Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


King Crimson

Eclectic Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

King Crimson Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With album cover
3.39 | 111 ratings | 16 reviews | 18% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

Write a review

from partners
Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Bude (0:26)
2. Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With [Edit] (4:12)
3. Mie Gakure (2:00)
4. She Shudders (0:35)
5. Eyes Wide Open (4:08)
6. Shoganai (2:53)
7. I Ran (0:40)
8. Potato Pie (5:03)
9. Larks' Tongues in Aspic (10:26)
10. Clouds (4:10)

Total Time: 32:13

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Adrian Belew / guitar, vocals
- Trey Gunn / warr guitar, rubber bass, fretless warr
- Pat Mastelotto / drums

Releases information

Discipline Global Mobile Ltd under exclusive licence to Sanctuary Records Group Limited (SANEP123)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to MANDRAKEROOT for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy KING CRIMSON Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With Music

KING CRIMSON Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With ratings distribution

(111 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(18%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(30%)
Good, but non-essential (34%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

KING CRIMSON Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Muzikman
5 stars It has been a few years since we have heard rumblings from ''The Court of King Crimson''. ''Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With'' is a CD/EP that runs over 30 minutes. Anything over 30 minutes qualifies as an album as far as I am concerned, but when your dealing with progressive-rock heavyweights like this, 30 minutes is merely a warm up of what is to come, so standby for more soon.

Adrian Belew's voice is present to give the music a distinct flair and the instant recognition of their legacy. I always thought he sounded different from anyone else in rock, and it worked out as a perfect fit for KING CRIMSON's sound. Mastermind Robert Fripp remains at the helm after all these years and his guitar work is consistently outstanding. The beauty and suppleness of "Eyes Wide Open" is a huge departure from a rocker like "Lark's Tongues In Aspic" with its wailing guitar and odd time signatures coupled with jazz fused overtones. They sound as if they have not missed a step after all these years and remain light years ahead of their contemporaries. The best part about their music is their element of surprise, you never know what to expect from track to track, and that is what makes them so intriguing and fascinating to listen to.

If this is just a taste of what is to come, I can hardly wait to get the full course meal.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I guess this CD EP had more value when the "Power to Believe" album wasn't yet released, but we have here some different versions of familiar songs, along with few fine soundscapes ("Mie Gakure" for example) and otherwise unreleased impressions from the band's studio sessions. I'm not very fond of the title song I must admit, but the acoustic "Eyes Wide Open" is an interesting version of this great song. Also there are three short little parts with only Adrian's effected singing, maybe not most essential. "Potato Pie" is some sort of "ProzaKc Blues - part two", also not very pleasing for my ears, but the live version of Larks' Tongues in Aspic - part IV" is very fine. Note that the lyrics of "Coda" were dropped out after 11/9, as they mentioned "the bombing of World Trade Center".

What I appreciated is the long running time of this mini album, though some tracks could have been omitted, like the final mess named "Clouds". If you are interested of the 21st century line-up of this schizoid band, you may appreciate this release much more than me - I'm not a huge fan of this incarnation of King Crimson, but I admit that they can still create some good musical moments. On this release I think the ratio is about 50% good, 50% bad, that's about 15 minutes of both.

Review by Neu!mann
4 stars This 32-minute mini-album was only meant as a teaser for the upcoming King Crimson album "The Power to Believe", so it might not rate more than a passing mention in retrospect. But one of the tracks stands out enough to merit an entire review by itself. and here it is.

In the typically rigorous fashion of all things Crim, the CD was organized into a set of three songs (the bluesy "Potato Pie" didn't make the final cut on the subsequent album), three short soundscapes, and three even shorter musical haikus, sung by Adrian Belew through some sort of voice synthesizer.

And then there's the orphan stepchild of the bunch, and the excuse for this review: a dynamic re-recording of "Lark's Tongues in Aspic, Part IV", presenting maybe the most intense, powerful, sometimes frightening, and downright awe-inspiring ten minutes of music in the entire King Crimson discography. And that's no exaggeration.

The track is miles ahead of the suitably loud but two-dimensional version that made its debut on "The ConstruKction of Light", and might have been included here as a sonic apology for the sometimes lackluster production of the earlier effort. The original was easily the best thing about that decidedly mixed blessing of an album, but the revision is (in classic Crimson vernacular) a "beast", rolling forward like an unstoppable juggernaut and destroying everything in its path.

