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King Crimson In the Wake of Poseidon album cover
3.84 | 2446 ratings | 192 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Peace - A Beginning (0:49)
2. Pictures of a City (incl. 42nd at Treadmill) (8:03)
3. Cadence and Cascade (4:27)
4. In the Wake of Poseidon (incl. Libra's Theme) (7:56)
5. Peace - A Theme (1:15)
6. Cat Food (4:54)
7. The Devil's Triangle (11:39)
- a. Merday Morn
- b. Hand of Sceiron
- c. Garden of Worm
8. Peace - An End (1:53)

Total Time 40:56

Bonus tracks on 2005 DGM remastered reissue:
9. Cat Food (single version) (2:45)
10. Groon (single B-side) (3:35)

Line-up / Musicians

- Greg Lake / vocals
- Robert Fripp / guitar, Mellotron (2,4,7), celesta (3), electric piano (7), effects, co-producer
- Peter Sinfield / lyrics, co-producer

- Gordon Haskell / vocals (3)
- Keith Tippett / piano
- Mel Collins / saxes (2), flute (3)
- Peter Giles / bass
- Michael Giles / drums

Releases information

Artwork: "The 12 Archetypes or The 12 Faces of Humankind" painted by Tammo De Jongh in 1967

LP Island - ILPS 9127 (1970, UK)

CD EG ‎- EGCD 2 (1987, US)
CD Virgin ‎- CDVKCX2 (2000, Europe) 30th Anniv. 24-bit remaster by Robert Fripp & Simon Heyworth
CD Discipline Global - DGM 0502 (2005, US) 35th Anniv. - Same 2000 remaster, w/ 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KING CRIMSON In the Wake of Poseidon ratings distribution

(2446 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(49%)
Good, but non-essential (21%)
Collectors/fans only (2%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

KING CRIMSON In the Wake of Poseidon reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by loserboy
4 stars The early CRIMSON albums have always been a personal fav of fine and "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is a wonderful journey. Oft criticized album consider by pundits a mirror of their debut album, in contrast for me, "...Poseidon" sparkles with original character full of some breathtaking KING CRIMSON musical moments. To this day "Cadence And Cascade" remains one of the most emotional and nostalgic songs of all time for me. Title track "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is one of my all time favorite tracks from KING CRIMSON of all time... loads of mellotron and some grand musical escapades. With the mystical lyrics of Pete Sinfield, "...Poseidon" will fill your ears with a nice range of musical idea, textures and full instrumentation. If you don't already have this beauty on CD then I would suggest the HDCD 30th Anniversary version to max on the sound repro.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars When you have 3 tracks that contain the word "peace", then you should expect a very mellow and relaxing album. Well, this is the case here! Greg LAKE's lead vocals remind the listener the early ELP. The omnipresence of well structured acoustic guitar remind us that FRIPP is a great guitarist. There are good parts of mellotron, piano, flutes and saxes. The influence of Pete Sinfield is obvious here again. Sounds sometimes like their first album.
Review by Carl floyd fan
3 stars Hmmm....I have mixed feeling about this one. Sometimes it sounds a little to much like their debut, which gives you that "been there, done that" attitide. But than again, why mess with a good thing, right? Pictures of a City alone makes this cd worthwhile. Overall, I don't think this is as good as the first but it is close. It isn't as hectic, and a lot more peaceful throughout. After Red, Lizard and the debut, this one should be the one you pick up.
Review by daveconn
4 stars Imperilled on fickle seas suited to the ill moods of a Poseidon Stormbringer, steadfast even as Scylla plucked the strongest oarsmen for her own dark designs (IAN MCDONALD, GREG LAKE), our guitar-slinging ODYSSEUS still had the presence of mind to steer his splintering charge safely into port with a second stunning album. That you can hear the lightning strike the mast, feel the upheaval in the tempestuous arrangements separated by sections of tantalizing calm, is to sense the shipwrecked King struggle against the strong pull of Charybdis and succeed. Amazing to think that, one album earlier, the band began with a halcyon of foreseeably smooth sailing. It was revealed to be merely the eye of the storm, thrusting their second album into a destructive force of unbearable intensity. Listen to "The Devil's Triangle", "In The Wake of Poseidon" and "Pictures of a City", and you'll find yourself in the middle of this musical vortex. In retrospect, no band could have withstood the fury of this music and survived intact. The albums that followed sailed clear of such dark waters, that is until "Starless And Bible Black". As challenging and harrowing an experience as this is, you may be reluctant to be buffeted and bruised by the crushing magnitude of this Wake. But if "21st Century Schizoid Man" stirred something in your blood that the remainder of Court couldn't quell, strap yourself to the mast and ride in the wake of Poseidon's vengeful might. You'll find respite in the three Peaces, and fall in love with the siren's song of "Cadence and Cascade", but they'll be your undoing if you let them lull you into their trap. Also included is "Cat Food", selected as the single because it's in the middle of the two extremes, but not a suitable appetizer for the rough journey ahead.

This and "Starless" are the two harshest entries in the Crimson catalog; if these float your boat, you really need to plug in to VAN DER GRAAF GENERATOR too.

Review by richardh
2 stars Understandably after the brilliant 'In The Court' album King Crimson didn't want to stray to far from a successfull 'formula'.So here it a very poor version of the first album.Still you do get 'Cat Food' but overall this is to be avoided unless you really like King Crimson or Greg Lake and want completeness for your collection.
Review by Sean Trane
4 stars In The Wake Of The Crimson King?

One of the bigger debates among Crimson fan is how much a carbon copy Poseidon was to Court. Given the strong pressure to release another album by their label, and the fact that members were leaving left, right & centre, that there was no real group around the time of recording Poseidon, it was probably tempting to reproduce the same kind of songs that made the debut such as success.

So yes, Pictures Of A City is based upon Schizoid Man, yes, Cadence is a rehashing of Talk To The Wind, and this album's title track is definitely inspired on the title track of the previous album. So all these three "derivative" tracks are grouped on the first side of the album and bookended by two of the three Peace pieces, which are completely original and pleasant, even if a bit needless. And furthermore, the three "guilty" tracks are debatably superior technically to their inspirational muse.

Onto the flipside, Cat Food is an amazing track where young "jazz" pianist sensation of the time Keith Tippett gives an incredible performance, a highly original track, which came in an edited version as a single. The rest of the album is made from another completely original piece, The Devil's Triangle, based on a Gustav Holtz piece, but the three part epic sounds like nothing that'd been, done before, even by a certain King Crimson. Excellent eerie stuff that sees a small prolongation in the last part of the Peace theme that closes the album.

PS: rare enough to mention on Crimson albums, Poseidon might just be the only studio album ever to come with bonus tracks in the future, as both sides of the Cat Food/Groon single have been added, but not on every issue. In either case, Poseidon seems to be marked forever and a bit unjustly with the "carbon copy" sticker, but even if partially true, it remains a must for every Crimson fan.

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Warning (or suggestion): turn the volume way up to catch the hymn-like "Peace- A beginning", and then be blasted by the first notes of "Pictures". KING CRIMSON rarely has difficulty making an impression with their opening tracks...

The issue of similarity is an important one with this album. If you loved ITCOTCK, this album dishes out much of the same flavor. Since one of my criticisms of the first KC album involved McDonald's overbearing Mellotron, you'd think I'd prefer this release. Also, the now-complete reunion of the delightfully experimental virtuosos of "Giles, Giles, and Fripp" provide the foundation for Lake's expressive vocals and Mel Collins' inimitable sax. So why is this not as satisfying an experience as ITCOTCK?

Certainly not for lack of trying. "Pictures" is every bit as heavy and acidic as "20th Century Schizoid Man" and replaces some of the latter's unfocused noodling with more interesting instrumental insanity. The tightly shuffling beat and minor-key intensity even presages later works (I can hear the jazzy middle section of "Starless" especially). Yet "Pictures" is somehow less individualistic than its earlier comrade; Fripp's guitarwork towards the end is curiously conventional and there are even sections when the band adopts a straight-time three-chord blues progression!

"Cadence and Cascade", however, is soft bliss...poor maligned Haskell delivers a quietly emotive vocal over lovely piano-and acoustic guitar backing. The lyrics, like most of those on the album, are strangely minimalist for Sinfield; however, they depict in few choice words a timeless tale of fame and frailty. The multi-talented Collins shows he can be as expressive and interesting on the flute as McDonald. And yet once again I can't say this song is as memorable as "I Talk to the Wind".

The biggest reminder of ITCOTCK comes in "Epitaph"...oops, I mean in the album's title track. The Mellotron returns to the fore, as do the classical references in the lyrics. About halfway through the song, I am shocked to realize that it sounds slightly plodding- not usually a big problem with KC. Indeed, the epic track feels somewhat rote and made-to- order following the uniqueness of the first album. Still, if you wished that there had been one more song on ITCOTCK, this will fully satisfy you.

"Peace- a theme" is respectable and pleasant and a must-hear for Fripp fans, who tend to get a little short-changed when it comes to solo acoustic pieces. But necessary? I'm not convinced.

And then there's "Cat Food". Less stuffy folks may disagree, but the tone strikes me as very un-King Crimson-like, though it shares notable elements with the future "Indoor Games" (which I also don't much care for, although fans of Gabriel's more playful writing for GENESIS may indeed find it attractive). In fact, I'm tentatively suggesting that "Cat Food" and "Indoor Games" are pretty much the same song, right down to the jazzy rhythms and acoustic guitar punctuation. Perhaps it's just a matter of style- a lesser band could have made a career out of this type of sound, but I wouldn't be a fan.

"The Devil's Triangle" is also less like KING CRIMSON than the spookier washes of Ummagumma-era PINK FLOYD (which I do like very much). I suppose this is where instrumental epics from "Lark's Tongues" to "The Sheltering Sky" began, but I'm still tempted to skip it, except that it provides such a wonderfully contrasting lead-in to the final "Peace- an End". The album is tied together- or given contrast- by these short, inter- related segments, and I'm sure someone can come up with a good reason for them being here, but to me they're mainly throwaways that fail to provide a structure to a disjointed and not fully-realized conceptual experience (and this coming from a guy who loved "Tales from Topographic Oceans"!).

It pains me to be so critical of a KING CRIMSON release, but honestly I cannot recommend this even to casual fans of the band, let alone to newcomers. There's just not enough essential material here; it's too much like ITCOTCK and shows only brief hints of the queasy experimental majesty of "Lizard". On the plus side, it's much less shrill and brittle than ITCOTCK and the "Peace" segments are an intriguing prod to contemplation. And it goes without saying that the worst KING CRIMSON album (which "Wake" is definitely not; that dubious honor goes to a later release) is still better than the best that most other bands have to offer.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Background - This album was a follow-up after the band's groundbreaking debut album "In The Court of The Crimson King". The making of "Poseidon" was remarked by the wave of change in the Crimson line-up. Greg Lake was ready to accept an offer from Keith Emerson to form a band that later we know it as ELP. Lake was asked to fill the vocal line in the recording of this second album. Ian McDonald (sax) and Peter Giles (bass) left the band and created a collaborative effort under McDonald & Giles. For the sake of recording "Poseidon", Peter Giles was asked to contribute in the album. On sax and flute, the band hired a session player Mel Collins - a gifted musician who in 1969 helped Circus as font man. After the recording of Poseidon Collins was offered by Robert Fripp as permanent member of the band. The band also added jazz piano player Keith Tippet. [1] So, even from this second album, it seemed that King Crimson is like Fripp, Sinfield and friends instead of a group.

Album Review

For me personally, this album's musical quality is at par excellent with its predecessor. The music is dark with a combination of rock, jazz, classical influence and avant-garde. The album opens with an ethereal voice of Greg Lake in "Peace - A Beginning" that also ends the album. The voice is that soft so that when the intro of "Pictures of A City" comes into play, it created a shock impact - volume wise - as we tend to put high volume due to quiet voice of opening track "Peace - A Beginning". This second track comes suddenly with a hard driving rhythm, full of energy music, in the vein of "Schizoid Man". All music instruments, dominated by sax and guitar, form a complex musical textures but they produce excellent harmony. Lake's "almost" distorted vocal - as in the tradition of "Schizoid Man" - enters the scene energetically. I observe how powerful the drumming work of Michael Giles in this track. I absolutely agree with the quote in Record Mirror 16 May 1970: ".,some really incredible drumming - Mike Giles must be one of the best rock drummers around." [2]. The guitar effects created by Fripp create a distorted sound and drastic move from low to high register. Amazingly, this effects have even made the song much stronger in term of sounds and composition. No doubt, this track is a masterpiece!

The band brings us to quieter music with "Cadence and Cascade" in mellow style with classical influence. This time the voice is filled by Gordon Haskell. It opens with a simple acoustic guitar fills followed with Lake-like vocal line. The melody of this track is so catchy and memorable - it reminds me to "I Talk To The Wind" of ITCOCK. Noticeable instruments used despite acoustic guitar and piano is flute. The flute sound played during solo and as accompanying sound of voice line is really catchy. Some vibraphone sounds are also used to accentuate end of the bars. Top notch composition!

The title track "In The Wake of Poseidon" starts of with a subtle sound of mellotron accompanied with acoustic guitar. Again, the band has created a killing melody thru this track. Try to observe how Lake voice enters the music right after opening mellotron sound. Wow! It's so catchy, my friend! It touches my heart really. The soft mellotron sound at background with dominant acoustic guitar and powerful drumming have made this track so great. This track reminds me to "Epitaph" of ITCOCK album. It's not the same. But, the musical nuances created by both of them share similar soul (of Crimson's music). By the way, on drumming, I like the rough sound it produces. Another great composition by the band.

"Peace - A Theme" demonstrates an acoustic guitar work that provides a solid laying ground for the next hard driving rhythm track "Cat Food". Composed in a strange manner, this track projects a perfect marriage between rock and jazz but not in the vein of typical fusion music we've heard frequently. Lake delivers his voice with power accompanied with improvised guitar work and unique piano sound. The bass line is also dynamic and characterize the soul of this track. The music is very original. "The Devil's Triangle" is a relatively long instrumental piece that is suitable for film scoring. The mellotron is used in subtle way combined with piano and sax in an avant- garde style. This is probably the least accessible track compared to other tracks of this album.

Overall Conclusion : It's a masterpiece album. As far as rating I would give a 4.5 out of 5 rating considering the wave of influence this album has created on later development of progressive music. Keep on progging! - GW, Indonesia.

Personal Note : With a current situation of national disaster of tsunami in Banda Aceh city of Indonesian Archipelago where the city has totally ruined; 80 thousands people have lost their lives, the song Pictures of A City seems like a perfect outfit of the situation. It was exactly what the song was all about: "Sinfield maps out a dystopian vision of the modern city, riven with chaos and inevitably down into ruin and loss." ([1] page 89). If last week "Epitaph" was the theme, this week is colored with "Pictures of A City" and "In The Wake of Poseidon". Very sad situation. Sorry for connecting this review with our situation down here in South East Asia. Personally, music (especially prog and classic rock) has always colored my experience through a passage of time in my life. Of course, it's different with your situation.


[1] "In The Court of King Crimson", Sid Smith, Helter Skelter Publishing, 2001 (reprinted 2003). [2] Sleeve note of album CD, 30th Anniversary Edition, HDCD, 2000, Virgin Records Ltd.

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was the album that had to do the dirty job of following the groundbreaking "In the Court of the Crimson King" - some album had to do it, anyway. I am amongst those who enjoy "Poseidon" more than " In the Court", mainly because it feels more cohesive as a whole, and also because there is a higher degree of musical diversity and frontal energy. Taking a closer look to details, it is obvious that Fripp, without McDonald by his side and Lake and Giles having become just session partners, took his chances with the first part of the "Poseidon" repertoire. He made it pretty much parallel to its "In the Court" counterpart, and in some ways the new stuff can't seem to stand the comparison. 'Pictures of a City' is not as nerve-cravingly incendiary as the emblematic '21st Century Schizoid Man', the poetic beauty of 'Cadence and Cascade' doesn't equal the eerie magic of 'I Talk to the Wind', and the title track is not as compelling as the ravishingly majestic 'Epitaph'. But on the other hand, the way I see it, the three following observations can't be disputed: 'Pictures' exposes a more mature approach into the realms of jazz rock; 'Cadence' displays a genuine glimpse of serene melancholy in its bucolic motif, creating an irresistible intimate ambience; and 'In the Wake of Poseidon' shows some of Giles' best drumming ever, a Lake possessed by passion on his sung parts, and a very brilliant Fripp on acoustic guitar, too. Generally speaking, Sinfield has grown as a lyricist, becoming more Baroque and multi-referential - a factor that helps the band to enhance and organize more properly its artistic ambitions. It was Lake himself who kicked off the album with his vocal solo version of 'Peace', approaching like a soft rivulet before 'Pictures' starts bursting out like thunderbolt. The same motif is picked up by Fripp's classic guitar for the start of the second half of the album: in this instrumental version, the evocation becomes less romantic and more solemn. Then comes a not so solemn jazz-oriented ode to fast food, which is ruthlessly regarded by Sinfield as "not even fit for a horse". The sensual mood provided by the instrumentation is given a burlesque twist by both the lyrics and the R'n'B melodic lines: pianist extraordinaire Keith Tippett displays his mastery in full swing, offering a top-notch companion to Fripp's guitar leads, while Giles continues to be as brilliant as always. This piece was co-written by McDonald, so you can tell for sure that the band was actually going toward the direction intended during the last half of 1969, regardless of the fact that the original line-up was slowly falling apart and became practically non-existent for the recording of "In the Wake". Next comes the instrumental master opus 'The Devil's Triangle', pretty much based by Gustav Holst's "Mars", but developed in a more dramatic way, becoming quite sinister, wicked, aggressive, and for the last section, massively dissonant and chaotic. Nowhere before now had the mellotron sounded so devilish: it's almost unbelievable how its magnificent, oppressive walls-of- sound make the martial rhythm pattern fade into obscurity in many passages, and also blanket a guitar solo or two. The final moments are a pure manifestation of sheer destruction and the mayhem that comes with it. But immediately after the concluding cascade of mellotron flutes, here comes a final moment of reflection: the second reprise of 'Peace', performed by the marriage of Lake's voice and Fripp's classical guitar, gives a message of hope for recovery and reconstruction. In conclusion, "Poseidon" manages to surpass "In the Court" by following partially in its footsteps and taking the band's ideology to a further level - 4-4― stars for this gem.
Review by Man With Hat
COLLABORATOR Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team
4 stars It sounds like i heard it before....This is an interesting outing by King Crimson. They have created an album that is very similar to their first. Pictures of a City is very similar, at least in the beginning and some of the middle, to 21st century Schiziod Man and In The Wake Of Posiedon is eerily similar to Epitath. Cadence and Cascade is not really the same, except for the fact that it is a quite slower song that follows the first power-song. The Devil's Triangle sounds very little like In The Court Of The Crimson King, excpet for the part where they use the sound from it. Also included are the "Peace Trio" and very excellent Cat Food. Cat Food is reason enough to buy this album. Despite all the similarities, it has those certian elements that make it its own entity. DO NOT dismiss this album as a carbon copy of ITCOTCK. This album should be listened to and appreciated by all who are prog fans.
Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars I actually enjoyed this album more that their first one! I think that their musical ideas have been matured, and the compositions are a bit better. "Pictures of A City" is in my opinion much more interesting aggressive song than the "21st Century Schizoid Man", and "In The Wake of Poseidon" is better symphonic ballad than those which are on the first album. Also the idea with "Peace" tunes is nice, and the covers are more tasty. But surely, this is very similar album in structure and style to it's predecessor.
Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Initally I was turned off by this album, I was only interested in the essential KC. Then I picked this album up a week or two ago, and I decided that I was wrong. This is a great album, though not as great as... say... Red.

Every song on this album fits perfectly. Pictures of a City is essentially the "21st Century Schizoid Man" of the album, but it has a unique sound that is truly great. In the Wake of Poseidon is the "In The Court of the Crimson King" of the album, with Bob Fripp's Mellotron leading the way. But the real gem of this album is the Devil's Triangle. The first time I listened to this, I was awe-struck. A jazzy instrumental that really adds a true ending to the album (Although Peace- An End is the actual album closer).

The only thing I didn't like was Cat Food. I was never really excited about that song. It seems like filler and a good excuse for a single to me, but that really doesn't bother me because it's on an album with so many other great songs. Another thing I don't like is that is seems like they were going for ITCOTCK 2, with songs similar to the predecessor. There is a lot of potential in this album, I just don't see it, I guess. This should be one of the last albums to collect if you're aiming to complete King Crimson's catalogue. Despite the strengths of the album, it just is weak in comparison to it's predecessor and its successor. 2.5/5.

