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KING CRIMSON

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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King Crimson biography
Formed in London in 1968 - Several hiatus & reformations (1981,1994,2007 & 2013) - Still active as of 2017


" 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. 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...
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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)

4.63 | 4397 ratings
In the Court of the Crimson King
1969
3.84 | 2217 ratings
In the Wake of Poseidon
1970
4.13 | 2268 ratings
Lizard
1970
3.83 | 1968 ratings
Islands
1971
4.42 | 3022 ratings
Larks' Tongues in Aspic
1973
3.93 | 1915 ratings
Starless and Bible Black
1974
4.56 | 3497 ratings
Red
1974
4.12 | 2037 ratings
Discipline
1981
3.08 | 1252 ratings
Beat
1982
3.29 | 1232 ratings
Three of a Perfect Pair
1984
3.68 | 1158 ratings
THRAK
1995
3.07 | 282 ratings
ProjeKct Two: Space Groove
1998
3.16 | 847 ratings
The ConstruKction of Light
2000
3.36 | 248 ratings
ProjeKct X: Heaven and Earth
2000
3.96 | 1261 ratings
The Power To Believe
2003
3.59 | 575 ratings
Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins: A Scarcity of Miracles
2011

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

2.47 | 428 ratings
Earthbound
1972
4.05 | 523 ratings
USA
1975
2.87 | 34 ratings
Strange Tales of the Sailors
1991
4.56 | 391 ratings
The Great Deceiver: Live 1973 - 1974
1992
3.70 | 182 ratings
B'Boom (Official Bootleg - Live in Argentina)
1995
2.76 | 221 ratings
THRaKaTTaK
1996
3.79 | 201 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes One & Two
1997
4.46 | 318 ratings
The Night Watch
1997
3.75 | 154 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes Three & Four
1997
4.46 | 324 ratings
Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984
1998
3.80 | 45 ratings
Live At The Jazz Café (ProjeKct One)
1998
3.84 | 51 ratings
Masque (ProjeKct Three)
1999
3.48 | 40 ratings
Live Groove (Projekct Two)
1999
3.39 | 28 ratings
West Coast Live (ProjeKct Four)
1999
3.68 | 139 ratings
Heavy ConstruKction
2000
4.04 | 137 ratings
VROOOM VROOOM
2001
3.72 | 114 ratings
Level Five
2001
3.99 | 163 ratings
Ladies of the Road
2002
3.73 | 91 ratings
EleKtriK
2003
4.61 | 112 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 1 (Live in Mainz, 1974 + Live in Asbury Park, 1974)
2006
4.50 | 2 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at 7th Note
2006
2.91 | 46 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 2 (Live in Bath, 1981 + Live in Philadelphia, 1982)
2007
3.85 | 45 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 3 (Live at the Sheperds Bush Empire,London,1996)
2008
3.54 | 42 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 4 (Live in Warsaw,2000)
2009
3.87 | 38 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 5 (Live in Japan,1995)
2010
2.33 | 11 ratings
The Crimson Projekct - Offical Bootleg Live 2012
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Crimson ProjeKct - Official Bootleg Vol.1
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Crimson ProjeKct - Official Bootleg Vol.2
2013
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Crimson ProjeKct - Official Bootleg Vol.3
2013
3.51 | 42 ratings
Live In Japan (The Crimson Projekct)
2014
3.03 | 111 ratings
Live At The Orpheum
2015
4.67 | 123 ratings
Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind
2016
4.45 | 53 ratings
Live in Vienna + Live in Tokyo 2015
2017
4.59 | 69 ratings
Live in Chicago
2017
4.40 | 50 ratings
Meltdown: Live in Mexico
2018
4.55 | 11 ratings
Uncertain Times
2018

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

4.07 | 45 ratings
The Noise - Frejus 1982
1984
4.59 | 27 ratings
Three of a Perfect Pair - Live in Japan
1984
3.37 | 54 ratings
Live in Japan
1996
4.45 | 152 ratings
Deja VROOOM
1999
3.80 | 147 ratings
Eyes Wide Open
2003
3.93 | 80 ratings
Neal and Jack and Me
2004
3.92 | 19 ratings
Inside King Crimson 1972-1975 An Independent Critical Review With David Cross
2005
4.32 | 50 ratings
Live In Argentina 1994
2012
4.64 | 119 ratings
Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind
2016

