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KING CRIMSON

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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King Crimson picture
King Crimson biography
Formed in London in 1968 - Several hiatus & reformations (1981,1994,2007 & 2013) - Still active in 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, MICHAEL GILES and Peter Giles on drum...
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Buy KING CRIMSON Music


In The Court Of(Std)In The Court Of(Std)
Remastered
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
$8.41
$5.99 (used)
Starless And Bible BlackStarless And Bible Black
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
$19.80
$20.00 (used)
In The Court Of(40th)In The Court Of(40th)
CD+DVD
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
$15.51
$19.18 (used)
Red 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredRed 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
$10.80
$8.57 (used)
Discipline  (30th Anniversary Editio N)Discipline (30th Anniversary Editio N)
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
$8.61
$12.19 (used)
Meltdown: Live In Mexico CityMeltdown: Live In Mexico City
Dgm 2018
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Larks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredLarks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
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Larks' Tongues in Aspic, 40th Anniversary EditionLarks' Tongues in Aspic, 40th Anniversary Edition
CD+DVD
Discipline 2012
$16.10
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RedRed
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
$19.24
$21.94 (used)
Three Of A Perfect PairThree Of A Perfect Pair
Sony Music Canada Inc. 2016
$14.79
$19.28 (used)
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King Crimson vinyl LP album record Lizard Japanese P-6390A ATLANTIC 1980 USD $52.02 Buy It Now 8h 41m
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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)

4.62 | 3968 ratings
In The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.83 | 1970 ratings
In The Wake Of Poseidon
1970
4.13 | 2006 ratings
Lizard
1970
3.81 | 1743 ratings
Islands
1971
4.42 | 2684 ratings
Larks' Tongues In Aspic
1973
3.93 | 1699 ratings
Starless And Bible Black
1974
4.54 | 3143 ratings
Red
1974
4.12 | 1789 ratings
Discipline
1981
3.05 | 1097 ratings
Beat
1982
3.27 | 1075 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
3.66 | 1010 ratings
THRAK
1995
3.10 | 243 ratings
ProjeKct Two: Space Groove
1998
3.14 | 745 ratings
The ConstruKction Of Light
2000
3.36 | 208 ratings
ProjeKct X: Heaven And Earth
2000
3.96 | 1120 ratings
The Power To Believe
2003
3.58 | 512 ratings
Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins: A Scarcity Of Miracles
2011

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

2.46 | 391 ratings
Earthbound
1972
4.03 | 474 ratings
USA
1975
2.88 | 32 ratings
Strange Tales of the Sailors
1991
4.56 | 366 ratings
The Great Deceiver: Live 1973 - 1974
1992
3.74 | 168 ratings
B'Boom (Official Bootleg - Live In Argentina)
1995
2.60 | 202 ratings
THRaKaTTaK
1996
3.78 | 180 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes One & Two
1997
4.45 | 284 ratings
The Night Watch
1997
3.73 | 140 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes Three & Four
1997
4.44 | 289 ratings
Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984
1998
4.00 | 32 ratings
Live At The Jazz Café (ProjeKct One)
1998
3.94 | 31 ratings
Masque (ProjeKct Three)
1999
3.79 | 24 ratings
Live Groove (Projekct Two)
1999
3.50 | 12 ratings
West Coast Live (ProjeKct Four)
1999
3.62 | 114 ratings
Heavy ConstruKction
2000
4.04 | 118 ratings
VROOOM VROOOM
2001
3.65 | 97 ratings
Level Five
2001
4.02 | 144 ratings
Ladies of the Road
2002
3.68 | 80 ratings
EleKtriK
2003
4.60 | 96 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 1 (Live in Mainz, 1974 + Live in Asbury Park, 1974)
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at 7th Note
2006
2.87 | 42 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 2 (Live in Bath, 1981 + Live in Philadelphia, 1982)
2007
3.82 | 41 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 3 (Live at the Sheperds Bush Empire,London,1996)
2008
3.50 | 39 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 4 (Live in Warsaw,2000)
2009
3.84 | 37 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 5 (Live in Japan,1995)
2010
2.29 | 9 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 | 1 ratings
The Crimson ProjeKct - Official Bootleg Vol.3
2013
3.52 | 37 ratings
Live In Japan (The Crimson Projekct)
2014
3.02 | 97 ratings
Live At The Orpheum
2015
4.76 | 61 ratings
Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind
2016
4.61 | 23 ratings
Live in Vienna + Live in Tokyo 2015
2017
4.80 | 36 ratings
Live In Chicago
2017
4.22 | 13 ratings
Meltdown: Live in Mexico
2018
4.00 | 2 ratings
Uncertain Times
2018

