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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 | 4298 ratings
In the Court of the Crimson King
1969
3.84 | 2150 ratings
In the Wake of Poseidon
1970
4.13 | 2211 ratings
Lizard
1970
3.83 | 1916 ratings
Islands
1971
4.41 | 2950 ratings
Larks' Tongues in Aspic
1973
3.92 | 1866 ratings
Starless and Bible Black
1974
4.56 | 3415 ratings
Red
1974
4.12 | 1975 ratings
Discipline
1981
3.07 | 1205 ratings
Beat
1982
3.28 | 1184 ratings
Three of a Perfect Pair
1984
3.67 | 1120 ratings
THRAK
1995
3.06 | 271 ratings
ProjeKct Two: Space Groove
1998
3.15 | 819 ratings
The ConstruKction of Light
2000
3.36 | 235 ratings
ProjeKct X: Heaven and Earth
2000
3.96 | 1226 ratings
The Power To Believe
2003
3.59 | 560 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 | 416 ratings
Earthbound
1972
4.04 | 511 ratings
USA
1975
2.87 | 34 ratings
Strange Tales of the Sailors
1991
4.56 | 385 ratings
The Great Deceiver: Live 1973 - 1974
1992
3.71 | 177 ratings
B'Boom (Official Bootleg - Live in Argentina)
1995
2.75 | 213 ratings
THRaKaTTaK
1996
3.79 | 192 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes One & Two
1997
4.46 | 308 ratings
The Night Watch
1997
3.75 | 147 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes Three & Four
1997
4.45 | 316 ratings
Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984
1998
3.80 | 41 ratings
Live At The Jazz Café (ProjeKct One)
1998
3.85 | 46 ratings
Masque (ProjeKct Three)
1999
3.47 | 36 ratings
Live Groove (Projekct Two)
1999
3.33 | 24 ratings
West Coast Live (ProjeKct Four)
1999
3.66 | 130 ratings
Heavy ConstruKction
2000
4.04 | 129 ratings
VROOOM VROOOM
2001
3.73 | 108 ratings
Level Five
2001
4.01 | 155 ratings
Ladies of the Road
2002
3.73 | 88 ratings
EleKtriK
2003
4.59 | 105 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
2.90 | 45 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 2 (Live in Bath, 1981 + Live in Philadelphia, 1982)
2007
3.83 | 44 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 3 (Live at the Sheperds Bush Empire,London,1996)
2008
3.52 | 41 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
3.52 | 41 ratings
Live In Japan (The Crimson Projekct)
2014
3.03 | 109 ratings
Live At The Orpheum
2015
4.71 | 114 ratings
Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind
2016
4.48 | 46 ratings
Live in Vienna + Live in Tokyo 2015
2017
4.73 | 61 ratings
Live In Chicago
2017
4.37 | 40 ratings
Meltdown: Live in Mexico
2018
4.56 | 9 ratings
Uncertain Times
2018