It never ceases to amaze me how such a mild-mannered, well-balanced, and obviously thoughtful person like Robert Fripp can willingly compose and perform such demonically aggressive music. I suppose he needs some sort of release from the frustrations of daily life, which must be even more acute to a professional musician dealing with the business end of his craft. Whatever the reason, it's good news for those of us with a similar itch for the catharsis of pure sound, but be forewarned: you'll need all your wits to survive the aural assault of this sucker.

Bottom line: five enthusiastic stars for the one song alone, balanced against three stars earned by the rest of the disc, equals a solid four star rating for the entirety. If you only know the "ConstruKction" edit of "Lark's Tongues IV", and consider yourself in any way, shape or form a disciple of the Crimson King, you need to hear this version, played as loudly as your ears, your stereo, and your sanity will allow.

Review by kunangkunangku
4 stars From the opener to the last track this album gives you a no-nonsense bumpy ride on (haha) King Crimson Street -- in which the music swing freely from the light, easy part to the heavy part, from the quiet part to the noisy part. And yet there is no room for the listeners to bring forward any reasonable complain.

Listening to "Bude", a short spoken, electronically manipulated verses (as Peter Frampton did on "Show Me the Way" or Jeff Beck on "She's a Woman" live version with Jan Hammer), one might expect a sit-back-and-relax comfort. But this is not the case, because in no time enter the heavy riff of one of the best tracks, a kind of Belew style of alternative metal flavor "Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With". An interesting twist (or trick?) the listeners can find every now and then.

After the two-minute meditative soundscape "Mie Gakure" and again a short spoken verses "She Shudders", another best new track "Eyes Wide Open" follows. Performed with rhythmically acoustic guitar, "Eyes Wide Open" brings a relieving feel with its poignant lyric. With Belew's effective vocals and marvelous instrumentation, this beautiful song should bravely takes its place alongside "Frame by Frame" from "Discipline".

Another great track worth mentioned is "Potato Pie", a bluesy tune partly best describes as Fripp and Belew guitar play exchange.

Having earned a reputation as a cutting-edge band, always reinvent itself, King Crimson is almost sitting on a comfortable place to do any thing. And they always meet any expectation, as is with this EP. This is a precious addition to your collection.

Review by OpethGuitarist
3 stars "We're gonna need to have a chorus."

An outstanding EP. With almost no concern for structure, and traditional elements, King Crimson continues to power on their artistry. Some parts are just zany, but if you've grown accustomed to the band, you'll realize it fits in right with their style of music. It's definitely evolved since their more jazzy and softer beginnings (although the band never was soft, and was always cutting edge).

Lt. Pt 4 continues in the same experimental fashion as its predecessors, however this is considerably heavier and more grueling than the others, which would appeal more towards metal fans than towards symphonic prog followers. Regardless, another fine effort in the LTIA saga which continues to show Fripp as one of the most creative guitarist/composers in the game.

I usually look down on EPs. However, this one is filled with quite a chunk of good material and is well worth having, especially if you are looking to continue exploring one of the best bands in progressive music.

Review by Prog Leviathan
2 stars While not nearly as necessary a purchase as the outstanding "Power to Believe", this fun teaser of that excellent album still has its share of music to appreciate. There are some heavy, savage instrumentals and delicate soundscapes throughout, and fans of "PTB" will enjoy the alternate versions of "Happy With What..." and "Eyes Wide Open". Lots of groovy stuff for the fans, but neophytes might be better picking up the full-length version first.
Review by LiquidEternity
2 stars Unlike the EP VROOOM, HWWYHTBHW (that, too, is a terrible pain to type) does not feature any really interesting tidbits of music. As far as a teaser goes for a new album, it's interesting, but in truth, despite the fact that it has a lot more original music than that one, the music on this EP is not nearly so interesting. Most of them are meandering and underdeveloped spacey tunes that neither represent the forthcoming Power to Believe album very well nor do they carry much interest. Shoganai uses some neat percussion to create a fluid feel throughout. Potato Pie is an average song with Belew crooning over the top in a rather uninspired way, unfortunately. The middle section is turned into a soft jam session that is more reminiscent of the Allman Brothers Band than King Crimson. The version of Larks' Tongues in Aspic here is interesting, but nothing necessary to listen to. I can't really compare it to its album version, but see reviews of ConstruKction of Light to see what people think of the song. Clouds is an obnoxiously spoken bit with weird music that could be cool but really doesn't realize itself very well.

