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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

4.62 | 4043 ratings

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TenYearsAfter
5 stars "Legendary cover, legendary music!!"

In many ways King Crimson has a very special place within the world of progressive rock. First their debut album In The Court Of The Crimson King is considered as the start of progressive rock. Second King Crimson didn't join other Classic Prog bands like ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis with their jawdropping and overwhelming visuals. And third King Crimson remained a progressive band in all decades, until now: innovative, adventurous and '. progressive in the true meaning of the word. This review is about that legendary and pivotal first album, in the 40th Anniversay Serie featuring lots of bonus material.

In The Court Of The Crimson King album is a true milestone in progressive rock! In Edward Macan his wonderful and very interesting book Rocking The Classics you can read about the male side of prog (instruments like the electric guitar and Hammond organ) and the female side of prog (instruments like acoustic guitars, flute, Mellotron). Well, listening to In The Court Of The Crimson King it's the tension between these two elements that makes it such a captivating and compelling musical experience. From soaring flute, warm vocals, tender acoustic guitar and intense Mellotron to biting electric guitar, fiery saxophone and an propulsive, very powerful rhythm-section. From mellow parts to heavy outbursts. From dreamy climates to agressive atmospheres. And from 24-carat symphonic rock to jazz and avant-garde, what a tension, dynamics and musical ideas. Just listen to the difference between the mellow I Talk To The Wind and the dark and heavy 21st Century Schizoid Man. Or the quirky shifting mood in Moonchild: from dreamy interplay between Mellotron violin, warm vocals and sensitive electric guitar to experimental percussion and innovative, avant-garde inspired guitar work, that's King Crimson anno 1969 writing prog history. They took elements from Colosseum (brass and jazz) and The Moody Blues (Mellotron, acoustic guitar) and blended this with their own musical vision, this unique sound inspired so many prog bands, all over the world, from Italian Museo Rosenbach and Swedish Anekdoten to Dutch Earth & Fire, to name a few.

The bonus CD tracks are a 'full version' from Moonchild, a 'duo version' from I Talk To The Wind (flute and pleasant twanging acoustic guitar by Greg Lake), an 'alternate mix' from I Talk To The Wind (jazzy work by Fripp), a wonderful version from Epithaph ('backing track') including beautiful acoustic guitar and Mellotron, and finally a kind of sound collage entitled Wind Session (parts from a session that resulted in the intro from 21st Century Schizoid Man).

De audio DVD contains a wide range of different recordings from the original albums: DTS 5.1 Digital Surround, a 2009 Stereo Mix and Original Master Edition 2004, an Additional Audio Content (the bonustracks from the CD) and The Alternate Album featuring an instrumental version from 21st Century Schizoid Man. The video DVD contains a short clip (close to 2 minutes, black and white) from 21st Century Schizoid Man, recorded during the legendary Hyde Park festival in 1969 (also featuring The Rolling Stones). It looks a bit chaotic with frequently changing images from Greg Lake and Ian McDonald, and even a fan in a telephone pole!

A must for every King Crimson fan, and what a stunning covert art!

TenYearsAfter | 5/5 |

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