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KING CRIMSON

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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King Crimson biography
" When you want to hear where music is going in the future, you put on a King Crimson album."
- Bill Bruford, 1995

For all its break-ups, periods of non-existence and fluctuating methodology, King Crimson remains one of the interminably compelling bands playing within the domain of rock music to this day. Widely acknowledged as being the harbingers of the art-rock genre with their monumental 1969 album "In The Court Of The Crimson King", they paved the way for innovative art-rock/progressive rock bands such as Yes, ELP etc etc. in the early '70s as well as providing a stimulus for more recent neo-progressive bands like Tool and The Mars Volta through their post-progressive work in the early '80s and '90s. More of a frame of mind than a style, the music of King Crimson has constantly sought out sustenance through amalgamations of existing forms of music, veering away from any contemporary mould, nullifying any notions that it is necessary to adhere to proven formulas in order to create commercially feasible music.

From its formative years in Bournemouth, England in the late '60s, King Crimson's unwavering guiding light has constantly emanated from the abstruse intellect of guitarist Robert Fripp (b. May 16, 1946). Although he maintains that he is not the band's leader per se, he attributes the band's enduring viability to the collective brilliance of its individual members even though it seems to disband and reform at the wave of his magic wand. Fripp began playing guitar at the age of eleven with 'Trad. Jazz' perfomer Acker Bilk providing him with early inspiration. By the age of 18, he was playing with a hotel band in his hometown of Bournemouth performing at bar-mitzvahs and weddings while developing his distinctive guitar style which incorporated many classical techniques. While other early influences included such diverse sources as Bartok, Debussy and Django Reinhardt, he was particularly drawn to the 1967 Beatles song "A Day In The Life" which, he claimed, affected him in similar ways as classical composers and it was around this time his designs for King Crimson began to take form. In early '67, after playing with other local pop outfits, he joined two brothers, Michael and Peter Giles on drums and bass/vocals respectively. By October 1967, having changed their name to Giles, Giles & Fripp, they found themselves in London where they recor...
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In the Court of the Crimson KingIn the Court of the Crimson King
Import · Remastered
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.44
$10.44 (used)
Thrak- 40th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD-audioThrak- 40th Anniversary Edition CD/DVD-audio
Import
DGM 2016
Audio CD$14.02
$14.01 (used)
DisciplineDiscipline
Import
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.48
$7.35 (used)
Red 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredRed 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Import
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.46
$9.95 (used)
Larks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredLarks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Import
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.42
$5.71 (used)
BeatBeat
Import · Remastered
Discipline Us 2006
Audio CD$7.46
$6.46 (used)
Lizard (CD + DVD Audio)Lizard (CD + DVD Audio)
Extra tracks · Special Edition · Remastered
Discipline Us 2010
Audio CD$15.11
$20.39 (used)
USA (40th Anniversary Edition) CD + DVDUSA (40th Anniversary Edition) CD + DVD
Import
Discipline Us 2013
Audio CD$14.44
$18.91 (used)
Red (2-CD version)Red (2-CD version)
Import
DGM 2013
Audio CD$9.58
$25.23 (used)
In the Wake of PoseidonIn the Wake of Poseidon
CD+DVD · Deluxe Edition · Extra tracks
Discipline 2010
Audio CD$15.09
$20.98 (used)
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KING CRIMSON - IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON: 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION NEW CD USD $20.95 Buy It Now 7h 38m
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King Crimson Lizard SD 8278 (Atlantic Records) Laminated Gatefold, Promo, 1971 USD $20.00 Buy It Now 12h 51m
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ADRIAN BELEW Twang Bar King 1981 LP King CRIMSON USD $11.99 Buy It Now 13h 40m
KING CRIMSON King Crimson - Three Of A Perfect Pair 1984 PR LP USD $29.99 Buy It Now 13h 47m
King Crimson Young Persons Guide EX w booklet 2sds 900 1976 Original Vintage USD $25.06 Buy It Now 13h 56m
King Crimson-Beat LP-EG, EGLP 51, 1982, 8 Track USD $21.49 Buy It Now 14h
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KING CRIMSON EARTHBOUND 1972 PROG JAZZ ROCK ORIGINAL ISLAND RARE UK LP USD $29.74 Buy It Now 14h 39m
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KING CRIMSON -LIZARD,1970 ISLAND record USD $14.99 [1 bids]
16h 16m
King Crimson USA LP USD $45.00 Buy It Now 16h 23m
VROOOM [EP] by King Crimson (CD, Nov-1994, Discipline Global Mobile) USD $150.00 Buy It Now 16h 28m
KING CRIMSON-CAT FOOD/GROON RARE UK 7'' 1970 ISLAND EX PROGRESSIVE USD $49.00 Buy It Now 16h 34m
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King Crimson - Live At The Orpheum NEW LP USD $22.14 Buy It Now 16h 46m
Adrian Belew King Crimson Atlantic Late Vinyl LP 1989 USD $12.00 Buy It Now 16h 46m
KING CRIMSON: Lizard LP (sm corner bend) Rock & Pop USD $25.00 Buy It Now 16h 57m
(CD) KING CRIMSON - Live At The Zoom Club [October 13, 1972] / 2 CD USD $29.99 Buy It Now 17h 7m
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In The Court of the Crimson King-King Crimson (HDCD, OOP, 2006, Japan Mini-LP) USD $39.95 Buy It Now 17h 43m
KING CRIMSON-lizard 1970 UK POLYDOR 2302-059 UNPLAYED NM VINYL USD $29.99 Buy It Now 17h 49m
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FIELDS - S/T / UK PROG LP ORIGINAL BRITISH CBS LABEL RARE BIRD KING CRIMSON USD $100.00 Buy It Now 18h 31m
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KING CRIMSON shows & tickets