Review by Yanns
3 stars Now, I gave this album at first 4 stars because it is, without a doubt, not a masterpiece, but it is not nearly as bad as some people make it out to be. Of course, it is a very close copy to the debut, but it stands on its own. This is the last Crimson album on which Greg Lake appears, and the first album with the Giles brothers rhythm section. Lake, of course, sings greatly, and the Giles brothers are incredible on their respective instruments (Peter on bass, Michael on drums). Keith Tippet provides some... interesting... piano on the album, and Fripp, as always, is outstanding.

21st Century... I mean, Pictures of a City: Great, great song. When I first heard it, I knew it was going to sound like 21st Century Schizoid Man, but I was still shocked at the similarities. In the middle section, they both have repeating stopping-and-starting riffs. So alike, but Pictures stands on its own, though still not as good as Schizoid Man.

Cadence and Cascade: Now, some people compare this to I Talk to the Wind, but the only real similarity I see between the two is the fact that they are mellow songs appearing after more upbeat songs. Other than that, it is a different song altogether. This is the first song on which Gordon Haskell sings for King Crimson, and he does very well. In fact, I was talking to my friend not too long ago, and he mentioned that he knew this song, even though he doesn't know prog. He loves it. Great acoustic song.

In the Wake of Poseidon: Well, the Epitaph/Court of the Crimson King of the album. The opening riff harks back to the title track of the previous album, while the verse is very reminiscent of Epitaph. However, this is a different song, and very well done. I have always loved the Crimson Mellotron, Fripp always has it used perfectly. Maybe the best song on this album.

Cat Food: Unique, unique, unique. No song like this one. Here is where the interesting piano enters the scene, but it is still very, very good.... even though it sounds like he is just banging on the piano. Different side of King Crimson, and very good as well.

The Devil's Triangle: One of the most haunting experiences ever. Taken from "Mars" by Gustav Holst, Fripp takes classical and has his way with it. He even adds in the Court of the Crimson King riff into it towards the end. Instrumental song, and extremely frightening.

I've excluded the Peace songs, just because there is no point in reviewing them. They're good and all, but they are just short songs that provide an intro, an interlude, and a closing.

No matter what, you do need to have this album if you know and like King Crimson and are a serious fan. Do not skip over it because everyone says it is a carbon copy of the previous album. 3.9 - 4/5 stars.

Actually, looking back, this is a 3.5 star album. I enjoy it a lot, but it falls under the "Good, but non-essential" category as opposed to the "Excellent addition to any prog collection" category.

Review by frenchie
3 stars Now don't get me wrong, this is a very good album, decent follow up to an altogether masterpiece and strong piece of work. However "In the Wake of Poseidon" has some serious issues which I am sure anyone who has listen to this album and the debut can recognize. I am not the first reviewer to adress this.

The clues are there from the start, another album with a title that goes "In the ... of ...". This album offers some very good pieces yet, from the very first listen it is evident that this is a complete rehash of the debut album.

The various peace themes on the album are similar to the intro of "21st century Schizoid Man". These pieces are very quiet, short and gloomy much like the intro part of the first album. This then leads into quite a loud and long winding experimental piece. "Pictures of a City" has very unsubtle similarities in structure and sound to the incredible debut tune that kicked off King Crimson as we know it. Pictures is good but has nothing on Schizoid Man.

Now you may remember the debut album leading into a mellow ballad like track (i talk to the wind), this is very much the same case on this album. Similarly with "Pictures of a City", this is a very good song, yet it does steal from "I Talk to the Wind", perhaps less noticeably than the way Pictures of a City steals from Schizoid Man.

In the Wake of Poseidon carry's on these issues as it is a complete blag from the title track of the first album. These 3 tracks in a row have confirmed that this album definetly has some troubles with originality. By now it is kind of tedious just how much it sounds like the debut. Still very good written pieces but this album is lacking in anything new to offer. I think King Crimson do manage to get away with it though, after all they are young, new to the rock scene and still finding their way through new material.

Fortunately, the remaining tracks on this album, "Cat Food" especially, do sound very original and are more interesting pieces. Overall this album could possibly be a very flawed masterpiece. The music here is very good and I would recommend this album to any KC fan, however it's lack of much new stuff to offer really is a problem on this album and leads to an overall 3 stars out of 5. Luckily, King Crimson's next albums offer much more original and new sounds, though this did cost them constant line-up changes. In the Wake of Poseidon marks itself as Greg Lake and Michael Giles would be part of King Crimson.

Review by Philo
3 stars King Crimson follow up the masterful, groundbreaking In The Court Of The Crimson King with an album that somewhat clones many facets of the debut. Even the title becomes a mouthful and certainly looks like a chapter from the very same book. But like the first one In The Wake Of Poseidon is a strong album as Robert Fripp and company are still streets ahead of the pack as the 1970s take hold. The music on King Crimson's second release is even more extravagant than before with the title track coming across so very orchestrated and almost theatric with the mellotron just that bit overboard creating a massive drama for the nearly eight minutes duration. But the album does have a fine variation. "Cadence And Cascade" is a beautiful delicate and melodic ballad sung by Gordan Haskell, though the nature of his singing makes it almost difficult to hear, especially it coming after the rampart urbanesque "Pictures Of A City (including 42nd at Treadmill)" as sung menacingly by Greg Lake. A song which has its roots in "21st Century Schizoid Man" though not as dynamic as that which opened the debut album. The B side of In The Wake Of Poseidon is a very complex and dark affair, with the exception of "Cat Foot" which sounds like a typical 60s beat track except this is King Crimson so it does have an extra bite, but it does stand out like a sore thumb for all its humour, intended or other wise. "The Devil's Triangle" (which includes the sections a) Mesday morn b) Hand of Sceiron c) garden of worm) is a super fused mix of orchestrated noises and dark layers of sound with all the imagery of a feverish nightmare, does it work? I'm uncertain, but then I hardly give it the time to dissect it to be sure. Peace, An End"is more or less where we came in and serves to capture the whole scenario of the album in a story telling mood. In The Wake Of Poseidon would mark the end of this part of King Crimson as Fripp took the band, or the new variation of the band, in a new direction which would only partly follow the adventures contained within the album in hand. This is an interesting album but it never fully opens up like the debut.
Review by Philrod
4 stars In sports, they have this thing called sophomore slump. Basically, it means that after a great rookie season, an athlete chokes at their second outing because the pressure is too high. Everybody wants to find a way to have a great second season, even if you don't match the first year stats. The problem is you have to find a way to do so. In the cae of King Crimson, they found a way: do an album extremeley similar to their first one. In The Wake Of Poseidon finds a band full of internal feuds, members leaving, member coming aboard, member takign a higher role. It this mess Robert Fripp leads the way. Every song on this album is great, though never as groundbreaking as its predecessor, In The Court Of the Crimson King. Mostly everything is similar, but one thing is better than on the first album: the drum playing from Mike Giles. As good and mixed as he was on the first one, Giles finds a way to get better here, more subtle and he is just on. It showed where the band would have gone if it stayed intact. A great recommended album. 4/5
Review by lor68
3 stars First of all it's difficult to express a disinterested opinion about this album, because it belongs to a circumstantiated group of easier works which can be as much strident as pleasant at the end. So, if you compare it to their usual experimental and "standardized" art rock, you can find some defects inside; nevertheless here you can listen to the most versatile K.C: in fact They are able to meet the exigencies of the common listener and the tastes from the experienced musicians as well. Secondly I can understand the choice of the songs: as a matter of fact their typical "brainy" style (think of "Lark's Tongue in Aspic" or "Starless & Bible Black"), nowadays resembling the post rock genre, has been recently avoided by the media and that's probably the reason for which They tried to reach a certain compromise since the issue of their 2nd "derivative" album. Therefore, by thinking of their debut album, then considering some other works like "Island", "Lizard" and in a few circumstances even the complex "Red", I begin appreciating such a diverse kind of music. Each of them are often easy to get, along with this "In the Wake of Poseidon" and it's a surprise for me!!

Nevertheless We all know the destiny of such a controversial band like K.C.: so many times (still recently) They have changed their line-up, however seldom emulating their best ideas produced in the early seventies and moreover with uneven or unsatisfactory results. So probably They will be always kept away from the "stream", even though you could reply that in the early eighties there was a radical change regarding their music ideas. The compositions were often intricate and inspiring, also during the development of their accessible rhythmical songs (often resembling the style of Talking Heads!!) and the feedback of the market was guaranteed...well it's true, but such a different style was better fitted into the Electronic New Wave genre, successfully embraced by a wider crowd of fans and soon replaced by their most complex style, often uneasy to take. At the end, coming back to the songs of "In the Wake of Poseidon",like "Cadence and Cascade" or for instance the title track ( both quite remarkably arranged), were a coherent effort within an uneven contest. If you regard of their successful "milestone" entitled "In the Court of." and the way this latter album was almost "duplicated" once again, you can remain disappointed: there is a number of derivative songs indeed, all along the duration of their second album, except on a few harmonic passages at the guitar, but the sense of melody is a bit present anyway. Moreover, talking about the other episodes, I find a certain unevenness inside their main passages, sometimes being quite unnecessary (above all the fragment "Piece-a beginning" ) but after all, as already foreseen before, there wasn't a different purpose here. In fact you can't appreciate any strange harmonization or a new exploration concerning the whole range of music colours;nevertheless by regarding of all these reasons and therefore thinking of their early inspiring days, I point out that their intention was clear from the artistic point of view. In this manner the unique trouble was connected to such an extraordinary success brought about their debut album, which obliged Fripp & C. to be always "aligned" to the commercial exigencies of that time, without exaggerating their intricate harmonic solutions (especially if you consider the stirring atonal scales - an imprinting by Fripp -whose lack could be unsatisfactory.).But never mind, cause after all their creativity was developed and also better appreciated afterwards, when They chose a different "strategy"; so in spite of a certain sense of tiredness, which dramatically began to emerge in the recent gigs of the nineties, the accessible K.C. of "In the Wake of Poseidon" were not bad and you could even give this album another half star at least!

Review by Eclipse
3 stars After shaking the ground with their debut, Fripp apparently ran out of ideas or was feeling insecure if he and Sinfield could make something better or more different and then this album totally inspired by its predecessor came out. It is good, in fact very good, but it doesn't contain the same magic as Court. What we have here are somel songs that are mirror versions of the past ones and some few new numbers that fail to be too remarkable (Cat Food again? No thanks...).

The first track that reminds a bunch of "21st...", don't you think? Even the middle part is identical. In my opinion this is a very dry song that doesn't captivate me a bit. It seems that they didn't want to think too much on the production of this track - they could have made a jazzy number but with similar riffs surfacing the track and screaming lack of creativity or simply laziness. Things get better on an acoustic number called "Cadence and Cascade", which in my opinion doesn't remind me too much of "I Talk to the Wind" - there's not even flutes on here. This is the first appearance of Haskell on vocals, and he doesn't disappoint! He will lead the vocals on their next album and then become one of the most underrated people on music...come on the guy sings much better than Boz or Wetton, i sometimes like him more than Adrian Belew! Well, Greg Lake is still the master of the voice, though, and it is showed on the title track, that reminds me a bit of "Epitaph". It is a beautiful song with a beautiful intro, but the fact that it becomes drum-lead during the middle (notice the way the drums are played as a main instrument, it doesn't fit one bit with the song) breaks the magic a bit. "Devil's Triangle" is an interesting track but i don't know why they repeated the choirs from the last album's title track at the ending since it sounds awful but the rest of the song is indeed very interesting and shows that the band is great even on classical music (as they are on jazz, pop, rock, etc). The "Peace" themes give the album a FLOYDian cyclic effect, but i only like the second Peace song since the others reveal an annoying side of Greg's voice that i only found here. The acapellas sound awful, but the guitar interlude is very neat. "Cat Food" is a bit boring, and it is one of those songs that i rarely refuse to press the skip button.

Overall this is a good album but nothing special. Fortunately Lizard will arrive soon to show that they didn't depend of the debut to be great, in fact they got even better as their epic of same name with a rare appearance by JON ANDERSON will show.

3.5 stars

Review by Raff
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars According to many prog fans, "In the Wake of Poseidon" is nothing more than a clone of the far superior "In the Court of the Crimson King". However, though obviously I recognise that KC's debut album is the real thing, I must also admit that "In the Wake..." is rather high on the list of my most-often played records.

It may be true that the album's strongest tracks, "Pictures of a City" and the title-track, are rather reminiscent of "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "Epitaph"; nevertheless, calling them imitations is grossly unfair to two excellent songs, both of which feature some of Greg Lake's best vocal performances. "In the Wake..." is an especially stunning piece of music, not only vocal-wise but also for its hauntingly beautiful, Mellotron-soaked coda. I am not too keen, though, on the single "Cat Food", as much as I like Sinfield's vitriolic lyrics and Lake's biting delivery. As to the mellow, lilting "Cadence and Cascade", with lyrics full of sophisticated double-entendre ("licked his velvet glove"... that's quite brilliant to me!), it is the only track sung by Gordon Haskell that I can tolerate. The lengthy instrumental "The Devil's Triangle", which is a reworking of Holst's "Mars" (though the composer is uncredited), starts off in an intriguing way but gets somewhat boring after a while.

"In the Wake..." is not by any means an essential masterpiece like its predecessor, but it is definitely a worthy addition to any prog record collection, as are all KC albums.

Review by Menswear
5 stars What do you do when you score with the greatest album of your generation? Do another one!

Indeed, this is certainly In the Court part 2...and as good as the original! Well, why would it be the contrary? Every tiny bit that made Court a masterpiece is well recycled. I'm using the term 'recycled' to say that the ingredients are the same, but just not in the same order.

BUT, not everything's the same. We have some new arrival with the pre-Lizard song Cat Food. A good blend of crazy writing and quirky lyrics. And also the instrumental Devil's Triangle who bears some ressemblance to Watcher of the Skies (genesis), thanks to the intensive use of the mellotron. The track's quite well represented by the title, as the anxious and claustrophobic atmosphere that gets thicker and thicker and thicker...and cacophonic (a prelude to Lark's Tongue perhaps?).

Honestly, I frankly think that Fat Lake's voice is THE one. It's crystal clear and it can be pushed to more ragged textures (Cat Food). Too bad, but I do enjoy my ELP records for that reason.

With Lake's voice, truck loads of Mellotron and some very adventurous tracks (Devil's Triangle), Wake of Poseidon is in my humble opinion AS good as Court of Crimson King since they're so alike. I know the comparison is hazardous for many!

The long forgotten twin brother of Court.

Review by Atkingani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Thanks to the Almighty that when I first listened to this album I was pure and sinless - centuries ago, and I made no association between "In the Wake of Poseidon" and previous and famed debut "In the Court of Crimson King". I simply sat and enjoyed the songs, but I expected to hear something like the band's debut and became a bit disappointed - things were not the way I wished they were. Many years later, ripe and sinful I heard it again and I liked although it was not my cup of tea (or coffee). Then I noticed more clearly the changes in the band's line-up and a certain parity with the other album; but still I continue liking this one.

The songs are: 'Peace - a beginning' a very short poem-song acting as an introduction to the nervous 'Pictures of a city', with a hectic start, with a jazz-like sound alternating with a kind of fusion melody and vocal, not easy if one is more interested in only cleaning the mind. Good appreciation only possible after continuous hearings.

'Cadence and cascade', where the atmosphere changes completely to a calm and soft rhythm, the vocal, not by Lake, is suitable and there are parts on piano, flute and acoustic guitar simply lovable. Now one may clean the mind!

'In the wake of Poseidon', the title-track is a very pleasant song, with good Lake's vocals and a very catchy refrain, backed by great mellotron tunes. Drums seem to be higher than the normal which spoils the overall atmosphere.

'Peace - a theme' adds few to the album but interestingly sounds much like Genesis' 'Horizons' - a song that I listened before this, and serves to introduce to another nervous song, 'Cat food', this time more rocky than jazzy with excellent singing and with guitars providing a hard background.

'The devil's triangle' does here what 'Moonchild' did in the previous album. It is tough, complex, experimental, but with certain amazing passages but I think that the general result is below the average; all that jam finishes in 'Peace - an end', with prayer-like vocals closing the album.

King Crimson is surprising as ever, the musicianship is fine, the production is fair and for each new listening there's always something new not gathered previously. I recommend to hear and hear again and while hearing to catch the cover and appreciate the agreable art work. I rate this work as being essential to understand King Crimson's history, but not a masterpiece, so it's an excellent addition to any prog collection. Total: 4.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the second album of King Crimson, fortunately with the same line up that in the first album.

After that masterpiece called ITCOTKC, the less that King Crimson could do was another masterpiece, sadly this is not the case, I have to say that I love this album and for me its really good, but I do not consider it as the same line as ITCOTKC, because it is less complex I think, and it could be sometimes a bit boring .

The great voice of Greg Lake is still here, that was a good point, and the jazzy influenced sound stayed here too, it has some powerful songs ,and some soft songs, a three piece song called Peace, but lets start . "Peace: A Beginning", a nice introduction, with only vocals, it is maybe a poem introduction I don't know, but its quite nice. But next. The best track of the album, a very creative song, "Pictures of a City" is one of my favourite songs of King Crimson, it is really amazing, again with a great mix of rock with jazz, here I love the work of Mel Collins with his sax, it makes that song very powerful and special, also it has the great voice of Lake, a superbly sound of guitar, and a great structure and arrangements , this song is really enjoyable step by step, I love it, another great point is that great lyrics, done by Peter Sinfield, a representative writer in progressive rock. "Cadence and Cascade", is it the real first song of Gordon Haskell as a vocalist of King Crimson?, well I don't know but this song is beautiful, an acoustic guitar sound, and this is entirely a light song, maybe like "I Talk to the Wind", with a nice flute and a delicious drums sound. "In the Wake of Poseidon", this track is great, in fact, this is one of that tracks which when you listen to the first note, you cannot leave it, I really get excited when I listen to that shocking sound of mellotron, I don't know, maybe im exaggerated , but I really love this beginning, my skin turns white, oh no , that mellotron again is killing me, great beginning, but well, the song is great with good guitar and some nice bass lines and great atmosphere in all the song. "Peace : A Theme" again like the first song, it could be a poem, but this time with a bit of music , interesting sound. "Cat Food", I have to be honest, when I listened to it for the first time, I swore that they were The Beatles, because the style of the vocal lines reminds me to Paul McCartney, but well, I made a mistake, this song is good, strange in some ways, maybe my less favourite. The seventh song and the most special song is "The Devil's Triangle", this is a clear example of what progressive rock is, the song is also progressing, it starts with a very silent sound, but little by little the sound is increasing, it has some great changes along the song, is really experimental, it has so different sounds, in fact in one moment of insanity it reminds me 2001 a space oddity , but well, then again it stars to increase and making a pure progressive sound, almost at the end of the song it has a peculiar sound of a musical box, and then, a scream of Lake in the song "In the Court of the Crimson King". Great song. Finishing the album is "Peace: an End".

So after all, I'm very please with this album, I think it is great, sadly after it Lake left the band, and inner problems and changes started since this album. Excellent addition to any prog fan, 4 stars!

Review by Melomaniac
4 stars I agree with most reviews about this album saying it's kind of "In the Court..." pt.II. Yet there is something from "In the Wake..." that does it more for me than "In The Court...". Better songs, better arrangments, a band getting better together, a direction more firmly established. I cannot think of a song I like less than others on this album, whereas some moments from In the Court, I find, are weaker. Sure enough, the album is built on the same "frame" it's predecessor was built upon, namely the order of songs, succession of moods, etc. But I think it's more an accomplished opus. Makes you wonder how Islands would have sounded if the same lineup played on it. 4 and a half stars.
Review by Guillermo
4 stars This second album from King Crimson wasn`t as good as the their first, IMO. Robert Fipp and Peter Sinfield became the only official members of the band for this album, which was recorded after Ian McDonald, Michael Giles and Greg Lake had left the band. Fripp and Sinfield, knowing abot the success of their first album, tried to repeat the formula. So, with Giles and Lake as guests, and with Peter Giles on bass and other guest musicians,they recorded this album. It still has good songs, but the sililarities with the first album are clear.

The best songs in this album are "Pictures of a city", "Cadence and cascade", " In the wake of Poseidon " and "Cat food".

In comparison, "The devil's triangle" sounds like Fripp and Sinfield were thinking "How we fill the rest of the time of recording for this album?" . This is a noisy song which sounds like an arrangement of Holst`s "Mars" from his work called "The Planets". The best things in this noisy song are the melloton sounds played by Fripp, but the long duration of this song makes them sound boring.

Michael Giles played the drums very well in this album, like he did in the first album and in the "McDonald and Giles" album recorded later with Ian McDonald. His drums playing is maybe the best thing in this album.