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

3.87 | 114 ratings
The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson
1976
2.23 | 72 ratings
The Compact King Crimson
1986
3.00 | 1 ratings
1989
1989
3.66 | 60 ratings
The Essential King Crimson: Frame by Frame
1991
3.05 | 49 ratings
Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
The First Three
1993
3.03 | 29 ratings
Schizoid Man
1996
3.34 | 47 ratings
Deception of the Thrush: A Beginners Guide to ProjeKcts
1999
3.83 | 97 ratings
Cirkus - The Young Persons' Guide To King Crimson Live
1999
3.61 | 84 ratings
The ProjeKcts
1999
4.58 | 55 ratings
The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson - Volume One (1969-1974)
2004
3.54 | 44 ratings
The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson - Volume Two (1981-2003)
2005
4.02 | 32 ratings
The Condensed 21st Century Guide 1969 - 2003
2006
3.44 | 18 ratings
King Crimson - 40th Anniversary Tour Box
2008
4.79 | 121 ratings
In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD)
2009
3.84 | 59 ratings
Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings)
2012
4.04 | 61 ratings
The Road to Red
2013
3.89 | 43 ratings
The Elements (2014 Tour Box)
2014
4.55 | 36 ratings
Starless
2014
3.79 | 19 ratings
The Elements (2015 Tour Box)
2015
3.39 | 18 ratings
THRAK BOX
2015
3.20 | 13 ratings
On (And Off) The Road (1981-1984)
2016
3.83 | 12 ratings
The Elements (2016 Tour Box)
2016
3.74 | 19 ratings
Sailors' Tales
2017
3.88 | 8 ratings
The Elements (2017 Tour Box)
2017
4.76 | 17 ratings
Audio Diary 2014-2017
2018
3.29 | 7 ratings
The Elements (2018 Tour Box)
2018
4.87 | 6 ratings
1969-1972
2018
4.67 | 6 ratings
1972 - 1974
2019
4.29 | 7 ratings
A Mojo Anthology (Rare, Classic, Unusual and Live 1969-2019)
2019
2.72 | 13 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2019
4.17 | 6 ratings
The Elements (2019 Tour Box)
2019
4.76 | 10 ratings
The ReconstruKction of Light (2LP version)
2019
3.50 | 2 ratings
Mister Stormy's Monday Selection, Vol. 4
2020
4.00 | 8 ratings
The Elements (2020 Tour Box)
2020
4.14 | 9 ratings
The Complete 1969 Recordings
2020
4.00 | 1 ratings
Mister Stormy's Monday Selection Vol. 5
2020
5.00 | 3 ratings
An Alternative Guide to King Crimson (1969-72)
2020