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KING CRIMSON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KING CRIMSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.61 | 3385 ratings
In The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.81 | 1674 ratings
In The Wake Of Poseidon
1970
4.10 | 1688 ratings
Lizard
1970
3.79 | 1468 ratings
Islands
1971
4.41 | 2260 ratings
Larks' Tongues In Aspic
1973
3.91 | 1425 ratings
Starless And Bible Black
1974
4.53 | 2655 ratings
Red
1974
4.12 | 1509 ratings
Discipline
1981
3.02 | 921 ratings
Beat
1982
3.24 | 905 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
3.64 | 843 ratings
THRAK
1995
3.14 | 198 ratings
Space Groove (ProjeKct Two)
1998
3.12 | 623 ratings
The ConstruKction of Light
2000
3.45 | 167 ratings
Heaven and Earth (ProjeKct X)
2000
3.96 | 945 ratings
The Power To Believe
2003
3.57 | 436 ratings
A Scarcity of Miracles (a King Crimson Projekct by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins)
2011

KING CRIMSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.45 | 340 ratings
Earthbound
1972
4.03 | 394 ratings
USA
1975
2.88 | 25 ratings
Strange Tales of the Sailors
1991
4.54 | 305 ratings
The Great Deceiver: Live 1973 - 1974
1992
3.75 | 145 ratings
B'Boom. Official bootleg - Live in Argentina
1995
2.60 | 172 ratings
THRaKaTTaK
1996
3.77 | 148 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes One & Two
1997
4.41 | 236 ratings
The Night Watch
1997
3.75 | 114 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes Three & Four
1997
4.45 | 244 ratings
Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984
1998
3.92 | 12 ratings
Live At The Jazz Café (ProjeKct One)
1998
3.75 | 12 ratings
Masque (ProjeKct Three)
1999
3.64 | 11 ratings
Live Groove (Projekct Two)
1999
3.61 | 95 ratings
Heavy ConstruKction
2000
4.01 | 98 ratings
VROOOM VROOOM
2001
3.64 | 83 ratings
Level Five
2001
4.05 | 119 ratings
Ladies of the Road
2002
3.66 | 66 ratings
EleKtriK
2003
4.61 | 76 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 1. Live in Mainz, 1974 - Live in Asbury Park, 1974
2006
2.91 | 38 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson Vol.2
2007
3.88 | 37 ratings
The collectable King Crimson volume three
2008
3.55 | 34 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson, Volume 4
2009
4.00 | 33 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson: Vol. 5: Live In Japan, 1995
2010
3.53 | 24 ratings
Live In Japan (The Crimson Projekct)
2014
3.00 | 71 ratings
Live At The Orpheum
2015

KING CRIMSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.98 | 34 ratings
The Noise: Frejus
1984
4.86 | 7 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair - Live In Japan
1984
4.44 | 128 ratings
Deja VROOM (DVD)
1999
3.73 | 115 ratings
Eyes Wide Open
2003
3.89 | 65 ratings
Neal and Jack and Me
2004
3.95 | 18 ratings
Inside King Crimson 1972-1975 An Independent Critical Review With David Cross
2005
3.22 | 46 ratings
Live In Japan 1995
2007
4.30 | 34 ratings
Live In Argentina 1994
2012

KING CRIMSON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.89 | 83 ratings
The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson
1976
2.11 | 57 ratings
The Compact King Crimson
1986
3.66 | 46 ratings
The Essential King Crimson: Frame by Frame
1991
3.18 | 37 ratings
Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson
1993
2.97 | 23 ratings
Schizoid Man
1996
3.33 | 38 ratings
Deception of the Thrush: A Beginners Guide to ProjeKcts
1999
3.82 | 78 ratings
Cirkus - The Young Persons' Guide To King Crimson Live
1999
3.57 | 69 ratings
The ProjeKcts
1999
4.58 | 43 ratings
21st Century Guide: Volume One (1969-1974)
2004
3.49 | 33 ratings
The 21st Century Guide To King Crimson Volume Two: 1981-2003 (4CD Box Set)
2005
3.98 | 22 ratings
The Condensed 21st Century Guide 1969 - 2003
2006
3.47 | 15 ratings
King Crimson - 40th Anniversary Tour Box
2008
4.75 | 87 ratings
In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD)
2009
3.83 | 29 ratings
Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings)
2012
4.58 | 34 ratings
The Road to Red
2013
3.93 | 24 ratings
The Elements
2014
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Elements (2015 Tour Box)
2015