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

4.01 | 40 ratings
The Noise: Frejus
1984
4.64 | 22 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair - Live In Japan
1984
4.45 | 140 ratings
Deja Vrooom
1999
3.78 | 134 ratings
Eyes Wide Open
2003
3.91 | 74 ratings
Neal and Jack and Me
2004
3.92 | 18 ratings
Inside King Crimson 1972-1975 An Independent Critical Review With David Cross
2005
3.27 | 50 ratings
Live In Japan 1995
2007
4.30 | 47 ratings
Live In Argentina 1994
2012
4.64 | 99 ratings
Radical Action To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind
2016

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

3.91 | 102 ratings
The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson
1976
2.15 | 66 ratings
The Compact King Crimson
1986
3.00 | 1 ratings
1989
1989
3.65 | 55 ratings
The Essential King Crimson: Frame by Frame
1991
3.21 | 45 ratings
Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson
1993
4.00 | 1 ratings
The First Three
1993
2.94 | 25 ratings
Schizoid Man
1996
3.34 | 45 ratings
Deception of the Thrush: A Beginners Guide to ProjeKcts
1999
3.84 | 90 ratings
Cirkus - The Young Persons' Guide To King Crimson Live
1999
3.58 | 75 ratings
The ProjeKcts
1999
4.56 | 49 ratings
21st Century Guide: Volume One (1969-1974)
2004
3.53 | 39 ratings
The 21st Century Guide To King Crimson Volume Two: 1981-2003 (4CD Box Set)
2005
3.98 | 28 ratings
The Condensed 21st Century Guide 1969 - 2003
2006
3.44 | 18 ratings
King Crimson - 40th Anniversary Tour Box
2008
4.78 | 108 ratings
In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD)
2009
3.98 | 44 ratings
Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings)
2012
4.66 | 50 ratings
The Road to Red
2013
3.88 | 38 ratings
The Elements (2014 Tour Box)
2014
4.61 | 23 ratings
Starless
2014
4.50 | 8 ratings
THRAK BOX
2015
3.88 | 16 ratings
The Elements (2015 Tour Box)
2015
3.70 | 10 ratings
The Elements (2016 Tour Box)
2016
4.50 | 10 ratings
Sailors' Tales
2017
3.67 | 6 ratings
The Elements (2017 Tour Box)
2017
4.00 | 1 ratings
Audio Diary 2014-2017
2018
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Elements (2018 Tour Box)
2018
4.00 | 1 ratings
1969-1972
2018