Review by bhikkhu
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album gets unfairly panned. Yes, it closely follows the formula of the previous album, but it stands on its own. I could even agree with many arguments as to why other albums are superior. There is one fact I can't argue with. This CD finds its way to my stereo more than any other KC creation. Why do I find it so appealing? It could be that I let it stand on its own. It also could be that in many ways, it improves on the debut. The Idea of the "Peace" theme helps to tie it together. "Cadence and Cascade" could be slightly more beautiful than "I talk to the Wind." "The Devil's Triangle" is far more successful, as controlled experimentation, than "Moonchild."

But, in the long run, all this doesn't really matter. This is a pleasure to listen to. They even inject some humor with "Cat Food" (don't be fooled, this is track is also a musical extravaganza). All of it is played with the excellence, and creativity you would expect from this group of pioneers. It takes you through every mood imaginable, and in the end you feel refreshed. It is an apt title, as you could liken it to a voyage over varied seas.

I love this band, and the earlier output should not be missed. Don't listen to the hype. Do yourself a favor, and judge it for yourself. You might be pleasantly surprised.

H.T. Riekels

Review by Andrea Cortese
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "...I am the story, I never end..."

And so it is. History flows like a river and, sometime, repeats. In the Wake of Poseidon is one of the most charismatic albums in all my own discography and I personally don't care if it's too similar to the previous miliar stone In the Court of the Crimson King. Music is the most importantr thing. Prog in particular. And In the Wake... is all any die hard prog fan needs to satisfy his his ears. Ok, it's not a masterpiece in the purest sense of the word but very near to that and still nowadays an exciting experience from an almost same line up of the previous glory.

So the album is obviously part of the so called first era of Crimson, still symphonic enough for what it means. "Pictures of a City" is simply an amazing track and has already all it's necessary to be a Crimson's classic: warm and passionate vocals from an inspired Greg Lake, wonderful sax by Mel Collins, a superb rythm' session and a remarkable work on guitar by mastermind, Mr. Fripp. A strong achievement for the year 1970!

"Cadence and Cascade" is a nice acoustic tune, very well sang with delicate piano and flute leading the way out. A perfect intermezzo. Very enjoyable.

"In the Wake of Poseidon" opens magnifically with strong mellotron' sound soon decaying into the warm vocals of Lake and then re-appearing and building a deep and wonderful atmosphere. The song's structure is not complex but is still an appreciable effort from the band. This sound is memorable! Maybe, the most favourite of mine.

"Peace - A Theme" is a short instrumental (acoustic guitar) interlude that introduces the listener into a more intimate state of mind, a contemplative tune that opens for the following "Cat Food" also released as a single. An excellent track with a more conventional structure but improved and imbellished by rapid and quasi-jazzy piano movements and a "Beatles" light feel all around it.

The most serious part, then, to close the record: the memorable "The Devil's Triangle" which is simply the most evil, dark and anguishing instrumental track ever offered by Fripp and co. Basically isn't also complex: an obscure mellotron's marching at the sound of drums from behind as it was an ancestral march to the final battle or destination. The theme goes on loudly and loudly until it fades out for the first time and return more powerfully and evil than ever until it reach pure nonsense and disturbing musical images. An impressive experience for sure and an historical musical document!

"Peace - An End" closes the circle where it all happened.

In the 30th anniversary remastered edition there are also two bonus tracks: "Cat Food" single version and the (good) b-side "Groon".

What could I say? This record seems to me a little bit underrated from the legions of the reviewers here. This album really deserves a four stars treatment, at least!

4.25 the correct evaluation.

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars Transition.

This album runs along many of the same premises as the band's famous debut, but with less favorable outcomes. The album is much mellower, much softer, and although that isn't a bad thing, it lacks a certain bite to it that other prominent King Crimson material has.

If you are familiar with ITCOTCK, you will notice some similar musical lines here incorporated into the songs. I wouldn't go as far as to say they ripped everything off their debut, but the similarities are there and noticeable if you are familiar with the material. Songs like Cat Food stand out here as just poorly designed songs, and seems perhaps to have been constructed by Lake, who went to take on his pointless songs to ELP.

The best track here is the instrumental and eerie album closer (well, except for Peace), which sounds the freshest and is the most diverse. It is their best controlled experimentation effort until Larks Tongues. Overall, a solid album with a few letdowns. I would come to this later in one's efforts to collect KC material. For those who would have enjoyed a more toned down In the Court... this album will be for you.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Ok, so McDonald and Giles leave the band to form their own, but Giles still contributes to this recording, while Lake also leaves to join Emerson and Palmer, but he also contributes his vocals to this record. Added are session players Collins, Haskell and Tippet. As far as the music goes, it is very similar to "In The Court Of the Crimson King". I guess if that formula worked once they figured they would try it again. Well the results are not the best, as this is a pale comparison. Having said that, I would also say this is a good record.

It is kind of interesting that they use the "Peace" songs at the start, middle and end of this record. Like in later years with the theme that runs through "The Power To Believe" album. The three "Peace" songs add up to less than 3 minutes of peaceful music. "Pictures Of A City" reminded me so much of "21st Century Schizoid Man" and I don't think you'll hear Greg Lake sing any more aggressive then he does on this song. The drumming is excellent and also the sax. But check out the guitar of Mr.Fripp 4 minutes in.

"Cadence And Cascade" is an acoustic song with light drums, piano and flute with Gordon Haskell singing. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" opens with mellotron and drums. Awesome intro ! This is a slow paced song with incredible vocals from Mr.Lake. And in my opinion the best song by far on this album. "Cat Food" has some crazy piano and is a silly song that reminds me of THE GUESS WHO for some reason. Not a fan. "The Devil's Triangle" is a mellotron feast ! It gets a little experimental later on and I like it a lot.

For me this album is a huge drop off in quality when compared to the debut so, 3.5 stars for this one.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Over the years both critics and the audience were split over the role this album had in CRIMSON's catalogues. Some strongly criticised its lack of originality and heavy similarity with the previous, remarkable debut "In The Court...". Other tried to be more in favor of "Poseidon", saying that if the formula was good on the first why should they change on the second album.

No doubt, when you listen to "Pictures of the City" or "Cadence and Cascade" you will surely think of "Schizoid Man" or "I Talk to the Wind" respectively. However, it must be noted that "Poseidon" is not just a copycat of "In The Court", but is a well-made album in its own right. Despite the line-up changes, Gordon Haskell seems to offer a solid replacement to Greg Lake as vocalist. Maybe not on par with phenomenal debut (after all it does sound similar in many moments), "Poseidon is still a strong musical statement of Fripp and Co. In addition Keith Tippet's piano work on "Cat Food" contains indication of where their sound would evolve in the next albums, starting from "Lizard", exploring avant-garde jazz territories.

Highly recommended album, but if you are young prog fan please do start with "In the Court of the Crimson King".

Review by ZowieZiggy

I am usually reluctant in reviewing old works from band of the late 60'ies / early 70'ties but I was positively enthusiast when I discovered "In The Court" (in 1974) and this feeling still prevails. Would their next effort reach or surpassed "In The Court..." ?

The very short intro (50 seconds) is the first of a "suite" of three. We'll get "Peace - A Theme" in the middle which is a good accoustic track (definitely inspired Hackett/Howe in some acoustic parts of their respective works) and finally "Peace - An End" to close the album.

It is followed by "Pictures of a City" which is a lenghtly jazz number. During the intrumental parts it sounds as an inprov. Vocal part are really good. The link with "Schizoid" is obvious. It is a strong, almost heavy number. Quite representative of the "second" side of KC. "First side" being the subtle and symphonic one featured mainly on their debut album only (unfortunately).

"Cadence And Cascade" is a very nice and gentle soft song like "I Talk To The Wind". It is also an indicator of some ELP work to come ("Lucky Man", "C'est La Vie"). At this stage, it is defnitely noticeable that this album is a second attempt to recreate "ITCOTCK". But who can blame them, since it was so beautiful ?

"In The Wake of Poseidon" is the type of wonderful KC song I love : symphonic mellotron, great accoustic guitar, fabulous vocals. The highlight here and one of their best track ever. Very similar to "In The Court..." of course (the track). This is my preferred KC. Alas, there are not plenty of these ones in their repertoire. It is a song of an incredible beauty, passionate. Side one of this album is of course VERY similar to their first album, but it is not at all annoying to my ears. Really on par.

"Cat Food" is a jazzy song tempting to be rocky. Poor and boring : this track is very dispensible and the weakest of the album IMO.

"The Devil's Triangle" is a scary track. Good for a horror movie. For almost two minutes, one can hardly hear the music (even at full volume). One only can guess the nice mellotron melody. It only starts after three minutes and sounds like a "Bolero" type of song. It is very hypnotic and works quite well, I must say. At times, it sounds too much as an improv to my ears though.

This album might sound as a secondhand copy for "ITCOTCK". It is less creative (since it has already been done before) but still quite remarkable. Four stars.

Review by Chicapah
3 stars King Crimson's debut was so incredible that their legion of fans could hardly wait for the follow-up to hit the racks. Unbeknownst to most of us there was more drama going on within the band than a TV soap opera with members coming and going constantly. When I learned later on about the personality conflicts and constant strife the group was enduring while trying to record this album it's a wonder it got finished and even more surprising that it's as good as it is.

The Poseidon adventure starts with a simple theme that will recur from time to time, "Peace - A Beginning," with Greg Lake singing the melody solo. Those of us who aurally devoured the first LP couldn't help but smile as the beginning of "Pictures of a City (including 42nd at Treadmill)" gave us a needed taste of what we loved about this band. It features a gutsy crawling blues progression from Hell and Lake's snarling rendition of Pete Sinfield's subliminal lyrics ("Concrete cold face cased in steel/stark sharp glass-eyed crack and peel"). Peter Giles on bass and his brother Michael on drums combine to make an outstanding rhythm section and it's nowhere as obvious as it is here. Many characteristics that made "21st Century Schizoid Man" so alluring are included in the arrangement of this song and that's not meant as a detriment at all. It's great. However, the next tune, "Cadence and Cascade" makes you realize that something is askew in the Crimson household. Some guy named Gordon Haskell weakly sings this dismal ballad that is about as intriguing as day old dishwater. Some nice flute from newly acquired Mel Collins is welcomed but it's not enough to save this toadstool. A return to familiar territory is desperately required at this point and "In the Wake of Poseidon (including Libra's Theme)" is a step in the right direction. It's vaguely akin to "Epitaph" yet not quite as good. Robert Fripp does a decent job of replacing Ian McDonald on the Mellotron, Lake turns in another excellent vocal performance and Michael Giles adds his interesting crazed drum fills to the finale but there's an underlying stress weaving throughout the song that can't be ignored. The short "Peace - A Theme" is a sweet acoustic guitar return to the original melody that further displays Fripp's versatility. "Cat Food" is a cool, hip tune and the most commercial sounding in the band's history. I picture in my head some big cheese at Atlantic (after reviewing the success of the 1st album) shouting "Now we just need those boys to give us a hit!" and this is the result. I've always loved this song personally because, even though it kinda reminds me of the riff from The Beatles' "Come Together," there's no way this group could play it straight. Keith Tippet's wild piano spasms and Greg's snide crooning of Sinfield's sarcastic lines like "Goodies on the table/with a fable on the label/drowning in miracle sauce/Don't think I am that rude/if I tell you that it's cat food/not even fit for a horse!" create a fun five minutes for the listener. (Imagine what Pete thinks of today's processed foods!) And the last two minutes get delightfully weird with everybody taking a turn or two at contributing a moment of strangeness.

Next is a little over eleven minutes of Robert Fripp and, as it lists in the credits, his "devices." With one of the longest Mellotron fade-ins in history, "The Devil's Triangle" establishes a musical theme played over a marching drumbeat. "Merday Morn" is a continuation of the same melody as it grows more intense and discordant. Manic piano runs can be heard in the mix, then things reach cacophony. "Hand of Sceiron" is just howling wind noises and then what can only be described as arrhythmic taps before "Garden of Worm" returns you to more bizarre avant garde dissonance in which you'll hear a short snippet of "The Court of the Crimson King" whiz by your ears. The song is adventurous, to be sure, but it doesn't do much for me in the long run. "Peace - An End" bookends the album with the same air you heard in the beginning. This time Lake sings softly over an acoustic guitar, bringing the album to a serene finale.

I've always found that tiny sample from the debut swirling inside "Garden of Worm" to be significant. It's as if Robert Fripp was bidding farewell to the attitude and sound created by that initial collection of musicians because KC would never sound much like that again. The 3rd album would find the band going down a wholly new path with different personnel and never looking back. While this sophomore effort is flawed, it still deserves merit for a couple of outstanding songs and the determination it must have taken to get the album in the record bins at all.

Review by Matti
4 stars If you mixed In The Court of the Crimson King and Lizard together, this album that appeared between them is pretty much what you would get. One could find many analogies track by track, e.g. 'Pictures of a City' reminds of '21st Century Schizoid Man'; 'In the Wake of Poseidon' is a gorgeous prog song similar to 'Epitaph', in which Greg Lake's strong vocals and good ol' Mellotron sound better than anywhere else; 'Cat Food' is an ironic song with manic jazz pianism of Keith Tippett, like 'Happy Family' on Lizard. 'Cadence and Cascade' features the main singer of Lizard, Gordon Haskell, and is a peacuful ballad like 'I talk to the Wind' or 'Lady of the Dancing Water'.

But the idea of this one being a mixture of Court and Lizard albums unfortunately doesn't imply that it's the best of both worlds without faults. It simply can't compete with the famous debut by copying things from it - though I adore the title track. Nor can it surpass the follower since in here the new chemistry of the line-up to be (if only for one album only) is just forming - though 'Cat Food' rocks and jazzes like hell. To my taste the stark instrumental 'Devil's Triangle' is representing the side of King Crimson I'm not so fond of. The three tiny pieces of 'Peace' is something not familiar from either of the other two albums, but I consider the beginning and theme starting the album sides rather useless extension of the ending track, which is a charming little acoustic song with tender lyrics. In short, this album lacks some coherence, it is literally a mixed bag of the preceding and following works. But its highlights are worth having it. For a Crimso fan this is an obligatory album anyway.

Review by thellama73
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars I think after a couple of listens I am starting to warm up to this album. The first time I heard it I was totally disappointed. I couldn't believe that KC could turn out a piece of work so unremarkable. But as I say, I'm warming up to it.

Pictures of a City is as good a track as they've ever produced, with that trademark intensity that we've all come to expect. Things cool down a little after that, and I find Cadence and Cascade boring and overly long, even though it's only four and a half minutes. I have somewhat mixed feelings about the title track. On the one hand, it sounds almost exactly like an inferior version of Epitaph from ITCOTCK. On the other, it features the amazing Michael Giles (my favorite drummer ever and a major part of the reason I bought this album in the first place) banging away magnificently. I actually like the "Peace" themes. They are very pretty and restful. However, Cat Food (which many of my fellow reviewers seem to love) strikes me as totally out of place on the album. It reminds me of ELP, which to my ears is not a good thing. If there is one track that should have been left on the cutting room floor, it's Cat Food, because it totally breaks the flow of the album. Finally we come to the "epic" of the album, the instrumental "Devil's Triangle," with its sinister mellotrons and sinister 5/4 rhythm. The first time I heard the track I found it meandering and directionless, but the more I listen to it, the more I appreciate its brrooding atmosphere. The ending could have used a little trimming though. This is supposedly a rip off of Holst's "Mars" from The Planets, but I don't really hear the resemblance. Then again, I am one of the few people who don't think the theme from Star Wars is a rip off of that same piece, so go figure.

Overall, ITWOP is not a bad album, and not even a bad KC album, but compared to their other masterpieces such as "Lizard," "Red," and the aforementioned debut, it's just a bit lackluster.

Review by febus
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam

Yes and no would be tha answer. Obviously, what was side one seems to folloe in the footsteps of the first album, but i think the songs have their own personalities and are good ( maybe the title track is kind of close to ''Epitath''). But ''Cadence and Cascade'' has its own character, a sentimentall mellow ballad sang beautifully by Gordon Haskell. ''Pictures of a city'' offers great musicianship, especially the guitar of Robert Fripp.

Ian Mcdonald is gone; Mel Collins does an excellent job at replacing him on sax and flute. Greg Lake does only singing on this album, bass duties have been transfered to Peter Giles, brother of Mike. What makes this album also different is the inclusion in the band of the greatly talented pianist Keith Tippett. You can enjoy him with his crazy playing on the single ''Catfood'' , a tune somewhat different from everything else KC has recorder to this point. Catfood opens ex-side2 and from there, King Crimson will go in a total new direction that has no ressemblance whatsoever with anything from the first album.

The main part of this side is the bolero ''The Devils Triangle'' a mellotron orgy that starts slow, peacefully, getting more and more agitated by the minute until it ends in utter disjointed chaos ( a future KC trademark). Only the vocals of Greg Lake at the end brings some kind of relief and peace to the listener. At this point, Robert Fripp has completely taken control of the band and will bring the band to a new direction with the next album, but that's another story.

So, that's not a copy of the first album; this is ''In The Wake Of Poseidon'', not ITCOTCKpart2. I would have give 3.5 stars to this album. so will be 4 as it's an excellent addition to any prog collection

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars In the wake of their great debut

To me, King Crimson started at the top, and worked their way down rapidly! By recording the sublime "Court of the Crimson King" for their first album, they were always going to be faced with a stern challenge to emulate the power and majesty of that masterpiece. The band were torn apart almost immediately by significant line up changes. The multi-talented Ian McDonald had already departed; in his place came Keith Tippet on piano and Mel Collins on saxes & flute, while Robert Fripp took over the mellotron. Greg Lake was still around, sort of. He and Gordon Haskell are both credited at various points as lead singer here.

The likelihood of their follow up album living up to the enormous expectations they had raised with their debut were therefore rapidly diminishing, but hopes were still high that this album would manage to recreate, at least in part, the magic of the first album.

After the brief overture of "Peace - A beginning", things start of in relatively reassuring fashion, with the "Schizoid man" like "Pictures of a city". This 8 minute song leans far more heavily towards the jazz improvisations of the opening song on ITCOTCK than the more structured and majestic songs which dominated that album. Lake's departure during the recording sessions meant that the following "Cadence and cascade" saw Haskill making his debut with the band. The song is a highly delicate rendition, with echoes of Peter Gabriel as his most "beautiful". The flute is reminiscent of "I talk to the wind" (anyone spot a pattern here yet?).

And as sure as eggs is eggs, the first side of the album closes with a track similar to, no I kid you not, "Epitaph". In some ways, it really is a great pity that the title track of this album has been tarred with the "clone" brush, as it has much to recommend it. Greg Lake gives a fine vocal performance, and the 8 minutes are positively awash with mellotron. In retrospect, if only "In the wake of Poseidon" (the track) had replaced "Moonchild" on ITCOTCK, that album would in all probability be the number one prog album even today. Make no mistake, this is a mighty, and sadly under-credited song.

In fairness to King Crimson, the allegations that they simply made a facsimile of their first album with "In the wake of Poseidon" are largely valid only for side one of the LP. The second side, whose brief opening acoustic interlude "Peace - A theme" is completely omitted from the sleeve and the LP label, is more indicative of the route the band will head off in on future releases. Greg Lake's vocals on "Cat food" may be relatively conventional, but the rambling jazz piano on which the song is based is much looser than we have come to expect from the band up until this point. Unfortunately, from my point of view, this is where I get off. With three sides of essential music to their name, for me, King Crimson took a massive wrong turn at this point and in the process killed the golden goose. The following pieces, which merge to form an 11― minute suite, are rather dull noodlings by Fripp, saved only by the always pleasant sound of the mellotron. It almost seems like a kick in the teeth when the main theme from "ITCOTCK" drifts in and out.

In all, "In the wake of Poseidon" is a classic case of a game of two halves. Side one is a decent if all too obvious follow on from the band's glorious debut. Side two, sees them starting to struggle for ideas, and reverting to a certain amount of improvisational padding in order to complete the album. Nice sleeve though.

Review by Queen By-Tor
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Anyone in the mood for In The Court Of The Crimson King again!?

King Crimson's second album would have been very disapointing to me if I was listening to prog (or alive) when it was released. I would have simply thrown it away and pronounced the band dead. It's a good thing it was one of the later albums I bought by the King or I would ahve never been able to appreciate it. While the album certainly is good, and evil, especially the 11-minute DEVIL'S TRIANGLE, one thing that isn't my cup of tea is sounding too much like their prior release. PICTURES OF A CITY, the opening track (after the intro PEACE) has a very similar jazz-metal intro to 21st century Schizoid Man, and though it soon sounds very diferent the next track CADENCE AND CASCADE is very reminicent of I Talk To The Wind. IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON is a standout on the album, but only after you get over the fact that it sounds a lot like In The Court of the Crimson King, basically, a lot of tracks on this album sound like In The Court... Mk. II.