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

4.06 | 44 ratings
The Noise - Frejus 1982
1984
4.58 | 26 ratings
Three of a Perfect Pair - Live in Japan
1984
3.31 | 52 ratings
Live in Japan
1996
4.45 | 150 ratings
Deja VROOOM
1999
3.79 | 142 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
4.31 | 49 ratings
Live In Argentina 1994
2012
4.64 | 116 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 | 112 ratings
The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson
1976
2.22 | 71 ratings
The Compact King Crimson
1986
3.00 | 1 ratings
1989
1989
3.66 | 59 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
3.84 | 94 ratings
Cirkus - The Young Persons' Guide To King Crimson Live
1999
3.59 | 81 ratings
The ProjeKcts
1999
4.57 | 51 ratings
The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson - Volume One (1969-1974)
2004
3.53 | 42 ratings
The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson - Volume Two (1981-2003)
2005
3.98 | 29 ratings
The Condensed 21st Century Guide 1969 - 2003
2006
3.44 | 18 ratings
King Crimson - 40th Anniversary Tour Box
2008
4.79 | 120 ratings
In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD)
2009
3.83 | 58 ratings
Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings)
2012
4.04 | 60 ratings
The Road to Red
2013
3.87 | 42 ratings
The Elements (2014 Tour Box)
2014
4.54 | 34 ratings
Starless
2014
3.82 | 17 ratings
The Elements (2015 Tour Box)
2015
3.35 | 16 ratings
THRAK BOX
2015
3.20 | 13 ratings
On (And Off) The Road (1981-1984)
2016
3.73 | 11 ratings
The Elements (2016 Tour Box)
2016
3.73 | 18 ratings
Sailors' Tales
2017
3.71 | 7 ratings
The Elements (2017 Tour Box)
2017
4.93 | 14 ratings
Audio Diary 2014-2017
2018
3.20 | 5 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
2.67 | 11 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2019
4.00 | 5 ratings
The Elements (2019 Tour Box)
2019
4.88 | 6 ratings
The ReconstruKction of Light (2LP version)
2019
3.00 | 1 ratings
Mister Stormy's Monday Selection, Vol. 4
2020
4.50 | 4 ratings
The Elements (2020 Tour Box)
2020
4.20 | 6 ratings
The Complete 1969 Recordings
2020
3.00 | 1 ratings
Mister Stormy's Monday Selection Vol. 5
2020
5.00 | 2 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 | 68 ratings
The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.42 | 57 ratings
Cat Food
1970
4.00 | 31 ratings
The Night Watch
1974
3.77 | 51 ratings
Epitaph
1976
3.91 | 24 ratings
Discipline 12'' Sampler
1981
3.24 | 25 ratings
Matte Kudasai
1981
3.57 | 7 ratings
Elephant Talk
1981
3.58 | 12 ratings
Thela Hun Ginjeet
1981
3.40 | 32 ratings
Heartbeat
1982
3.20 | 22 ratings
Sleepless
1984
3.83 | 6 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
2.20 | 21 ratings
The Abbreviated King Crimson: Heartbeat
1991
3.63 | 147 ratings
Vrooom
1994
3.25 | 7 ratings
Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
1995
3.92 | 25 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
3.39 | 28 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 | 31 ratings
The Beat Club, Bremen, 1972
1999
3.40 | 20 ratings
Live in San Francisco - The Roar of P4 (ProjeKct Four)
1999
4.43 | 29 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
2.40 | 21 ratings
Live at Moles Club, Bath, 1981
2000
4.14 | 35 ratings
Live at Summit Studios 1972
2000
3.19 | 27 ratings
The VROOOM Sessions 1994
2000
3.88 | 26 ratings
Live in Detroit, MI
2001
3.57 | 34 ratings
Live At Plymouth, May 1971
2001
4.10 | 34 ratings
Live in Mainz, Gemany 1974
2001
3.18 | 18 ratings
Live in Northampton, MA (ProjeKct Two)
2001
4.18 | 8 ratings
The Guide to Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Parts 1-4)
2001
3.44 | 28 ratings
Live at The Zoom Club
2002
3.41 | 97 ratings
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
2002
3.48 | 20 ratings
The Champaign-Urbana Sessions, 1983
2002
3.73 | 32 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
3.33 | 20 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct One - Jazz Cafe Suite, December 1 - 4, 1997
2003
3.87 | 28 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
3.06 | 20 ratings
Live at Fillmore East, November 21 & 22, 1969
2003
4.08 | 16 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
3.77 | 13 ratings
Live in Boston, MA, March 27, 1972
2009
4.18 | 19 ratings
Live in Zurich, November 15, 1973
2009
4.13 | 15 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
4.00 | 2 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
3.95 | 3 ratings
Plumpton Festival
2015
4.05 | 3 ratings
Live at the Marquee (August 10, 1971)
2015
3.67 | 6 ratings
Recorded Live On The 2014 US Tour
2015
4.56 | 69 ratings
Live In Toronto
2016
3.86 | 9 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
3.75 | 4 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
4.00 | 3 ratings
Requiem (Extended Version)
2019
3.75 | 4 ratings
Starless/Red (Edit)
2019
2.33 | 3 ratings
Yoli Yoli
2019
4.33 | 3 ratings
Frakctured
2019
4.33 | 3 ratings
Cat Food (EP) (50th Anniversary Edition)
2020

