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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

4.62 | 3844 ratings

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ProgMetaller2112
3 stars Here is the Crimson King's debut album (released in October 1969) entitled "In the Court of the Crimson King." First off, I want to say that I'm a huge nut for Prog Rock (bands such as Genesis, Gentle Giant, Yes, Van der Graaf Generator) I love the heck out of the genre but yet don't seem to really see the greatness of the music here with perhaps the exception of Michael Giles on the drums. Bash me all you want but I do firmly believe that without Mike Giles drumming creativity this album would have gone nowhere. I understand its importance and place in prog history but when it fails it fails terribly in my opinion. On to the review!

1) 21st Century Schizoid Man - This is certainly a great and rocking tune but the jazzy bits feel a bit odd and out of place (Cringes a little lol). I like its dynamics and the fact that it is jumpy but as the years have waned it just doesn't appeal to me as much. A fiery track though. Probably the best on the album. 8/10

2) I Talk To The Wind - This is a mellow track that I am fond of for its relaxing nature. A great departure from the chaos that was Schizoid Man. However, it does feel a bit choppy (even dare I say boring at times) for me. Its flute solo is quite pleasant. Another good track. 8/10

3. Epitaph - Another good song but it just doesn't hit me like it does most prog people. Overall, I feel it is pretentious and slightly tepid despite the passionate singing by Greg Lake. The chords on the mellotron (as well as the music overall) just don't do anything for me. I feel it just has not stood the test of time. Sounds like they are ripping off the Moody Blues. It also sounds very, very dated. 7/10

Side 1 is decent. It's not up to par with Genesis' Foxtrot or Yes' Close to the Edge but so far it's been ok. Nothing to complain about and certainly nothing to run home about.

This next half (as it includes a not so popular statement) of my review is highly controversial because to me this when the album becomes completely dull and unlistenable. I do like the fact that they are trying to experiment but it's not remotely interesting in my opinion (Mikey Giles is the only redeeming factor here). Ok, back to the review. We are flipping it over to side 2 (if we were listening to it on vinyl)

4. Moonchild - This one? Ayy this one is absolutely dreadful (how one can actually sit, listen to and remember this is beyond me). I mean I don't mind experimentation or even improv at all but at least make it interesting! It's minimalist prog and free jazz at its worse (it's not the first time that something like this was tried). I can see the artsiness to it (the interplay between the instruments during the extended improv) but it does abolutely nothing for me. 4/10

5. The Court of the Crimson King - Talk about overrated. Wow! This is a bloated snoozefest that repeats itself over and over and it doesn't go anywhere (it's probably even worse than Moonchild). Sing the following lyrics with me: "He smiles as the puppets dance in the court of the crimson king (what can be more pretentious than that?)." It follows the same formula as "Epitaph" (with the mellotron dominating the piece) but I feel it is also so much worse than its predecessor. This song actually bores me to tears as it's so depressing and again it goes nowhere (yes I said that!). Ok, yes I know they can play their instruments as they are all very competent musicians but in all honesty they could have done way better than this. I've heard it about a million times and it does nothing for me (I know, I know). I wanna like this band but when they keep repeating themselves over and over like they do here it's really hard for me to take them seriously (I am not going to force myself lol). You will disagree with me (because you all love it and think that it is the greatest thing since sliced bread) but this song really is a bloated snoozefest. So much so that I think it is perhaps the most overhyped Prog Rock song to ever exist (say what?!). It actually doesn't really feel like a Prog Rock song (say what???) , to me it feels more like they ripped-off the Moody Blues (much like Epitaph). This is a sad piece(and not in a good way). The album then ends (thank heavens). 3/10

The only things listenable and remotely interesting about this record is the drumming of Michael Giles (it's bloody fantastic wink wink) and Mr. Lake's vocals (I feel he would do better with ELP though). Mr. Fripp goes nowhere on this record (I actually feel that his playing on the album is actually pretty horrid and grating, that's not a compliment). There is not enough 21st Century Schizoid Man and I Talk To The Wind to make this record a 5 star masterpiece (even they are not perfect). It actually boggles my mind to think that this album is a 5 star record and even a masterpiece in so many people's minds (Really progheads? What are you smoking?) Maybe it was the timing when the record was released? I don't know and neither do I care to do so??. This album did NOT I repeat did NOT give birth to Prog Rock ( say what??!!) It did instead make it a more distinguishable genre. Ground breaker for sure but it doesn't automatically make it a 5 star album (because it is not). The people that give this 5-stars make me sick to be a Prog Rock fan. It is not a 5 star album or a masterpiece (especially because of the last 2 tracks). I can understand 4 stars but 5 give me a break!!!!!

Overall, I feel that this recording though highly praised and influential is highly, highly overrated as it has not stood the test of time. It's certainly not a terrible album altogether but to me it is also not a 5 star album but more a 3 star rating (Complain and moan to me all you want). Peace out!!

ProgMetaller2112 | 3/5 |

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