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

4.41 | 59 ratings
The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.38 | 50 ratings
Cat Food
1970
3.88 | 25 ratings
The Night Watch
1974
3.65 | 41 ratings
Epitaph
1976
3.90 | 20 ratings
Discipline 12'' Sampler
1981
3.19 | 22 ratings
Matte Kudasai
1981
3.50 | 4 ratings
Elephant Talk
1981
3.60 | 10 ratings
Thela Hun Ginjeet
1981
3.20 | 25 ratings
Heartbeat
1982
3.15 | 21 ratings
Sleepless
1984
3.75 | 4 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
2.19 | 20 ratings
The Abbreviated King Crimson: Heartbeat
1991
3.60 | 138 ratings
Vrooom
1994
3.60 | 5 ratings
Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
1995
3.87 | 23 ratings
Dinosaur
1995
4.00 | 1 ratings
THRAK (4 Track Sampler)
1995
3.00 | 1 ratings
AAA Sampler
1995
2.99 | 25 ratings
Live at Jacksonville 1972
1998
3.20 | 27 ratings
Live at The Marquee 1969
1998
3.23 | 11 ratings
King Crimson - A Beginners' Guide To The King Crimson Collectors' Club
1999
3.85 | 28 ratings
The Beat Club, Bremen, 1972
1999
3.35 | 18 ratings
Live in San Francisco - The Roar of P4 (ProjeKct Four)
1999
4.62 | 26 ratings
On Broadway - Live in NYC 1995
1999
4.33 | 27 ratings
Live at Cap D'Agde 1982
1999
3.83 | 26 ratings
Live in Central Park, NYC, 1974
2000
2.72 | 20 ratings
Nashville Rehearsals, 1997
2000
2.58 | 18 ratings
Live at Moles Club, Bath, 1981
2000
4.19 | 33 ratings
Live at Summit Studios 1972
2000
3.20 | 26 ratings
The VROOOM Sessions 1994
2000
3.83 | 23 ratings
Live in Detroit, MI
2001
3.69 | 31 ratings
Live At Plymouth, May 1971
2001
4.10 | 31 ratings
Live in Mainz, Gemany 1974
2001
3.15 | 17 ratings
Live in Northampton, MA (ProjeKct Two)
2001
4.18 | 8 ratings
The Guide to Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Parts 1-4)
2001
3.23 | 25 ratings
Live at The Zoom Club
2002
3.37 | 89 ratings
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
2002
3.24 | 17 ratings
The Champaign-Urbana Sessions, 1983
2002
3.63 | 28 ratings
Hyde Park, London, 1969
2002
4.12 | 17 ratings
Live in Nashville, TN, 2001
2002
3.51 | 21 ratings
Live in Berkeley, CA 1982
2002
3.28 | 18 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct One - Jazz Cafe Suite, December 1 - 4, 1997
2003
3.84 | 26 ratings
Live in Guildford, 1972
2003
3.58 | 17 ratings
Live in Orlando, FL, 1972
2003
2.88 | 17 ratings
The Power To Believe Tour Box
2003
3.11 | 19 ratings
Live at Fillmore East, November 21 & 22, 1969
2003
4.04 | 15 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct Three Live in Austin, TX , March 25, 1999
2004
4.05 | 18 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA , July 30, 1982
2004
2.79 | 15 ratings
Live in Brighton, October 16, 1971
2005
4.13 | 20 ratings
Live in Heidelberg, 1974
2005
3.78 | 19 ratings
Live in Warsaw, June 11, 2000
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Two - Live at I.C. Light Music Tent 1998
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKt One - London Jazz Café
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at Fox Theatre
2005
4.00 | 1 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
4.25 | 12 ratings
Live in Munich
2006
3.73 | 15 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
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct One - London Jazz Café
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct One - London Jazz Café
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct One - London Jazz Café
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct Three - Live at Poor David's
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at Richard's On Richards
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct Two - Park West, Chicago
2008
4.25 | 16 ratings
Live in Kassel, April 1, 1974
2008
4.31 | 13 ratings
Live at the Pier, NYC - August 2 , 1982
2008
4.18 | 11 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA, August 26, 1996
2008
4.17 | 14 ratings
Park West, Chicago, Illinois (August 7, 2008)
2008
3.77 | 13 ratings
Live in Boston, MA, March 27, 1972
2009
4.41 | 17 ratings
Live Zurich, Nov. 15, 1973
2009
4.18 | 13 ratings
Live In Milan June 20, 2003
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct Three - Live at Electric Lounge
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Chicago (November 29, 1995)
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Jazz Club 1969
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKt Two - Irving Plaza
2010
4.20 | 15 ratings
Live in Toronto, June 24, 1974
2011
4.00 | 2 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
3.50 | 2 ratings
Plumpton Festival
2015
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the Marquee (August 10, 1971)
2015
3.60 | 5 ratings
Recorded Live On The 2014 US Tour
2015
4.58 | 61 ratings
Live In Toronto
2016
3.81 | 8 ratings
Rehearsals & Blows (May-November 1983)
2016
3.40 | 24 ratings
Heroes
2017

KING CRIMSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 In The Wake Of Poseidon by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.83 | 1970 ratings

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In The Wake Of Poseidon
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

