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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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Live in TorontoLive in Toronto
DGM 2016
Audio CD$11.56
$11.00 (used)
In the Court of the Crimson KingIn the Court of the Crimson King
Import · Remastered
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.48
$6.98 (used)
Three of a Perfect PairThree of a Perfect Pair
Extra tracks
Discipline Us 2006
Audio CD$7.46
$5.74 (used)
Larks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredLarks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Import
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.48
$3.59 (used)
DisciplineDiscipline
Import
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.48
$5.30 (used)
Red (2-CD version)Red (2-CD version)
DGM 2013
Audio CD$10.13
$16.29 (used)
Red 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredRed 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Import
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.48
$5.99 (used)
In the Wake of Poseidon: 30th Anniversary EditionIn the Wake of Poseidon: 30th Anniversary Edition
Import
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.46
$2.84 (used)
Starless and Bible Black - 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredStarless and Bible Black - 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Import · Remastered
Discipline Us 2006
Audio CD$7.48
$7.99 (used)
Cap D' Agde, France. August 26, 1982- King Crimson Collector's ClubCap D' Agde, France. August 26, 1982- King Crimson Collector's Club
Limited Edition
DGM 2016
Audio CD$12.54
$14.34 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
KING CRIMSON-LIVE IN TORONTO NOVEMBER 20TH 2015-JAPAN 2UHQCD I24 zd USD $39.99 Buy It Now 38m 2s
King Crimson Songbook Volume 2, Crimson Jazz Trio, 0633367772725 USD $15.64 Buy It Now 1h 3m
King Crimson - THRAK (NEW 12CD & DVD & DVD-A & 2BLU-RAY) USD $156.69 Buy It Now 1h 33m
King Crimson - Live In Guildford, November 13th, 1972 (NEW CD) USD $12.93 Buy It Now 1h 35m
King Crimson - Live At The Marquee, London, August 10th, 1971 (NEW 2CD) USD $16.34 Buy It Now 1h 35m
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The Power To Believe, 0633367051523, King Crimson USD $10.68 Buy It Now 5h 11m
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KING CRIMSON IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING island 69 A2B4 pink label UK LP USD $218.02 Buy It Now 5h 54m
King Crimson - ProjeKcts 1 - 4, 4 CD Box Set USD $27.25 [1 bids]
5h 59m
King Crimson Starless and Bible Black SD7298 Atlantic Records Prog Psych LP NM USD $39.99 Buy It Now 6h 5m
King Crimson - ProjeKct Two: Space Groove, 2CD USD $14.31 [2 bids]
6h 8m
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6h 15m
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7h 55m
Fields - S/T 1971 Japan 1st cd Rare Bird Greenslade King Harry King Crimson RARE USD $34.90 Buy It Now 7h 57m
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8h 32m
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The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson Vinyl 2 Album Set w/ Insert Gatefold USD $15.00 Buy It Now 9h 7m
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KING CRIMSON - IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON - 200GM VINYL - NEW USD $27.24 Buy It Now 9h 19m
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King Crimson - In The Court Of.... UK LP 1969 Pink Island ILPS 9111 clean VG- USD $17.71 [12 bids]
9h 34m
KING CRIMSON-COMPACT-ORIGINAL BLACK UK CASSETTE 1986 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 9h 39m
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10h 22m
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KING CRIMSON In The Court of The Crimson King SD8245 USD $37.95 Buy It Now 10h 50m
