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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.62 | 3842 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Many people have argued over what is the "first" progressive rock album. Some say "Sgt Peppers" is actually the first, but any reasonable debate will include King Crimson's 1969 debut album. While I think it has a somewhat dated sound, there's no denying its power. The opening riff of 21st Century Schizoid Man is metal before there was metal. Anyone who is a guitarist knows how insane the middle break is to play. It's no wonder that Jimi Hendrix went up to Robert Fripp after hearing him play and said (approximately), "Shake my left hand, man. It's closer to my heart." The end is a much more chaotic version of the end of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life." Greg Lake's heavily processed vocals (screaming?) help make this one of the greatest songs ever. Yes, it is. Don't argue. :)

Things settle down after this into the mellow jazz "I Talk to the Wind" which includes some great harmonies. From there, we go to the dark post-apocalyptic "Epitaph." Not sure if this is the quintessential mellotron song or "In the Court of the Crimson King", but it's definitely one of my favorite songs.

"Moonchild" is somewhat rambling and (IMO) is the weakest track on the album.

The album closes with the song "In the Court of the Crimson King." There are definitely some dated aspects, but you can hear how groundbreaking it was for 1969. On the other hand, because of the heavy mellotron and dark lyrics, I think both this and Epitaph are somewhat descendants of "Nights in White Satin," which was released 2 years earlier. However, I'm not sure if *anything* prior could be compared to Schizoid Man.

At a bare minimum the first and last tracks are essential prog. Even if it's not your style, your musical vocabulary is incomplete if you haven't heard these songs.

AyRon | 5/5 |


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