3 stars

My 40th Anniversary Serie version. After buying King Crimson their legendary debut album (from 1969) in the mid-Seventies I was in Prog Heaven, and soon decided to buy more King Crimson, hoping for more Mellotron drenched prog like in the awesome and pivotal titletrack. So I bought In The Wake Of Poseidon, the successor of ITCOTCK and released in 1970. Well, for me it was a musical confrontation with very mixed feelings. On one hand typical KC prog like Pictures Of A City (the famous Fripperian 'gentle chainsaw' sound, along strong interplay between saxophone, guitar and a powerful rhythm-section, in the vein of 21st Century Schizoid Man) and the wonderful Cadance And Cascade (dreamy with warm vocals by guest Gordon Haskell and fragile piano, acoustic guitar and flute, by Mel Collins). And especially the compelling titletrack featuring warm vocals from Greg Lake and glorious Mellotron violins delighted me, what a breathtaking symphonic rock! But on the other hand I noticed the first strong efforts in the realm of experimental prog by King Crimson: freaky piano by Keith Tippett in the 'anti-single' Cat Food (in 1970 even playbacked in Top Of The Tops) and an avant-garde undertone in the Bolero-like The Devil's Triangle (3 parts). Fripp his use of the unsurpassed Mellotron (violin ? and brass section) is captivating, but for me a bit too close to cacaphonic in part 2 and 3. Personally I can't stand that huge difference between 24-carat symphonic rock and experimental so this second musical encounter with King Crimson turned out to be pretty disappointing.

The 3 bonus tracks on this CD are Groon (dreamy with twanging acoutic guitar getokkel and beautiful vocals), Peace ? An End (jazzy and experimental in an 'alternate mix') and Cadence & Cascade (with Greg Lake as the singer).

The DVD contains the 10 tracks of the original LP in 3 versions: DTS 5.1 Digital Surround, PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48) and '30th anniversary remaster' from the original 1970 stereo mix. Also included are 12 extra tracks, like different versions of Groon and Cadence & Cascade. The 16-page booklet contains also this time very interesting information by KC connaisseur Sid Smith, along nice studio pictures from the band members.

My rating: 3,5 star.

 In The Court Of The Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.62 | 3968 ratings

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In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by TenYearsAfter

5 stars "Legendary cover, legendary music!!"

In many ways King Crimson has a very special place within the world of progressive rock. First their debut album In The Court Of The Crimson King is considered as the start of progressive rock. Second King Crimson didn't join other Classic Prog bands like ELP, Yes, Pink Floyd and Genesis with their jawdropping and overwhelming visuals. And third King Crimson remained a progressive band in all decades, until now: innovative, adventurous and '. progressive in the true meaning of the word. This review is about that legendary and pivotal first album, in the 40th Anniversay Serie featuring lots of bonus material.

In The Court Of The Crimson King album is a true milestone in progressive rock! In Edward Macan his wonderful and very interesting book Rocking The Classics you can read about the male side of prog (instruments like the electric guitar and Hammond organ) and the female side of prog (instruments like acoustic guitars, flute, Mellotron). Well, listening to In The Court Of The Crimson King it's the tension between these two elements that makes it such a captivating and compelling musical experience. From soaring flute, warm vocals, tender acoustic guitar and intense Mellotron to biting electric guitar, fiery saxophone and an propulsive, very powerful rhythm-section. From mellow parts to heavy outbursts. From dreamy climates to agressive atmospheres. And from 24-carat symphonic rock to jazz and avant-garde, what a tension, dynamics and musical ideas. Just listen to the difference between the mellow I Talk To The Wind and the dark and heavy 21st Century Schizoid Man. Or the quirky shifting mood in Moonchild: from dreamy interplay between Mellotron violin, warm vocals and sensitive electric guitar to experimental percussion and innovative, avant-garde inspired guitar work, that's King Crimson anno 1969 writing prog history. They took elements from Colosseum (brass and jazz) and The Moody Blues (Mellotron, acoustic guitar) and blended this with their own musical vision, this unique sound inspired so many prog bands, all over the world, from Italian Museo Rosenbach and Swedish Anekdoten to Dutch Earth & Fire, to name a few.

The bonus CD tracks are a 'full version' from Moonchild, a 'duo version' from I Talk To The Wind (flute and pleasant twanging acoustic guitar by Greg Lake), an 'alternate mix' from I Talk To The Wind (jazzy work by Fripp), a wonderful version from Epithaph ('backing track') including beautiful acoustic guitar and Mellotron, and finally a kind of sound collage entitled Wind Session (parts from a session that resulted in the intro from 21st Century Schizoid Man).

De audio DVD contains a wide range of different recordings from the original albums: DTS 5.1 Digital Surround, a 2009 Stereo Mix and Original Master Edition 2004, an Additional Audio Content (the bonustracks from the CD) and The Alternate Album featuring an instrumental version from 21st Century Schizoid Man. The video DVD contains a short clip (close to 2 minutes, black and white) from 21st Century Schizoid Man, recorded during the legendary Hyde Park festival in 1969 (also featuring The Rolling Stones). It looks a bit chaotic with frequently changing images from Greg Lake and Ian McDonald, and even a fan in a telephone pole!