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

4.43 | 71 ratings
The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.44 | 61 ratings
Cat Food
1970
4.00 | 32 ratings
The Night Watch
1974
3.78 | 53 ratings
Epitaph
1976
3.94 | 26 ratings
Discipline 12'' Sampler
1981
3.31 | 27 ratings
Matte Kudasai
1981
3.80 | 10 ratings
Elephant Talk
1981
3.67 | 15 ratings
Thela Hun Ginjeet
1981
3.34 | 33 ratings
Heartbeat
1982
3.20 | 22 ratings
Sleepless
1984
3.71 | 7 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
2.20 | 21 ratings
The Abbreviated King Crimson: Heartbeat
1991
3.62 | 151 ratings
Vrooom
1994
3.25 | 7 ratings
Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
1995
3.92 | 26 ratings
Dinosaur
1995
3.00 | 2 ratings
AAA Sampler
1995
4.00 | 2 ratings
THRAK (4 Track Sampler)
1995
3.23 | 27 ratings
Live at Jacksonville 1972
1998
3.37 | 30 ratings
Live at The Marquee 1969
1998
3.29 | 12 ratings
King Crimson - A Beginners' Guide To The King Crimson Collectors' Club
1999
3.90 | 33 ratings
The Beat Club, Bremen, 1972
1999
3.41 | 21 ratings
Live in San Francisco - The Roar of P4 (ProjeKct Four)
1999
4.43 | 30 ratings
On Broadway - Live in NYC 1995
1999
4.00 | 29 ratings
Live at Cap D'Agde 1982
1999
3.37 | 29 ratings
Live in Central Park, NYC, 1974
2000
2.72 | 20 ratings
Nashville Rehearsals, 1997
2000
2.41 | 22 ratings
Live at Moles Club, Bath, 1981
2000
4.15 | 36 ratings
Live at Summit Studios 1972
2000
3.20 | 28 ratings
The VROOOM Sessions 1994
2000
3.88 | 27 ratings
Live in Detroit, MI
2001
3.57 | 35 ratings
Live At Plymouth, May 1971
2001
4.11 | 35 ratings
Live in Mainz, Gemany 1974
2001
3.19 | 19 ratings
ProjeKct Two: Live in Northampton, MA
2001
4.18 | 8 ratings
The Guide to Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Parts 1-4)
2001
3.45 | 29 ratings
Live at The Zoom Club
2002
3.41 | 100 ratings
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
2002
3.49 | 21 ratings
The Champaign-Urbana Sessions, 1983
2002
3.72 | 35 ratings
Hyde Park, London, 1969
2002
4.11 | 19 ratings
Live in Nashville, TN, 2001
2002
3.54 | 22 ratings
Live in Berkeley, CA 1982
2002
3.35 | 21 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct One - Jazz Cafe Suite, December 1 - 4, 1997
2003
3.86 | 30 ratings
Live in Guildford, 1972
2003
3.36 | 19 ratings
Live in Orlando, FL, 1972
2003
2.88 | 17 ratings
The Power To Believe Tour Box
2003
3.04 | 21 ratings
Live at Fillmore East, November 21 & 22, 1969
2003
4.08 | 17 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct Three Live in Austin, TX , March 25, 1999
2004
4.05 | 21 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA , July 30, 1982
2004
2.88 | 16 ratings
Live in Brighton, October 16, 1971
2005
4.12 | 23 ratings
Live in Heidelberg, 1974
2005
3.74 | 21 ratings
Live in Warsaw, June 11, 2000
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Two - Live at I.C. Light Music Tent 1998
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKt One - London Jazz Café
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at Fox Theatre
2005
4.50 | 2 ratings
ProjeKct Three - Live at Cactus Cafe
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct Six: East Coast Live
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at Crystal Ballroom 1998
2006
3.35 | 8 ratings
ProjeKct Six - East Coast Live
2006
3.90 | 10 ratings
Projekct Two - CC- Live in Chicago, IL
2006
4.27 | 15 ratings
Live at the Wiltern 1st July 1995
2006
4.23 | 13 ratings
Live in Munich
2006
2.74 | 16 ratings
Live in Denver, CO, March 13, 1972
2007
4.00 | 9 ratings
Projekct Three - CC - Live in Alexandria, VA, March 3, 2003
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Two - Old Lantern, Charlotte 1998
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct One - London Jazz Café
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct One - London Jazz Café
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct One - London Jazz Café
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Three - Live at Poor David's
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at Richard's On Richards
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Two - Park West, Chicago
2008
4.29 | 17 ratings
Live in Kassel, April 1, 1974
2008
4.21 | 14 ratings
Live at the Pier, NYC - August 2 , 1982
2008
4.17 | 12 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA, August 26, 1996
2008
4.13 | 14 ratings
Park West, Chicago, Illinois (August 7, 2008)
2008
3.71 | 14 ratings
Live in Boston, MA, March 27, 1972
2009
4.21 | 20 ratings
Live in Zurich, November 15, 1973
2009
4.12 | 16 ratings
Live In Milan June 20, 2003
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Three - Live at Electric Lounge
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Chicago (November 29, 1995)
2010
3.95 | 3 ratings
Live at Jazz Club 1969
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKt Two - Irving Plaza
2010
4.24 | 17 ratings
Live in Toronto, June 24, 1974
2011
4.00 | 5 ratings
Live in New Haven (November 16, 2003)
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Crimson ProjeKct (Premium Bass)
2014
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Crimson Projekct ‎(Official Bootleg Live - Extended Edition)
2014
3.87 | 4 ratings
Plumpton Festival
2015
4.09 | 4 ratings
Live at the Marquee (August 10, 1971)
2015
3.67 | 6 ratings
Recorded Live On The 2014 US Tour
2015
4.47 | 73 ratings
Live In Toronto
2016
3.86 | 10 ratings
Rehearsals & Blows (May-November 1983)
2016
3.41 | 26 ratings
Heroes
2017
3.93 | 6 ratings
Cadence and Cascade
2019
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Mincer / Law of Maximum Distress
2019
3.40 | 5 ratings
The Terrifying Tale of Thela Hun Ginjeet
2019
3.71 | 7 ratings
21st Century Schizoid Man
2019
3.80 | 5 ratings
Live in Newcastle (December 8, 1972)
2019
4.00 | 4 ratings
Inner Garden
2019
3.50 | 4 ratings
Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part 1
2019
3.75 | 4 ratings
Ladies of the Road
2019
3.50 | 4 ratings
Space Groove II
2019
3.25 | 4 ratings
Eyes Wide Open
2019
4.00 | 5 ratings
Prince Rupert Awakes
2019
3.75 | 4 ratings
Requiem (Extended Version)
2019
3.80 | 5 ratings
Starless/Red (Edit)
2019
2.50 | 4 ratings
Yoli Yoli
2019
4.25 | 4 ratings
Frakctured
2019
3.60 | 5 ratings
Cat Food (EP) (50th Anniversary Edition)
2020

KING CRIMSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In the Court of the Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.63 | 4397 ratings

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In the Court of the Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Progressive Enjoyer

4 stars One of the most important albums in proggressive rock, "In the Court..." represents the start of King Crimson, and sets a standard which few of their later efforts can even be said to be close in quality to. And it's brilliant, but I cannot say it's perfect, for the simple reason of eight minutes being wasted on "Moonchild".