KING CRIMSON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.37 | 51 ratings
The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.29 | 42 ratings
Cat Food
1970
3.87 | 21 ratings
The Night Watch
1974
3.60 | 36 ratings
Epitaph
1976
3.88 | 17 ratings
Discipline 12'' Sampler
1981
3.07 | 18 ratings
Matte Kudasai
1981
2.00 | 1 ratings
Elephant Talk
1981
3.50 | 8 ratings
Thela Hun Ginjeet
1981
3.19 | 23 ratings
Heartbeat
1982
3.16 | 19 ratings
Sleepless
1984
3.67 | 3 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
2.14 | 16 ratings
The Abbreviated King Crimson: Heartbeat
1991
3.60 | 114 ratings
Vrooom
1994
2.00 | 1 ratings
Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
1995
3.85 | 20 ratings
Dinosaur
1995
3.01 | 21 ratings
Live at Jacksonville 1972
1998
3.22 | 20 ratings
Live at The Marquee 1969
1998
3.26 | 8 ratings
King Crimson - A Beginners' Guide To The King Crimson Collectors' Club
1999
3.85 | 24 ratings
The Beat Club, Bremen, 1972
1999
3.38 | 17 ratings
Live in San Francisco - The Roar of P4 (ProjeKct Four)
1999
4.64 | 20 ratings
On Broadway - Live in NYC 1995
1999
4.36 | 22 ratings
Live at Cap D'Agde 1982
1999
3.84 | 21 ratings
Live in Central Park, NYC, 1974
2000
2.81 | 17 ratings
Nashville Rehearsals, 1997
2000
2.59 | 14 ratings
Live at Moles Club, Bath, 1981
2000
4.20 | 29 ratings
Live at Summit Studios 1972
2000
3.20 | 23 ratings
The VROOOM Sessions 1994
2000
3.84 | 18 ratings
Live in Detroit, MI
2001
3.73 | 27 ratings
Live At Plymouth, May 1971
2001
4.06 | 28 ratings
Live in Mainz, Gemany 1974
2001
3.17 | 15 ratings
Live in Northampton, MA (ProjeKct Two)
2001
4.19 | 7 ratings
The Guide to Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Parts 1-4)
2001
3.26 | 22 ratings
Live at The Zoom Club
2002
3.39 | 75 ratings
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
2002
3.28 | 15 ratings
The Champaign-Urbana Sessions, 1983
2002
3.65 | 24 ratings
Hyde Park, London, 1969
2002
4.21 | 14 ratings
Live in Nashville, TN, 2001
2002
3.53 | 19 ratings
Live in Berkeley, CA 1982
2002
3.29 | 17 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct One - Jazz Cafe Suite, December 1 - 4, 1997
2003
3.83 | 22 ratings
Live in Guildford, 1972
2003
3.52 | 14 ratings
Live in Orlando, FL, 1972
2003
2.88 | 15 ratings
The Power To Believe Tour Box
2003
3.08 | 15 ratings
Live at Fillmore East, November 21 & 22, 1969
2003
4.09 | 14 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct Three Live in Austin, TX , March 25, 1999
2004
4.06 | 15 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA , July 30, 1982
2004
2.82 | 13 ratings
Live in Brighton, October 16, 1971
2005
4.09 | 17 ratings
Live in Heidelberg, 1974
2005
3.74 | 17 ratings
Live in Warsaw, June 11, 2000
2005
4.21 | 14 ratings
Live at the Wiltern 1st July 1995
2006
4.27 | 11 ratings
Live in Munich
2006
3.27 | 6 ratings
ProjeKct Six - East Coast Live
2006
4.13 | 8 ratings
Projekct Two - CC- Live in Chicago, IL
2006
4.33 | 6 ratings
Projekct Three - CC - Live in Alexandria, VA, March 3, 2003
2007
3.92 | 12 ratings
Live in Denver, CO, March 13, 1972
2007
4.18 | 11 ratings
Live in Kassel, April 1, 1974
2008
4.44 | 9 ratings
Live at the Pier, NYC - August 2 , 1982
2008
4.22 | 9 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA, August 26, 1996
2008
4.11 | 10 ratings
Park West, Chicago, Illinois (August 7, 2008)
2008
4.10 | 10 ratings
Live in Boston, MA, March 27, 1972
2009
4.46 | 13 ratings
Live Zurich, Nov. 15, 1973
2009
4.15 | 11 ratings
Live In Milan June 20, 2003
2009
3.89 | 9 ratings
Live in Toronto, June 24, 1974
2011
4.00 | 3 ratings
Recorded Live On The 2014 US Tour
2015

KING CRIMSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 USA by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 1975
4.03 | 394 ratings

BUY
USA
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

5 stars Review Nº 52

'USA' is the second live album of King Crimson and was released in 1975. As with its predecessor, their debut live album 'Earthbound' released in 1972, this is also a posthumous live work, documenting the end of other King Crimson's line up. It was recorded in the final of the 'USA' live tour. So, 'USA', became the farewell album of this line up, with Robert Fripp (guitar and mellotron), John Wetton (lead vocals and bass), David Cross (violin, viola, mellotron and electric piano) and Bill Bruford (drums and percussion). Eddie Jobson (violin and electric piano) also appears as an additional musician. The main difference between both albums is with the line up. The line up on 'Earthbound' is weaker than on 'USA'. This third line up is one of the best line ups of the group. For instance, Bruford and Wetton are two of the best musicians of the 70's. And we have also here the presence of Jobson, an artist that I deeply admire.