KING CRIMSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Islands by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.83 | 1916 ratings

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Islands
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by PacificProghead

3 stars REVIEW #21 - "Islands" by King Crimson, (1971)

Following the release of their third studio album "Lizard", which is now considered a bit of a masterpiece but at the time was panned even by members of the band itself, King Crimson saw yet another opportunity to radically reinvent itself. "Islands" is largely the manifestation of the power struggle between guitar Robert Fripp and lyricist Peter Sinfield. Fripp wanted to explore more experimental and progressive themes in the music, while Sinfield envisioned a more baroque and admittedly pretentious artsy sound. In many ways, this album is more the elucidation of Sinfield's vision for the band than Fripp's, being King Crimson's quietest album by far.

Following the departure of vocalist Gordon Haskell and drummer Andy McCulloch after the recording of "Lizard" (neither would ever perform live with the band), King Crimson would bring in Boz Burrell (yes, the guy from rock supergroup Bad Company) to play bass and sing, while McCulloch's flatmate Ian Wallace was drafted to play the drums. Burrell's voice is extremely soft and delicate in contrast to Haskell's gruffness; it is no surprise that he would never sing with the band he would eventually become famous as a part of, and the music is sort of forced to reflect the more delicate sounds the band was capable of, at least when there were lyrics involved.

"Formentera Lady" is a very slow and uneventful opener to the LP, especially in contrast to the past three King Crimson albums. Being the longest song on "Islands", it boasts a slow burn led by an oboe. Sinfield is no stranger to writing exotic lyrics rife with imagery, and while the subject matter is not necessarily evocative of the island of Formentera in the Balearic Islands, it certainly is exotic, especially compared to the British Isles. It's almost as if the subject matter on these lighter tracks are derivative of light-hearted European pop while remaining progressive. I recommend checking out Sinfield's 1973 solo album if you're a fan of this kind of sound, but to me this is a step down from the excellent and dissonant work of the past few albums. "A Sailor's Tale" is much more interesting; this is a Fripp-penned tune, and it is perhaps the part of the album where he is allowed to really shine as a song-writer. There's a lot of derivation from the "In the Wake of Poseidon" track "The Devil's Triangle", except infinitely more dynamic and exciting. Beginning with strong saxophone from now official band-member Mel Collins, a brief interlude then gives way to one of the best buildups I've ever heard; Fripp's jazzy guitar solo is shattered by the glorious mellotron used to perfection, aided by wonderful drum fills by Wallace. This is a pretty common Crimson live track, and it's definitely one of the highlights of the album.

"The Letters" is one of two songs heavily inspired by Giles, Giles and Fripp compositions. It is a revamped version of the live song "Drop In" heard during the band's performances in 1969. Burrell's voice barely penetrates the surface to sing the opening lyrics, before a wave of music hits the listener for a wild middle instrumental. Burrell then comes back to recite his "heaviest" lyrics of the album before the song fades back into darkness. I will say this is a good song for the middle of the album, it may be filler-tier but it's an enjoyable listen. This is another piece that gets played in the band's concerts to this day. "Ladies of the Road" is where things take a bit of a turn for the worst; it is perhaps the most pretentious song about having the kinds of women from Zappa's "Joe's Garage" that I've ever heard, to the point that it borders on parody. Especially in progressive rock which is probably the least "wetting" album for the female gender, it just comes off as hilarious to me. It's also an extension of that "Beatles" sound that Sinfield was experimenting with at the time. Not necessarily a terrible song (don't think King Crimson ever wrote one), but definitely near the bottom for the band's discography. It's songs like this that make me happy that Robert Fripp was able to win control of the band at the end. I can only imagine if this was ever played live (I believe it was for the band's 1972 tour a few times), the sheer look of frustration on Fripp's face as Burrell sings "I smiled and just unzipped her...". Mel Collins even comes in to provide the 1970's cliche porn saxophone to only make it more of an uncomfortable listen. Will say that the chorus is not all that bad though, it's def the most memorable part of the song.

