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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 | 4140 ratings

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Dark Nazgul
5 stars The turning point.

The end of a path: where the seeds planted by the Beatles, Moody Blues, Procol Harum and other proto-prog bands finally sprout. A starting point: if there is an album that defines what is progressive rock, as we know it today, is this. Crimson's first album is the manifestation of a style, a record of immense historical importance that contains all the essential elements of prog. There are extended pieces of music with lot of instrumental passages, bombastic arrangements, epic and solemn tones, visionary lyrics and fantasy themes, mixtures with jazz and classical music, great tempo changes, and finally there is an amazing album cover in classical prog style. For the first time in an album does not lack any essential element of what we today consider progressive rock.

21st Century Schizoid Man is a revolutionary song, with distorted vocals, incredible rhythmic variations in the central part and a frenzied solo sax, destined to make history. Every prog fan should know this song, it is a must for any progger! All other pieces are less aggressive, from I Talk To The Wind, relaxing ballad featuring magnificent solos on flute by McDonald and a great performer by the singer Greg Lake, to the sumptuous and romantic Epitaph, and finally the title track, where triumph the solemn atmosphere created by the mellotron. The only flaw, unfortunately, is the long instrumental part of "Moonchild" (the first singed part is rather sublime) that at the time could be innovative, but now seems aging badly.

There are great individual performances by musicians, but of course it is the music as a whole that leaves breathless. Greg Lake's voice is at the highest level in his career and with ELP will no longer be so. The work of Giles on drums is amazing, especially in the "21st Century Schizoid Man." Robert Fripp is an incredibly innovative guitar player but I think this is an album where the underrated Ian McDonald is on the spotlight with a memorable use of mellotron and winds. Fripp is already the leader here, but his leadership does not seems absolute: without doubt all members give a great contribution on creating this masterpiece.

The most important record in the history of prog, a must for anyone. My rating is only 9 / 10 because of the instrumental part of "Moonchild".

5 stars.

Best song: 21st Century Schizoid Man

Dark Nazgul | 5/5 |

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