The original vinyl version has only six tracks. In 2002 the band released the 30th Anniversary Edition, on CD format, with nine tracks. As this is the version that I bought, this is the version that I will review. Almost all the tracks recorded live were taken from two locations in the USA. They were recorded at the Casino, Asbury Park, in 28 June 1974, with the only exception of its seventh track, who was recorded at the Palace Theatre, Providence, in 30 June 1974.

About the tracks, 'Walk On'No Pussyfooting' is a brief excerpt of a track originally recorded on a Fripp & Eno album, '(No Pussyfooting)' released in 1973. This album was the first of three major collaborations between both musicians. On the original live version of 'USA', this excerpt wasn't listed as a separate track and is only audible by a very careful listener. It serves as a kind of an introduction to the album. It has only 00:35 minutes. 'Larks' Tongues In Aspic (Part II)', 'Exiles' and 'Easy Money' were all tracks originally released on their fifth studio album 'Larks' Tongues In Aspic' in 1973. 'Lament' and 'Fracture' were two tracks originally released on their sixth studio album 'Starless And Bible Black' in 1974. 'Asbury Park' is a piece of music, an improvisation, which was never released on any studio album of them. '21st Century Schizoid Man' was originally released on their debut studio album 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' in 1969. 'Starless' was originally released on their seventh studio album 'Red' in 1974. The two last tracks on the album, 'Fracture' and 'Starless', are the two extra tracks that weren't featured on the original release of 'USA' and that only were added for the subsequent release of the 30th Anniversary Edition.

About the live performance, classics like the thunderous "Lark's Tongues in Aspic-Part II", the atmospheric and ominous "Lament", the sheer beauty of "Exiles", with its massive mellotron sounds, as well as the pure genius of "Fracture" and "Starless" are all represented here. So, fortunately we can have in the 2002 Anniversary edition, for the first time, two more of the best King Crimson's songs, 'Fracture' and 'Starless' thrown in for good measure. Both tracks are also two of my favourites, especially the latter of which is easily one of my top five songs of the band. 'Easy Money' was also extended and so the listeners can at long last hear the track as they were meant to be heard. Another enjoyable aspect of the concert is the racy alternative lyrics to this track. An interesting inclusion of "21st Century Schizoid Man" is here as well, as by then the band was trying to move away from material from the earlier albums. A real treat is the track "Asbury Park", a never before released instrumental that is a real fusion workout for the band, with speedy guitar solos, furious bass and drums, and creepy mellotron. Finally and considering that Cross was asked to leave the band during the sessions of Red, some violin and keyboard parts were re-recorded by Jobson.

Conclusion: 'USA', released three years later than 'Earthbound', is a live album much better than 'Earthbound'. The qualitative differences are so huge that it can even be compared to the differences between water and wine. As I wrote before when I made my review of 'Earthbound', several reasons contributed to make 'Earthbound' an atypical and failed King Crimson's album. On 'USA', or these factors simply didn't happened or were completely exceeded. But let's see it more in detail. The decision of to break up the band again, surely doesn't brought demotivation and tension in the band's members, because there was certainly a great intensity, dynamic and musical chemistry between them. I sincerely think that we can feel it all over the album. About the line up, it's very professional and creative, one of the best King Crimson's line ups. About the repertoire chosen, it's diverse and representative and represents some of the best that the group had done until then. The live versions are all very good, having nothing to do with those performed on 'Earthbound'. The last but not the least, the sound quality is simply amazing. So, I consider 'USA' a perfect live album, unfortunately an underrated album sometimes. It really has everything what a great live album must have.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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 Earthbound by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 1972
2.45 | 340 ratings

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Earthbound
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

1 stars Review Nº 50

Robert Fripp was persuaded to entirely reform and restructure King Crimson with a new musical direction and with a new line up. However, as the band had a live tour commitment, he took the decision to dismember the band only after that live tour. The recordings from this live tour were later recorded as the "Earthbound" live album, which became their debut live album and which was released in 1972. So, "Earthbound" became also the farewell album of this line up, with Robert Fripp (electric guitar), Boz Burrell (vocals and bass guitar), Mel Collins (alto, tenor and baritone saxophones and mellotron) and Ian Wallace (drums).

"Earthbound" has five tracks. The live recordings of the tracks were taken from several locations. The first track "21st Century Schizoid Man" was recorded at the Armoury, Wilmington, Delaware, USA, in 11 February 1972. The second track "Peoria" was recorded at the Barn, Peoria, Illinois, USA, in 10 March 1972. The third track "The Sailor's Tale" was recorded at the Baseball Park, Jacksonville, Florida, USA, in 26 February 1972. The fourth track, the title track "Earthbound", was recorded at Kemp Coliseum, Orlando, Florida, USA, in 27 February 1972. The fifth track "Groon" was also recorded at the Armoury, Wilmington, Delaware, USA, in 11 February 1972.