This is a good album, I like it a lot and it's very enjoyable, I'm just a bit thrown off by the similarities it shares with it's predicessor. However, if that was to point (to make a In The Court Mk. II), then the Kind Crimson could have done very well and recieved a 5 star rating from me. Judging from the standpoint of someone in 1970 eagerly awaiting the fresh new material from the young band, I give this album 3 stars. Great album, if a bit familiar sounding.

Review by Prog-jester
4 stars Often hidden in the shadow of the preceded record, “…Poseidon” is a very good album in its own right. Throw away all seeming similarities (simply imagine, that there were no ITCOTCK!) and you’ll get a wonderful Prog album that only 70s could have. Mellotron waves, acoustic and searing electric guitar passages, dreamy voice, a kind of concept around it all, some pretentious and noticeable influences from Avant and Classical music, wonderful artwork without both album and band names on it…Pure vintage Prog!!! Miserable are attempts of modern bands to reach the 10th dole of Classics greatness, and the better way I see for contemporary bands is to try to create something new (not to say “unique”!) instead of re-arranging and re-working old stuff. It was great in 70s, we like it because it’s Classic, but we don’t need pale copies now. But if you know a good one (I do know few examples!), let me know – I’ll definitely enjoy it ;)
Review by Prog Leviathan
4 stars Yes this is "In the Court of the Crimson King" part 2, but with enough variety to make sound to make it slightly better than its predecessor. The biggest change is the inclusion of more up-tempo songs juxtaposed to the band's early signature symphonic pieces, giving the listener to feel some sort of adrenaline after the savage onslaught of the excellent "Pictures of a City". The playing and vocals are good throughout and I would say better than in "In the Court..."; fans of early KC will find only enjoyment throughout this solid sophomore release from one of the genre's most celebrated group.
Review by rushfan4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In the Wake of Poseidon is King Crimson's second album, and the last album to feature Greg Lake on Vocals. As it has been mentioned in many a review, In the Wake of Poseidon is sort of In the Court of the Crimson Kings' ugly stepsister. It has a similar sound and feel as ITCOTCK but it is not nearly as good as the original.

Tracks 1, 5, and 8 all have Peace in the title. The first track, Peace-A Beginning and the last track Peace-An End are kind of Greg Lake singing/reading poetry with a very quiet guitar in the background. The 5th track Peace-A Theme is a very quiet instrumental track that has the sound of the background music of the other Peace songs. I really am not sure what the point of these tracks are. It would seem that it is meant to make this album a concept album, but if it is a concept album, I don't know what the concept is.

Track 2 Pictures of a City is a nice rocking song with good vocals from Greg Lake, and some great instrumental work by the Giles and Mr. Fripp. This is definitely the highlight of this album.

Track 3 Cadence and Cascade is a mellow track with Gordon Haskell making his debut on vocals. My thinking is that the song is about a menage a trois with two women Cadence and Cascade and a man who they meet in the first part of the song, and then they expect to meet for future trysts but he doesn't show. That is at least my impression of the lyrics.

Track 4 In the Wake of Poseidon, is the title track, and is the second best song on this album. Very good mellotron, drums, and guitar work on this song. There is a similar feel to this song and In the Court of the Crimson King from the debut album.

Track 6 Cat Food-from my reading this was the single from this album. It is a rocking track with throwaway lyrics. I think that this song would be used by Greg Lake as a blueprint for the many throwaway lyric songs that would show up on Emerson Lake and Palmer releases such as Jeremy Bender and Benny the Bouncer.

Track 7 The Devil's Triangle-it is my understanding that this song uses Mars, Bringer of War by Gustav Holst as its "inspiration". I think that this song represents a lot of what would become the future improvisational sound of the 90's and 00's, which I am not to fond of. To my untrained ear, there is some decent drum work at times on this song, but for the most part to me this sounds like what would result from putting a group of monkeys in a room with some instruments and letting them have at. It is not so much a song as it is various instruments being hit at random to make noise.

Although my review is somewhat harsh on some of these songs I think that this is a good album, but just non an essential album. If you are looking to start collecting King Crimson albums but not chronologically, then I would save this album until the end.

Review by jammun
4 stars Not sure what Fripp's thought process was during the ITWOP era, but it had to be along the lines of: hmm, the band's falling apart, might as well remake the first album!

I exaggerate perhaps a bit, but this is essentially a remake of ITCOTKC, albeit with somewhat lesser quality songs, though only lesser in comparison to one of the great albums of all time. Pictures of a City just begs to be likened to 21st Century Schizoid Man. Cadence and Cascade is I Talk to the Wind in a different set of clothes. The title track mirrors ITCOTKC's title track in mood. Given that the band was in a state of flux, this was not a bad approach and resulted in another very good KC album. Of course the odd song out here is the incomparable Cat Food, which gives a hint of what would come with Lizard, and the nursery song simplicity of the recurring Peace theme is sublime.

Bottom line: if you enjoyed the first album, you'll like this one. There's not necessarily any forward movement from KC on this one -- they're treading water -- but it's a not disappointing follow-up to the first. And considering that the band at this point basically consisted of one musician and one lyricist, it's a remarkable outing.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars After the immense success of the first album, things got rocky for band members, with mastermind Ian McDonald leaving (soon to be followed by the brothers Gilles and Greg Lake). It fell on Frippīs hands to handle the burden. He had not such a driving importance in the first album (at least songwriting wise) so it might be very hard to him. Greg lake was reported annoyd to leave the bass to Peter Gilles and be only the singer. During the sessions he just left the band for greater things on ELP and Gordon Haskell had to be recruited to finish the album vocals. Some great jazz musicians were asked to join. Little wonder this album is so confusing and unbalanced!

Nevertheless, the musicians talent and drive (specially Frippīs) saved the project somehow. Ok, some songs do sound a little too much like the first LP, but still it is a good work. Pictures of A City has always struck me as a poor manīs copy of 21st Century Schizoid Man, but aside from that, In The Wake Of Poseidon is quite different. The title track has some of Greg Lakeīs most moving vocals, an enigmatic lyric and some beautiful mellotron. It is my favorite track on the whole disc. Cadance And Cascade is also nice, with some great flute done by Mel Collins. Cat Food is a interesting jazz rock piece that shows the path King Crimson would follow soon. The peace themes are just small vignettes, not really songs. And the instrumental trilogy The Devilīs Triangle was maybe a novelty at the time, but I found it nowadays to be just boring exercise of the mellotron, just pointless filler.

With all this in mind I canīt really call this album essential. It is very good in parts and clearly shows a turbulent period King Crimson was facing at the time. It was their first major crise and they survived. So this is a transitional work. Good, but hardly the first one you should pick up. Try In The Court Of the Crimson King, then get this one. 3 stars.

Review by Moatilliatta
2 stars King Crimson certainly shattered stuff when they released their debut album. People's views on the boundaries of music, assumptions that band's should play tightly and more were all but gone when they heard In the Court of the Crimson King. So what could possibly be next? Actually, it's a rather relaxed album comparitively. Not only that, it's surprisingly less adventurous and we have to wonder if the band is already on their way out or Robert Fripp is starting to realize that when he has a wacky idea he should develop it a little more before the band records it. Since I'm writing this from the future, I can tell you that neither is true. OK, so King Crimson matures and gets tighter over the years, but I'll be darned if I don't hear a few spots each album where I hear something desultory or sloppy. Such things apparently didn't matter to the band. What mattered was what the band was playing, not how it was being played. Robert Fripp continuously wanted to find ways to make non-conventional ideas work, and he did. Of course, the original inventors don't make the perfect form of the invention, so it's only natural that over time bands took these kinds of ideas and expanded upon/perfected them.

The album starts strong and quickly descends into an utter bore for the majority of the disc. That's about all I have to say about it. The writing and innovation would spike with the following release, Lizard. While I still don't feel the band hit all the marks on that one, it is definitely one of their most interesting and important works. And so, in the wake of that album especially, In the Wake of Poseidon can be forgotten.

Review by crimson87
5 stars This is one of Crimsonīs most underrated efforts , the main argument they use to prove this is: Hey! , this is almost a carbon-copy of ITCTKC, the way I look at it this album is even better than their debut becouse it goes beyond an explores more , this album is a Prelude to Lizard in a way.Who cares if Pictures of a city is not as breathtaking as 21ST century schizoid man? Is an amazing opener anyway, Cadence and Cascade has some of the best lyrics on the album; and that is a huge compliment for a song that is in an album that shows Peter Sinfield at his best. Now if I knew the way to start a new paragraph , the title track would deserve a huge one In the wake... is one of the best songs Crimson has to offer and I thought that Epithaph couldn`t be matched ... well I had an amazing surprise. The devils triangle is the summum of the album I can`t and will not find words to describe this number The poems called Peace... give the album a sort of concept that ITCOCK didnt have , THIS IS A MUST HAVE ALBUM (note that I`ll use this phrase in almost every Crimson album)
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is the 2nd full-length studio album by UK progressive rock act King Crimson. The album was released through Island Records (UK) and Atlantic Records (US) in May 1970. Itīs the successor to "In the Court of the Crimson King" from October 1969. There have been quite a few lineup changes since the predecessor as Ian McDonald (keyboards, reeds and woodwinds) and Michael Giles (drums, percussion, backing vocals) both left King Crimson following the bandīs first US tour in late 1969 and Greg Lake (vocals, bass) was also on his way out the door to form his own band Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Lake agreed to record vocals for the album though, and he performs vocals on all tracks but "Cadence And Cascade" (where the vocals are performed by Gordon Haskell, who would subsequently replace Lake as the bandīs lead singer/bassist). Michael Giles was recruited as a session drummer, and brother Peter Giles, who was part of the earliest King Crimson lineup recorded the bass parts. Also as a session musician. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" also features guest/session appearences by Mel Collins (saxophones, flute) and Keith Tippett (piano).

McDonald leaving was the main catalyst for Giles and Lake also jumping ship, as McDonald was the main composer of the material featured on "In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)" and there were doubts in which direction guitarist Robert Fripp and lyricist Peter Sinfield would take the music. As it turned out the material on "In The Wake Of Poseidon" are in many ways very similar in style to the material on "In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)". The heavy and saxophone driven "Pictures Of A City" sounds like a sibling composition to "21st Century Schizoid Man" and the title track has a similar melancholic and epic atmosphere and a similar structure to "Epitaph" from the debut album. "Cadence And Cascade" is this albumīs "I Talk to the Wind". So there is no arguing Fripp and Sinfield played it safe as far as sound and style goes. Fortunately they also challenged themselves and produced two tracks which are quite different from the material found on the debut album in the jazz rock influenced "Cat Food" and the slow building multi-layered 11:38 minutes long ambient/atmospheric instrumental "The Devil's Triangle", which is like listening to a gloomy, simplistic, and ominous sounding "Bolero". Itīs a bit too long for its own good, and slightly uneventful and tedious too, but at least the band tried something new and different here.

"In The Wake Of Poseidon" is a well produced affair and the production provides the music with the right conditions to shine. Considering the relatively short time between the debut and this album, and the fact that the bandīs main composer left (although he is credited as co-writer on "Cat Food" and "The Devil's Triangle") along with half the lineup who recorded the debut album, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" actually came out pretty great. Itīs a ultimately a strong release, featuring high quality material, and stellar musical performances, and if you can look past the fact that many of the tracks on the album sound like they are made from blueprints of tracks from the debut album, there is a lot to enjoy here for a fan of progressive rock. A 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is deserved.

(Originally posted on Metal Music Archives)

Review by TGM: Orb
4 stars Review 18, In The Wake Of Poseidon, King Crimson, 1970


This album had the unfortunate disadvantage of following In The Court Of The Crimson King. After such a stunning debut, it seemed unlikely that a somewhat changed and unstable line-up (with Peter Giles replacing Greg Lake's bass, Keith Tippett's jazz piano contributions and Mel Collins replacing Ian McDonald's saxes and flutes. Fripp takes over the mellotron, and Gordon Haskell provides one vocal) could possibly follow up on the band's promise. The resulting album, In The Wake Of Poseidon is an absolutely superb effort, and in no way the 'sticking to the formula' that some have accused it of being. Superficially, you have a fairly fast jazz rock song featuring sax, an 'epic' with mellotron, and a softer song on both, but really that's about the extent of the similarity. This is, even if not quite as mindblowing as Court, an absolutely essential album, because of The Devil's Triangle, the acoustics on the title track, and Mike Giles' second dose of absolutely amazing drumming.

The album begins with a distant vocal from Lake, the first of the three enjoyable peace segments, with a couple of taps on acoustics at the end. Peace - A Theme, is a pure acoustic guitar solo, which is enjoyable, but not really a standout track. The final Peace - An End section begins with Greg Lake's vocal as quite unsteady, presumably to show Sinfield's ideas of moving towards a conclusion, but really, I think it just seems weak here. It is a lovely ending though, with a little more minimalist acoustic playing from Fripp, and lyrically beautiful.

Pictures Of A City is the faster jazz rock piece mentioned earlier. Opened mostly by Peter Giles' twanging bass and a smoky sax from Collins, with a tremendous drum roll thing, Lake enters the song, with his gripping vocal. After a couple of verses, Fripp kicks in with his insane fast jazz guitar, and then moves to a softer bass-and-drums-dominated break, to a faster pace lead back into the final verse (lyrically it merges parts of the previous two). The music and lyrics are joined perfectly, a series of images, flashing past. Lyrically, I think this is also the song that best lives up to what Pete Sinfield achieved on Court. Gripping, working well independently and in the context of its album. It ends by ascending into chaos, and sharply contrasts with the soft follower, which is really the biggest (in my opinion, the only) justification of the Court doppelganger comments of many reviewers.

Cadence And Cascade is the album's problem for me. Gordon Haskell really seems quite weak as a vocalist compared to the superb Greg Lake and, despite the truly superb work from all the musicians involved, the song fails to really grip me. Tippet and Mike Giles really stand out on this one, though, and the flute part from Collins is enjoyable.

The mellotron-and-drums powerhouse of In The Wake Of Poseidon's opening is one of Crimson's finest moments, and the continuation is very strong, if a little too reliant on the mellotron. Lake provides absolutely stunning vocals, and Sinfield's lyrics have really grown on me from a poor start. The real highlight of this song, though, is Fripp's finest work on acoustic guitars, providing twinges that subtly alter the feel of any individual word. Mel Collins adds a bit of flute in here. It bears basically no relationship to Epitaph, as far as I can see, except in the possession of a chorus. Mike Giles on drums, again, stands out. A truly superb drummer.

The jazzy Cat Food was hate at first listen, but I've really grown to enjoy it. A bass-driven song, to which Tippet's chaotic piano provides the real substance, while the drums tap away in a suitably unpredictable fashion. Following the end of the vocals, Fripp comes in with a few good acoustic chords, and adds something else to the song. Lyrically, a fairly clever hammering of commercial advertising.

The Devil's Triangle is perhaps the most visceral reinterpretation of a classical piece, ever. Based on Holst's 'Mars, The Bringer Of War', it takes the basic outline and ideas of the original and provides savage biting ideas, dark atmosphere, and a general utter amelodic chaos to the mix. On Merday Morn, Fripp shows off the whining guitar sound that he'll master on Prince Rupert's Lament and ample mellotron handling, while Tippet and Collins are the other two standouts. Collins for just playing notes that don't seem to fit, but add to the feel very perfectly, and Tippet for his ability to use a piano to create angry textures even if it's unconventional. The Garden Of Scion, I think, begins with a chaotic windy section that'd be seen later on Pink Floyd's Meddle album, and continues in a much more jazzy style, with Tippet, Pete Giles and Collins carrying all before them. This moves to an almost comical drawn out violin-like wail and an echo of Court's vocal harmonies, and slowly and chaotically just generally does what the hell it likes before Collins' flute and Fripp's acoustics bring it back to the final peace section. I've got to give Sinfield credit for his choice of names, and I'm quite glad that the band was actually refused permission to use the classical piece's name: this creation is far too unique for that. An experimental, daring piece. Not to be missed.

Perhaps the most unfortunate feature of the remaster (see Tales From Topographic Oceans or Brain Salad Surgery for comparison. Same problem.) is the inclusion of bonus material. While having Groon and the single version of Cat Food in some form wouldn't otherwise be a bad thing, they completely ruin the effect of the album's three Peace sections and damage the lyrical ideas built up throughout the song.

This album failed to live up to the previous album in a couple of ways: lyrically, Court is more immediate and resonant, while this is clever in a way that usually succeeds, but doesn't have the same impact. Second, there are two small flaws in this album: Gordon Haskell's vocal on Cadence And Cascade, and the over-extension of In The Wake Of Poseidon. However, it's nonetheless, as I have suggested, a vital and very individual album.

Favourite Track: Pictures Of A City (with a nod to The Devil's Triangle) Rating: Four Stars

Review by LiquidEternity
4 stars Many find this album to be something of a second attempt at In the Court of the Crimson King, but I find it has enough identity of its own to stand as a very strong album.

While it is true that, when the whole of King Crimson's discography is examined, this album is much closer in sound and idea to the band's debut, assuming that it features the same kinds of music is a sorry mistake. Rather, on the whole, this album is lighter, less dark and melancholic. More instruments are toyed with, more sounds created. Beautiful interludes tie tracks together. The vastness of the sound is reduced to a more band-oriented feel on most of the album, and while that does make it suffer on the whole compared to its predecessor, it still gives this album a sense of individual strength. The first side hearkens back towards In the Court more, but the second side features some highly progressive leaps forward (and a good bit backwards, if you will, but I'll get to that).

The three bracketing tracks, Peace, gently provide a sweet melody to properly place each song where it needs to feel. The album proper starts with Pictures of a City, a song stylistically similar to 21st Century Schizoid Man but quite different. There is a good bit of aggression, but the brass is largely toned down and the guitar turned up quite a bit. Here is probably the first example of Robert Fripp's guitar skills, from highly distorted power chords to something very akin to early shredding. The vocal lines are quite fun and fairly dark. On the tails of this piece is the soft and mildly weak track Cadence and Cascade. It's a traditional ballad built on acoustic guitar and piano, sounding nice but being mostly unmemorable. The title track comes next, and it is here, I fear, that the music hides behind their previous success. It sounds mostly like the title track to In the Court of the Crimson King. Especially coming off the tails of Cadence and Cascade, which is a nice Lake piece, this is about as close as possible to being a standard King Crimson tune. This song alone keeps the album from five stars, though personally it's one of my favorites.

The second side begins again with the Peace motif, segueing to the rather suddenly different Cat Food. Instead of melancholic or haunting strains of aggression like we have gotten used to with the band, instead we end up with a slightly goofy piano-driven rock tune. While sometimes the piano sounds like someone laying down on the keyboard, it still gives this Beatlesy a fair bit of experimental fun without sacrificing melody or enjoyment. A personal favorite of mine, though I understand a lot of prog enthusiasts find it obnoxious. Either way, it moves on to the remarkably different Devil's Triangle. This piece builds off Holst's Mars suite, creating probably the darkest and most horrifying soundscape ever to be found on a Crimson record. Absolutely stunning. This song is a must, in my opinion, being one of the most fascinating pieces the band put on a studio album. The menace gently is assuaged by the concluding Peace bracket, this time featuring Lake's vocals instead of a guitar or a keyboard, letting you settle down just enough to breathe again after the album has ended.

While the first side is unfortunately a good bit weak, this is still classic (and possibly essential) King Crimson. While I absolutely recommend listening to the band's debut before this one, I find this to be a wonderful record and one that fans of almost any musical style can find something enjoyable in.

Review by ProgBagel
4 stars King Crimson - 'In the Wake of Poseidon' 4 stars

Similar in structure to the debut, but a different animal.

I really like this album a lot. When I first heard it, I really didn't think about it sounding like the debut at all, it is quite different here. There are a lot of interesting works here that the debut lacked.

The 'Peace.' trilogy in this album is one of my favorites. Beginning and end are very relaxing vocally done pieces the start and close the album to give it a complete feel..something once again, the debut lacked. The 'Peace - A Theme' track is one of my favorite acoustic tracks ever, I just love some of the melodies that Fripp pulls.

'Pictures of a City' starts out chaotically like Schizoid Man. The verse is radically different as Greg Lake vocals mostly drive the piece. This one is no doubt a Crimson classic.

'Cadence and Cascade' is a short breather after the last brutal track. A good acoustic song to chill out to.

'Cat Food' was a little too avant-garde for me. The keyboard was just way to dissonant to be pleasant at a loud volume. Chorus was good though!

The title track was an interesting one. The mellotron was present just about from beginning to end with some insightful lyrics. The instruments backing it all explored various themes within the piece, this is one very progressive.

'The Devil's Triangle' is a great track. A re-working of Holst's Mars piece. The track had a very symphonic feel to it and there was the chorus from 'In the Court of the Crimson King' thrown in towards the end.