"Prelude: Song of the Gulls" is the King Crimson revamp of a Giles, Giles, and Fripp song titled "Suite No. 1". It makes use of a string section and is entirely instrumental. It is arguably the most forgettable song of the album, as it really strikes me as more of a cherubic elevator song straight out of a movie soundtrack. The band just really does not do anything exciting with this composition. The title track is where band historians consider the first "era" of King Crimson to end; in many ways it is a fitting sendoff of Peter Sinfield, who would be fired from the band following the album's supporting tour. To a point, the lyrical subject matter of the song focuses on the "islands" we create for ourselves, an allegory to our souls being islands in a sort of archipelago. The lyrics are beautiful, capturing the exotic and tropical literal imagery of the island chain. While the song is long at nine minutes and takes a while to build up, eventually we get to the swan song of "Islands", the beautiful Mel Collins saxophone solo which closes the album.... or does it. Yes, there is a "hidden track" at the end of the album, but it's really nothing more than some loose string sounds combined with the band talking in the background. It isn't really a song, and it's a bit of a weird addition to the album. King Crimson lately has done something weirdly consequential with this garbled bit of noise, alluding to it in the band's opening "song" for their live shows.

"Islands" is, unfortunately but largely due to the standard of material King Crimson created at the time, the weakest album of the band's first era. The real problem is that the band's penchant for intense and dissonant instrumentals which the listener became accustomed to over the first three albums is ditched with the sole exception of "A Sailor's Tale", which of course was the album highlight. "Islands" and "The Letters" are also good songs of note. Filler-wise this album contains some of the band's weakest, with "Ladies of the Road" being perhaps the band's first flop of a song on a critical level. I think the relative mediocrity of this album was enough reason for Fripp to pull the plug and assume absolute power over the band's direction, firing literally everyone else and starting an entirely new band, marking the beginning of King Crimson's incredible second generation. While I personally like a lot of the music on "Islands", this is by no means an essential album, and lacks the consistency to get a four-star rating. I can appreciate the unique sound of this album in the Crimson discography, compared to 1980's albums such as "Beat" and "Three of a Perfect Pair" that largely drew upon the "Discipline" template, but this is certainly one of King Crimson's more mediocre offerings. Their next album however, was far from mediocre.

OVERALL RATING: 3.4/5

 Lizard by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.13 | 2211 ratings

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Lizard
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by PacificProghead

4 stars REVIEW #20 - "Lizard" by King Crimson, (1970)

For the longest time, "Lizard" was considered the red-headed stepchild of sorts of the King Crimson discography. Panned by Robert Fripp himself, who went so far as to deem those who liked it "strange", marked the band's first major shift in sound, towards the jazz fusion scene that was sweeping across the UK at the time. It also features a completely new, yet similarly short-lived, lineup of musicians, perhaps the most obscure in the band's history. While Fripp and lyricist Peter Sinfield remain the only original members of the band, vocalist Gordon Haskell was brought in to replace Greg Lake, who had joined ELP. Haskell's tenure in the band was especially short-lived; a childhood friend of Fripp, his voice is especially hushed and unaccustomed to the sound of the band. In fact, Haskell wasn't even much of a fan of progressive rock, and instead liked the R&B/Soul music popular in the United States at the time.

To say Haskell was uncomfortable in King Crimson was an understatement. The recording process for "Lizard" was absolute hell for him and new drummer Andy McCulloch, with Fripp often berating the two men. Haskell recalls that McCulloch was even brought to tears due to the harsh treatment by the band leader. It was no surprise that this would be the only King Crimson album that both men would feature on as "official members" (Haskell did sing on "Cadence and Cascade" from the previous album "In the Wake of Poseidon"). Another musician who would prove more resilient would be saxophonist Mel Collins, who had featured as a session musician on ITWOP, replacing the void left by Ian McDonald, although Fripp would still leave the duty of the mellotron to himself. While not credited as an official member of King Crimson, pianist Keith Tippett has a profound impact on this album, with his virtuosity on the piano contributing heavily to the sound the band was trying to create.

