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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover

RED

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.52 | 2237 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Eclipse
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Not perfect - but almost there - this CRIMSONian masterpiece was meant to be their last album (being "Starless" their to be final epic), but FRIPP changed his mind and returned to action on the 80's on a series of several weaker albums that honestly don't make justice to their golden 60's and 70's times, with huge influence from Adrian Belew (who was a member of a band called TALKING HEADS, which influenced a lot to the new KC sound...in a not so good way i could say).

Ok, returning to Red, i have to admit that this album took me by surprise because i was never friendly to heavy music, and this is perhaps their most violent work, with several strong guitar riffs and noisier parts that differ a lot from the mellower songs from LTIA, for example, like "Exiles" or their whole romantic era from the debut to Islands - being Lizard not so mellow and a bit heavy but not so much as this one. The title track is a clear example of this. From the opening riffs to the middle eerie section reaching several guitar horizons that don't get annyoing and in fact they bring some catchy "futuristic" sounds or something along those lines all i have to say is that i love the song. Then we are led to a mellow "Fallen Angel" which becomes a bit violent on the ending to maintain the album's true soul. See the difference? Each KING CRIMSON album sounds very different from each other, just like PINK FLOYD's ones. This may be due to the constant line-up changes of course, but if FRIPP was / is the mastermind all i have to admit is that the guy is a genius for sustaining such a project as KC during more than 30 years and still making great music, not being locked to an alienated formula as some prog bands so "umprogressively" did (like YES, always sounding the same on each album...). Those two first songs showed the very different pace of style again made by Fripp and his mates, and it only gets confirmed on the third track, "One More Red Nightmare", containing both a catchy melody and also some awful vocals by WETTON, though they aren't important, since the melody makes the song very superior (what a great drummer Bill is! And what great arrangements - vocal + sax and some "claps", truly addictive music!). From the first three numbers this one is the best , but their magnum-opus from the Wetton era called "Starless" will come soon making this sound very inferior. Yes, after "Providence", an experimental track that works perfectly where "Moonchild" failed, we are led to the amazing beauty of "Starless" with a passionate guitar playing by Fripp and some amazing vocals by Wetton (i wish that he sang well like that on the other songs) driven by a mellotron. Touchy music. After the vocals the music starts getting heavier again gradually rising the tone until it reaches a climax making an amazing outro jamming guitar and sax in a dramatic and beautiful ending which is pure magic, and then the album ends.

This in my opinion is where KING CRIMSON stops being interesting for me in terms of full albums. I enjoy some stuff from the following eras but none of them match the amazeness contained in this first decade of career. From 1980 on i think i'd only like a "best of" with songs like "Elephant Talk" or "Sleepless" but nothing that would be for the faint of the heart as this initial years were.

Essential prog, as most of the preceeding albums by the kings.

Eclipse | 5/5 |

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