There really isn't a bad track on this album in my opinion. The debut was superior, but it didn't detract this album at all. This is wonderful on its own. I recommend this highly to anyone, after the classic Crimson albums.

Review by Sinusoid
3 stars IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING is one of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time as their merger of classical, jazz and rock went further into the experimental territory than any other band before. Riding the crest of that wave of success, the follow-up IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON leaves a lot to be desired.

I never saw POSEIDON as nothing more than CRIMSON KING II. We could look at ''Pictures of a City'', ''Cadence and Cascade'' and the title track as weaker versions of the first three tracks from their debut. I never really understood what the ''Peace'' tracks meant to do other than serve as nice interludes. The RIO attempt in ''The Devil's Triangle'' is nice, but it unfortunately ''borrows'' the main theme to Gustav Holst's ''Mars-Bringer of War''. The only great track here is the jazzier ''Cat Food''. One of those ''get-at-your-own-risk'' albums.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars If King Crimson only had five tracks on the album, we would almost have In the Court of the Crimson King part two. I think of In the Wake of Poseidon as a younger brother to their debut album, as several of the songs are very similar to songs recorded before, even if they are not quite as a strong. Every time I hear most any King Crimson album (their first two in particular), I'm always impressed by how Robert Fripp, though the leader of the band, is very restrained and doesn't attempt to hijack any of the songs with pompous guitar playing. Overall, this is a very good album, a worthy acquisition, but just slightly weaker than their first album. As a side note (I usually do not comment on visuals), the cover artwork is a 1967 painting by Tammo De Jongh entitled "The 12 Achetypes," and is very interesting to read about.

"Peace- A Beginning" The album opens with Greg Lake's quiet singing laden with effects that gradually go away, eventually leaving his bare voice.

"Pictures of a City" With wailing saxes and distorted guitar, this song is fairly similar to "21st Century Schizoid Man." Something often not associated with progressive rock music (and certainly not with King Crimson) is heard here- a standard blues chord progression. There's some clever guitar work and drumming that goes on midway through. Everyone gets a piece of the action- there's even a reserved bass solo five minutes in. And as with the first song from their first album, the song ends with unrestrained improvisation.

"Cadence and Cascade" Beautiful acoustic guitar and singing, with piano, flute, and light drums throughout, make up this pretty song. While not progressive rock, per se, it is a welcome constituent to this album.

"In the Wake of Poseidon" Waves of Mellotron envelop this song, paving the way for Lake to sing over sad acoustic guitar, bass, and drums. If "Pictures of a City" was the "21st Century Schizoid Man" of the album, and "Cadence and Cascade" the "I Talk to the Wind," then "In the Wake of Poseidon" is definitely the "Epitaph."

"Peace- A Theme" Fripp treats us to a lovely but fleeting acoustic guitar interlude.

"Cat Food" My least favorite track on the album, it's a fairly straightforward song with a good bass groove. The constant dissonant piano runs get annoying, but the flourishes in the end are gorgeous, in stark contrast to the raunchier feel of the rest of the song.

"The Devil's Triangle" The album's longest track is an instrumental based on Gustav Holst's "Mars: Bringer of War" from his suite, The Planets. The first third of this piece consists of a Mellotron fading in with a marching drum that eventually pitch shifts up to welcome the next, more demoralizing part of the piece. This section would have fit in well in the soundtrack of a movie like The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. One cannot help but imagine wave after wave of goblins and orcs marching their way from Isengard. The third section is less imposing then the second, employing jazzier elements and a bit of strange improvisation. The last moments are feathery, unlike anything that came before, perhaps welcoming peace.

"Peace- An End" Very similar to the first track, what remains on the album is something of an extended reprise of "Peace- A Beginning." Except this time, there is acoustic guitar accompaniment and Lake doubling-up on vocals, singing an octave below himself in some parts.

Review by ProgShine
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars 01. Peace - The Beginning Not because they do not have like a song being the singer Greg Lake, only his voice and a guitar in the end, just to start the game.

02. Pictures Of A City including 42nd At Treadmill A hit here that the blows make a strange weight to everything, some parts fast and slow at the same time. At the riff is a powerful voice with the voice of Lake, but the coolest are the same sax. Madness ... a lot of guitar and madness below, Greg is in the low key but serious Peter Giles saw here is a hit, he plays too. After a lot of madness, a party with a low front takes care of things. Much improvisation as is typical of King Crimson, this is the nature of them.

03. Cadence And Cascade Gordon Haskell premiere of the voice in the next disc it would be more present since Greg joined Keith Emerson and Carl Palmer mount for the E, L & P. A very beautiful ballad with guitar and piano in the foreground together. Very nice by the way. The chorus is even more beautiful, so with a single keyboard, nice and smooth.

04. In The Wake Of Poseidon including Libra's Theme Returning to the sound of the same faces, a body means accident, bold battery, and then returns to the theme calmer scene, with the voice of Lake always perfect. This song is easy, but it has many different parts and I quite like the arrangement of it. The vocal line is also a charm, is pretty cool stuff means coral. I love it!

05. Peace - The Theme A theme of calm and beautiful guitar. Just to enjoy the calm of things.

06. Cat Food Greg Lake this well here. Rock even more. I think that's a bit E, L & P, without wanting to compare. It has a footprint and the jazz piano and sometimes very strange. In the very final piano.

07. The Devil's Triangle a) Mesday Morn b) Hand Of Sceiron c) Garden Of Worm This is the epic of the disc. Begins (like many other sounds) very low and grows until you reach the apex of music. Many keyboards and everything a martial tone. Some sounds of 'wind' and everything. Much psicodelia with touches of jazz, rock and reminded me very Abbadon's Bolero disk Trilogy of E, L & P. More at the end is the bottom of each well and relied on 'sounds' from several keyboards and also some short stretches of the vocalization of In The Wake Of Poseidon. I could not identify very well what are the 3 shares so ...

08. Peace - An End To finish any better than the voice of Lake exactly as in track 1, a melody of the guitar tracks in part two of the band, would best way to end a disc.

Many say the disc is weaker because of King Crimson were in transition, changing the training, staff falling out. But still I think they did a very good job.


Review by The Quiet One
4 stars In the Wake of the Court of the Poseidon King

King Crimson had one of the most difficult tasks any band had dealt with, making a more innovative album than In the Court of the Crimson King!! Well KC obviously didn't make it and not even close, I would like to call this album In the Court of the Crimson King Part 2, definitely because of a very similar climax in the songs, as well as similar riffs and instrumental passage. Besides the negative points, I'm able to save this album from it's doom, saying whole-heartedly that this album is much well crafted and elaborated than Court, with a cleaner sound to the songs with a jazzy feel to it, which in the following album, Lizard, it would be highly acomplished this ''jazzy feel''.

Now to the songs review, which I will divide as the following:

Mellotron Attacks: The title track is of them, with a lot of depressing and beautiful, at the same time, mellotron, creating the whole climax in which can be described by the 2 adjectives I used to describe the mellotron. The song's composition is one of the finest in the album, with a very good vocal delivery by Greg Lake, soon to join ELP, in which his style suits perfectly, with a lot of emotion in each word, as well as giving the complete view of the song's climax and route in which will follow, which is clearly the depression and beauty.

The other song with excessive mellotron is The Devil's Triangle, with it's haunting mellotron and marching based drumming. The Devil's Triangle is definitely the Devil's song, the first 7 minutes scares you like hell, with a very evilish transcendence lead by this terrifying and depressing mellotron. While the final minutes of the song, shows somber dissonance and madness, which is expected from bands like King Crimson or Van Der Graaf Generator. Too dissonant and scary for my like, though it's a very well welcomed song by the normal KC fan.

You want peace and tranquility?, you got it: Peace gives you, well..., peace. Soft pieces written by Robert and Peter; A Beginning(part 1) consists of a quite, though a bit somber, intro with Greg's semi-depressing voice; A Theme(part 2) consists of Robert's solo spot on the acoustic guitar, just think of Horizons by Genesism, quite gorgeous; An End(part 3) consists of part 1 and part 2, connected, somber and gorgeous, a reliable ending, though it could have been much better.

Then there's also Cadence and Cascade, similar to the acoustic spot of Peace: A Theme, though more sophisticated and beautiful, with Mel's sweet flute just taken out from mother-earth, plus some nicely done piano melodies and chords and Gordon's low gentle voice giving the final ingredient to this wonderful song, definitely one of the best song from the album, IMO.

Got bored? well you have 2 tunes that will cheer you up: primarly Cat Food, a very well achieved dissonant semi-pop song. It's catchy even with it's dissonant piano, which creates a kind-of ''complex'' climax, though it really is quite simple(compared to other stuff KC has made), with chorus, 10 second guitar solo and all. Though, for those who think it'll be pop-crap, then I'll have to say it's not, maybe not KC standard shear- genius, but it stands as proof that Robert can write some very enjoyable and with a complex feel kind of pop song.

The only song left is Pictures of a City(aka 21st Century Schizoid Man Part 2).A Heavy Avant-Prog song, as 21st Century Schizoid Man. This one clicks my attention a bit further than the one mentoned before, maybe because the more jazzy saxophone intro, rather than the classic heavy intro of the other. This one moves to complex rock spaces, rather than a complex symphonic one, as well as going through almost spacey territories with Robert's guitar echoing, as well as a reliable bass rythm, in which will speed-up and power- up with Robert's guitar and Michael's drums till the reprise of the blasting intro.

To conclude I'll have to say is that In the Wake of Poseidon stands at par with In the Court of the Crimson King on the composition/song-writing aspects, while in the innovative side, ITWOP fails. Yet, the tag ''innovative'' is actually a ''bonus'' on music, reffering myself to nothing really essential to the music, though I admit if the album carries this ''bonus'' then good for it, yet I have to conclude in which if ITCOTCK is rated high just for it's groundbreakingness, isn't inovativeness useless without good songs? Well if you do consider the songs good and rate the album high for it being good as well as adding 1 extra star for it's innovation, then why not consider the music in this album at the par? Does the tag ''Groundbreaking'' adds 2 or even 3 more stars to your rating? I wouldn't think so, still that stands in eachs own.

To make it brief: If you like Court for it's music, you should definitely like this, a bit less or a bit more, but at least like it. If you're expecting some new ideas from king Crimson, then I suggest you to skip this and go with Lizard and then to Lark's Tongue in Aspic, in which both you'll find some very innovative ideas, though completely different to their debut in style.

A well equilibrated album, with soft spots and heavy complex ones, which makes this album classic KC. Very good addition to your Prog Collection.

Review by Gooner
4 stars This is what could be considered King Crimson's _Nursery Cryme_(as per Genesis). Not the greatest sounding album for production values. It also sounds a little disjointed in places or phoned in(notice all the guests which appear). Definitely not a band effort but more or less a project. _The Devil's Triangle_ has to be the most sinister sounding track in prog history where the mellotron is used in a most gloomy fashion. Best heard before a massive thunderstorm. It's the lesser to _In The Court Of The Crimson King_, but it's still a 4 star effort. In the prog.rock world, I can't think of a King Crimson album that could muster up anything less than 4 stars out of 5...and _In The Wake Of Poseiden_ is no different. King Crimson always has something important to say artistically. A great companion album to IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING.
Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The King was getting too comfortable

KING CRIMSON suffered one of the hardest situations a young band can face, releasing THE ALBUM on their debut, the one that defined not only Progressive Rock for the first time, but which also created the parameters that would be used to define Symphonic Prog.

After the incredible and unexpected start, KING CRIMSON had no alternative but to make something even more radical, this is not the case of "In the Wake of Poseidon", after the magnificent "In the Court of the Crimson King", all the fans were expecting a release that proved the band was capable of anything, but didn't came. Their second record is just a failed attempt of repeating the formula that consolidate them at the head of the recently born Progressive Rock movement.

Some people could suspect that the loss of Ian McDonald, one of the developers of the fantastic atmosphere in the debut, but I don't believe it's a determinant fact, Mel Collins is at least as strong in his performance but the formula is the same, clean, polished, beautiful........................tame.

What really doesn't help is that Lake is limited to the excellent vocals, because Peter Giles is not able to complement his brother in the rhythm section as Greg did, something strange being so used to play together, but evident from the first listen.

Fripp and company try to repeat the formula of their debut track by track but they fail in each attempt, sounding more as a second rate copy than as an original album.

The album starts with "Peace - A Beginning" a short intro in which Greg Lake shows again the ductility of his voice and leads directly to "Pictures in the City", which from the first note tries to recreate in some way the fantastic "21st Century Schizoid Man", but they fail miserably, yes it's loud and strong, but lacks of that radical and revolutionary sound, this is an exhausted formula that they had to leave very soon before becoming a cliche.

"Cadence and Cascade" starts with a beautiful acoustic guitar intro where Gordon Haskel takes the lead vocals, his voice is very nice and soft, but there's something missing, reminds me a bit of "I Talk to the Wind" but much more predictable, this time Mel CollinsĄ flute is delightful and the soft piano by Keith Tippett is a good complement, but again, this has been tried before, it's time to move to something different.

"In the Wake of Poseidon" is a contradictory track, even though I can listen advances from the "Starless" era, still they can't leave "Epitaph" behind, even Greg sounds tired and bored of the same sound. Yes, it's a good track, very dramatic and well elaborate, but all those innovations KING CRIMSON was able to create in order to define a new genre with their debut, are left in the past.

From this point until the end, we start to see the seeds of change, in the music, "Peace a Theme" is a good change, nothing too explorative and daring, but at the end it's only a short interlude where Robert Fripp proves how capable he is with the guitar.

Immediately we pass to the jazzy and vibrant "Cat Food", not spectacular (nothing is in that level on this album), but at least a step forward, they dare to be different, take risks, do something that they know won't be in the level of their previous release, but still leave the comfort zone. Now Greg Lake sounds interested, not tired of the same as in the first songs, it was about time.

Still not free of the In the Court influences, "Devil's Triangle" presents us a new perspective, extremely pompous and absolutely epic, if the long tracks from the debut had been mostly atmospheric and dramatic, in this case they add a touch of adventure, this may sound dated in the 21st Century, but in 1970 was really adventurous, another good change, mainly because the song gets more complex and elaborate as they advance, yes it's hard to understand and even too risky for some, but that's the name of the game, Progressive Rock means to expect the unexpected, not just beautiful tunes, we need some challenge and KING CRIMSON provides that attitude, still not the best we can expect from Fripp and his guys, but it's a solid advance.

The album ends as it started, with another Lake vocals based short track that seems created to give some conceptual background.

What else can I say? The album is not bad, by the contrary, well recorded, excellent sound, correct, clean and pristine, this would be OK for some bands who base their albums in a well known formula that they use over and over, but the name KING CRIMSON; makes you always expect something special that I can't find in this album.

I wish there was a 2.5 stars rating, because "In the Wake of Poseidon" is nothing more than an average album, but sadly we don't have that chance and I don't believe such a predictable release deserves 3 stars, so with not little sadness will rate a correct but anodyne album with 2 stars.

Review by horsewithteeth11
3 stars Many people say this is a disappointment in comparison to KC's debut. Well, given that I don't think nearly as highly of their debut as probably 90% of most progressive rock fans, I beg to differ. I think this album is actually an improvement on ItCotCK, but while it does take a few steps forward, it also takes a few steps backwards in my opinion.

I'll keep this review short since there is already a plethora of them on this album and most other KC albums. This album retains too much of the symphonic noodling that annoyed me on Court, especially in Epitaph and Moonchild. It also feels quite generic compared to some of the other material that was around in the early 70s as well At the same time, this album also is moving away from that symphonic sound and more towards the experimental, jazzy, eclectic sound that would become the classic 70s KC sound. Pictures of a City and Devil's Triangle are probably my two favorite songs on here. I especially like the buildup on the beginning of the second one. But really, there's only so much for me to enjoy here. A bit better for me than KC's debut, but I still can't give it more than 3 stars. The best is still yet to come.

Review by The Sleepwalker
3 stars King Crimson's second album is very much alike the first album, a thing people often seem to call a bad thing of this album. But, the debut album was a great album, so I don't think it's bad this album is in the same style. Some songs on the album clearly are meant to do what other songs did on ITCOTCK. For example, "Pictures Of A City" is the new "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "Cadence And Cascade" is the new "I Talk To The Wind". Though the songs are very similar, they are different on some points, which makes it another listen than the songs of ITCOTCK.

"Peace - A Begining" opens the album very softly, this song is a short introduction to what's coming. After a bit less than a minute the heaviest song of the album shows its power. "Pictures Of A City" is definitely my favorite from this album. It's an incredibly powerful jazzy song, in the same style as "21st Century Schizoid Man", but in my opinion even better. The song knows, just as "21st Century Schizoid Man", a jam part and powerful verses, a great song.

The third track is "Cadence And Cascade", a very calm and beautiful track. The song is not the big highlight of the album and not a memorable song, but that is not what it is supposed to be. The song is very much like "I Talk To The Wind" from ITCOTCK but is not as good, though it still is a nice track.

Next is the title track, "In The Wake Of Poseidon". This song is the new "Epitaph", but it's much worse. Where "Epitaph" was one of King Crimson's most epic songs, this one is kind of a faillure, it just doesn't do it for me. Just like "Epitaph", the song is very mellotron and acoustic guitar driven. The acoustic guitar on this song doesn't do it much good and the band decided to add some pretty annoying drums to it. The title track is kind of a dissapointment.

"Peace - A Theme" is a nice acoustic guitar peace, very calm but very good. "Peace - A Theme" is some sort of interlude between "In The Wake Of Poseidon" and the sixth track, "Cat Food". "Cat Food" is a very jazzy track, though not the most proggy track on the album. The instruments in the song are nice, though not special, but Greg's vocals are very annoying here. The vocals are supposed to sound agressive, maybe a bit like "21st Century Schizoid Man", but instead of doing that they sound forced.

The seventh track is better, it's the epic "The Devil's Triangle". This song is King Crimson's version of "Mars: Bringer Of War", by early 20th century composer Gustav Holst. The song features a lot of very aggresive and haunting mellotron and war drums. The song is by far the most epic and original song on In The Wake Of Poseidon and could really "Frighten" you at some moments by it's power. The last several minutes of the song are more experimental than the rest of the song, but also much less epic and kind of an anti-climax. "The Devil's Triangle" is a very good song, one of the highlights of the album. The album closes with "Peace - An End", a reprise of the albums opener, "Peace - A Begining".

In The Wake Of Poseidon has several highlights but is by no means as good as ITCOTCK. I really don't think the album deserves four or five stars, but the album is not really bad either, so I rate it three stars.

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars King Crimson is one of my beloved band. Their debut album is all time prog classic. But this, second one, isn't. In fact, they continued with ideas and music from their debut there, but all this work just looks as "ITCKC -II". And as in movie market, every "Rambo -II" is not so good, as original.

Music isn't bad at all, it's more just lack of fresh ideas. Using the same sounds and same constructions, it wasn't easy to produce original album. Another difference - this,second KC album, isn't far as energetic as their debut. Much more mellow, even romantic, it missed part of KC magic.

In my KC list this albums is placed somewhere in the middle. I prefer more heavy and experimental side of KC.

Let say 3,45...

Review by friso
4 stars King Crimson set the tone for seventies progressive rock with their dazzling debut album which proved to be hard to topple. The line-up changed significantly, but Greg Lake still sings on most of the songs and of course Robert Fripp handles the guitars and mellotrons. Peter and Michel Giles are still present on this record, but would leave the band to record their own album in this King Crimson style with Ian McDonald (who also played on the King Crimson debut). Jazz pianist extraordinaire Keith Tippet was introduced to the band (most notably on the song 'Cat Food'), whose performances would hold center stage on follow-up 'Lizard'.

On 'In The Wake of Poseidon' the band would try to consolidate its style in stead of further it, which would be the record's main criticism. 'Pictures of a City' is an acid jazz rock track with distorted vocals (just like '21th Century Schizoid Man'), 'Cadence And Cascade' is a majestic ballad (like 'I Talk to the Wind') and the title song is an epic symphonic prog aria (much like 'Epitaph'). Though these tracks are in and of themselves still top tier majestic symphonic prog songs with beautiful classical and jazz music influences - but the obvious parallel styles are a bit of a letdown. On side two the loose jazz-rock song 'Cat Food' is a great break, but the twelve minutes of the 'The Devil's Triangle' is only partly interesting with its heavy mellotrons and soundscapes. The final track 'Piece - An End' is to short to leave much of a mark and so the record ends a bit unrewarding. Now most would say this album is one of King Crimson's less important records of the seventies, but I would say its still essential because the first four tracks are just way too good to skip.

Review by seventhsojourn
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Second albums are notoriously difficult, and I would say that ITWOP exemplifies that reputation. King Crimson's sophomore release is a poor imitation of the landmark first album. It was a major disappointment when I first heard it and it hasn't improved with the intervening decades.