The opening is less than pleasant. This is something I find with a lot of progressive rock albums. For whatever reason, so many, more so than any other genre, prog has a habit of opening songs with weird ambience, or other sfx. It's something I'm really not a fan of, but here it's executed fairly well, and it's somewhat enjoyable when a sudden burst of music. "21st Century?" is an awesome track, but it would probably turn off most people from listening to the rest of the album (which is a shame) due to it being quite a heavy track. Epitaph is also an amazing song, set in a dystopian future, it's an emotive, moving song, and truly shows that Lake is a pretty decent vocalist, but what it really shows is how amazing Fripp is as a composer.

Now, the reason I can only grant this album four stars. "Moonchild". Or more specifically "The Illusion". At around 2:30 it starts, and I can bear it for 2 more, but 10? No. It's a waste of time, self-indulgent nonsense. The title track is a return to form, and the best song on the album.

Overall, "In the Court?" 's influence on all progressive rock cannot be understated. And it's brilliant. In the Court of the Crimson King, undoubtedly, is the peak in King Crimson.

 In the Court of the Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.63 | 4397 ratings

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In the Court of the Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Idiotock

5 stars This album is very special to me, as some of the first progressive rock songs I heard are from this album. ITCOTCK has a very particular sound that I think no later album has. Now a brief review of all the songs on "In The Court of The Crimson King". The first song "21st Century Schizoid Man" is a powerful introduction to this masterpiece, with a great riff at the beginning, and a strong vocal part, then a very jazzy instrumental begins that ends with the intro riff, the song ends with what It seems to be a crazy improvisation. The second song "I Talk to The Wind" is a beautiful piece with some brilliant moments and my favorite part is the flute solo, this part is magical, also this song is the shortest on the album. The third song "Epitaph" begins with an introduction that could be described as epic, then the atmosphere calms down and the vocals begin. I cannot describe the whole song, it is an experience in itself, but I will say that my favorite part is the instrumental interlude where if I remember correctly, a clarinet was present, a pretty good part for which it is never too late to listen again. The fourth song "Moonchild" is a beautiful ballad with somewhat mysterious lyrics, this song is interesting, because after two minutes, a quite calm and atmospheric improvisation begins, which also, in some parts, it seems that the instruments are having a Conversation, I like this song, but I feel that it is a little less good than the others and that it had the potential to be better. The fifth and last song "The Court of The Crimson King" begins again, with an epic intro, this song, like "Epitaph" is a masterpiece, which has many memorable moments, but in my opinion, the Best of all is when the song is about to end and an instrument begins that at first is very calm and that ends with the main theme of the song, the first time I heard it, I was simply stunned. As a final conclusion, I think that everyone who is interested in the world of Progressive Rock should listen to this album, it is unlikely to regret hearing a work like this, five well-deserved stars.
 Starless and Bible Black by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.93 | 1915 ratings

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Starless and Bible Black
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron

4 stars 1974 saw the Crimson King bring two fabulous records to the light of day - the first one of them often gets forgotten, maybe neglected, somewhat underappreciated, for reasons more than obvious. But this is just not right; 'Starless and Bible Black' is studio album #6 for the band, released in March, and the first one to have most of the material recorded live, and just a couple songs recorded entirely in the studio. Is it really shocking at this point in the band's career when the new studio album sounds nothing like any of the previous releases? There are no more symphonic inclinations, like in the first two albums, no more avant-garde jazz quests or romantic explorations, like on the third and fourth albums, and certainly no more 'classical crossover' (If we may describe it in this way), like on the fifth one - this is different; the sound is abrasive, unusual and unwelcoming. The presence of several live recordings means that most of the material on 'Starless and Bible Black' is highly experimental, borderline meaningless, and strongly improvisational. Blended with some studio recordings and edited out in the studio before release, this 1974 album has to be one of the more challenging but nonetheless essential examples of progressive rock.

Alongside Fripp, the listener will notice Bill Bruford on drums and percussion (taking this role after the spontaneous departure of Jamie Muir, a personal favorite and a man who brings a pretty unique flavor to the Crim's fifth album), John Wetton on bass and vocals, and David Cross on violin, viola, Mellotron - King Crimson's personal Paganini. It is the very presence of Cross that adds so much value and intrigue to this mysterious recording, his soloing, the manic violin parts, sometimes melancholic and sometimes hectic, the phrasing all add up to his account.