A must for every King Crimson fan, and what a stunning covert art!

 Earthbound by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 1972
2.46 | 391 ratings

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Earthbound
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Progfan97402
Prog Reviewer

2 stars I've been resistant at the thought of buying this album and who can blame me? I've heard nothing but bad stuff about it through the years. When I first became aware of this album in the mid 1990s, I thought it was a bootleg, but was indeed an official release, released on Island's budget subsidiary HELP but Atlantic in the States totally rejected it due to poor quality. It was a real dumb idea to attempt to record an official live album on cassette. So you get that cassette bootleg quality listening to this. This was recorded by what many feel is the weakest Crimson lineup, Robert Fripp with Mel Collins, Boz Burrell, and Ian Wallace. Ok, make no mistake, the sound quality sucks. No one will argue that. If it were a homemade cassette bootleg it would be forgiven but this was an official vinyl release. No matter how you feel about the performance, you can't deny this lineup doing a wonderful version of "21 Century Schizoid Man". Sure Boz is no Greg Lake but I do get a kick off that Dalek voice they employed on his vocals. The band really soars. Then there's "A Sailor's Tale", certainly a highlight on Islands, which they do a great job here and there Mellotron use is great, but used nowhere else on the album. "Groon" was originally a B-side to "Cat Food", but I'm not familiar with the original but this version turned into a rather self-indulgent jam complete with needless drum solo. The other two cuts are originals not found on their regular studio efforts. A bit different from the usual King Crimson, a lot of this material is jazzy, but also frequently on the blues side. I never expected King Crimson to go bluesy like that but I can probably lay that blame on Boz, no wonder he defected to much more mainstream pastures with Bad Company. Blues and King Crimson don't go together. Still it's amusing to see them try that.

No surprise that Fripp didn't even want this released, not just because of the horrendous sound quality but definitely not a performance highlight. I'm happy to own the album and it didn't offend me and there were few spots I genuinely enjoy ("Schizoid Man" and "A Sailor's Tale" especially), but it's only a two star rating because the flaws are glaringly obvious. Of course USA from three years later is a FAR superior live document, but it involved the FAR superior subsequent lineup (Fripp, Bill Bruford, John Wetton) with far superior recording equipment.

 Islands by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.81 | 1743 ratings

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Islands
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Fripp's creature still changes skin, and produces another epochal album, which marks the story, the third in three years (Poseidon was not remarkable). Fripp changes the singer (out Haskell, inside Boz Burrell, voice with a similar tone but more beautiful timbre and better sensitivity) and the drummer (out the talented overflowing jazzman McCulloch, inside the sober, talented Ian Wallace), holds Sinfield to the lyrics, Mel Collins on flute and saxophone, and produces an album where he is the author of all the music. This is Fripp's record more than any other Crimson's record.

The Lp starts with the double bass (Harry Miller) and the flute, which depict an impressionist painting ("Formentera Lady", ten minutes, vote 7,5/8) that already tends towards the abstract: a slow progression almost free-folk introduces the whispered voice of Burrell; after three minutes arrives the bass and percussion and Burrell sings: "Formentera Lady", a sort of slow-motion refrain. Then the flute and the double bass return for a while, then the "Formentera Lady" refrain again; after that, comes the saxophone, which in dissonance, with percussive and lyrical background, climbs into landscapes never heard before. Lizard's liquid jazz seems light years away. Here we are on the edge of avant-garde. The song fades into the next ("The Sailor Tale", seven and a half minutes, vote 8+); it has a jazzy rhythm and an oblique, menacing sound, with Fripp's guitar that anticipates the abrasive sound of "Larks Tongue in Aspic". We move in ever more abstract forms, in astral landscapes like the photo of the cover, where the voice is only an occasional appearance, a sign of life inside a mysterious cosmos. The song is as beautiful as it is demanding. The melody is completely absent. The only elements are rhythm, and dissonance. By spreading more and more the development of the songs, Fripp anticipates the post-rock in slow-motion of "Talk Talk": the music will have to overcome a strong inertia to move forward. The listener is in awe, he can't relax, he feels approaching something looming, mysterious, formless that with the passage of time becomes more and more looming but remains formless. It's like being inside a completely dark tunnel where light never comes. In the third song ("The Letter's", four and a half minutes, vote 7,5) the voice of Burrell returns, always whispered (what Haskell could not do), accompanied by the saxophone, which remains the main instrument of the album. The track is hard, solid, angular, quite the opposite of the liquid and soft consistency of "Lizard" (in fact in the whole Lp the piano, played by Tippet, is almost missing). End of first side.