The nucleus of the band by this stage consisted of Fripp and Sinfield. McDonald and Giles had been the first to jump ship, although the latter plays drums on the album. While Fripp may have been the band's driving force, it seems clear from the evidence of ITWOP that McDonald had been the main creative/songwriting influence before his departure. ITWOP lacks musical direction and Fripp seems to be struggling with the responsibility of handling the compositional duties. Side One of the vinyl album replicates the previous record, while Fripp's reworking of Holst's Mars is disturbing and tedious; why would you want to listen to this?

While Lake had also officially left, he does sing on all but one of the vocal pieces here. Replacement vocalist Gordon Haskell sings on Cadence And Cascade; pleasant enough, but in my opinion Haskell and his eventual replacement Boz Burrell were the weak links in these incarnations of King Crimson. Pete Sinfield did a reasonable job of singing on his solo album Still, so I don't know why he didn't just handle the vocals in KC; his voice isn't any worse than Haskell's.

So what is there to commend here? The title track is a glorious piece of music and is one of my favourites in the King Crimson canon. In isolation this would probably be a perfectly reasonable album. However when it is inevitably compared with its predecessor it pales into insignificance as an ersatz copy. Fripp could not have hoped to emulate In The Court Of The Crimson King, which begs the question why he tried.

Review by kenethlevine
3 stars Right down to the title, this one screams copycat sequel, and for half an album, that's pretty much the formula. For the other half, KING CRIMSON provides strong hints as to their direction for the next couple of years. The group was imploding, members were abandoning the project and shifting roles, and critical underpinnings of the prior masterpiece were crumbling. The readily accessible yet dark foreboding of "In the Court" would run its course here, and KC would never be the same,

Apart from the 30 second introduction of the "Peace" theme, Side 1 is a track by track analog to Side 1 on the debut. "Pictures of the City" is this album's "Schizoid Man", but not nearly as groundbreaking or hard hitting. Michael Giles remains on drums but the trebly quality of his kit is gone, replaced by a more guttural timbre. He nonetheless remains as prominent. In "Cadence and Cascade" we have a more terse statement of the "I Talk to the Wind" theme, with Gordon Haskell having stepped in as short lived vocalist. While it could not match the original for sheer psychedelic bliss, to me it's an equal. The title cut is this recording's "Epitaph", and in some respects exceeds that cut, thanks to an even more majestic middle mellotron theme. The ending is somewhat drawn out, but suggests the sea as an infinite source of life, inspiration, and death.

Side 2 begins and ends with instrumental and more vocal recapitulation of the acoustic "Peace" themes respectively, but in between we are offered the new, less democratic direction for KC under Robert Fripp. "Cat Food" is a quaint mixture of rock and roll tickled by Keith Tippet's piano work, but ultimately lightweight compared to what we are used to. "The Devil's Triangle" is mellotron gone awry, ostensibly in the service of Holst's "Planets", and seems to be at least in part a parting shot by Ian McDonald. Both of these tracks point to what would be somewhat better developed on "Lizard".

Apart from "Cadence" and the title song, this isn't an album to come back to a whole lot. Even if it had been first out of the gate, it lacks the cohesion of "In the Court.." , while its second side sacrifices craftsmanship for virtuosity and gimmickry, which makes an ocean of difference.

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars In The Wake of Poseidon is often criticized for being too similar to the debut. Regardless of the truth in that, it seems a cruel judgment to pass on a band like King Crimson that has so continuously evolved and developed their music. When Crimson released Discipline they were bashed for changing their sound too much and with this album they are condemned for cloning themselves. Really...

Listening to the music I find it very hard to see the issue. Pictures of a City and In the Wake of Poseidon indeed continue the style of the debut, but both are simply spectacular and every bit as good as the material on ITCOTCK. As you may know, I have a huge resistance against bands repeating themselves or applying formulaic song writing, but honestly, I can't see that here and I can only be thankful for having 5 songs in this style instead of just the 3 from the debut.

The rest of the album isn't like the debut at all. The Peace theme makes it into a nicely flowing album, almost like a concept piece. It is probably the first time that such a unifying theme was used on a rock album and it is sure endlessly copied on countless progressive albums ever since. Cadence and Cascades is a beautiful pastoral moment and Cat Food is a groovy bit of fun. (I admit the kitty on my avatar might have had a bit too much of it though)

The Devil's Triangle is another highlight, an insane take on Ravel's Bolero, a crescendo that got out of hand, starting with sweeping melodies, ending in total chaos. By the way, am I the only one who hears the intro of A Forest at minute 3.52? The Peace - An End a cappella wraps up the original album on a high note. The 30th anniversary release adds the excellent 3.30 minute improvisation Groon. It's avant-garde jazz rock that wouldn't be out of place on a Can album.

Given the personal changes that plagued King Crimson in those years, this is a remarkably coherent and top quality album that deserves its place in the history of progressive rock and will nicely flesh out your collection.

Review by ProgressiveAttic
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars King Crimson's second effort shows a band in transition from their original lineup to a new establishment without most of their founding members. Nonetheless Fripp and Sinfield count with the help of Greg Lake (vocals), Michael Giles (drums) and Peter Giles (bass) with the addition of new member (for only one album) Gordon Haskell singing on one track (Cadence and Cascade) and the collaboration of Mel Collins (wind instruments) and jazz pianist Keith Tippett on piano.

Most of the songs presented here were developed by the In the Court Of the Crimson King lineup (both live and in studio) or derived from some of the experimentations of the original crew. Some examples of this are Pictures of A City (originally named A Man, A City) and The Devil's Triangle (derived from the live adaptation of Holst's Mars). This explains the similarities between this and the previous album.

In The Wake Of Poseidon has sort of a concept album format. It flows very cohesively, the album starts with a vocal coda that is quoted instrumentally in the middle and vocally at the end and the cover art is full of symbolism.

The album starts quietly with Peace/A Beginning, a very beautiful short vocal poem singed by Lake as an introduction.

Then Pictures of a City emerges loudly in contrast with the previous track, a very wild jazzy track, full of improvisations and a clear successor of 21rst Century Schizoid Man with a heavy reliance on fast guitar riffs, sax, dynamic jazz drumming and extended soloing, featuring Greg Lake on vocals. 5

Cadence and Cascade is a ballad written by Gordon Haskell and sung by him (his only participation on the album). It is beautifully performed with a nice and very skilled accompaniment consisting on acoustic guitar, piano, bass and drums with the addition of flute sections. 4.75

In the Wake of Poseidon is Epitaph's successor with Lake on vocals, extensive use of the mellotron and some beautiful and subtle flutes, dominated by acoustic guitars and the drum work couldn't be better. 5

Peace - A Theme quotes the melody of the opener instrumentally with an acoustic guitar as a middle section.

Cat Food is a mad song led by Keith Tippett's jazz percussive piano playing, featuring Lake on vocals singing Sinfield's lyrics which are really similar to 21rst Century Schidzoid Man's (a criticism to human society). Giles brothers' rhythm section is just superb. 4.5

The Devil's Triangle features Fripp experimenting around Gustave Holst's Mars. As a result we have a very dark and haunting tune with many interesting and some dull sections starring excellent guitar work, extensive mellotron use and military march drumming style. 4

Peace / An End closes the album with a vocal reprise of the first track with another poem. 4 (to the sum of all the Peaces)

This album is very similar in style to King Crimson's debut, with:

*a jazzy "schizophrenic" track,

*pieces formed by ballad sections and extended instrumental parts with a heavy reliance on mellotron sounds and flutes

*and long experimental tracks.

Despite of all the similarities the final result isn't as well accomplished as its predecessor....Well it is difficult to surpass or even match such a masterpiece.

Total: 4.54

It is an amazing and very entertaining album (and one of my most played albums) but not a masterpiece, although some songs could've been part of one (Pictures of a City and In the Wake of Poseidon).

4 stars to an album that could've been a masterpiece with a more organized band and a bit more innovation. Don't worry, King Crimson will release plenty of masterpieces throughout the next 33 years.

Review by tarkus1980
4 stars Poor Robert Fripp. Frankly, I wouldn't wish the circumstances surrounding this album upon my worst enemy. When a band has a debut that's such a critical and commercial smash as was Court, it's only natural that expectations be sky high for the sequel. Unfortunately, the band hit a little snag along the way to this album - Ian McDonald, the man who was THE creative force of the debut, left. Fripp took over the mellotron duties, and he brought in one Mel Collins to contribute woodwind parts, but that couldn't cover up the loss of the man who both guided the direction and penned most of the melodies. To make matters worse, Greg Lake then announced that HE was leaving the band to join ELP, and while he agreed to contribute vocals (the bass parts were done by Peter Giles), he also made no contribution to the songwriting (a pity, since he soon showed in ELP that he had a strong talent for creating interesting chord sequences).

So Fripp took over the songwriting duties, almost by default. Unfortunately, he had another major problem to face - I get the strong feeling that Fripp feared that, along with the loss of the main songwriter, a change in direction could prove fatal for both the band's ability to keep fans and to maintain critical respect. As a result, he panicked more than a bit - the first side of this album, by and large, is a direct remake of the first side of Court, and that fact alone seemingly drives some fans away to this day. As an aside, I also get the feeling that Fripp's near maniacal refusal to live in the past that has characterized most King Crimson through the 70's, 80's and 90's is a direct factor of adamently refusing to make a "copying mistake" that even remotely resembles what happened between this and Court. But I digress.

You see, remake or no, this is still a high quality effort. Comparisons with the debut are only natural, and in the end this album is worse in some ways than Court, but better in others. The drawbacks, other than the remake factor, are basically the following: first, strewn throughout the album are three "Peace" songs, with mostly a capella Lake vocals singing some really stupid and really pretentious lyrics. Second, Sinfield's lyrics have taken a major dip in quality from Court (with the exception of one track) - they're as bombastic as ever, but now there are no cleverly ear-catching lines that make them stand out in any good way. Lake does his best to make them work, and he sometimes succeeds, but overall it's hard not to fidget at times.

On the good side: No "Moonchild!" The album also boasts better production than its predecessor - the mellotrons are grander and more awe-inspiring than ever, and everything else just seems to have more punch and vigor. The second side also has a couple of great tracks the likes of which were DEFINITELY not found on Court. First, there's "Cat Food" (which I guess is a leftover from the first album sessions - McDonald has a writing credit), a dissonant-piano-driven proto-New-Wave piece that was picked as the advance single for some reason or another. The lyrics are actually funny for once, the melody is catchy in its own way, and Lake's screams do a great job of making it work. Following that is something completely different - the three-part "The Devil's Triangle," an adapation of Gustav Holst's "Mars The Bringer of War," which had been part of their stage set for quite some time (McDonald has a writing credit here, in the first part). True to the form of the original, the first couple of minutes are a very slow, very intense crescendo with some bits of mellotron here and there, but later it turns into a creepy noisefest with all sorts of eerie keyboard parts moving up and down and side to side, and even a brief quote from the last album's title track. It be neat, yes it be.

Ah, but there's still the issue of the first side, the Court-ripoff. Well, let's be frank - ripoff or no, it's GOOD. The songs may be very stylistically similar to their corresponding tracks on Court, but they're hardly direct ripoffs, and they're definitely performed well. "Pictures of a City" is a great, great sequel to "Schizoid Man" (oddly enough, though, it was performed in the same shows as "Schizoid Man" as early as 1969) - it features the same kind of structure as that track, but there are plenty of differences. The general feel is much jazzier, as the main riff of the track has enough to amply satisfy both rock and jazz lovers fully. It has the same "Lake screams over a booming rhythm track" motif in the verses, yes, but never mind that - the jam in the middle of the track is both better produced and more complex (with another bunch of great Fripp solos) than the "Schizoid" jam, and overall I have trouble seeing how somebody who loved "Schizoid" could hate this (well, except for the fact that the lyrics on this one can't hold a candle to those of "Schizoid").

Next up is the "I Talk to the Wind" match, the lovely poppy "Cadence and Cascade." For this one, the band actually brought in one Gordon Haskell to sing the vocals, and first time I heard it, I didn't even know it wasn't necessarily Lake himself. I'd say the melody is even prettier than the one to "Wind," and the piano/acoustic arrangement could easily be appreciated by somebody who hated "Wind" on general principle. Of course, once again, the lyrics blow chunks, but that's been covered.

Then there's the title track, the "Epitaph" clone. The lyrics are a good deal worse, yet Lake delivers another amazing vocal performance, one that allows me to focus on the sound of his voice and ignore the lyrics. As for the melody, it's much the same as before, but there are a couple of moments of catharsis in the chord sequences that even "Epitaph" struggled to match. Add in that the mellotrons are (as mentioned earlier) much louder, and that the lengthy fadeout gives a genuine epic symphonic feel not really found elsewhere in the world of rock music, and you have a track that, while not exceeding "Epitaph," at least makes a good run at matching it.

And that's your followup. It has its problems, but it's definitely not a huge stepdown from Court (it's pretty close to a *****, if you ask me), and Fripp should be given plenty of credit for that. And if you have more doubts about the quality of the album, know this - my brother, whose favorite band is KC, now feels that Court is the worst Crimson album barring Lizard, yet he digs this album. Go figure.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars We've all heard the story. After releasing In The Court Of The Crimson King, the band imploded (Robert Fripp must have been a joy to work with even back then). And Fripp gathered the remnants of the band and put together something of a clone of the first album.

Pictures Of A City is structurally and tonally nearly identical to 20st Century Schizoid Man. Cadence And Cascade sounds like an imitation of I Talk To The Wind. And In The Wake Of Poseidon is embarassingly similar to Epitaph.

That leaves Cat Food a great little song, with superbly frenetic piano work by Keith Tippett, and The Devil's Triangle, Crimson's nice reworking of Gustav Holst's Mars, Bringer Of War from The Planets. The latter was also helped immensely by Tippett's piano work.

Oh, and there are those little, forgettable Peace interludes strewn throughout the album. Is that supposed to be ironic? On an album named for the crimson king?

Anyway, had this album come first, I would have rated it much higher. But since half the material just doesn't sound original, I give it three stars.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's difficult to review this album, when the last album I was listening was album prior to this.

Pictures Of A City doesn't have good lyrics (or at least I don't consider "Dance-Chance" as good) and I simply hear 21st century Schizoid Man here. It's basically 21CSM base (little bit modified) with more exploration that on "original" track (which may sound to some as desperate attempt to sound interesting, but not for me, not for Marty). Except this track, this album sound original enough to be interesting.

People, don't be so paranoid, this isn't rip-off. When you'll look very closely on a white wall, you can see purple circles. Yes, it's very easy, when you think about them. Same with comparison to ItCoCK. It just seems unfair that this great album is getting so much flak for sounding like it sounds. Honestly, without knowing predescor, this would be almost masterpiece album. But Court was the first KC album I've heard, one of the albums that get me to the Prog.

Cat Food is my favourite song of this album. This time it's short rather than long piece, but shows weird combination of more common Rock characteristic (pace of first part of the song) with improvization in the second part, together done in harsh KC style. The Devil's Triangle is very weird theme, mellotron hell (or heaven?) and for me, very loveable composition. This is very close to image about Bermuda's (Devil's) Triangle I have in my mind.

Yes, dark Crimson, very dark King, but this is the best thing about it. If I want to have positive music, I go for Genesis, Yes or Kansas (or Queen - except last album). However, this album is sadly full of some empty, void places. Similarly to Moonchild, I don't like it that much. And it's even worse than Moonchild in this issue.

4(-), unbalanced album full of good and some bad stuff.

Beautiful is also cover art.

Review by thehallway
3 stars UPDATE: I'll knock one star off this one, mainly because the album it seems to have copied is also declining in quality over the years. But Lizard and Islands don't deserve the same rating as this; 'The Devil's Triangle' is really quite annoying on reflection. A few spins later and I will probably change my mind...... such is the miserable tautology of being a King Crimson listener!

REVIEW: I'm with those who would rather sympathise with Robert Fripp than criticise his very obvious decision to retain the format from 'Court' on this more-than-difficult second album.

Lets think about it logically; would a guitarist as original and innovative as Fripp really create such a carbon-copy though choice? No. It was a necessary evil, the result of most of the original Crimso line-up discarding their initial success and abandoning Bob at the time he needed them most. That is my view on the politics that surround this album; I'll move on to the reviewing without this unfortunate situation having any influence on my rating.

Firstly, the three 'Peace' sections. These are unnecessary of course, and could be described as filler (the last part is basically a merging of the first two) but they sound pleasant and are ultimately inoffensive. 'Pictures Of a City' is great, similar in structure to 'Schizoid Man' but a different composition nonetheless. And when one eventually grows bored of the former jazz workout (which is by no means immediately, by the way) they can enjoy this "equal sequel" just as much. The Haskell-sung 'Cadence and Cascade' is an appropriately calmer tune, although there is little here of much interest and I prefer Lake's voice. 'In the Wake of Poseidon' is the biggest culprit for replicating ITCOTCK, in this case borrowing most of it's chords and instrumentation from 'Epitaph', but I actually prefer this song. In my opinion, the melody and imagery has more to offer this time around; it links to the album artwork too.

'Cat Food' is my favourite. This is the one offering on 'Poseidon' that is totally original, showing a (then) new side of the band that would feature more prominently on side one of 'Lizard'. The heavy syncopation, tight rhythm section, maniac Tippet piano and amusingly cynical lyrics all work together to create a groovy and thoughtful song. And it's actually pretty short, so it never grows dull. The final track is the obligatory experimental 'The Devil's Triangle', an exercise in dissonant improvisation over a 5/4 ostinato, based on Holst's renowned 'Mars' piece. This is interesting, especially towards the end when the band discover various studio samples and whack them in. However, this piece of music is perhaps too long to effectively deliver it's intended atmosphere; possibly the "we've run out of ideas now" syndrome had an influence.

Most of the material here is as interesting and powerful as the adjacent Crimson outputs, suffering only from a general lack of personnel and song ideas. Lake's considerate vocal contributions and the impressive new sax player Mel Collins however, are highlights, lifting this record from the mere carbon-copy bin and into the King Crimson shelf of listenable albums. 'In the Wake of Poseidon' is safe but cool.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's difficult to even imagine a worthy followup of any sort to King Crimson's magnificent debut album but the band did give it a fair shot with satisfactory results. Although In The Wake Of Poseidon might not be as spectacular, it did show that King Crimson were far from a one time occurrence and the lightning almost struck twice here!

By the time of the recording session for the band's second album, most of the members have already departed from the lineup. This even included Greg Lake, who only returned in exchange for King Crimson's PA equipment that was later used by ELP. So it can be noted that In The Wake Of Poseidon was far from a team effort, showing us some of Robert Fripp's early moments of complete dominance over the band's material. Luckily his dominance never made itself known in the instrumental arrangements which is one of the main reasons why I consider him to be the best instrumentalist of all time. Not only is he a great guitar player, but he also manages to show self-restrain in a business where this quality is rare.

I was really surprised the first time I heard the criticism of structural resemblance between In The Court Of The Crimson King and its followup since it didn't occur to me up until that point. Honestly though, I find this comparison to be unjust outside of the fact that The Devil's Triangle pointlessly samples the title track from the debut album. The music here is much more thematic and the Peace-themes make much more sense than what the band would later do on The Power To Believe! As for the song material itself, it's not as good as the debut album but seeing that the band was really trying to push things forwards is enough for me to give this release my seal of approval. The title track is easily one of my top five King Crimson compositions featuring a hauntingly beautiful Mellotron arrangement and excellent lyrics by Peter Sinfield. The Devil's Triangle is probably on the polar opposite side of the scale, marking the least interesting moment of the album that could have been cut right around the ending of Hand Of Sceiron.

I can't deny that I'm a huge fan of King Crimson and my reviews will sometimes be unintentionally biased upwards, but this is not such an occurrence. I honestly enjoy this record and hope that more people might see beyond the tiresome criticism since the music is definitely worth it!

***** star songs: Pictures Of A City (8:03) In The Wake of Poseidon (7:56)

**** star songs: Peace - A Beginning (0:49) Cadence And Cascade (4:27) Peace - A Theme (1:15) Cat Food (4:54) Peace - An End (1:53)

*** star songs: The Devil's Triangle (11:35)

Review by frippism
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Probably the most underwhelming album by KC, and that's saying a lot when I'm probably one of the bigger KC fanboys you could find. None of the songs are bad, though the "Peace" segments can be a bit annoying. Lyrically this isn't Sinfield's greatest achievement, though usually the lyrics are OK. The artwork is certainly worth a mention though, as the second best KC artwork (after Lizard of course).

Peace (A Beginning)- Not so great opening, the lyrics are a bit too hippy trippy. Lake gives good vocals though.