King Crimson IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING Debut ALBUM SEALED VINYL LP USD $19.98 [1 bids]
10h 50m
Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Bad Company etc VERY RARE Promo Cassette 1988 USD $27.25 Buy It Now 11h 3m
King Crimson "B'Boom Live In Argentina" 2CD Robert Fripp Tony Levin Trey Gunn USD $6.00 [0 bids]
11h 3m
King Crimson - Starless [CD New] USD $161.35 Buy It Now 11h 16m
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11h 25m
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ULTRASONIC CLEAN - King Crimson - Beat - 1982 Vinyl LP Record 1-23692 Near Mint USD $14.99 Buy It Now 11h 34m
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11h 50m
In The Court Of The Crimson King - King Crimson (CD Used Very Good) USD $11.45 Buy It Now 12h 2m
UI - CD Sidelong 1995 PROG / POST MATH ROCK, FUNK clever 80's King Crimson feel USD $1.35 [0 bids]
12h 15m
KING CRIMSON. THE POWER TO BELIEVE. PROMO CD ALBUM. USD $8.86 [0 bids]
12h 17m
Xtrakcts & Artifakcts by BPM&M CD Papa Bear Records King Crimson Alumni USD $25.00 Buy It Now 12h 38m
RUSH-COUNTERPARTS RARE VINYL LP,1993 PRESS LIKE GENESIS,PINK FLOYD,KING CRIMSON USD $329.99 Buy It Now 12h 38m
KING CRIMSON LP Discipline 1981 Polydor japan robert fripp progrock USD $9.99 [0 bids]
12h 40m
Larks' Tongues in Aspic King Crimson mini lp [K2HD] CD & DVD Audio, 2012, Japan USD $42.99 Buy It Now 12h 43m
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12h 56m
THE PROG COLLECTIVE CD - Members of;Yes,King Crimson,Asia,Gong,Alan Parsons USD $10.99 Buy It Now 13h 39m
KING CRIMSON October Tour 1971 UK Press ADVERT 12x8 inches USD $10.83 Buy It Now 13h 40m
KING CRIMSON Power To Believe 2003 Japanese Flyer / mini Poster 10x7 inches USD $20.37 Buy It Now 13h 47m
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14h 40m
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Three of a Perfect Pair by King Crimson (Cassette, May-2001, EG) USD $25.00 Buy It Now 15h 8m
King Crimson - Islands - 200g Vinyl LP USD $25.88 Buy It Now 15h 14m
King Crimson - Lizard - 200g Vinyl LP - Gatefold Sleeve USD $25.88 Buy It Now 15h 15m
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17h 4m
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17h 34m
King Crimson Songbook Volume 2, Crimson Jazz Trio, 0633367772725 USD $17.75 Buy It Now 19h 24m
King Crimson ?- Earthbound 12" Vinyl LP Australian Pressing L 25006 USD $44.92 Buy It Now 20h 31m
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King Crimson ?"Sleepless" 0-20193 (1984) 12" Single EX USD $8.47 Buy It Now 22h 5m
King Crimson 'A young person's guide to King Crimson' USD $35.00 Buy It Now 23h 35m
LP cyclops (picture disc)
KING CRIMSON
~ USD $21.55
CD discipline
KING CRIMSON
~ USD $10.32
LP in the court of the crimson king (picture disc)
KING CRIMSON
~ USD $28.49
CD larks' tongues in aspic
KING CRIMSON
~ USD $10.32
CD larks' tongues in aspic
KING CRIMSON
~ USD $14.71
LP starless and bible black
KING CRIMSON
~ USD $22.79
LP usa
KING CRIMSON
~ USD $22.79
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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 | 3504 ratings
In The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.82 | 1736 ratings
In The Wake Of Poseidon
1970
4.10 | 1750 ratings
Lizard
1970
3.79 | 1521 ratings
Islands
1971
4.41 | 2335 ratings
Larks' Tongues In Aspic
1973
3.91 | 1476 ratings
Starless And Bible Black
1974
4.53 | 2754 ratings
Red
1974
4.12 | 1563 ratings
Discipline
1981
3.02 | 949 ratings
Beat
1982
3.25 | 937 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
3.65 | 869 ratings
THRAK
1995
3.15 | 204 ratings
ProjeKct Two: Space Groove
1998
3.12 | 643 ratings
The ConstruKction Of Light
2000
3.43 | 174 ratings
ProjeKct X: Heaven And Earth
2000
3.96 | 980 ratings
The Power To Believe
2003
3.57 | 447 ratings
Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins: A Scarcity Of Miracles
2011

