Wind, Epitaph, Moonchild, The Court of the Crimson King

Kestrel | 5/5 |

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