Pictures Of A City- While not a bad song, it feels like a huge rehash of the structures used in 21st Schizoid Man. The saxophone in the beginning, the distorted vocals, the fast instrumental section. I'm surprised they were OK with themselves after doing something so similar to the Schizoid man.

Cadence and Cascade- An acoustic song, which at least isn't a rehash of "I Talk To The Wind", but isn't stellar either. Haskell's vocals aren't bad, though a bit weak. Overall an average song which there isn't much to say about.

In The Wake Of Poseidon- Many say it sounds like the title track from the debut, but I say it sounds like "Epitaph". The mellotron, the acoustic guitar. All are again in almost the same structure as "Epitaph". At least they manage to get a pretty good melody out of it. Lake's vocals are great. This is also probably Sinfield's best show on the album.

Peace (A Theme)- Cute acoustic interlude by Fripp. No lyrics so, but the guitar is rather nice, though the piece does feel a bit like a filler.

Catfood- A pretty cool catchy song. The piano provided by Keith TIppett is incredible. Also the rhythm section is pretty tight. Definitely a bright spot in the album when it comes to new material.

Devil's Triangle- A long instrumental, which is actually very good once you get into it. Reminds me of "Mars" (I think it actually might be "Mars" with a different name). Some great production (you can hear "In the Court Of The Crimson King" at times). Reminds me of "Moonchild", as the one piece you really need to get into. Overall a good instrumental.

Peace (An End)- Probably the best of the "Peace" trilogy, though still not amazing, but gives a nice closure to the album. The vocals are done very well.

If this was any other band I'd give this 4 or maybe even 5 stars (mayyybbeee). But considering this is one of the most influential and creative bands in progressive rock, I don't think such a rehash of the first album is allowed. I'd still check it out, there's still a good amount of worthwhile moment here.

Bassist Review: While Greg Lake was never considered an incredible bass player, I expected a bit more variety from the man. That I have to say the bass line to Catfood is simple, it is pretty powerful. But for the most part it's the same playing octaves from the first album.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Even the first time I listened to this album--in my brother's dorm room--I was repelled by the familiarity, the feeling that it was nothing more than a little-inspired recapitulation of the sound and formulae of the previous album, the masterpiece and first big "storm" in the new "progressive rock" domain, "In The Court of The Crimson King." It is no wonder that previous collaborators like the Giles brothers and Greg Lake were to soon flee--I would not want to be stuck in such a rut--as good as ITCoTCK was, it did not need to be so closely imitated, it did not need to be rehashed--especially not less than a year after ITCoTCK's initial release! Luckily, RF was forced to rethink his musical direction by the mass exodus of his band mates and the inputs of new collaborators.
Review by colorofmoney91
3 stars In The Wake of Poseidon is a great follow up album to King Crimson's genre defining debut, but I honestly have always thought this album sounded a bit dry. The tracks here are solid, but some of the tracks are kind of redundant. "Pictures of a City" simply sounds like a slowed down version of "21st Century Schizoid Man", "Devil's Triangle" is a purposeless march, "In The Wake of Poseidon" sounds like a slightly altered version of "Epitaph", but overall the songs are great sounding. "Cadence and Cascade" is a beautiful acoustic ballad and "Cat Food" is a classic King Crimson jazz jam.

This is a fine album, but doesn't quite live up the the fantastic debut.

Review by Warthur
4 stars In the Wake of Poseidon sees Robert Fripp trying his best to put out a King Crimson album at a point in time when the band had for all intents and purposes completely disintegrated, with only Fripp and Sinfield 100% committed to keeping the project going. Calling in favours from former bandmates and the likes of Keith Tippett, Fripp manages to throw together an album which is extraordinarily good considering the circumstances - but in terms of objective quality it's clearly not a top tier Crimson album. The Devil's Triangle, a Crimson take on Holst's Mars, Bringer of War, is a highlight of the album, as is Pictures of a City (which brings in a heavy jazz influence).

But most of the other songs seem knocked off in a hurry (like Cat Food) - probably because they were - or seem to be mere unfinished sketches, like the Peace fragments scattered throughout the album. And the lack of solid development following on from In the Court... is undeniable.

No doubt this is the best album Fripp could throw together at the time... but the dire circumstances meant that the best he could do is simply "acceptable" rather than "revolutionary".

Review by Prog Sothoth
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It's all about cat food. Meow Mix. Friskies. Fancy Feast. It's the stuff dreams are made of. Without cat food, where would we be?

Without "Cat Food", In The Wake Of Poseidon would definitely be a less entertaining experience. I've heard King Crimson's debut hundreds of times before I finally listened to this followup, and man, for a while I was a bit bummed. The songs aren't bad by any means, but they weren't exactly turning my eyes into slinkies either.

Pictures Of A City is a pretty kickin' tune in its own right, although the middle section doesn't deliver, getting soft but not hitting back particularly hard before it ends. Yeah, it gets loud again, but it feels, for some reason, "standard", like part of a routine. Band has dinner. Band plays "Pictures Of A City". Band poops and does a crossword puzzle. Band goes to bed. I didn't feel any sense of adventure, which the album title seemed to promise. "Cadence And Cascade" apes "I talk To The Wind", but with vocals by Haskell. It's alright, but not really in the same class as the original...I mean the second song from ITCOTCK. The title track follows, and is basically an amorphous meshing of "Epitaph" and ITCOTCK's title track. It works pretty good though, and although it doesn't necessarily impress, it's kinda' cool.

The true coolness kicks in with "Cat Food". You can't honestly say it sounds remotely like "Moonchild" or is a clone of anything off their debut. As the second to last 'main' track on this album, it's got a slinky, grooovy vibe and lyrics, though 'out there', show the band losing some pretension and having some fun while still tossing in some cookin' musicianship. It's one of my favorite tunes by them, and yeah, best song on the album.

"The Devil's Triangle" works as a deranged instrumental that conjures the song title very well. It's essentially a musical whirlwind and listening to it does give the impression of being stuck in a particularly harrowing storm. The Peace tunes are little ditties to add some garnish to the whole thing, kind of like putting garnish on cat food. It's a nice thing to do, but it doesn't really spice up the food too much.

It's really a borderline situation for me whether I would consider it excellent or good, but since sitting on a fence hurts after a bit, I'll just give it the excellent treatment because of that one insanely groovy cool tune this album possesses, and the fact that nothing here is as utterly annoying as "Moonchild". It must be tough to be this album, always being compared to its elder sibling, but as a stand-alone, a lot of bands back then would have loved to have said they created these songs.

Review by EatThatPhonebook
4 stars 7/10

Despite the resemblance of the debut, "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is another gem in King Crimson's discography.

King Crimson's follow up to ITCOTKC is s famous example in music of how some sophomore LP attempt to recreate the formula of the first album. Concerning this, not everyone agrees, but it seems undeniable as you listen to it. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is a quite enjoyable experience nevertheless, certainly it remains one of the gems of the band.

Music wise, the album feels a little more adventurous, I must say, than the debut. Or better, it has definitely a different structure, which of course is something to recognize for this album, even when comparing it to the debut. However strictly musically speaking some ideas are repeated noticeably, like the strong, powerful, distorted,jazzy song, or the melancholic mellotron driven song, or the precious flute ballad. These three type of songs can be found in both albums, unfortunately. The first half of "In The Wake Of Poseidon", thus, feels like nothing new. However, the second half is much more avant-garde, quirky, and even dark at times. The second half is definitely a new type of experiment for King Crimson, luckily.

The first half of the album consists of the "21st Century Schizoid Man" imitation "Pictures Of A City", which in itself isn't a bad track at all, it actually has a great melody and fantastic musicianship, however moments are just too similar to the above mentioned track. The same can be said with "Cadence And Cascade" and the title track, both reminiscent of "I Talk To The Wind" for the first and "Epitah" for the latter, however, for both of the new tracks I feel they are not at all as powerful and effective as the original ones. The album does have a reoccurring theme, "Peace", a brief track that appears as an intro, halftime, and outro of the album. It is pleasant to hear, but I like it only because it is one of the elements for King Crimson that is completely new. The second half features the original side: "Cat Food" is an almost noisy and cacophonous piece, wild and strange, with a great piano performance and great, harsh vocals by Greg Lake. But then comes the real twist: the eleven minute "The Devil's Triangle", a menacing sounding mellotron dominating half of it, while the other half is an honest, yet tense avant-garde composition where all the instruments seemed almost smashed into each other to make the resulting music.

A definite must for any Crimson fan despite the resemblance of ITCOTCK. A certainly important album for the band, that showed that they can also move towards new horizons, like they will do more and more widely on following efforts.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars As a followup to the earth-shattering debut, King Crimson manage to still capture the innovative musicianship that gave them a cult reputation on their second album "In the Wake of Poseidon", though this is not as phenomenal as "In the Court of the Crimson King". After a few listens it really tends to grow on the listener and features some of the Crim's finest compositions.

After the 'Peace - a beginning' intro the album begins in earnest with a grinding chord structure and Fripp's angular guitar riff. Greg Lake is excellent on vocals as good as he was on the stunning debut's '21st Century Schizoid Man'. However, the wild jazzy sax is not as omnipresent. The track 'Pictures Of A City (including 42nd At Treadmill)' is a highlight though, with its dark textures and dissonant time sigs.

'Cadence and Cascade' is a beautiful ballad from Lake, a precursor to his ballads with Emerson Lake & Palmer.

'In The Wake Of Poseidon (incl. Libra's Theme)' is a glorious mellotron soaked song with Lake towering on vocals, sounding like his early Emerson Lake and Palmer days. The slow tempo and Michael Giles' measured percussion are wonderful. Fripp is masterful on mellotron creating a strong ambient atmosphere.

'Cat Food' is perhaps the most well known song on the album and is quite a quirky infectious song that has some sardonic vocals and a great Frippian riff.

A wave of serenity is generated with more mellotron on 'The Devil's Triangle', a mini epic at about 12 minutes in three sections. 'a. Merday Morn' begins with Giles' war-like marching percussion, and a melody that is Mars, Bringer of War by Gustav Holst. There is an avant- garde slow build up intensifying till it breaks into a howling wind; 'b. Hand Of Sceiron'. Finally the music segues to 'c. Garden Of Worm' with atonal jazz patterns and gaudy keyboards with discordant brass blasts. The final track, another variation of 'Peace' has the prayerful compressed vocals of Lake acapella style until a minimalist acoustic guitar chimes in.

Overall the album is an incredible array of music but is quite uneven when it comes to King Crimson. There is more improvisation than usual and it features some highlights but quite a degree of unpleasantness with out of tune sections and off beat rhythms. It is a difficult album to listen to but is nonetheless an important one for the Crims who were branching into very experimental territory. They attempted to capture the emotional resonance and virtuosity of the debut but it is like trying to catch lightning in a bottle, and it simply cannot be replicated, not even by the Crims. It would all come together on the next few albums that would reach classic status and become quintessential to the band's revolutionary reputation. 3 and a half stars - but rounded off to 4.

Review by stefro
5 stars Probably a bit too similar in terms of structure and style to 'In The Court Of The Crimson King', 'In The Wake Of The Poseidon' - King Crimson' second studio offering - has rightly been criticised in some quarters for basically using the same blueprint as it's wonderful predecessor. So, let's examine the facts. 'In The Wake Of Poseidon' starts off with a pacey, discordant slice of arty hard-rock('Pictures'). Check. Moves into a softer, subtler phase thereafter('Cadence & Cascade'). Check. Then finishes proceedings with a challenging, mellotron-drenched multi-part epic('The Devil's Triangle'). Check. But is it any good? The simple answer is yes, it is. Very good. Maybe the group's founder, leader and guitarist Robert Fripp should have branded this a sequel, yet in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter. An expertly-executed, complex, lyrical and highly-atmospheric album, this is classic Crimson and a worthy entry into the canon of great 1970s progressive rock. After the group's seminal debut and 1974's 'Red', this is undoubtedly the next best Crimson album. And 'Cadence & Cascade' is absolutely beautiful.


Review by siLLy puPPy
3 stars Poseidon is well known as having full domain of the oceans and is known as "God Of The Sea," however he is also referred to as "Earth-Shaker" because he was thought of being the cause of earthquakes as well, so I guess the title of this album refers to the aftermath of the band after the sudden success of KC's debut album and following tours which were too much for Ian McDonald and Michael Giles who soon parted ways followed by Greg Lake being seduced by Keith Emerson to form ELP. That left Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield as the only original members after it was decided that it was pretty much Fripp's musical vision in the first place. The former members did agree to sit in as studio musicians only.

What a change from the debut. This album seems to me like a collection of leftovers and outtakes. The very first full song "Pictures Of A City" is obviously nothing more than a reworking of "21st Century Schizoid Man." One of the better pieces on the album is "The Devil's Triangle" which was inspired by Gustav Holt's "Mars: Bringer Of War" from "The Planets Suite." An ok album but too obvious that it is a half-assed reworking of the debut. Given the band's tumultuous history it's somewhat understandable and would be a mere blip in the parade of outstanding releases to come. Despite its inferiority to "In The Court...." I still find this a worthy occasional listen.

Review by ghost_of_morphy
4 stars In the Court of the Crimson King introduced us to a talented band that masterfully played hard rock/proto-metal (21st Century Schizoid Man), instrumental improv (Moonchild) and Mellotron short epics (Epitaph).

In the Wake of Poseidon has a band returning to what they do best and expanding on it. Despite the shakiness of the lineup (a problem which plagued KC for years), this album is very consistent in exploiting what KC has already acheived as well as breaking new ground.

Peace (and I'm going to treat all three of them at once) is one of the niftier and more innovative ideas on the album. Splitting up the vocals and the instrumentals and playing them seperately, then bringing them together at the end to provide closure for the album is an effective device. And the short song isn't that bad either.

Pictures of a City has that 21st Century Schizoid Man sound. It has the same type of plodding first theme and the same menacing instrumentals. Pictures of a City has a more jazzy leaning; 21st Century Schiziod Man has a world class guitar solo. So Pictures doesn't quite live up to it's ancestor.

Cadence and Cascade, with it's soft interplay between flute and piano and Haskell's vocals, looks forward to songs such as Lady of the Dancing Waters off the next album.

Again, we go back to giving the people what they want with In the Wake of Poseidon. This is another Mellotron dominated mini-epic. Not quite as good as Epitaph, but it's up there.

Catfood is the song that really shows us which direction KC is taking short term. The athletic piano and the jazzy instrumental sections foreshadow the first half of the Lizard album. But here KC does jazz so much more tastefully.

Finally, what to make of Devil's Triangle? Classically based, Mellotron drenched, improvisational parts above rich chords and a droning drum beat. Another innovative piece, especially for it's time.

As King Crimson's most representative and consistent album from their earliest phase, I will give this four stars. I don't give it five because I keep finding myself saying that KC did things better on their debut.

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Despite the unmet originality of the King Crimson debut, the first clouds in the relationship between the members started to appear in the horizon.Ian McDonald and Michael Giles, struggling both with life on the road and Fripp's tendency towards more experimental music forms, left the group at the fall of 69', after the US tour of King Crimson.By the beginning of the recordings of a new album Greg Lake had agreed with Keith Emerson to join him on the rising Emerson, Lake & Palmer project, leaving Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield as the only original members in the King Crimson line-up.However all departing musicians decided to help out in the process of the new release, before quiting for good.Lake sung all but one track, ''Cadence and Cascade'', sung by Gordon Haskell, while the group was also helped by Mel Collins (formerly of the Psych/Jazz Rock act Circus) on sax and flute, Keith Tippett on piano and Giles' brother Pete on bass.Based on their regular Wessex Sound Studios in London, the recordings lasted three months (January-April 1970) and ''In the Wake of Poseidon'' was launched in May 1970 on Island.

Many people compare this album with King Crimson's debut soundwise, even refering to it as ''In the Court of the Crimson King 2'', which is only partly true, because complex tracks like ''Pictures of a City'', a mix of intense Jazz Rock and mellow Psychedelic Rock with a frenetic sax performance by Collins and Fripp's extremely difficult guitar parts, are rather absent from the debut.Quite intricate and adventurous music.''Cadence and Cascade'' will soften things, being a warm ballad with melodic piano and flute lines, somewhat recalling GENESIS folkier side, but the title track will show a return to King Crimson's unique symphonic approach, featuring grandiose Mellotron and intense singing by Lake with Fripp's smooth guitar playing accompanying.Very atmospheric and deeply emotional stuff.After the short acoustic crescendo of ''Peace-A theme'', ''Cat Food'' eventually shows a slight turn towards experimental, jazzy forms by Robert Fripp, combining the jazzier side of music on piano and rhythm section with poppy song sensibilities and light psychedelic vibes.The absolute peak in terms of originality comes with the 11-min. ''The devil's triangle'', certainly among the most daring experiments in the history of Rock music and an amalgam of King Crimson's genuine leanings.A long, sinister Mellotron intro sets the dark, almost cinematic mood for a composition, which eventually switches into dissonant experimentations with piano and orchestral manipulations before exploring a complex Classical mood with harsichord, electric piano and acoustic guitars, propably performed by Fripp himself.''In the Wake of Poseidon'' will close with another short peaceful outro, sung by Lake in a very romantic style.

While not being equal in terms of value with ''In the Court of the Crimson King'', ''In the Wake of Poseidon'' is another stunning release by King Crimson with an even more complex sound that their debut.Following about the same path as on the first album, does not make this absolutely original, but, even so, I can't even think of another band that could get so far around the period.Dramatic Psych/Jazz/Orchestral Rock with a couple of great pieces.Strongly recommended...3.5 stars.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
5 stars Okay, so it's already got a lot of reviews, but most people tend to compare it to it's predecessor. Yes there are similarities, but the music is still excellent just like it was in the first album. The line up is close to the same as the first. Greg Lake, prior to finishing this album, had decided to join Emerson and Palmer, but agreed to sing on a few of the tracks, and ended up singing on all of the vocal tracks except for "Cadence and Cascade" which was to be sung by Gordon Haskell, a future KC regular. However, with Lake leaving the band, Robert Fripp was actually considering a person who at the time was unknown by the name of Reginald Kenneth Dwight....wait a minute, that's Elton John's real name....why yes it is now that you mention it. Considering the first few albums that Elton John made, it's not a far stretch to imagine him singing some of these tracks, especially the folk-heavy pastoral sounding "Cadence and Cascade" and my curiosity makes me wonder how he would have fared on "Pictures of a City". I would imagine people wouldn't be saying this album was a clone of ICOTKC, but who knows. (BTW, Brian Ferry from Roxy Music was also considered as lead singer somewhere along the way.)

Anyway, whether it's a clone or not, think about how many bands were making clones at the time. It was a successful formula and it worked. But, they did the formula so well, that there was plenty of room to do it again, as long as it wasn't a direct copy, which in my opinion, it wasn't. I love this album as much as the debut album, if anything, I love it more because it hasn't been played to death like the debut.

It is still full or original music and still had it's huge influence on progressive rock and the development of it. You have "Pictures of a City" which is a chaotic opener (after the first very tranquil "Peace" theme that is) very similar to the structure of "21st Century Schizoid Man", except for the very quiet middle section, that patterns the sound of the experiemental section of "Moonchild" but thankfully not as long before it builds to a final climax. Then follows the peaceful, almost folkish, but better described as pastoral, number called "Cadence and Cascade" in the same style as was "I Talk to the Wind", and then the beautiful "In the Wake of Poseidon" which is in the same style as "Epitaph". All of this is great that the music was patterned after the debut album, but it is still excellent music and stands on it's own as masterpieces in music.

The album on the 2nd half, however, takes on it's own personality as it starts with another version of "Peace", this time as a guitar solo. before losing the peacefulness to the amazing "Cat Food" which was released as a single (in an edited format), but which is the perfect antithesis of a pop single. Chaotic piano destroys the happy track and it's such a wonderful thing to see the satirical take on pop music even back then. What? Cat Food? Again? After this, KC takes off into a classical/rock fusion number called "The Devil's Triangle" which is actually Fripp's take on "Mars, The Bringer of War". The original title was to be "Mars" but they were not allowed to use that title because of Gustav's family trust's legal holdings on the classical piece. But KC does it justice and even uses a little Ravel in there too in the form of the percussion pattern and the development of the crescendo (Bolero, anyone?) This is also a track that has no clone on the debut, and it runs for over 10 minutes. It is also a masterpiece, and Fripp pulls off the arrangement with all respect to the original, then adds his own degree of chaos when he suddenly brings back the theme out of nowhere, but in an evilly warped way. This is genius. Finally, the original album ends with another version of the "Peace" theme. However, countless reissues include the "Cat Food" single edit (What? "Cat Food" again?) and then throws on the B-side "Groon" which was not originally available on the album. "Groon" is a wonderful guitar led avant-garde jazz piece which I think is another amazing track which defies description or even comparison. Take that pop radio! I wonder what Zappa thought of this.