Side B continues the angular and rocky sound of the last song, with "Ladies of The Road" (five and a half minutes, vote 8), which takes on a sarcastic tone already heard in the two previous albums. The arrangements are thin, the guitar of Fripp proposes that oblique and abrasive sound never heard in previous records. The song leaves room for some melodic chorus reminiscent of the Beatles (it's inspired by "Come Together", written by Lennon). Mel Collins's saxophone, never so much protagonist , closes the song (it's the only piece on the album that looks like a real conventional song) with a virtuosistic solo. It follows an instrumental symphonic piece ("Song of the Gulls", vote 7,5), almost angelic, which breaks the homogeneity of the album, but arrived at this point, perhaps it is good. Fripp inserts an atmosphere worthy of Bach, almost eighteenth century, as if to recover the melody so far lost. The piece with the oboes (Robin Miller) is particularly beautiful.

The record ends in a romantic way because after the symphonic and calm "Song of the Gulls" comes "Islands" (twelve minutes, vote 8; but there is an hidden symphonic track after a minute of silence), an atmospheric piece, where you can finally hear the beautiful voice of Burrel singing here with taste, without whispering, and you can finally hear the piano played by Tippet! The melody is beautiful, but not very developed, it remains an evocation and perhaps the arrangement, in this case, is lacking. To enhance a melody that touches epic vertices like this one, it would take a more consistent arrangement and a greater rhythm. Who knows what a masterpiece would become this song with McDonald on keyboards and Lake on lead vocals! Anyway, "Islands" is the final worthy of this great album thanks to the instrumental progression led by Mel Collins, which is the real factotum of the Lp: Fripp is the composer, he is the main performer.

"Islands" is an austere, sober, dissonant, timeless album, completely out of every classification. It requires a different listening from the one reserved for rock songs, because it has no rhythm, it proceeds by expanding every passage of sound. "Islands" is not dated at all, in fact is a seminal album because it has free-folk, free-jazz, avant-garde, post-rock moments. Masterpiece.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,83. Vote album: 9. Five Stars.

 Lizard by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.13 | 2006 ratings

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Lizard
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With Lizard the first phase of King Crimson continues without preserving any of the musicians of the first, seminal, epochal, album (of course except Fripp and Sinfield) . The progrock of KC is no longer romantic, epic, as it was on "In the Court of ..." The crystalline melodies of McDonald are now part of the past. Lake's celestial singing is gone. The music has become abstract, glacial, liquid; at times the atmosphere is mysterious and subtle. There is not even the bombastic existential angst of "21st Century Schizoid Man".

There is, if anything, the development of the long jazz improvisation of "Moonchild" in songs dominated by the keyboards (Keith Tippet, remained from the previous album); orchestral, obsessive and paranoid songs. The jazz, after peeping into "Cat Food" (In The Wake of Poseidon) here is expanded and developed with piano, keyboards, saxophones (the faithful Mel Collins) and horns (trombone, cornet) and wooden instruments (cor anglais) an overflowing battery (Andy McCulloch), which is never content to keep the rhythm. The guitar is almost absent: Fripp is limited to being the conductor and to play Mellotron, synth and organ.

Side A. "Cirkus" (including Entry Of The Chameleons, vote 8+) is a half past six minutes song dominated by the horns, which trace a threatening and obsessive melody that reaches epic moments. The drums are sometimes excessive while Fripp's acoustic guitar solo is fantastic. The voice of Gordon Haskell is powerful but definitely devoid of charisma, and lacks those romantic and delicate nuances that Greg Lake was capable of. Anyway, it's a great initial piece, which gives to KC a new sound and that immediately makes it clear that the carat of this album is greater than the one of "In The Wake of Poseidon", which began quietly and repeated the patterns of the debut.