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

2.45 | 349 ratings
Earthbound
1972
4.02 | 410 ratings
USA
1975
2.89 | 27 ratings
Strange Tales of the Sailors
1991
4.54 | 313 ratings
The Great Deceiver: Live 1973 - 1974
1992
3.74 | 149 ratings
B'Boom (Official Bootleg - Live In Argentina)
1995
2.61 | 181 ratings
THRaKaTTaK
1996
3.78 | 152 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes One & Two
1997
4.41 | 246 ratings
The Night Watch
1997
3.74 | 120 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes Three & Four
1997
4.44 | 255 ratings
Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984
1998
3.94 | 17 ratings
Live At The Jazz Café (ProjeKct One)
1998
3.94 | 17 ratings
Masque (ProjeKct Three)
1999
3.71 | 14 ratings
Live Groove (Projekct Two)
1999
3.60 | 97 ratings
Heavy ConstruKction
2000
4.02 | 103 ratings
VROOOM VROOOM
2001
3.63 | 85 ratings
Level Five
2001
4.03 | 122 ratings
Ladies of the Road
2002
3.65 | 69 ratings
EleKtriK
2003
4.59 | 80 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 1. Live in Mainz, 1974 - Live in Asbury Park, 1974
2006
2.89 | 40 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson Vol.2
2007
3.86 | 38 ratings
The collectable King Crimson volume three
2008
3.52 | 35 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson, Volume 4
2009
3.94 | 34 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson: Vol. 5: Live In Japan, 1995
2010
2.67 | 3 ratings
The Crimson Projekct - Offical Bootleg Live 2012
2012
3.49 | 28 ratings
Live In Japan (The Crimson Projekct)
2014
3.00 | 77 ratings
Live At The Orpheum
2015

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

3.98 | 34 ratings
The Noise: Frejus
1984
4.80 | 10 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair - Live In Japan
1984
4.44 | 130 ratings
Deja VROOM (DVD)
1999
3.73 | 118 ratings
Eyes Wide Open
2003
3.90 | 67 ratings
Neal and Jack and Me
2004
3.95 | 18 ratings
Inside King Crimson 1972-1975 An Independent Critical Review With David Cross
2005
3.23 | 47 ratings
Live In Japan 1995
2007
4.29 | 39 ratings
Live In Argentina 1994
2012

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

3.90 | 89 ratings
The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson
1976
2.12 | 59 ratings
The Compact King Crimson
1986
3.65 | 49 ratings
The Essential King Crimson: Frame by Frame
1991
3.19 | 38 ratings
Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson
1993
2.97 | 23 ratings
Schizoid Man
1996
3.33 | 39 ratings
Deception of the Thrush: A Beginners Guide to ProjeKcts
1999
3.84 | 82 ratings
Cirkus - The Young Persons' Guide To King Crimson Live
1999
3.56 | 71 ratings
The ProjeKcts
1999
4.57 | 44 ratings
21st Century Guide: Volume One (1969-1974)
2004
3.50 | 34 ratings
The 21st Century Guide To King Crimson Volume Two: 1981-2003 (4CD Box Set)
2005
3.98 | 23 ratings
The Condensed 21st Century Guide 1969 - 2003
2006
3.53 | 17 ratings
King Crimson - 40th Anniversary Tour Box
2008
4.77 | 92 ratings
In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD)
2009
3.92 | 34 ratings
Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings)
2012
4.60 | 39 ratings
The Road to Red
2013
3.91 | 28 ratings
The Elements
2014
4.50 | 6 ratings
Starless
2014
3.83 | 6 ratings
The Elements (2015 Tour Box)
2015