Anyway, I stand behind my rating of 5 stars for this album. Yes it starts out with a similar formula as the debut album, but even the songs that follow that formula are excellent. Then it goes off on it's own to show that the band was going to progress even if there was inner turbulence in the ranks. Fripp was still able to put together an amazing album and that would make 2 in a row! 5 stars.

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars In reviews, "In The Wake of Poseidon" is often overshadowed by its predecessor, "In The Court of The Crimson King" and is subject to stinging criticism. The terms "carbon copy" and "plagiarize", among others, are thrown around unrelentingly and many are quick to judge it. After all, how could King Crimson possibly create an album MORE experimental, MORE provocative, MORE innovative than their pinnacle of a debut?

"In The Wake of Poseidon" reminds me in a way of Greek intellectual Eratosthenes. A brilliant man of his time, he was the first to accurately calculate the Earth's circumference and pioneered adding parallels and meridians to the world map, among other geographical and mathematical innovations. However, Eratosthenes has failed to remain encapsulated in the minds of the modern public because, while he was accomplished at the highest levels of virtually all fields, he only ever became the second most successful at anything he did. "In The Wake of Poseidon" is like that in the sense that its formulaic approach and second-place standing relative to "In The Court of The Crimson King" has made many listeners unable to appreciate its mastery.

Of course, to call "Wake of Poseidon" a copy of "Crimson King" is a stretch; many of the tracks on the two albums had been written around the same time and songs from "Poseidon" had already been incorporated into the band's live repertoire by late 1969. In all reality, the two albums probably could have been released together in 1970 as a double album and no one would have batted an eye, they just would have been mind-blown by the 85 minutes of pure, unrelenting fusion-tinged prog.

Even where similarities lie, they are quite limited. The first side of the album (save for "Peace - A Beginning") is quite similar to side 1 of "Crimson King", with "Pictures of A City", "Cadence And Cascade" and "In the Wake of Poseidon" drawing many parallels to "21st Century Schizoid Man", "I Talk To The Wind" and "Epitaph", respectively. Rather than copy their predecessors, however, these tracks actually improve upon them and perfect them, the chaotic moments more brutal and discordant, the gentle moments softer and sweeter. I've also found myself better able to empathize with the sentiments conveyed by the songs on side 1 of "Poseidon" than "Crimson King" and "Cadence And Cascade" takes me into an unmatched realm of nostalgia.

Side 2 is a whole other beast all together. The formulaic approach often criticized has been thrown out the window by this point. "Cat Food" is new territory for Crimson and "Devil's Triangle" offers interesting new arrangements on Holst. The two remaining "Peace" tracks, along with their side 1 counterpart, also offer a little something that "Crimson King" lacked (i.e. brevity). So to all who overlook "In The Wake of Poseidon", take another listen and think again on your judgements. Anyway, if Robert Fripp released 37 more Crimson Kings and Poseidon's Wakes, you can be sure that any prog lover would promptly march out to the record store and buy 38. Give Eratosthenes a chance!

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review Nš 31

This is my fourth review of a King Crimson's album. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is their second studio album and was released in 1970. At the time, the group had already had the first change into their line up. One of their founder members Ian McDonald had already left the group, and two other members Michael Giles and Greg Lake were about to do the same. Michael Giles and McDonald left King Crimson to pursue solo musical careers. However, both recorded a studio album titled "McDonald And Giles" in 1970, before they dissolving their partnership. Lake, was the next member to leave the band, departing in the early of 1970, to join in what would become Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

So, the line up of the album is Robert Fripp (guitars, mellotron, celesta, electric piano and devices), Greg Lake (lead vocals), Mel Collins (saxophone and flute), Peter Giles (bass guitar), Keith Tippett (piano), Michael Giles (drums), Gordon Haskell (vocals) and Peter Sinfield (lyrics).

"In The Wake Of Poseidon" maintain much of the musical style of their debut studio album, "In The Court Of The Crimson King", released in 1969. Once again, all the lyrics were written by Sinfield and the music on the album was largely written by Fripp, with the exception of "Cat Food" written by Fripp, Sinfield and McDonald and "Merday Morn", which belongs to the track "The Devil's Triangle", which was written by Fripp and McDonald. Fripp's guitar isn't the dominant musical instrument on "In The Wake Of Poseidon". The mellotron, taken over by Fripp after McDonald's departure, still remains the main group's signature, in all over the album.

"In The Wake Of Poseidon" has eight tracks. The song "Peace" is divided into three tracks: The first track "A Beginning" which opens the album, the fifth track "A Theme" which opens the side two of the album and the eighth track "An End" which closes the album. About these three tracks, there isn't much to say, unless that they're three nice tracks, they're the smallest on the album, they're very quiet and they have only vocals and acoustic guitars. The second track "Pictures Of A City" is somewhat like "21st Century Schizoid Man" part two, completed with intricate guitar and saxophone lines and with a jazz rock musical arrangement. It has a great impact, because it was recorded much louder than the opening track. It's a typical energetic King Crimson's song, dominated by saxophone and guitar. It's a very well composed track, with excellent Lake's distorted vocal harmonies. The third track "Cadence And Cascade" is a mix of a folk and jazz song, with Haskell providing the lead vocals and a breezy flute solo of Collins. It may be the prettiest song that the group ever made. It's another calm song, very beautiful and is nicely sung. Some people compare this song with "I Talk To The Wind". But despite some similarities, I think that it's a different song, and a great acoustic theme. The fourth track "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is the title track song. It's a monumental and dramatic musical number, featuring waves of an ominous mellotron, and a Lake's poignant vocal work. It's the albums' answer to "Epitaph", and represents the masterpiece of the album. Sincerely, it's a beautiful and superb theme, which could perfectly to be part of their debut studio album. This is one of the greatest musical compositions released by the group. The sixth track "Cat Food" is a very original song, composed as something between the jazz and rock music, and that makes a very interesting musical fusion. It's a different song, it's very strange, but it's very curious too. It also features a neat vocal work from Lake and has also some tasty guitar work by Fripp. The seventh track "The Devil's Triangle" is an instrumental track divided into three parts: "Merday Morn", "Hand Of Sceiron" and "Garden Of Warm". This is the lengthiest song on the album. It's a very experimental song almost performed with free instrumentation. It's a massive track that builds some musical tension all over the song, with an effective use of mellotron, percussion and woodwind musical instruments. This is without any doubt, the most difficult and less accessible song of the album.

Conclusion: "In The Wake Of Poseidon" is often looked as the inferior sibling of "In The Court Of Crimson King". In a certain way, this isn't totally a surprise due to the monumental impact that the album had on the rock music world, even today. However, we can't forget that it was recorded at the time when basically the group was unstable, and with Fripp still managing to keep things together long enough to get the release of this excellent musical work. Despite some musical similarities between both albums, "In The Court Of The Crimson King" and "In The Wake Of Poseidon", I can't consider it as a clone of their debut. However, I don't consider "In The Wake Of Poseidon" as good or influential as "In The Court Of Crimson King", but still I believe that it's a very consistent album. So, in my humble opinion, I think it has enough quality, originality and song writing skill, to be considered a classic King Crimson's album.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Review by jamesbaldwin
3 stars The second album by KC is a record uncertain of which direction to take, so it is found to be a precursor of various musical genres that the crimson king will take in his various incarnations. The structure of the first side refers entirely to that of the previous album, making it so unoriginal.

The first track, "Peace: a Beginning" is a short introduction based on vocals which has the task of dictating the tone of the album: dreamy, evocative, peace and love (vaguely hippy).

The second song, "Pictures of a City", has the ungrateful task of replicating the devastating effect that 21st Century Schizoid Man has had on the listener of "In The Court of....": it is clear that it fails, resulting in the draft (slowed down, less incisive, less surprising, more forced) than the original. In itself it is not a bad song, indeed, for some groups (but not for KC) it would be a masterpiece, but overall it is too built. Vote: 7,5.

"Cadence and Cascade" see for the first time the voice of Gordon Haskell, voice more serious and less evocative than that of Lake. The song is a nice ballad but that does not take off. I Talk to the Wind is incomparably superior. The King Crimson have lost Ian McDonald, fundamental author of the romantic pieces (I Talk To The Wind, The Court of the Crimson King), and his absence is felt: KC can not emulate in this record the epic-romantic pieces of "In the Court of...". Vote: 6,5/7

The album, until now, contains three tracks that bind very little to each other.

Finally arrive a masterpiece: "In the Wake of Poseidon" remember the great epic and romantic songs of the debut album (Epitaph and The Court of KC). It has a wonderful melody but she lacks something to reach the levels of pathos of his models. Vote 8.

Side B. "Peace: a Theme" tries to resume the ranks of the initial speech, bringing the group on romantic and acoustic tones without however much conviction. While in the debut album every song was impressive, monumental and unmissable, here there are already several songs that are mere fillers, completely non-essential. indeed, it becomes difficult to see what are the pieces that constitute the backbone of the disk, so much so that the various introductions praising peace seem to hold together a project that is actually very fragmentary.

"Cat Food" is finally a song that does not refer to the models of the previous album. The free-jazz piano played by Tippet appears for the first time in the production of KC and anticipates what we will hear in Lizard. The song is original and also introduces a sarcastic- ironic-grotesque tone that we will hear in several subsequent songs, and that was not present in the debut album, where everything was serious, dramatic or epic or romantic, but serious. Here the KC show that they are also able to joke, to have fun in a subtle way Vote: 7+

Comes an instrumental track, very long, a mini suite: "The Devil's Triangle". It is an interesting piece, full of anxiety, an omen of terrifying event; it does not follow a precise melody, but more than anything else, atmospheres, with the growing full of tension. The piece as a whole is evocative but does not yet find its way, which will be the paranoic and abrasive vein that we will find in the next production. Vote: 7+

Finally, the record ends by developing the acoustic song on peace that returns here for the third time. But without sowing any great melody (vote 6,5) : in fact it is the good melodies that are missing from this record, which can be said to reach the climax of pathos only in the song that gives the title to the disc.

It is ultimately an interlocutory record, one of the least convincing of the King Crimson, a minor album.

Medium Quality of the songs: 7,21. Vote album: 7,5. Three stars.

Review by Wicket
3 stars King Crimson is one of those bands that people love to argue about, because when people say "Oh, I love King Crimson", the true nerds and diehards respond "Which one?"

See, it felts like with every new album came a new band to perform it, with Robert Fripp leading the charge as always. So when "Court of the Crimson King" was done, the band split ways, but Fripp still had a record deal and still had songs, so guest musicians were thrown together and Greg Lake made off with a PA system, and can be heard in most of the songs on this album.

Getting to the elephant in the room right away, yes, it sounds very similar to "Crimson King". On one hand, if it ain't broke, don't fix it! On the other hand, it kinda defeats the whole point of being 'progressive' doesn't it? Nonetheless, it's still one of their better albums by far. Sure all the "Peace" songs are soft interludes that break up the album, but the fact is this album feels a bit more structurally sound than "Crimson King". "Pictures of a City" isn't as catchy as "21st Century Schizoid Man", but the same groove and feel is there, more tight but just not as well composed. "Cadence and Cascade" would be a lovely ballad, had anyone but Gordon Haskell sung it, and the self titled track feels WAY too much like "Epitaph". Sure, these are basically leftover sessions Fripp finished up and turned into a new album, but it just feels like "Court of the Crimson King, Pt. Deux: Electric Boogaloo". Can you believe Fripp actually wanted Elton John singing on this record? Oof.

"Cat Food" is one of the brighter spots. With a funky beat reminiscent of Carl Palmer's work with ELP, the chords groove and contrast with the outlandish and jarring piano work schizophrenically scattered throughout the track. This is fresh, a standout song that has a classic rock groove with just enough progressive influence to keep you on edge and to keep the whole album from sounding like stale bread. "The Devil's Triangle" caps off the album as basically one progressive-itized version of Bolero, with some spastic sections near the end. (Honorable mention to the b-side "Groom" which is basically a spastic improv).

In short, it's a nice addition to the prog catalog, but if you've heard "Crimson King", you've heard this album, which begs the question, who won out, the fans for hearing Greg Lake on one last Crimson record, or Lake who made off with a sweet PA system for agreeing to sing?

My money's on Lake, bless his soul.

Review by Hector Enrique
4 stars King Crimson's sonic experimentation on their monumental "In the Court of the Crimson King" from 1969, discovered a new world of possibilities that began to gain a lot of territory in the beginning of the decisive decade of the 70's for the nascent progressive genre. With that panorama on the horizon, Robert Fripp and his band added a second chapter to their proposal with "In The Wake of Poseidon".

The album develops pieces of intense instrumental content that move between the peaceful and the luminous, as with the beautiful "Cadence and Cascade", an acoustic melody whispered by Gordon Haskell, accompanied by the piano of Keith Tippet and the sweet flute of Mel Collins, and also between the weary and forceful pace of "In the Wake of Poseidon (incl. Libra's Theme)", the backbone of the work, where Fripp's persistent melotron and Michael Giles' restrained drumming, give a bucolic frame to Greg Lake's demanding singing, exclusively on vocal duties for the occasion. An excellent song more than reminiscent of the British band's first work.

But "In the Wake of Poseidon" also constantly challenges conventional structures, pushing them to new limits to engender an unmistakable sound of their own, as with the wandering, jazzy "Pictures of a City (incl. 42nd at Treadmill)" featuring Collins' saxophone and Fripp's sanatorium keyboards and guitars, or the chirpy "Cat Food" and Greg Lake's strained singing amidst an equally intricate jazz instrumentation featuring a schizoid piano, but above all with the hostile "The Devil's Triangle", a dark and disturbing instrumental exercise.

The naked and brief "Peace", both at the beginning, in between and at the end, give an additional acoustic and reflective ingredient to "In the Wake of the Poseidon", a very good album that despite having been eclipsed in part by the repercussions and transcendence of its predecessor, knew how to shine with its own light.

3.5/4 stars

Latest members reviews

3 stars Less than a year later, King Crimson released their sophomore album: In the Wake of Poseidon.  Structurally, Wake is nearly identical to Court, despite there being quite a bit of churn in the band's lineup. Such instability would be a recurring theme of these early releases.  Wind/keys player ... (read more)

Report this review (#3037479) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Monday, April 15, 2024 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Review #115! 'In The Wake of Poseidon' is a criminally underrated album. Yes, it has a similar structure to the previous album, but Fripp and the band experimented with many more sounds on this album. And "In the Court" doesn't have an instrumental, does it(although 'Moonchild' is basically ... (read more)

Report this review (#2929707) | Posted by Boi_da_boi_124 | Thursday, June 1, 2023 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 6/10 This album isn't a bad album, and it certainly wouldn't be a bad debut record for any band, but it's not a debut album, it's more of a reboot of the original in many ways. 'Pictures of a City' is VERY '21st Century Schizoid Man' and it follows the same loud-soft-loud song structure. There w ... (read more)

Report this review (#2923864) | Posted by Frets N Worries | Thursday, May 11, 2023 | Review Permanlink

4 stars REVIEW #19 - "In the Wake of Poseidon" by King Crimson (1970) Not even one year into the existence of perhaps the most influential progressive rock band of all time, King Crimson already was on the brink of collapse due to a mass exodus of the band's musicians. Drummer Michael Giles, bassist/ ... (read more)

Report this review (#2493210) | Posted by PacificProghead | Tuesday, January 12, 2021 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Review #25 The second album: same formula, different results After the success of "In the court of the Crimson King", King Crimson released their second album which is sometimes considered as a copy of their previous album, which I defer since I find it similar, yes, but quite original as well ... (read more)

Report this review (#2477252) | Posted by Uruk_hai | Wednesday, November 18, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This fractured follow up to King Crimson's In The Court Of The Crimson King, the group's first and arguably best album, has a lot going for it, all things considered. With Greg Lake just about to have mega success with ELP, he stuck around the studio just long enough to do the wonderful vocals o ... (read more)

Report this review (#2434879) | Posted by SteveG | Monday, August 3, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Disappointing follow up to ITCOTCK, unsurprising given the turmoil in the band with Ian McDonald, Michael Giles and Greg Lake leaving after the debut album and Lake/ Giles recalled to the recording sessions to add vocals/ drums, with Peter Giles adding the bass parts and Gorden Haskel providing ... (read more)

Report this review (#2434634) | Posted by iluvmarillion | Sunday, August 2, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars My 40th Anniversary Serie version. After buying King Crimson their legendary debut album (from 1969) in the mid-Seventies I was in Prog Heaven, and soon decided to buy more King Crimson, hoping for more Mellotron drenched prog like in the awesome and pivotal titletrack. So I bought In The ... (read more)

Report this review (#2136633) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Friday, February 15, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars In the Wake of Poseidon is the second album by the progressive rock greats King Crimson. It was also the second album I heard from the band. It marked the first lineup change in the band, the first of many. Greg Lake only stayed to record vocals on most of the songs, not playing bass or anything lik ... (read more)

Report this review (#2119439) | Posted by progtime1234567 | Saturday, January 19, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Even though "In The Wake Of Poseidon" lacks the impact and innovation of King Crimson's debut, it certainly isn't a sophomore slump. It isn't nearly as adventurous of an album, and most of the tracks derive from songs on "In The Court," but by no means does this make it bad. It does a pretty ser ... (read more)

Report this review (#1938920) | Posted by Ludenberger | Wednesday, June 13, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Same formula as Court, but without the magic. With the rest of the band leaving, Fripp found himself with a recording contract and good songs, but no band. So, he asked Lake and Giles to please finish the recording, which they did with the help of Pete Giles on bass, and Mel Collins filing in for ... (read more)

Report this review (#1696026) | Posted by Walkscore | Wednesday, February 22, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Before we get the the review, lets get some background knowledge on the album. The year is 1969, and In The Court of the Crimson King is a huge hit. Half the band leaves very soon afterwards. Sinfield, Fripp, Lake (sort of), and Giles are left. They figure "Why fix an album structure that isn't ... (read more)

Report this review (#1619427) | Posted by Scorpius | Friday, October 7, 2016 | Review Permanlink

3 stars So where do you go after you have created not only one of the greatest progressive rock albums of all time, but the album that is considered to be the cornerstone of the entire genre? King Crimson had to answer that after the popularity of In the Court of the Crimson King. Their response? In the ... (read more)

Report this review (#1499097) | Posted by Ghost_of_Prog | Sunday, December 13, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This album, even though it sounds like a carbon copy of In The Court..., is still a great piece of Prog's more experimental side. The first track, "Peace-A Beginning" opens with a Greg Lake A cappella, portraying himself as wind, and other natural beings. Then, the similarities start: "Pictures ... (read more)

Report this review (#1326264) | Posted by HoldsworthIsGod | Friday, December 19, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars 3.2 Stars. In the wake of the Crimson KING!!! Aaahhhh...... Whenever I play this album it becomes quite clear that the band were still in shock with the commercial and critical success of their debut ITCOTKC. That album was arguably what opened the floodgates for both Prog Rock and Heavy Metal ... (read more)

Report this review (#1047768) | Posted by LakeGlade12 | Sunday, September 29, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Well, this album really gives something to talk about. In The Wake Of Poseidon is an album that follows straightly the line of In The Court Of The Crimson King. At the begining, I didn't get the album easily, I limited myself to think that it was a clearly lower effort than ITCOTCK, but as tim ... (read more)

Report this review (#1011221) | Posted by MyDarling95 | Sunday, August 4, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Whilst King Crimson's 2nd release "In The Wake Of Poseidon" will always be surpassed by the phenomenal, ground-breaking "In The Court Of The Crimson King", it is still worthy of a 5 star rating for me. Previously, their debut was my favourite prog rock album (even above Trespass!) but recently I've ... (read more)

Report this review (#984550) | Posted by Xonty | Sunday, June 23, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars King Crimson is probably my favorite rock band, even though "rock" could be a far too limiting term for what they do. I wouldn't give anything they produce anything less than 3 1/2 stars. "In The Wake Of Poseidon" gets 4 stars in my book. It's not their best album, but it's real close! "I ... (read more)

Report this review (#954357) | Posted by thwok | Sunday, May 5, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A monster of a follow up to their debut. This is a strange one. KC wasn't a band anymore. Robert Fripp was desperately doing everything he can to carry the Crimson banner. With new recruits, Keith Tippet and Mel Collins filling in as session players filling the huge void left by Ian McDonald. G ... (read more)

Report this review (#919974) | Posted by ster | Wednesday, February 27, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars King Crimson is my all-time favorite "rock" band, even though "rock" is probably too limiting a term for what they've accomplished. Therefore, I wouldn't give anything they've done less than 3 or 3 1/2 stars. In the Wake of Poseidon isn't in the KC top 4 or 5, but it's real close! This album ... (read more)

Report this review (#911698) | Posted by fmotp | Saturday, February 9, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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