The second song (Indoor Games, vote 7+) and the third (Happy Family, vote 6,5), dedicated to the dissolution of the Beatles, are clearly inferior to the opening piece but maintain the jazzy sound that characterizes the abum: carpet of keyboards, horns to trace the melody, an iconic drum that follows a completely unpredictable rhythmic line, acoustic and rhythmic (electric) guitar in a secondary role, instrumental pieces with jazz dissonant improvisations (especially in Happy Family, where the piano played by Tippet in the foreground is nothing but jazz). The dissonance in Happy Family makes it very difficult to listen. The fourth track, "Lady Of The Dancing Water" (vote 7) is a short song (almost three minutes), nice, melodic (acoustic guitar and flute) but not remarkable. Haskell's voice does not have the nuances suited to the atmosphere of the piece. The side, after the excellent start, ends in a fall of inspiration but still it remains good for the quality of the sound and arrangement. In This side good melodies are missing. Medium quality side A: 7,33 (wihout Lady). Vote side A: 8+.

Side B is completely dedicated to the suite called "Lizard". divided into 4 movements. The first, "Prince Rupert Awakes", with Jon Anderson singing (the effect is wonderful), is the only catchy piece of the entire album, and it is a simple song strophe-refrain. Then, starts the second movement: "Bolero - The Peacock's Tale", instrumental, where the melody of the first movement is developed by a chamber ensemble halfway between classical music and jazz, reaching enchanting, very poignant, romantic moments; then, when it is about to become cloying, the melody is distorted, becomes dissonant, undergoes variations that lead to jazz improvisation. The third movement, "The Battle Of The Glass Tears" opens with "Dawn Song" where the cor anglais accompains the whisper of Haskell; is a calm, almost sad moment. "Last Skirmish", the next piece, is an instrumental that reaches moments of dissonance and cacophony never touched by the KC; the sound is symphonic thanks to the use of Mellotron, and the trombone and the piece is prolonged in a totally dissonant free jazz, which sometimes resume the initial melody, touching peaks that only "21st Century Schizoid Man" had reached. McCulloch can unleash himself in this piece, demonstrating his virtuosity. In the end, the last piece ("Prince Rupert's Lament") of the third movement takes over, led by Fripp's electric guitar (it still exists!) and by the bass of Haskell.

The fouth movement, "Big Top" (one minute and 13 seconds) is an ironic joke in "crescendo"; the sound is that of a circus clown. Lizard is a wonderful suite, maybe only too repetitive and dilated in some moments. Vote side B: 8,5/9. Overall the suite that occupies all the second side, perhaps the first case in the history of rock music, is better than the 4 songs of the first. The album is close to being a masterpiece both for this suite and for the menacing and jazzy liquid sound that Fripp managed to build. What is missing, to be a true masterpiece, are better songs on the first side and a wider range of varieties and good melodies (and a better singer).

Average of the sides: 8,04. Vote album: 8,5/9. Rating: Four (and a half) Stars.

 Red by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.54 | 3143 ratings

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Red
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars "Red" is yet another crowning achievement of KC and of the progressive rock landmarks of the 70's. As the album is most accessible out of all KC 70's output, no doubt that was easier to influence generations of aspiring musicians and listeners alike.

The musicianship is tight, playing well executed and synchronised and the compositions are less experimental - which means it is still more adventureous as some other bands encounter in their entire career.

The first song belongs to the most famous KC tracks, a dramatic and purely instrumental tour de force. The air gets sultry, the tension is rising. There is an instrumental heavy symphonic intermezzo reminiscent of Electric Light Orchestra 71-72.

The next track "Fallen angel" allows to breathe out for a while in a less dramatic and intensive spirit to soak the vocal melody featuring warm Wetton's vocals. The instrumental break in the middle is easy to digest and retains the soothing feeling of the composition.

What I like most about "One more red nightmare" is the rhythmic patterns, not overly complex but highly original and also the saxophone solo veering into jazzy waters. Heavy and softer parts are fluently interleaved.

The only jam-session based and very experimental track is "Providence", not of a high compositional value but shows how good musicians understand each other.

The last epic track is the swan song in KC's catalogue, eagerly awaited in each concert's set. No other tracks epitomizes KC's contrasts so well - long smooth delicate sung sections combined with gradually heavy guitar-led riffing. The fusion- like comes in after 9 minutes. All these three sections are of incredible quality and blend together very well. You won't feel that 12 minutes have flown after the track is over.