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

4.39 | 54 ratings
The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.29 | 44 ratings
Cat Food
1970
3.88 | 24 ratings
The Night Watch
1974
3.63 | 39 ratings
Epitaph
1976
3.89 | 18 ratings
Discipline 12'' Sampler
1981
3.10 | 20 ratings
Matte Kudasai
1981
3.33 | 3 ratings
Elephant Talk
1981
3.56 | 9 ratings
Thela Hun Ginjeet
1981
3.21 | 24 ratings
Heartbeat
1982
3.16 | 19 ratings
Sleepless
1984
3.67 | 3 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
2.13 | 17 ratings
The Abbreviated King Crimson: Heartbeat
1991
3.61 | 118 ratings
Vrooom
1994
2.50 | 2 ratings
Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
1995
3.86 | 21 ratings
Dinosaur
1995
3.01 | 22 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
4.66 | 22 ratings
On Broadway - Live in NYC 1995
1999
4.33 | 24 ratings
Live at Cap D'Agde 1982
1999
3.82 | 23 ratings
Live in Central Park, NYC, 1974
2000
2.81 | 17 ratings
Nashville Rehearsals, 1997
2000
2.61 | 15 ratings
Live at Moles Club, Bath, 1981
2000
4.20 | 29 ratings
Live at Summit Studios 1972
2000
3.20 | 24 ratings
The VROOOM Sessions 1994
2000
3.82 | 20 ratings
Live in Detroit, MI
2001
3.73 | 28 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
3.38 | 77 ratings
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
2002
3.27 | 16 ratings
The Champaign-Urbana Sessions, 1983
2002
3.63 | 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
3.82 | 23 ratings
Live in Guildford, 1972
2003
3.54 | 15 ratings
Live in Orlando, FL, 1972
2003
2.92 | 16 ratings
The Power To Believe Tour Box
2003
3.08 | 16 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 | 16 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA , July 30, 1982
2004
2.83 | 14 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
4.10 | 11 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
4.19 | 12 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
4.72 | 18 ratings
Live in Toronto
2016

KING CRIMSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In The Court Of The Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.61 | 3504 ratings

BUY
In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Scorpius

5 stars Considered one of the first prog records ever, I would be lying if I said it wasn't one of the greatest. The rest of King Crimson's discography is definitely overshadowed by this record, but it more than deserves all the praise it gets. It is one of the most complex recordings ever, and definitely not for beginning prog listeners.

21st century schizoid man is one of the craziest prog songs ever, and has some killer vocals and guitar solos. the intro is the most epic thing ive ever heard. A full orchestra blares along to a classic Fripp riff, whats better than that?

Track rating - 10/10

I talk to the wind slows things down a lot after such a crazy intro. Beautiful vocals from Greg lake and a calming melody make this song pleasing and calming. Be prepared for the greatness that follows.

Track rating - 8/10

Epitaph is no doubt the greatest song on the album, and one of the greatest prog songs ever. Soaring and haunting vocals from Lake send chills down my spine every time I listen. The musicianship and instrumentation on this track is unparalleled anywhere else. One of the greatest moments of my life was hearing this track for the first time.

track rating - 11/10

Moonchild is a bit of a weird one. Its starts out fine, with some really beautiful lyrics and melodies. 3 minutes later it transitions to something else that can only be described as a free-form jam session on drugs. This will either make or break the track for you. For me, it calmed me down and prepared me for what follows afterwards, but I know some listeners really don't like 9 minutes of weird sounds coming from instruments.

Track rating - 7/10 (personally 9/10 because i like the jam out session)

In the court of the crimson king is the title track that finishes the album. It is the perfect finish to a near perfect album, Greg Lakes vocals on the one line "In the court of the crimson kiiiiiiiing" get me every time. The instrumentation and the use of a symphony make this song a classic.

Track rating - 10/10

Overall, this is an absolute classic and one of the greatest albums of all time. If you haven't already, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. Its worth the price of admission.

 In The Court Of The Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.61 | 3504 ratings

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In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Saxophone

5 stars The perfect mixture of peace and madness, these guys made it look so easy when they were literally creating a new music genre, or at least, a guide at how to do so, this is not only a cornerstone of our good ol' beloved prog, but also one of the most influential and memorable records ever done, heck, even the album art is burned in the memory of us all, not to mention the first track, that is, (at least for me) the first thing that comes to mind when prog rock is mentioned... In short: What is prog rock? This album is prog rock.
 Cirkus - The Young Persons' Guide To King Crimson Live by KING CRIMSON album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1999
3.84 | 82 ratings

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Cirkus - The Young Persons' Guide To King Crimson Live
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by CapnBearbossa

4 stars Getting to know King Crimson's studio album catalog is one of the most rewarding goals a progressive rock fan can pursue, but you need to be open to a lot of different dynamics and musical styles to fully appreciate it. Jazz or classical, pastoral or heavy metal, composed or improvised, it is tough to name a musical domain on which Robert Fripp and Co. have not touched. Given that you have plowed through (and already relish) their studio works, it is essential to seek out and enjoy their live material too, since King Crimson have always been primarily creatures of the live stage. But where to start exploring the vast body of what is available from their live catalog? That could be daunting without a proper guide....