Really, it's not bad. I mean, there are some neat KC tunes on here that fans enjoy. But that's just it. It's for fans only. Anyone else will be stymied by this release completely.

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars For those who have not been with King Crimson since 1969 seminal debut album "In The Court of The Crimson King" that has been widely considered as the birth of progressive rock genre, might think that King Crimson is more on heavy prog kind of music. Especially, when they start the band with this EP and listening to the title track. Nothing wrong because the song bears what heavy prog elements quite significantly in terms of style, groove, drive through the use of heavy guitar riffs. But for those who knew the band since 1969, they might surprise significant that the band has made its leap into another style of prog music.

Teaser that kills.

Well, yeah .. this EP was intended as teaser just before the full-fledge album "The Power To Believe" was released in 2003. I rate The Power To Believe album highly due to the fact that the band was quite successful in managing their new music direction starting with its Discipline album. The Power To Believe pushed the envelope harder by inserting much more heavy music with thick music riffs while maintaining the solid line King Crimson's music. When this EP was released, I was not interested to buy as I thought that the music presented would be centered around the track(s) that were planned to be as the band's hit(s) - in this case is "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With". But I was wrong as I found many great things about this EP, including wonderfully composed "Shoganai".

The mini album opens energetically with its title "Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With" in edited version. I think this is an attractive track with stunning riffs and unique singing style. I always like this track whenever I play it, including this version. Adrian Belew sings at his best with great accentuation when he says "Happy with What You Have To Be Happy With". The next is a great ambient instrument work with no drumming "Mie Gakure" (2:00) which continues brilliantly with "She Shudders" (0:35) - a very short but nice bridge.

"Eyes Wide Open" (4:08) is an acoustic exploration of the band using acoustic guitar as the main rhythm section. The most interesting components are the catchy melody line and natural music flow with excellent Belew vocal work. "Shoganai" (2:53) is my favorite unique track exploring percussion work with great arrangements. I truly enjoy this track. "I Ran" (0:40) is a nice acapella with effects. It flows wonderfully to "Potato Pie" (5:03) with blues tinge while maintaining key characteristics of Crimson sounds and stye. It's really a masterpiece musical arrangement. Bravo!

"Larks' Tongues in Aspic" (10:26) is my top list favorite of King Crimson songs. It started with their album with same title. The reason I like the song was the combination of dark mellow and heavy prog style from their part one during 70s. This version takes mostly the heavier part and it flows brilliantly into my ears. The guitar riffs that characterize this song are also great. The EP closes nicely with another acapella: "Clouds" (4:10)

Overall, this is really an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW (i-Rock! Music Community)

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This King Crimson CD/EP ( 32 + min long!) was released as pre - "The Power To Believe" teaser. Usually I am not very interested in EP's at all. But there is a different story.

Firts of all, you have here 10 songs and over 30 minutes of music, so this release is not too far from real album size. Second, there are not outtakes, radio-hits or B-sides added. Even if full CD sounds more as compilation, both together it is great collection of great songs!

Heavy rocker "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With" (uhh, but not a bad name for a song, isn't it?) is not for everyone taste, but I like it. It is real KC on their heavy side. This song will be included ( a bit shorter version) on "The Power To Believe"album as well. Another song from up-coming album - "Eyes Wide Open" - is represented there by very beautiful acoustic version. "Mie Gakure" and "Shoganai" are both beautiful short acoustic instrumentals based on oriental melodies. "Lark's tongue In Aspic" is heavy rocker again and lasts 10:26!

All in all, even if thet EP sounds more as eclectic compilation, it's music is very different in styles, rhythms,arrangements and heaviness. Absolutely attractive even for regular listener. Even more: for me this EP in many moments are better that KC last to time regular album "The Power To Believe" ( which includes some same songs with EP as above).

