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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover

ISLANDS

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

3.78 | 1228 ratings

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stefro
Prog Reviewer
3 stars You can roughly group King Crimson's 1969-1974 era albums into two distinct groups; firstly, you have the stone-cold classics, the two albums that bookend this collection, '69's seminal debut 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' and the dark, bass-heavy closer 'Red' from '74. Then you have all the rest. 'Islands', from 1971, with it's freaky, jazz-natured riffs and ghostly ambience, is one of the rest. There are only so many 'classic' albums a band can produce in their lifetime and these usually come at career beginnings. As most of you will know, King Crimson split after releasing 'Red'(thanks to leader Bob Fripp). However, Fripp resumed band activities eight years later in 1982 with the post-punky 'Disicpline' album, which came complete with a fresh new-line up. King Crimson would make many more albums post 'Discipline', but none to match any of the wonderfully inventive albums that characterized then group's early burst of activity. 'In The Court...' and 'Red' were the two stand-outs; others, such as 'Lizard' and 'Larks Tongues In Aspic' still broke conventions and dazzled with their artistic flair, but they somehow failed to re-invite the pure brilliance of the classic two. 'Islands' is pretty much King Crimson doing jazz, just within an avant-garde/prog-rock framework. It lacks the timeless melodies or iconic themes of Kin Crimson's very best, but you have to remember to take this jugdement in context. Most King Crimson albums feature more musical innovation that most of band's careers. 'Islands' is by no means a great Crimson album, but only in the context of what it has to live upto. If 10cc or George Michael had released 'Islands', they'd be hailed as genius'. Just remember the context of it all. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
stefro | 3/5 |

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