"Cirkus" is by all means this album's "Schizoid Man" or "Pictures of a City", although it does not draw any influence in sound from either. It is here the listener can get his first taste of the heavily classical and staunchly progressive "Lizard", with its medieval instrumentation and surreal imagery. Haskell's hushed voice clashes hard with the intermittent dissonance of the saxophone, before breaking off into a whimsical instrumental that makes up much of the album. Perhaps one of the biggest problems of "Lizard" is its reliance on Haskell's vocals, which are gruff and crude in comparison to Greg Lake's. "Indoor Games" is the band's effort to distance itself from the structure of the first two albums, with a more conventional and upbeat tone. I really like the drum fills on this song by McCulloch; he is by no means a bad drummer, but compared to Michael Giles or the eventual Bill Bruford, his work is easily lost in the band's catalog. The distorted uncanny laughing at the end by Haskell has a bit of a dark backstory to it; it was the manifestation of Haskell's discomfort and unhappiness with recording the song. Both "Indoor Games" and its abstract cousin "Happy Family" both stand out as being pretty forgettable songs, with the latter being the first King Crimson tune of the Sinfield era to perilously draw upon the aura of the Beatles (if you look closely at the beautiful album artwork you will indeed find an artist's rendition of the Fab Four). It features heavily distorted vocals that are drowned out by some pretty abrasive piano and saxophone cuts. It's almost accidentally psychedelic, a quality that I actually kind of enjoy, even if it's not by any means one of my favorite King Crimson compositions. "Lady of the Dancing Water" is the sequel to "Cadence and Cascade", a beautiful acoustic ballad sung by Haskell in a more normal and tender tone, albeit also easily bested by its predecessor.

Side two brings us to the epic twenty-three minute title track, split into four parts. Beginning with "Prince Rupert Awakes", we are greeted by the angelic voice of one Jon Anderson, at the time vocalist for the fledgling progressive rock band Yes (you may have heard of them). It is baffling to think that this appearance would come before the dawn of that band's commercial fame, as they would release the seminal "Fragile" just one year later. Anyway Anderson only appears for this first part, which is a pretty average introduction in line with much of the material we already heard, but lighter in tone, which justifies Anderson's inclusion as I doubt Haskell's voice was fit for this sort of theme. Things begin to get more progressive with the second part "Bolero - the Peacock's Tale", which is quintessential progressive jazz in technique, featuring a slew of saxophone, rhythmic jazz drumming and fast-paced piano. I really like the pastoral atmosphere and imagery that this song evokes; it is very classical and European, owing to the inclusion of a three-man brass section. However, the most famous part of this epic is the eleven- minute "The Battle of Glass Tears", further split into three parts. "Dawn Song" signals the return of Haskell's vocals, which coincidentally would be his last with King Crimson, laid upon a minimalist silent background. On cue, he is followed by an outburst of hard-hitting gothic prog in the "Last Skirmish", which is permeated by hard-thumping drums and sinister mellotron. This maelstrom signifies the battle in the story of the album, and is concluded by the first true cutting Frippertronic guitar solo "Prince Rupert's Lament", with the trademark guitar tone of Fripp that any seasoned prog fan can identify. The simple yet hypnotic bassline, in tandem with the drums, makes for one hell of a backing rhythm section that Fripp can solo over. "Big Top" is a reprise and a bit of a musique concrete book-end for the song, but I personally feel like the epic would have been ended even better with a drown out of Fripp's guitar. Overall, by all means a very musically engaging and complex epic, and the only one that King Crimson would ever compose.