Cirkus: The Young Person's Guide to King Crimson Live is a considerably better-than-adequate, two-disc sampler to provide a jumping off point into that ocean. It sources an excellent and representative cross section of the band's history (1969-1998) and the audio is fairly consistently good throughout. Performances of "In The Court Of The Crimson King"and "Pictures Of A City" (aka "A Man A City") document quite well the energy and fuzz freakouts of the early Crim concerts. We get "Ladies Of The Road" and the Islands-era group performing an intense version of "21st Century Schizoid Man", as well as hearing some stunning versions of classic material from Larks Tongues In Aspic (though, sadly, not part I). Also the classic title cut and a rousing, complete version "Starless" from Red are present -- all impeccably performed.

Needless to say, we cannot do without certain essential cuts from the 1980's King Crimson, namely "Elephant Talk", "Sleepless," and "Three of a Perfect Pair". Especially good however - with a light, syncopated rhythm section intro that dumps off into loads of fiery intensity - is a version of "Indiscipline" from KC's Japan tour in 1995. The open-minded listener may want to lend an ear to the four improvs on this collection, including '1ii 2' by ProjeKct One and a rip-roaring "Deception Of The Thrush" by ProjeKct Two. (These ProjeKcts being the famous late-1990's "fractalisations" of the band) Some folks will immediately recognize "Deception..." as apredecessor to 2003's "The Power To Believe III"; and truly, tracking that tune's evolution through the years is actually one of the peak joys of delving into live King Crimson.

All in all, this sampler is a bargain in terms of getting a lot of band history in a very little bit of space. Or, I suppose, you could think of it as a "Greatest Hits Live". As such collections go, however, this one requires some deep study, and probably should not be digested all at once unless you would like invite a 2-hour-plus, almost relentless sonic assault upon yourself!

 Larks' Tongues In Aspic by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.41 | 2335 ratings

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Larks' Tongues In Aspic
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by RuntimeError

5 stars My favourite KC - and certainly one of the greatest albums ever recorded!

This album is insane. It takes many years to appreciate it fully, much like VDGG's music. The 6 songs included here all take their own form and please the listener with different emotions - whether it is chaos, confusion or loneliness - they are all here.

Opening with the chaotic 'Lark's part I', the listener is dragged into chaos after long the percussion intro. This magnificent athmosphere is first driven by violin until the guitar starts to dominate with the drums going insane. As this jam goes more and more into overdrive the tension is eased at around 8 minutes to absolutely magnificent outro where the violinist plays different emotions with the percussionist.

'Book of Saturday' is a softer song, sung very beatifully by Wetton. The guitar melody is gorgeous and the general athmosphere is simply outstanding. The different instruments are used to their full potential in this short piece as the violin alternates with the solo guitar. The bass is again superb here.

Exiles continues with the same feeling where the last song ended. Fantastic melodies accompanied by acoustic guitar at the start. There are so many fantastic sections and variations in this piece and some of them, I wish would last longer.

'Easy Money' - as the song opens with Fripp's most original guitar work, the song then evolves into a most fantastic jam where the bassist John Wetton kills while Bruford keeps the groove going. This is one of KC's signature songs and simply gorgeous in every way. The album athmosphere is not changed while the overall song is a little heavier.

'Talking drum' is a percussion driven piece with the rest of band throwing their stuff in as the song progresses. My least favourite definitely.

'Larks II' obviously continues from the first one, while not being as strong as the first part, the final 2-3 minutes definitely makes up for it

Superb album, takes a while to understand - but it's worth it.

Full rating.

 USA by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 1975
4.02 | 410 ratings

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USA
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

3 stars Note: This review entails the 30th anniversary edition CD, which includes "Fracture" and "Starless".