About the tracks and their performance I need to write some lines. "21st Century Schizoid Man" was originally recorded on their debut studio album "In The Court Of The Crimson King" released in 1969. These eleven minutes live version isn't bad at all. It's my favourite second track on the album. However, in contrary to the opinion of some other reviewers, I consider this live version inferior of that was performed on their second live album "USA". "Peoria" is a live improvisation of a piece of music that was never released on any studio album of them. This is a kind of an energetic jazz/funky groove song with some quality and played well. However, in my humble opinion, it isn't a very impressive piece of music, and honestly, I think that it's a little bit an outsider on the band's music. "The Sailor's Tale" was originally recorded on their fourth studio album "Islands" released in 1971. This is, for me, the best track on the album. It's a very good live piece of music and the most symphonic of all on the album. However, it isn't as good as their studio version. "Earthbound" is another improvised live song that was also never released on any studio album of them. This is another track with a kind of an energetic jazz/funky groove in the same vein of "Peoria". This is another song that I also think it's a little bit out of their musical context. "Groon" is a rare song which was released for the first time as the B-side of their single "Cat Food"/"Groon" and wasn't available on any studio album of the band. Sincerely, this is my less favourite track on the album. I really think that is a great monstrosity. First of all "Groon", on its studio version has only 3 minutes and on this live version has about 15 minutes. This wouldn't be bad if its live improvisation was good. Sadly, this isn't the case. By the other hand, I must say that I like very much of the typical live solo drums of the 70's. I really like of good drumming. But on this track, the 7 minutes of a drum solo slow and without flame, it's boring and honestly, I can live perfectly without it. Finally, on a live album, the musical improvisation can be free, but all musicians must play together as a band. But on this live album, and in particular on this track, this isn't the case. When I listen to "Groon", I have the sensation that each musician performs alone what they really want.

Conclusion: "Earthbound" is the most obscure, atypical and failed King Crimson's album, and I'm sure that it wasn't a coincidence that was the last band's album to get reissued on a CD format. In my opinion, several reasons contributed to that. In the first place, I'm perfectly sure that the Fripp's decision of dismember the band, brought demotivation and some tension in the band's members. In the second place, make only a live tour just to meet their contractual commitments, was certainly another factor of poor motivation. In the third place, probably the main reason, this isn't for sure one of the best King Crimson's line up. Excluding Fripp and Collins, which are really excellent musicians, Burrell and Wallace are, with respect, slightly below to the minimum quality level required for this band. I'm convinced that with John Wetton and Bill Bruford, it would have been a better album. In the fourth place, the choice of the band's repertoire wasn't the best that the group had written until the time, with the exceptions of "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "The Sailor's Tale". The last but not the least reason, its sound quality is really awful. The information that the recordings were captured live on an ampex stereo cassette recorder in the rain and from the back of a Volkswagen truck, says it all. So, with all these conditions reunited together, "Earthbound" had to be a huge failure. Sincerely, I must confess that I hesitated to rate "Earthbound" with 1 or 2 stars. Finally, I decided to give it only 1 star because I can find on it very few of positive and I need to be fair with some other albums that I rated with 2 stars.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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 The ConstruKction of Light  by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.12 | 623 ratings

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The ConstruKction of Light
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Emiliano

4 stars This is my first review, so here it goes. Explaining in words the experience that entails listening King Crimson is not straightforward at all. This isn't your radio-friendly unit shifter album (has ever King Crimson been that way?) So, that motivated me to recommend it from my music experience. Depending on your point of view, like or unlike other King Crimson albums this is an avant-garde rock album (Discipline must have been avant-garde back in the old days.) To review it I will refer to music from other artists, despite the fact that the album refers back to previous King Crimson material. In this sense, this album can be heard hand in hand with John Paul Jones' albums Zooma and The Thunderthief (both produced by the DGM label *bells ring*,) as well as Them Crooked Vultures' song Highway 1. I highly recommend listening both Zooma and the Construkction back to back just to appreciate Trey Gunn's work harmony and ambient-wise (JPJ's The Smile of Your Shadow is a real gem.)

In this review I will only refer to the main songs of the album. Most songs from this album wouldn't make a mind- blowing standalone experience but as arranged in the album they flow and bend in seamlessly making an excellent album-wise experience, a kind of transition I quite love and only few bands get to manage adequately (I can think of the transition of Small Fish/Burning Sky in Up the Downstair and in The Dark Side of the Moon.) Now my main downturn as regards flow is the ProjeKct X song, which could have been better placed somewhere else. The album should end on its Coda.

The song which led me to listen to this album is the ConstruKction of Light. I read somewhere else that this song is polyphonic, but I can't attest to that. This song is an instant prog-classic. It has a 6 minute intro and lyrics towards the end. By the way, this kind of song structure reminds me of an Argentine rock classic by Serú Giran named A los Jóvenes de Ayer (if you like rock songs written in Spanish you'll enjoy it.) The song is mainly built upon riffs and arpeggios that have a feel similar to those in Another Brick in the Wall Pt.3's ending (my favourite tune in the Wall) but with dissonant harmonies fully exploited by Trey Gunn and a slow-mo King Crimson guitar layout. It is a daunting song with excellent vocals. I can't say the same about the lyrics... yet.

