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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover

RED

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 2289 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

CCVP
Prog Reviewer
5 stars This is it! The pinnacle of all King Crimson's career, the probable pinnacle of progressive rock, the last chapter of King Crimson as we knew it and an undeniable piece of art of a splitting-up band

Being the last King Crimson release during the 70's, and only being released one month after Robert Fripp disbanded a band that is a fundamental pillar of progressive rock as we knew in the past, today and probably in the future for generations to come, Red is the ultimate proof of Fripp's and Crimson's brilliance in almost every aspect, as far as progressive rock goes. Uniting the band's traditional innovation, experimentation, jazzy improvisation, music writing skills and musicianship, Red took both King Crimson's albums from 73 and 74 and upgraded them to a never seen before display of recorded jam sessions, with unmatched professionalism.

However, Red was only able to be so good because the band got smaller, their songs became less unnecessarily complex and more focused. Actually, that is exactly the greatest flaw of Lark's Tongues and Starless and Bible Black: they lacked FOCUS. Wile both albums were great, its excesses compromised their final objective, which was to deliver great music, because, lets face it, without focus music is nothing but random notes being played, something that can be seen a lot in Starless and sometimes in Lark's Tongues. So when King Crimson made their music more focused they were able to surpass all albums they did before, because in Red all notes played and all drums or percussion hit are meaningful.

A lot of that band focus in Red may be due to the leading role that Robert Fripp's guitars have. I mean, here the guitars have the highlights in almost every music instead of that answering-questioning game between the guitars and saxes / violins or between the saxes and the violins or between any other instrument. Here, the music is pretty much straightforward, having the guitars in the main or leading role and all other instruments are supporting the guitar, though it may not look like so sometimes.

And that is exact reason why i love Red so much. That is why Red, alongside with Gentle Giant's In a Glass House, is my favorite progressive rock album of all time: it's simple, straightforward, spontaneous, innovative, traditional (because it still bares the traditional King Crimson style), focused, beautiful and sounds forever fresh and edgy. Also, the songs are all great, almost reaching perfection, showing that the band was able to deliver a wondrous musical experience throughout the album with great constancy and balance (though with the help of some invited musicians), what some other traditional bands lack in their albums released at the same year as Red. The instrumental work is also amazing, much like in other King Crimson albums. As a side note, i would like to sign Bill Bruford's exceptional drum work, as always.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Well, i don't think that there is another way to express why i appreciate and love this album so much. i mean, the songs just can't get much better that this, the instrumental work is fantastic, the album has a big number of exceptional qualities and, to top it all, is the last Crimson document in the 70's, closing the initial part of their careers the best way the possibly could with a studio album. I seriously cannot understands how can someone rate this below 5 stars or, even worse, below 4 stars.

CCVP | 5/5 |

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