In recent years, a lot of people have emerged with extremely favorable reviews for "Lizard", some going as far as to deem it essential. Personally I think there is a bit of peer pressure involved in this school of thought, as I'm sure a lot of people may be more susceptible to want to positively favor an album that was originally considered to be a failure. Indeed, Steven Wilson's 2009 remaster of "Lizard" changed the mind of Robert Fripp himself, who has since come to incorporate much of this album's content into King Crimson's live shows, with "Cirkus" and "The Battle of Glass Tears" being frequent staples of the band's live shows. While I agree, this is an excellent album and it definitely showcases a very elegant and experimental freeform kind of jazz that was becoming popular in the UK and greater Europe at the time, I would not go as far as to deem it an essential album, mainly because of the weakness of the first side. I like the title track a lot, but the songs "Indoor Games" and "Happy Family" are throwaways in my opinion, while "Lady of the Dancing Water" is more of a token listen. It is however an improvement on ITWOP in the sense that the band finally decided not to include an improvisational piece. One can only wonder how the band could have built upon this sound had they decided to retain it for their next album; in typical King Crimson fashion the band's lineup would implode, and by 1971 the band would essentially start from scratch with an entirely new sound.

OVERALL RATING: 4.4/5

 In the Wake of Poseidon by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.84 | 2150 ratings

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In the Wake of Poseidon
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by PacificProghead

4 stars REVIEW #19 - "In the Wake of Poseidon" by King Crimson (1970)

Not even one year into the existence of perhaps the most influential progressive rock band of all time, King Crimson already was on the brink of collapse due to a mass exodus of the band's musicians. Drummer Michael Giles, bassist/vocalist Greg Lake, and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald would all ceremonially leave the band following the release of the critically acclaimed "In the Court of the Crimson King". However, guitarist Robert Fripp would manage to keep the band together going into 1970, taking on the role of keyboardist in addition to guitars and managing to retain both Giles and Lake as session musicians, sacrificing the band's audio equipment to retain the latter. The band's sophomore effort "In the Wake of Poseidon" is considered to be an extension of the sound and structure of the first album.

The album opens up with a formal introduction in "Peace - A Beginning", the first of a trilogy of smaller compositions, before opening up into the heavily jazz-inspired and dissonant "Pictures of a City", considered to be the spiritual successor to the band's seminal "21st Century Schizoid Man". Indeed, the song follows not only a similar sound, but a similar structure to the song, something which occurs more than once on this album with a slew of different tracks. While many obviously view this as a criticism of King Crimson, I feel that this composition is strong enough to prevent from negatively hindering the album. This is still a very strong piece of music, although not necessarily as groundbreaking as the aforementioned "Schizoid Man". The band does experiment with quieter passages here, and the instrumental is markedly quieter on this song than the song it's trying to emulate, and the verses/choruses are still just as strong. Of note on this composition is the inclusion of saxophonist and future King Crimson member Mel Collins, who will appear on this album for this track and the following one, the acoustic "Cadence and Cascade", which is the only song on the album to feature vocalist Gordon Haskell instead of Lake. Haskell would end up being the lead vocalist for the band's third LP "Lizard", but makes a relatively minute appearance here. While there is more to talk about with Haskell and how he meshes into the band, I'll leave that for my review of "Lizard". For now, it can merely be summarized that Haskell has a deeper voice, that is much more blunt and less refined than Lake's. "Cadence" is a very beautiful ballad that, like "I Talk to the Wind" from ITCOTCK, serves as a calm and orderly rebuke to the frantic dissonance of the band's more heavy compositions. Once again, the flute (played by Collins) replaces the saxophone, resulting in a less abrasive atmosphere.

The title track, quite strikingly and blatantly, follows the same sound and structure as ITCOTCK's title track. It is here where the band stoically reintroduces the mellotron as a focal point of the band's progressive sound, with exotic surrealistic lyrics. While there are some very subtle differences between title tracks, like "Pictures of a City" I still have no problem with this song, even if it serves to retain rather than build upon the achievements of the band's last album. Definitely one of, if not the highlight, of the album.

Side two opens with the acoustic guitar solo "Peace - A Theme", a short emotive Fripp interlude before the band moves on into "Cat Food"; King Crimson's first attempt at writing a song that's remotely commercially appealing. It was the band's first single to be released, and unsurprisingly, it didn't chart (to my knowledge), but there is a lip- synced taped performance of this song performed for Dutch television that you can find out there. It is on this song that the brilliant pianist Keith Tippett, whose presence would be greater felt on "Lizard", would work his magic amidst an abridged form of the King Crimson sound, poppy but markedly progressive, with elements of psychedelia.