The second song buying me into listening this album is FraKctured. Little did I know when I first heard it that it was an on-the-spot 2000's version of Fracture. I just listened to it and thought of Fripp's staple soloing within a prog-wise ambient, a bit of Metallica's Anesthesia, JPJ's 2000's era, (and Nintendo games?) It's an instrumental where one can sit back and either be baffled or relaxed by Fripp's virtuosity. Frankly if I heard this kind of soloing from other rock musicians, I can think of Malmsteen, I would yawn. Fripp just gets his way round in an artsy manner, e.g. the Heroes' solo (in this day Mr. Bowie went to eternal rest so may he Rest In Peace.)

Both songs, which I first heard live, led me to discover the beauty of Larks' Tongues in Aspic IV. By the way, I consider Coda: I Have a Dream a part of Larks', I so considered it when I first heard of it and I confirmed it when I watched a live rendition of the song in YouTube. This is a staple King Crimson song with an industrial metal feel (I can think of Rammstein's sound) with a beautiful coda with top-notch lyrics to the end. As I once believe that Pierre Boulez said, the beauty of music lies in building tension with the unknown by pulling the listener out of his comfort zone and then allowing him to find relief and joy in familiar sounds. That is what Larks' Tongues in Aspic IV is all about. Right now, I can only think of two other rock songs that can perfectly make the transition from distress to relief and nail it: Pink Floyd's A Saucerful of Secrets and QotSA's Misfit Love.

This is a four-star album prog-wise, a five-star album to me as it is firing all my cannons today.

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 A Scarcity of Miracles (a King Crimson Projekct by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins) by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.57 | 436 ratings

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A Scarcity of Miracles (a King Crimson Projekct by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins)
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by poito

2 stars It's hard for a lover of classic KC as me to judge their follow-ups. That music was not one to talk about, it was, and still is food for my soul, maybe for the deepest regions of my soul where I'm not one anymore. And that is what I always expect from KC. In this respect, this late release honors the title. The musicians are there, the sounds too, the soul'is whiter?! No surprise anyway, 'time waits for no one' as the Stones used to sing eons ago. Some tracks like 'The Light of Day' or 'The other man' still get close there, but all others are nice tunes well-crafted by a group of old chaps that do not wear T-shirts anymore. And the generosity of the satisfied man lets you choose from two different options in several tracks, one of them sweetened, naturally. The non-KC tunes are OK, heavily based on Collins improvisations, with a few drops of early Fripp's here and there, some even beautiful, others reminiscent from his monotonic ambient-whatever time with Eno, even some poppy notes (shame) but the overall taste is jazzier not KC. It is a good album, but for Collins fans only. Check the first 90 seconds of the 'Hidden Secrets'.

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 In The Wake Of Poseidon by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.81 | 1674 ratings

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In The Wake Of Poseidon
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Ghost_of_Prog

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 Wake of Poseidon, an album which can best be described as one-half original material and one half songs that sound a little too similar to their debut.

The album opens with Peace - A Beginning, which lures the listener into a calm with Greg Lake's hushed and distorted vocals. A nice little calm before the storm. Our next three songs are 21st Century Schizoid Man, I Talk to the Wind, and the eponymous title track. Oops. Sorry, I meant Pictures of a City, Cadence and Cascade, and the title track. Despite the quality of the songs, a comparison is unavoidable. POAC, like its predecessor is a heavy song with distorted vocals recounting apocalyptic lyrics and a jazzy/chaotic mid-section. While enjoyable (it's still King Crimson after all), it lacks the raw, savage energy which made 21CSM such a powerful piece. CAC differentiates from it's predecessor with quiet vocals and a dominance of both acoustic guitar and piano. At first I was willing to believe that comparison to ITTTW was overblown, but as soon as the flute came in, I realized that the comparison was not without fault. As for the title track, even though it sounds like a copy of the previous album's title track mixed with some influences from Epitaph, I would be lying if I said I didn't like the track. While the soaring mellotron, majestic lyrics, and Fripp's acoustics is something that has been done before, it's something I personally enjoy. In the Wake of Poseidon has it's own charm to it; similar, but something a little different.

Peace - A Theme is a nice little surprise where Fripp plays the vocal melody on his acoustic guitar. Now what about that original material I mentioned earlier? They finally make their appearance about 3/4th's of a way into the album. Cat Food is a humorous little number with fun jazz noodling layered throughout it and The Devil's Triangle starts off with King Crimson's rock interpretation of Gustav's Mars: Bring of War before becoming its own haunting and violent piece (Fun Fact: Due to the length of the song, I thought this was this album's answer to Moonchild, but thankfully I was completely wrong). Despite the power of these two songs, the album ends on a disappointing note with Peace - An End, a variation of the suite which lacks the ethereal quality of the first part or the beautiful melody of the second.

Now comes the difficult question of how to rate this album. While the album suffers from filler (The Peace Suite with the exception of "A Theme") and some blatant copying, it would be unfair to let that completely drag down the same album with Cat Food, the title track, and The Devil's Triangle, which are among 60's-70's Crimson's best output. Is it an excellent addition to any prog rock music collection or good, but non-essential?

I'll have to go with the latter, but a more accurate rating from me would be 3.5 stars.