Compiling performances from King Crimson's most famed live line-up, the Bruford-Cross-Fripp-Wetton-(Muir) era, "USA" is a good selection of live tracks but, for more, I found it to be more flawed than not. After an inconsequential intro, "Larks' Tongues In Aspic Pt. 2" wakes you up and sets the tone for what's to follow; that is, a strong performance that is on par with, or doesn't get it quite as well as the studio version. Indeed, as is usually the case with prog, the live recordings lose a lot of the refinement that their studio counterparts set the standard for. This is especially evident with "Easy Money". While I love how crunchy and clean, yet hard-hitting the intro is on the studio album, the version here really just sounds messy. And without Jamie Muir's inventive percussion antics, you realize very quickly just how integral he was to the sound of this era of King Crimson. There are still some very good tracks, however, notably "Exiles" and "Starless", as well as the improvisation "Asbury Park", which is really the album's most unique offering.

Much like Yes' "Progeny Highlights", this is a live album that you'd probably enjoy if you stumbled upon it but it's not really worth seeking out if you already have the studio albums. 3 stars.

 Larks' Tongues In Aspic by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.41 | 2335 ratings

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Larks' Tongues In Aspic
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Magnum Vaeltaja

5 stars After a string of 4 consecutive masterpieces, each with their own unique flavours and mood, some reinventing themselves completely from the last, King Crimson manages to do it again.

In 1973, prog went ham. Notable groups in the genre were putting out their most ambitious material, and King Crimson seemed to be following suit. This album, though, went just far enough that it was decades ahead of its time but somehow still retains an air of sensibility and control that makes it listenable today.

With a completely new lineup, including Yes drum virtuoso Bill Bruford, Fripp had assembled a brand new freak show flying circus of musical madmen and it proved to be one of the greatest decisions of his musical career. Gone are the woodwinds and extensive mellotron use of yore, and while I initially rejected this, the album's sound redeems itself with the addition of some real strings (David Cross on violin) and the eccentric percussion assortments of Jamie Muir.

On the surface, nothing about this album should work. It is incredibly experimental and by experimental I really mean to say the "high school chemistry teacher we all had that liked to blow up pumpkins in the hallway" type of experimental. Brutal, explosive, almost sadistic at times. But, through the genius of all those involved, it still maintains a surprising amount of listening enjoyment. Side one, although it sounds nothing like what King Crimson had done before, still offers some familiarity in its structure. "Larks' Tongues Pt. 1" offers the sort of occult-brewed jump scares and unrelenting tension that we got from "21st Century Schizoid Man", only with the dial cranked so much higher. "Book of Saturday" provides much-needed breathing room, a la "Cadence And Cascade". Then we're swept off our feet by the gorgeous "Exiles", where Cross' violin is brought to its full atmospheric effect and Robert Fripp contributes some of his finest soft guitar work. Side two offers a whole new variety of sounds, from the proto-metal "Easy Money" to the crescendo of "The Talking Drum" to the final coda of "Larks' Tongues Pt. 2", which is guaranteed to wake you up in the morning any day of the week

Ultimately, "Larks' Tongues" is a masterpiece of chaotic prog. If you're looking for some soft, melodic prog that holds your hand, pats you on the head and wipes your bum for you, then don't even think of putting this one on for a spin. But if you're looking for an album that will dominate you, perplex you, throw you in the dirt and bring you along for a ride you'll never forget, this is the album to look out for.

 Islands by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.79 | 1521 ratings

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Islands
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by DamoXt7942
Forum & Site Admin Group RIO/Avant/Zeuhl & Neo Teams

3 stars Not In the vein of King Crimson first of all.

Through this album "Islands", one of my favourites, sounds like Robert's presence or identity cannot easily be heard. The three free-form jazz rock launchers - Mel, Ian, and Boz - played what they liked to do exactly ... in front of the frontman Robert. The middle part of a golden suite "Formentera Lady ~ Sailor's Tale" or a slightly nasty pop "Ladies Of The Road" should be called as their one-trio show, where we cannot find any symphonic shadow. Robert, who was pushed away out of their improvised jazz session, played deep heavy guitar very monotonously and quietly upon the latter phase of "Sailor's Tale", that can be thought as one of the most important moments in King Crimson's history, especially as for the very last "gorgeous" phrase.