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars This CD was released in advance of The Power To Believe, to give a bit of a preview to the album. Despite having ten tracks, the disk really has only four true songs on it. The rest are short interludes and tone poems, showing off the new effects the band has obtained. And the last track, Clouds, is a string of studio blurbs, noises, quotes from the band, and small musical ideas, strung together in a collage. Actually, in it's own way it's interesting.

Of the four songs, Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With is the best of the new material (Larks' Tongues In Aspic - Part IV is a better song, but it's a live recording of a track from the previous album). It's a kick-a**, powerful song, with funny, self referential lyrics. Eyes Wide Open is a Belew ballad. It's not bad, but belongs more on a Belew solo album than a Crimson release. And Potato Pie is another loud, off-key blues based song, similar in style to ProzaKc Blues from the previous album.

For what it is, this album is not bad, but except for Potato Pie, there is no other reason one might need it.

2.5 stars, rounded up.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars Before KING CRIMSON released "The Power To Believe" in 2003 they first released the live EP "Level Five" in 2001 and then this EP "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With" in 2002.These two EPs certainly gave us a clear idea as to what the studio album would be like.

"Bude" is a short processed vocal piece before we are hammered by the title track.This kicks in hard and heavy but it's all about the vocals on the chorus. Killer tune. It ends sounding like the opening track.

"Mie Gakure" is a spacey and dreamy soundscape. "She Shudders" is another short processed vocal piece before the beautiful "Eyes Wide Open" song comes in. Love this tune.

"Shoganai" has these intricate percussion-like sounds throughout. "I Ran" is another short processed vocal piece. "Potato Pie" has a good heavy sound to it.This turns bluesy when the vocals arrive around a minute. Fripp solos before 3 1/2 minutes.

"Larks' Tongues In Aspic (Part IV)" is a monster and the highlight of this album for me. It's like a runaway train. Check out the insanity after 4 minutes then Fripp rips it up 7 minutes in. "Clouds" ends it with those processed vocals to start then we get some interesting intrumental and vocal sections the rest of the way. Funny stuff.

An easy 4 stars for me but then again I think "The Power To Believe" is a five star album.

Review by Warthur
4 stars This EP from King Crimson does the same job for The Power To Believe album as VROOOM did for THRAK - act as a preview of the material being worked on for the album and a general indication of where King Crimson's heads were at. In this case, the answer to the latter is "favourably impressed by the young padawans Tool and King Crimson", since the heavy metal-influenced prog of those bands influences the title track here (yet another King Crimson rumination about the process of making music itself).

On the whole, it's a pretty decent EP, reflecting what the band were concentrating on at the time - namely, dividing their attentions between workshopping material for The Power To Believe (they weren't going to make the same mistake they made with The ConstruKction of Light and go into the studio without a set of material which had received careful refinement and polishing in the leadup to it), and revisiting the material from The ConstruKction of Light to tease out its better aspects. (The version of Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part IV here is excellent, and knocks the version on ConstruKction of Light out cold.)

Latest members reviews

2 stars In 2002, King Crimson released a new EP: Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With. This release was recorded by the same lineup as ConstruKction, and it was meant to serve the same purpose as VROOOM: to act as a teaser for the upcoming full-length. Two of the songs here would appear on their next a ... (read more)

Report this review (#3037525) | Posted by TheEliteExtremophile | Monday, April 15, 2024 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With is not simply an EP which shows us King Crimson's work in progress for their "The Power To Believe" album, but a record that grace us with some interesting brand new material. Tracks such as "Eyes Wide Open" or "Happy with what you have to be happy with", ... (read more)

Report this review (#259229) | Posted by Malve87 | Monday, January 4, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Having been a longtime Crimson fan, I should probably like this. But I can't. It bares no resemblance whatsoever to the 60's or 70's King Crimson, and barely any resemblance to the 80's Crimson, even though 1/2 of the band is still the same. And it just flops around like a sick fish, not ac ... (read more)

Report this review (#40651) | Posted by | Wednesday, July 27, 2005 | Review Permanlink

3 stars King Crimson has traditionally been a band that reinvents itself periodically. These phoenix-like resurrections serve both to suit the current projects of the individual members and to inject fresh challenges into a musical structure that could otherwise be in danger of stagnating. The most rece ... (read more)

Report this review (#33705) | Posted by Andy Long | Wednesday, February 2, 2005 | Review Permanlink

Post a review of KING CRIMSON "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.