The album starts off with the two tracks that were entirely prepared in the studio, two fantastic and more straightforward rocking songs from King Crimson, 'The Great Deceiver' and 'Lament'; however, this does not mean that they are anything close to the standard and ordinary hard rock songs from the same time. Then comes the instrumental 'We'll Let You Know', about which all I could say is: why isn't this groovy bonanza a 15-minute composition, it feels like it could have been a true masterpiece of experimental rock. 'The Night Watch' is an observation upon Rembrandt's painting of the same name, 'Trio' is a dramatic instrumental piece, featuring the talents of Fripp on the Mellotron, Cross on the violin, and Wetton on the bass; It is not exactly clear what the purpose of this composition is, or why it was featured on the album. Finally, side one concludes with the menacing live recording 'The Mincer', a shortened version of the presumably very long improv.

Side two contains just two epic instrumentals, the murky title track, and the strangely uplifting and exciting 'Fracture'; They flow into each other almost seamlessly, forming this tremendously pleasant experience of enjoying some of the best experimental rock music from any band ever. Must-hear compositions for the fans of the Crim that might have missed these excellent instrumentals for whatever reason.

'Starless and Bible Black' is far from being a perfect album because it is simply a horrendous one! It is an album that invites you to listen, contemplate, not move, and decide; It is a proposal by King Crimson, an unwelcoming call to contemplate the sounds of the light and the shade.

 THRAK by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.68 | 1158 ratings

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THRAK
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

3 stars Saying King Crimson means putting decades of progressive rock history in a name. From '68 onwards - with the necessary breaks - it is necessary to remember the deeds of the London band, capable of establishing itself as a pillar of the genre and innovating the sound from time to time with influences of all kinds. In 1995 THRAK was released, an album that aims to emerge among timeless masterpieces such as In the Court of the Crimson King and Discipline (to name two) and which sees in the studio the consolidated "double trio", a line-up composed by two heterogeneous bodies capable of autonomous management and which are the keystone of production, in particular the double drums of Bill Bruford and Pat Mastelotto who will be able to carve out moments of pure delirium.

Listening to THRAK doesn't start out in the best way. The first two tracks are in fact rather dull, and at times the flatness pervades both the guitar work and the rhythm section. It is necessary to note in the initial VROOOM the presence of the aforementioned double trio, whose musicians find themselves cooperating in the central mix, and then break away in the following fourteen songs in the right and left channel. Marine 475 perhaps knows how to be more convincing than the previous track, despite its anxious and successful atmosphere being ruined by a structure that can be approached to a chant. Dinosaur raises the quality, and the good number of musicians at work is more convincing, thanks also to the discreet vocal section that frames it. A piece that on the whole will know how to enter the listener's mind due to its catchy refrain and not too articulate structure. The roundup continues with another slightly cloying song, forgettable though not bad, namely Walking on Air. However, it is the fifth and sixth tracks that make THRAK much more interesting and charismatic to the ears of the most fussy listeners. On the one hand B'Boom is an ascent from distant tribal references, whose rhythm section knows how to amaze thanks to the absolute protagonist role of a technical solipsism, a great drum solo in the form of a prog rock song in a climax that will satisfy anyone. . The title track, on the other hand, is probably the most successful track, above all thanks to the intricate sounds and good guitar lines, all managed and orchestrated by a sparkling rock energy capable of raising the tone of a not exactly memorable record. Wanting to lay a demarcation line with the first part of the album, THRAK is therefore the bearer of an anxious, dizzying and at times playful climate with the prog tones typical of the King, all marked however by a lack of compositional inventiveness that does not always make it attractive to more demanding palates this first tranche. Inner Garden is a moment of quiet and relaxation materialized in a convincing arpeggio and in fitting vocal lines. Inner Garden II, twelfth track, concludes the circle continuing in perfect symbiosis with the first part: sonority, down-tempo and emotional impact; sufficient compositional work, capable of immersing the listener in meditative environments. Almost identical speech for the latest VROOOM VROOOM and VROOOM VROOOM: Coda that together create a final organic of the opening track. Appreciable riffs, claustrophobic musicality and peaks of pure rock; a distant echo of military march makes these three tracks a single organism of good quality. The most progressive piece of the lot is missing, namely People, with its syncopated and richly intertwined jazz style, good bass accompaniment and fresh guitar work. The conclusion is a source from which stoner, jazz and fusion sounds flowed with convincing vocal lines, a song therefore that knows how to assert itself and does it with character. The forty seconds or so of Radio I are superfluous to evaluate, as well as Radio II (both tracks of mere transition), while One Time returns to calm and consequently flat tones, manifestations of a record in which the most "romantic" refinement is lost in a glass of water of banality and sonorous flatness. Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream is another little gem of jazz influences. A pleasant riff accompanies short solo sections and a vocal work not to be disdained. The explosions of the song are able to enhance the formation of the London band, the goliardic rock outbursts take over especially in the final moments making us reassure from the asepticity of some of the pieces mentioned.