On the contrary, via the last two tracks - "Prelude: Song Of The Gulls" and the titled track - we can hear KC's brilliant and colourful appearance. The former is one of the most beautiful and charming songs of all, like "I Talk To The Wind" or "The Night Watch". The latter should be a pretty creative one, featuring dark atmosphere, Boz's sticky, depressive but enthusiastic voices, and Mel's keen, dramatic trumpet theatre. Above mentioned, in this album, the ending sound of a track is quite meaningful. The last mellotron article and a few seconds' silence can be said as their delicacy and sensitiveness. What a superb milestone this album based upon light and shade is.

Again let me say, this album is my favourite King Crimson's creation without any suspicion, and at the same time, is not recommended as a typical, authentic one for every KC freak. A brilliant gem, nonetheless.

 Red by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.53 | 2754 ratings

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Red
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Pastmaster

3 stars 'Red' is the seventh studio album by progressive rock band King Crimson. 'Red' marks the last album of the John Wetton-era, and the last King Crimson album until 1981's 'Discipline'. I don't think I've made it any secret that I loathe Robert Fripp with a passion. To me it seems he's stuck in the past, and refuses to accept that it isn't 1974 anymore with his opinions on streaming and the like. However, credit is due when credit is due, and that credit being 'Red' is a pretty decent album.

The opening instrumental title track is easily my favorite from the album, keeping a nice hard rocking riff throughout the song yet having a menacing bridge with various string instruments. It goes on a bit too long in my opinion, as it doesn't change much, but a great song nonetheless. I would really enjoy 'Fallen Angel' if it wasn't for the saxophone which honestly ruins the song for me. Once the song builds up, the guitar has a nice dark vibe and John Wetton gives some great vocals while singing 'Fall-en Ang-el'. Unfortunately the saxophone just sounds out of place, disrupting the dark atmosphere of the song. I'm not a fan of brass instruments, but I do know that they can fit in rock songs as heard in Heart's 'Even It Up' or Gentle Giant's 'Peel the Paint'. However, The saxophone isn't really an instrument that can fit into a melancholy song like 'Fallen Angel'.

'One More Red Nightmare' is my other favorite from the album, and is only slightly ruined for me with the saxophone. Like the opening instrumental, it opens with a nice rocking riff with some impressive drumming from Bill Bruford. Next up we have the avant-garde 'Providence', which I believe to be the most annoying song on the album. While towards the end there's some nice bass from Wetton, there's just too slow of a build up and guitar noodling that drives me nuts. It honestly seems too "art for art's sake" to me as there is no real rhythm, structure, or melody that you can follow along to, but I suppose if you're a fan of improvisational music you may enjoy it. Finally comes 'Starless', which is often called the highlight of the album, yet I find to be one of the weaker songs. It takes way too long to build up, taking more then half the song, and once it does it's an okay fast jam but nothing mind-blowing.

Overall, I'm probably the only one who thinks that King Crimson's best work didn't come until recent years with the post-THRAK albums, but this is certainly one of the better albums of their 'classic' era. While not being to my tastes, I can see why this is a widely regarded masterpiece. The musicianship is excellent and it was an influence on the rock and metal world, this is just one highly-rated album that I don't enjoy much.

(Originally written on www.MetalMusicArchives.com)

 In The Court Of The Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.61 | 3504 ratings

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In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by ALotOfBottle

5 stars In The Court Of The Crimson King is commonly known as the first "true" progressive rock album and is one of the most celebrated works of the genre. Whether you agree with that statement or not (I do not) this is an undeniably important work that laid foundation for prog rock to come. King Crimson created an imaginary world of "fire witches", "Court Of The Crimson King", and "the keeper of the city keys". The band talks about apocalyplse, politics, and war through the imaginary fantastic medieval land. Musically, the album builds on symphonic clasical music ("In The Court Of The Crimson King"), English folk ("Moonchild", "Epitath", "I Talk To The Wind", ("In The Court Of The Crimson King"), and Mingus-style hard-bop ("21st Century Schizoid Man"). For 1969, it was all way ahead of its time - both lyrically and musically. Everything is played with exceptional musical intelligence and precision. All in all, a very unique album and a true classic. This should be a gateway to progressive rock for every new listener. However, us, prog rock veterans often overlook the work regarding it as "pop" of the genre. I recommend listening to the album without any influence of others'.
 USA by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 1975
4.02 | 410 ratings

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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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