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King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.62 | 3850 ratings

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Tull Freak 94
4 stars Is there really anything I (or anyone else) can add to what was been said about this album?

All opinions that have been made about the Court of the Crimson King within the wider community have been well represented on this site (although the majority have a good opinion of it!) and I must say that I agree with the prevailing opinion!

Some of it sounds rather dated nowadays although it has stood up well compared to some music from that time period. Moonchild has a strong sixties vibe to it, but it is still pioneering new sounds that would have been groundbreaking in 'popular' music at the time. I Talk to the Wind is slightly reminiscent of the Beatles (eg Strawberry Fields Forever) but have you ever heard a Beatles song with such a good flute solo!?

All of the five songs are extremely well crafted and the musicianship is top notch. Michael Giles' drumming is some of the most technical and precise (and exciting) I have ever heard and there is still nothing quite like it more than 40 years later. The lead is often taken by Ian McDonald, who is a hugely talented multi-instrumentalist. His mellotrons are especially effective but he also uses sax, flute, clarinets, xylophones and other keyboards to great effect. It would also seem that he wrote most of the music as most of the tracks are credited McDonald/Sinfield. Fripp's guitars often surprisingly take a back seat but he adds plenty to the musical stew with equal profiency on acoustic and electric. Sinfield's lyrics are very thought provoking and, while they seem to be mostly about fantasy, they are really commenting on the society of the time, albeit allegorically. And of course, Greg Lake's voice is beautiful as usual (though it is rather terrifying on the opener) and he also shows himself to be a master bassist, especially on Schizoid Man.

As I said all the tracks are brilliant although that long jazz noodling on Moon Child is not really to my taste (hence only 4 stars), in fact on the latest remaster, Fripp even decided to edit it down slightly! Saying that though I was recently listening to this album while on a walk (rather than at home where I normally skip MoonChild after the first two minutes) and I found the guitar and xylophone improvisations to be quite relaxing and made my pace more slow and relaxed, but when I am fully listening without any distractions I find it too tedious,

Finally, I think Epitaph is probably one of the all time greatest progressive rock songs ever and that its almost perfect. It's worth buying this album just to hear that introductory tympani roll/mellotron swell which catches you off guard just as Talk to the Wind is fading out.

So yeah, for once I agree with popular opinion. This is one of the define moments in prog rock (or rock in general) and if you don't have it you can't really call yourself a progressive rock fan, now can you?

Tull Freak 94 | 4/5 |


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