THRAK is not a masterpiece, it is not an unmissable record and opinion can hardly safeguard this harsh truth. To condemn it would be incorrect, since King Crimson have certainly not forgotten how quality music is composed and to consider this record a real flop is excessive. So is it a recommended disc? Indifferent, on the other hand, is fitting for the eleventh studio work of these pillars of progressive, a work that presents funny songs, very pleasant at times, alternating with forgettable and extremely bite-free songs. It can therefore be listened to or it can be obtusely ignored, and certainly the Crimson King has produced many other masterpieces with which to bless one's ears.

 Earthbound by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 1972
2.47 | 428 ratings

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Earthbound
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron

3 stars 'Earthbound' is the first live album by King Crimson, released in June of 1972, and recorded at various venues in the United States; Interestingly, this album has become infamous for its poor sound, which unfortunately has not been improved much on subsequent remasters... However, I am really frustrated that this is often the reason for which this very curious recording gets snubbed undeservedly. It is a live album that captures the Crim with the following lineup: Robert Fripp, Boz Burrell, Mel Collins, and Ian Wallace, one of the most short-lived incarnations of the legendary band, and one that focused on creating versatile jazzy compositions, sometimes very distorted and very chaotic - just like the bulk of the material on 'Earthbound'!

Let's not forget that this live album also fits in right between 'Islands' from 1971 and 'Larks' from 1973, so at a transitory period for King Crimson who are always seeking out new challenges, so to say, perpetually shifting their style and band members, and progressively moving forward with each new album. Of course, what would a KC live album be without '21st Century Schizoid Man'? So, this one kicks things off, followed by a track called 'Peoria'; This one could be classified as an instrumental, despite the fact that it features scat vocals from Boz... and the results are surprisingly satisfying! Next up is 'Sailors Tale' from the then-new album, an entirely instrumental track, that gradually fades out after some five minutes, just in time for the title track to begin. This is another jazzy, kind of lo-fi instrumental, not aided by the terrible recording quality, but nonetheless interesting to hear. Finally, we get a 15-minute instrumental epic called 'Groon', which is simply mental...

Far from being the best King Crimson live album, 'Earthbound' is certainly a must-hear for anyone who considers themselves startled and intrigued by the multi-flavored legendary band. The quality of the recording is really bad, but the material on it is what makes it a delightful listen.

 Live in Chicago by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 2017
4.59 | 69 ratings

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Live in Chicago
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is one of the better live KING CRIMSON recordings that I've heard. A double live set of music containing about 2 1/2 hours of music. A couple of the musicians I haven't heard of in Bill Rieflin and Jeremy Stacey but I was so glad to see Gavin Harrison on here as he makes every recording he's on sound better. And especially thrilled to hear Mel Collins on here, and what a performance! I like the quote in the liner notes about KING CRIMSON "The precision of an orchestra, the freedom of a Jazz band, and the power of a Rock band". Hard to argue that this isn't the greatest band ever. But it's all about tastes and a lot more isn't it? This was recorded on June 28, 2017 in Chicago and man this is impressive. Still I have 5 or so live CRIMSON records I'd rate above this one. The weak link for me is Jakko Jakszyk's vocals but he's pretty good here, kind of hit and miss. So many great tunes here but I'll mention four from each disc that stood out for me.

The two "Larks' Tongues In Aspic" tracks are two of my favourites from disc one. The guitar on Part 1 after 5 minutes with the drums and bass just before it all mellows out with flute is incredible. Check out the guitar before 8 minutes as well. "Neurotica" is a surprise entry for me from the album "Beat" I'm not big on. This version has Mel's sax on it and it's quite "Discipline" like. "The Lizard Suite" is my final favourite from disc one. 11 1/2 minutes of bliss right here. The second half especially just kills.

Disc two has so many good tracks but I went with "Easy Money" just because I love that tune. Same with "Level Five" my favourite from "The Power To Believe". Just the band showing off it's muscles. "Starless" is majestic and beautiful. How about the guitar screaming over that rhythm section before 8 minutes and beyond. Lastly "21st Century Schizoid Man" the almost 16 minute version. The first time I heard this song it was covered by APRIL WINE on an album I owned so I knew it well. Didn't even know about KING CRIMSON in the early 80's sadly.