A masterpiece of progressive rock and one of the most influential progressive rock albums.

 Larks' Tongues In Aspic by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.42 | 2684 ratings

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Larks' Tongues In Aspic
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by sgtpepper

5 stars There are many more better reviews than mine so I will refrain myself from repeating general observations. This album is one of the pinacles of progressive rock and therefore very influential to the bands from 70's until the 90's. The instrumentation is brilliant, experimental and full of energy and motivation. 1973-1974 mark the peak of band's creative forces.

Also, being the most inaccessible KC album of the 70's, it features Zeuhl, metal and other avantgarde elements that wouldn't be possible without using violin and viola. Notice also the proficient drumming and percussions by two drummers. Singing might not be everybody's cup of tea but it is professional and not as cold as the instrumental storm on the album.

The strongest tracks are the two title tracks and the Talking Drum. The most typical KC Go and get this album ASAP and give it 10 spins at least, then you'll start to be fully absorbed by this masterpiece :-).

 In The Wake Of Poseidon by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.83 | 1970 ratings

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In The Wake Of Poseidon
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by jamesbaldwin
Prog Reviewer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 In The Court Of The Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.62 | 3968 ratings

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In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Finally, I get to write a short review of In The Court of the Crimson King!

This album comes from an era where a brave group of musicians were trying to create something new and stimulant with roots in classical, jazz and psychedelic music. This movement was especially active in the UK and it supposed the birth of progressive rock.

And despite not being the first symphonic rock album (do you recall The Moody Blues?), King Crimson were one of the first to create a true milestone of prog rock with this record, which is a perfect mix between jazz, folk and the primal hard rock of the end of the 60's.

Some tracks like the incredibly well-crafted 21st Century Schizoid Man and the solemn Epitaph still sound actual today, while others like the folk-rock I Talk to the Wind and The Court of the Crimson King are authentic mellotron feasts, truly enchanting and melodic.

The production was also very good and the engineering just crazy. The band spent hours creating melodies and mellotron tracks for this album, and this love and affection for their own music can be felt through the whole record.

Best Tracks: I love every song in this album! With the exception of the improvised part of Moonchild, which a find annoying and just nonsensical. You can blame it on me!

Conclusion: In the Court of The Crimson King is an incredible album from these true pioneers of prog and fusion. It's not a perfect disc because Moonchild is not at the same level of the rest tracks, and it's a veeeeery long song. For this reason, I can't give this album five stars.

Nevertheless, if you haven't heard this essential piece of music, you need to do it. You will discover the roots of many modern prog-rock bands and artists here, and for this reason it still sounds actual and modern almost fifty years after its release!

My rating: ****

 Meltdown: Live in Mexico by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 2018
4.22 | 13 ratings

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Meltdown: Live in Mexico
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by rdtprog
Special Collaborator RPI / Symphonic Prog Team

4 stars Here's another box set live release of a band that makes sure that they can get all the money from their loyal fans. But at least this one is more affordable than those 13 CDs live release. I don't think there are many bands that can say that they have progressed in their quality of music over the years like KC. Maybe they have regressed with a couple of albums in the 80's, but this is an exception. The band's music is experimental always ahead of his time. Maybe they have invented the metal genre with some of their heavy parts starting with the legendary first album "ITCKC". 50 years later, it is impressive to see Robert Fripp pushing this band further by recruiting young and old musicians and keep the band alive. This live set complement the "Radical Action" previous release with a first set that has some songs that didn't appear on "Radical Action", like the neurotic "Neurotic", the intense "Cirkus", and the "Batlle Of Glass Tears" suite from the album "Lizard". But even more fun is the great "Fracture" song from "Starless and Bible Black". We have a couple of songs from the "Indiscipline" album, but for the title track, Jakko Jakszyk talk in a different way compared to Adrian which sounds a bit strange. I have enjoyed a lot the song "Fallen Angel", if there's one song that has influenced the sound of Anekdoten, this is the one.

The visuals on the Blu-Ray are like "Radical Action", a show with only a curtain with white light, it is looking more like a band playing in the studios than on a dark stage. As for the sound in stereo and surround, it's clear, perfect, and with 3 drummers you have something that is out of the ordinary. The band gives a lot of room to the drummers with many short solos that you can only hear on those live releases.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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