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 Discipline by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.12 | 1509 ratings

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Discipline
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

2 stars One of those funny things about King Crimson is that, with the diversity of their styles and their frequent experimentation, it's just about impossible not to have at least one line-up by them that just doesn't work for you. And for me, that's the "Discipline" era.

The album has some strong musical ideas and a team of competent musicians but, in my opinion, wasn't executed very well. The production aesthetic is one that I completely disagree with. The guitars sound sterile and dull, the drums overpowering and it's really trying to listen to most of the time. I won't try to discourage people from listening to it since there are some camps that it will appeal to, mostly Fripp fanatics and 80's art rock aficionados, but this isn't really an album that would appeal to most prog fans.

You've gotta hand it to Fripp and company for reinventing their sound so often, but sometimes experiments are better left sequestered safely away behind the lab bench, away from the general public.

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 In The Court Of The Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.61 | 3385 ratings

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In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin

5 stars In my opinion, this album is one of the best album of rock music (not only of prog). 21st Century Schizoid Man is one of the best song of rock music. It is avanguarde, jazz and rock; it is improvisation and austerity. It is the voice of Greg Lake, that sound like a nightmare. Neither Genesis, nor Jethro Tull, nor Yes have reached a climax like that. I Talk to the Wind is pastoral and it is the best melody of the album. Greg Lake's voice sound like an angel. Never more King Crimson will be so romantic and tender. Epitaph is the icon of epic. Greg Lake's voice sound like a precher, like a prophet which howls in the storm (the mellotron). Again: neither Genesis, nor Jethro Tull, nor Yes have reached a climax like that. In these three song Greg Lake's performances are beautiful, I guess the best vocal performance you can listen to a KC album. The other singers of the band, Haskell, Boz Burrell and Wetton, are not at the height of Lake, not even close. Belew is the nearest. Moonchild starts very well, very good melody, but the instrumental part, a jazz improvisation is too long and a little boring. This is the only defect of this masterpiece. The Court of the Crimson King is another great epic song. His beauty is near to Epitaph,

A great great album, masterpiece of rock music. Masterpiece of romantic progressive rock. Maybe this album is the baptism of progressive . And maybe no prog band or musician has done better than this. Score: 9,5/10, Five stars.

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 Beat by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.02 | 921 ratings

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Beat
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Lewian

5 stars Beat is the second of the early eighties KC trilogy of Discipline-Beat-Three of a Perfect Pair with Fripp on guitar and a tiny little bit of organ, Belews on guitar and vocals, Levin on bass and stick and Bruford on drums. Roughly the style is the same as on the two surrounding albums, very guitar oriented, sharp between Fripp's clean cascading sequences and Belew's howling roaring style. Bruford's drumming and the whole production are very sharp and precise as well; the absence of keyboards most of the time has taken the smoothness out and the aesthetic is rather on the leaner early 80s new wave side than proggish grandeur. Particularly Belew's singing gives the music a very worldly edge; his spontaneity and raw emotionality also provides a fascinating contrast to the precision and perfection on the instrumental side. Levin's playing is quite percussive at times,providing a solid rock element, and also, on the stick, he sometimes adds to the fine woven guitar structures. At the same time the music is very complex and multi-layered, and actually, despite being very recognisable as in the middle of the early 80s style of the group, the album also showcases the group's versatility.

As I'm writing this, Beat is the lowest rated of all King Crimson albums and stands accused of being "too poppy and commercial" in more than a handful of reviews. I don't know whether anybody ever tried to play "Neurotica" or "Requiem" to an average pop listener, but I'd certainly consider trying pretty much the whole catalog of Yes, Genesis and Pink Floyd combined to be a safer option if you don't want to risk them destroying your speakers with an axe.

That said, Beat has its catchy moments that could be played on the radio and liked by the normal guy on the streets (booh!). Heartbeat is a straight, fairly simple and emotional love song, which due to Belew's singing, the down-to-earth sound and the competence of the musicians gives you the emotions sugar-free, that is, you don't need to feel guilty if you love this (as I do). Similar things could be said of Two Hands, which is calmer and ballad-like and in fact a bit smoother and mellower (so there's some calories in this one actually) but delivers some very nice guitar work to make up for this. The other song that has a somewhat smoother feel than the rest of the album is Waiting Man, which features Fripp's typical guitar polyrhythms, and where Bruford plays some less sharp percussions and the drums only come in very late.

The Howler and Neil and Jack and Me are twisted rock songs with some similarities to Frame by Frame on Discipline. I didn't like Neil and Jack and Me much when I heard it first time but it has grown on me over time, as it evokes very convincingly a somewhat nervous feeling of disconnectedness from home. It also connects the great musicmanship of top prog music with the edginess of early 80s new wave in a good way.

Sartori in Tangier is a straight driving and very dynamic instrumental that showcases the abilities of the instrumentalists, with one of the best dynamic moments of all time when Bruford's spectacular drum rolls end the calmer interplay in the middle before going back to the sharp main theme of the song after about 3/4 of the time.

Neurotica and Requiem are the most noisy, atonal and experimental songs. Neurotica still is a conventional song, but it features stark contrasts, sudden changes between breathless jazzy and straighter but polyrhythmic rock parts, and Belew almost rapping at times. Requiem is a rather free instrumental which starts off in a fairly relaxed manner before slowly evolving into something more noisy and intense.