There's a ton of live records available by so many different versions of this band over the decades and this is one of the better ones in my opinion.

 Three of a Perfect Pair by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.29 | 1232 ratings

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Three of a Perfect Pair
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars 1984 saw the return on the record market of the great poker of aces (Fripp, Bruford, Belew, Levin) constituting the King Crimson, an English band that has always been recognized among the spearheads in the history of progressive rock and, more generally, as of the history of music of the last fifty years. Ours, now stable for several years and with a couple of albums behind them as always dedicated to the brazen avant-garde sound research, are back with the third and last album of the 80s, Three Of A Perfect Pair. The disc in question is to be counted among the most particular creations of Robert Fripp's project, at least for how it is structured internally. In fact, this work, if taken in its vinyl version, sees side A dedicated to compositions, according to Fripp himself, more "linear" and "accessible", while on the second side of the platter it is possible to come across more complex and crazy, so as to be able to satisfy the different types of public. This feature makes Three Of A Perfect Pair a unique work of its kind and the clear division between the two degrees of complexity arouses curiosity, almost as if they were two weights and two measures.

Representative of the group on this occasion can only be the famous bassist Tony Levin, from what one can guess author of most of Three Of A Perfect Pair: a schizophrenic as unforgettable Sleepless develops on the thick strings of his bass in a tortuous path made of the most difficult techniques to learn for an aspiring professional, while using the stick in Nuages for example to remember the main component that a few years later would inspire the solo projects of another bass king, Sean Malone in Gordian Knot.

The feeling of the band does not wait to show itself off from the first seconds. The title track in the first position manages to evoke the sounds present throughout the album, confirming itself as the symbolic track of the disc not only for the name but also and above all for the instrumental part that composes it. Hopping on his way towards the end, sees the usual Levin this time grappling with the psychedelic synths chosen with refinement to enhance the magical and disarming atmospheres of the song that after a few minutes leaves the baton to another masterpiece called Model Man: touching and exciting to tears, the portrait of a man like everyone else: an imperfect man in one word, but willing to give everything he feels in possession to avoid those moments of silence, embarrassment and discomfort that often constitute a relationship. Industry breaks the fate of the album with about seven minutes of instrumental, hallucinating and hypnotic laboratory, an amazing experiment that introduces one of the most successful pieces of the group. Dig Me is one of the shorter tracks in this big box of 1984, despite everything it finds time to perform in two very pleasant choruses generated by some classical guitar chords and the madness of acid and metallic sounds. But it doesn't stop there. Now it's up to drummer Bill Bruford to roll up his sleeves and duet with the nauseating and obsessive atmospheres of a No Warning exotic fruit of existences alien to reality, perpendicular universes unknown to most. The disc ends with the captivating sound of the third part of Larks' Tongues In Aspic, another purely instrumental piece that adds meat to the fire with intrepid guitars, courageous in joining the counter-tempo fight of bass and drums.

Three Of A Perfect Pair plays 100% King Crimson. It is certainly a very particular album, which sometimes winks at more easy listening solutions, albeit in a purely prog and avant-garde context, especially for the time in which the aforementioned work was released. We are faced with a different work, but of absolute quality and quantity of details and ideas, absolutely worthy of ending up in the collection of every music lover and of course King Crimson.

 Beat by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.08 | 1252 ratings

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Beat
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by prog_traveller!!

4 stars That the King Crimson line-up remains unchanged from one album to the next is an absolute novelty in the history of the English group. The leader Robert Fripp before then had always renewed his creature, even with minimal line up changes, in order not to remain stagnant in an already defined sound, but the alchemy of the Discipline group and its perfect temporal collocation can only push him not to change anything for the next Beat. We are in the new wave era, in the early 80s: Fripp, after working with Brian Eno, David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, the Talking Heads to name just a few, has decided to re-establish his creature, the Crimson King, perfectly aware of how much and how the world of rock had changed in those seven years of hiatus. The 1970s are light years away, but his style has evolved in the meantime and has remained perfectly in step with the times. For this Adrian Belew and Tony Levin are impeccable choices: technically monstrous but very modern musicians, already tested by the collaborations with the aforementioned artists, who put them in contact with Fripp himself. Bill Bruford, while keeping away from the new wave, has immersed himself in jazz fusion, without losing any of his unusual skills on drums. Thus it was that Discipline became an unforgettable record and Beat another jewel of rare beauty.

