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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

4.63 | 4278 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

bfmuller
4 stars This is a milestone in progressive rock, for many (including myself), the truly first prog album in rock history and, as such, a very well known and appreciated album among prog fans, as the number of ratings and reviews demonstrate.

The main reason why In the Court of the Crimson King is to be considered the first progressive rock album, in detriment of other contenders, like Days of Future Past, is that... it is progressive. Tempo, rhythm and climate changes, subdivisions within songs, along with high degrees of experimentalism and musicianship.

Since there really is not much I can say to add up to the common knowledge, the reviews already made, and the hints to those newcomers yet to discover In the Court of the Crimson King, all I want to do is give my personal impressions about it.

In the Court is one of the classic rock albums that failed to catch my senses for many years before I began to truly enjoy it (some of the others are Tommy and Aqualung). It was not until I listened to Larks' Tongues in Aspic that my renewed interest in King Crimson finally opened my ears to the qualities of their first album.

The weight and distortion of 21st Century Schizoid Man makes a perfect opener and still a favourite among fans, but not particularly appealing to me, though within time I came to like it. I Talk to the Wind is its counterpart, light, melodic and more conventional, with beautiful flute work. Probably the less progressive song in the album. Moonchild, after a beautiful opening, drags into 10 minutes of minimalistic, hardly audible, music - and not much seductive even if you turn the volume to maximum. Just 10 minutes waste of tape and time. Epitaph and the title track are the strongest songs to me, I love the dark mood and Mellotron of the former, and the subdivisions of the latter, especially the brilliant section where the main theme is repeated solo by the flute - a much shorter and smarter example of minimalism.

The other reason why this album didn't get to me at first is the voice of Greg Lake. He hadn't still developed his skills as singer and interpreter. Sometimes his voice sounds in the wrong place and even off key. Still, not a major flaw. It is mainly because of the 10-minute equivocal of Moonchild that I give In the Court 4 stars, instead of the 5 stars that, aside that, would be very well deserved.

bfmuller | 4/5 |

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