I started off writing this thinking that I'd give it 4 stars because, you know, Discipline came first so it has to be the really essential masterpiece of the trilogy. But listening and thinking about it while writing I realised that the musical world opened by Discipline still, even at this time, has so much unexplored space that for Beat as the second album populating it there was still plenty of room for innovation. Overall the approach taken by the band in this trilogy is so strong, with every single song on Beat still having something new and fresh and interesting to offer, that I'll settle for nothing less than 5 stars here.

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 In The Wake Of Poseidon by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.81 | 1674 ratings

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In The Wake Of Poseidon
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nº 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*)

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 Islands by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.79 | 1468 ratings

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Islands
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead

4 stars Review Nº 29

After "In The Court Of The Crimson King" and "Red", this is my third review of a King Crimson's musical work. "Islands" is their fourth studio album and was released in 1971. All the music was written by Robert Fripp and all the lyrics were written by Peter Sinfield, as usual, while he was in the group.

The line up on the album is Robert Fripp (guitar, mellotron, and harmonium), Boz Burrell (lead vocals and bass guitar), Mel Collins (backing vocals, saxophones, flute and bass flute), Ian Wallace (backing vocals, drums and percussion) and Peter Sinfield (words). The album has also the participation of the following additional musicians: Paulina Lucas (soprano vocals), Keith Tippett (piano), Robin Miller (oboe), Mark Charing (cornet) and Harry Miller (double bass).

When it was released, "Islands" wasn't particularly very well received by the critics, and neither had been much success among King Crimson's fans. However, "Islands" got to number 30 in England, and number 76 in America. Once more, in April of 1972, King Crimson's line up broke up after Burrell, Collins and Wallace, had left the band. It was also the last time that Sinfield featured his lyrics, on a King Crimson's album. Fripp phoned and told him, that he wouldn't work with him anymore, because their creative relationship was exhausted and had come to an end.

"Islands" has six tracks. Four tracks have lyrics, whose lyrics are about three women, and two are instrumental tracks. The first track "Formentera Lady" is one of the two lengthiest tracks on the album. It's a beautiful track that starts slowly with Burrell singing the Sinfield lyrics, well accompanied by several instruments like bass, flute, saxophone, piano, mellotron and guitar. Some say, this is a too big and a too boring track. Sincerely, I don't agree with that. Despite not being the best song on the album, it isn't really bad at all. The second track "Sailor's Tale" is a kind of the second part of a lengthiest epic theme, which includes the two songs. For me, it's a notable piece of music in the King Crimson's style. It's one of my favourite songs on the album and it's also one of the most progressive musics too. The third track "The Letters" is a song dominated by the saxophone of Collins. It's a melancholic ballad and a pretty dark song, which reflects the sadness and anger, transmitted by Burrell's voice. Previously, it was known as "Drop In", and it was written during the Giles, Giles & Fripp days, in 1968. The fourth track "Ladies On The Road" is a theme with a lyrical tone and is a song playfully sexist. It seems to be the favourite theme of Fripp on the album. The vocal choir reminds me The Beatles. This is probably the nearest thing on the album capable to be a proverbial hit single. The fifth track "Prelude: Song Of The Gulls" is the smallest song on the album but, for me, is their best song. This is a notable piece of symphonic and classical music, one of the best I've ever heard before. It seems to have an unknown string ensemble quartet, accompanied with a wonderful flute. It's a track without any kind of free improvisation, very beautiful, extremely very well composed and arranged which contrasts with the usual King Crimson's music. The track reminds me the classical period of the Baroque Music, particularly the oeuvre of J. S. Bach. The sixth track "Islands" is the title track. It's the lengthiest track on the album. It's a very calm and beautiful song, with great instrumental arrangements, and full of continuous solos of various musical instruments. It's also one of my favourite tracks on the album. "Islands" ends the album nicely as it bookends, with "Formentera Lady", both in content and style.

The King Crimson releases are renowned for their artwork, and "Islands" isn't an exception. The original UK and European cover of the album depicts the Trifid Nebula in the Sagittarius constellation and displays neither the name of the band or its title. The original US or Canadian album cover is a Sinfield's painting, of off-white with coloured islands.

Conclusion: As all we know, King Crimson is a very experimental band, which incorporates diverse musical influences and instrumentation, during their long musical career. It always was very impressive to me, the radical changes in the band's music, from album to album. Just only mention the three albums reviewed by me until now: "In The Court Of The Crimson King" is an album that received more influences from symphonic rock, "Red" received more influences from hard and heavy rock and "Islands" received more influences from jazz. Many have seen "Islands" as the weakest of all King Crimson's studio albums released in the 70's, the less innovative, somewhat restrained and uneven sounding, and awkwardly a pretentious work. That is an argument that I can't accept. "Islands" is in reality an album with many facets. It's a laid back album that reveals its charm gradually and only occasionally decides that the listener needs to be beaten over the head, with the full power of the group. "Islands" is one of my first vinyl purchases, in the distant 70's, and I always loved it. It remains, for me, as one of the lost classic albums of the 70's.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

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