King Crimson created a unique style which in turn influenced the inspirers themselves. Beat becomes almost danceable in certain points, also due to the space given to the rhythm part which, with Levin's Chapman Stick and Bruford's drumming flair (whose combination almost rivals Bruford - Squire and Bruford - Wetton), becomes irresistible . But the classic harmonic complexity of the British is not lost, and the two six strings often and willingly mess up the cards with alienating effects and polyrhythms, crowned by the singing expressiveness of the great Adrian Belew.

Neal and Jack and Me immediately shows a band in great shape, capable of going from exceptional grooves to dreamy melodies with a disarming naturalness. Obvious references to Kerouac and his best friend Neal Cassidy in the title and in the text of the song, which contains all the characteristics of Adrian Belew's songwriting, from the almost pop verses to the rambling narrative. Heartbeat then is a perfect new wave single, a classy love song for which our team even made a video clip. The lead guitar refers to Book of Saturday, but the piece is the demonstration of the modernity of the King Crimson project, always true to itself but never dated. Thus world music bursts with arrogance in the instrumental Sartori in Tangier, a reference both to a book by Kerouac and to the city of Tangier, in Morocco, where many writers of the Beat Generation have lived. You can breathe the air of Africa, dance to the notes of a rocking rhythm section, dream about the strongly oriental guitar solo and the ecstatic organ of Fripp. Waiting Man continues in the same vein, singing about the return of a man from a long journey with sounds capable of perfectly evoking African landscapes, its warm colors, its natural elements. The crescendo takes the piece to more and more electric territories, where the two six strings return to mingle and confront each other, before leaving the tail to Belew's melancholy song. Neurotica brings to life the free jazz instincts of the group on a delusional spoken word, which subsides only in the central part of the piece, built through continuous ups and downs pulled by a sensational Bruford. Two Hands is a sort of ethnic ballad whose text is the result of the hand of Margaret Belew, wife of Adrian. Levin, with only percussion to accompany him in the rhythm, follows guitar and voice with essential counterpoints, proving once again that he can do anything with the instrument that he first made famous in the world of rock. The dissonances in The Howler return with force, which conceptually takes up the protest cry of the famous poem "Scream" by Allen Ginsberg. Thanks also to the tribalisms of the ex - Yes, a psychedelic and -that- unhealthy atmosphere is created. Requiem at first brings to mind the ambient experiments of the White Duke at the time of Heroes and Low, but then as Fripp's guitar indulges itself, the piece turns into an acid and free jazz, an angry closure and the result of improvisations and contrasts of various nature between the two guitarists of the group.

The final mix was in fact problematic due to quarrels between Robert Fripp and an increasingly self-confident Adrian Belew, who even at one point removed the band's mastermind from the recording studio. It took three days and manager Paddy Spinks' careful words for Fripp to return to the room. He then said that he had nothing to do with the mix of Beat, thus continuing a long tradition of production difficulties for Crimson, who however did not fail with this ninth record album to bring great music to the ears of critics and fans.

 THRAK by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.68 | 1158 ratings

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THRAK
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Idiotock

5 stars This is a very nice return of King Crimson.

This album is very interesting, it's like a fusion between Red and Discipline with good atmospheric sounds.

The first song "VROOOM" is a very good introduction to the album, being quite heavy and at the same time, with a sense of mystery, this song is intertwined with the following "Coda: Marine 475", this song has a style quite similar to the previous one, ending with a fade out, after this, begins the first song that has lyrics "Dinosaur"

I don't want to focus so much on the rest of the album as it would take me too long, so I'll only review the last two songs. The penultimate "VROOOM VROOOM" is again an instrumental song, which in my opinion, is even more powerful and better than the first. The last song "VROOOM VROOOM: Coda" is a continuation of the previous one, following the same style. Both are very good songs that I highly recommend, other songs that I recommend from the album are "Dinosaur" "Walking on Air" "One time" and "Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream", I also think that this album does not have bad songs.

Highly recommended to those who have already listened to previous albums, especially if they liked some like "Discipline" or "Red". Anyway, if you haven't heard anything from King Crimson yet and want to start with this one, go ahead, it may seem a bit strange, but it's part of the magic of the album.

 THRAK by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.68 | 1158 ratings

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THRAK
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by ghost_of_morphy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Much like the zombies in your favorrite horror movies, King Cromson was noted fro coming back from the dead time and time again, With Thrak, Fripp brings the monster back to life for the mid-90's. with a heaping helping of what he thought was cool at the time, including the strange song titles and a general laid back but modern sounding groove. This is the rare King Crimson album that has everything: good songs, excellent technical playing and menacing instrumentals. So this is a great way to get into King Crimson's later catalog. In addition, the musicians Fripp has enlisted for this incarnation are absolutely outstanding. This is an album every prog entusiast should hae.
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