"The Devil's Triangle" is perhaps the most controversial addition to this album, foreshadowing Fripp's penchant for ambient music that would ultimately be elucidated in his collaborations with Brian Eno. In 1969, King Crimson often played their own cover of composer Gustav Holst's "Mars" suite from "The Planets". They originally intended to put that on this album, but due to legal issues, they were forced to write their own composition that resembled it. This track satisfies the improvisational elements found on "Moonchild", and just as that song was challenging to listen to on ITCOTCK, "The Devil's Triangle" is sure to alienate. Its theme of unsettling apprehension augmented by a prodding gradual build into utter musical chaos, similar to "A Sailor's Tale" from the band's 4th album "Islands", I'm sure piques one's progressive interest. This is the only song on ITWOP that I personally found challenging enough to be unable to listen to on a regular basis. Of note is the use of xenochrony - part of the chant from "In the Court of the Crimson King" is used near the end. Would be interesting if King Crimson, for all the bands they were inspired by, were partly inspired by Frank Zappa... perhaps we Americans can finally claim ourselves as the pioneers of progressive rock, even if Zappa himself didn't consider his music "progressive" and King Crimson's only "sometimes" progressive. Everything is then brought together with the finale "Peace - An End", which is a fitting farewell to Greg Lake and this incarnation of the band.

"In the Wake of Poseidon", mainly due to its emulation of ITCOTCK, cannot really be considered essential, even though it is a quality album, and fascinatingly enough, the highest charting album of the band's entire discography (#4 in the UK). King Crimson always had a penchant for writing incredible albums, and while many of the songs on this album are good, they pale in comparison to the band's greater discography. The band is still comfortable with playing songs from this album live; I've heard them play, among others, "Pictures of a City", "Cadence and Cascade", and even "Cat Food" live as recent as 2019. The band's sound would change quite radically by the release of their third studio album later that year, departing from the eclectic mellotron-driven psychedelic rock and changing with the times accordingly. I definitely think this is a great album to consider for your collection, even if it is a bit of an ITCOTCK clone.

OVERALL RATING: 4.1/5

 In the Court of the Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.63 | 4298 ratings

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In the Court of the Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by PacificProghead

5 stars REVIEW #18 - "In the Court of the Crimson King" by King Crimson, (1969)

Arguably the first, and even more controversially the most monumental, progressive rock album of all time, King Crimson's debut album shook the music world in a way bands such as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath did around the same time. Landing on the map after a successful performance as a guest of the Rolling Stones at the 1969 Hyde Park Festival in London, King Crimson's eclectic fusion of jazz and psychedelic rock shook the rock scene to its core, creating the genre we know today as progressive rock.

King Crimson, formed in 1968 out of the ashes of the commercially unsuccessful proto-prog trio Giles, Giles, and Fripp, is no stranger to the average progressive rock fan, and in recent years, has seen a sort of a commercial resurgence as the internet allows younger listeners to discover what used to be a gem of obscure rock music. While the band's lineup was subject to constant flux, the one constant in the band's history is Robert Fripp, one of the most influential and underrated guitarists in rock history. However, Fripp is not the only name that stands out in the first generation of King Crimson; for those familiar with ELP, this band is where bassist/vocalist Greg Lake got his real start, and fans of the 80's pop rock band Foreigner may recognize multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald as well. Flushing out the rest of the band, behind the drums was Michael Giles (his brother Peter would be kicked from the band to make room for Lake), and a dedicated lyricist/stagehand named Peter Sinfield.

Following the critical acclaim of the band's performance at Hyde Park (some footage exists of this performance, but it is very poor quality), interest in the band surged, and subsequently work began on King Crimson's debut studio album, released on the 10th of October 1969 on Island Records, titled "In the Court of the Crimson King". Besides the striking and unique album art, the music on this album was unlike anything heard before it. From the opening bars of the album opener "21st Century Schizoid Man", one can only imagine being awestruck by the maelstrom of sound in 1969, just at the dawn of what we consider "heavy metal". Blaring saxophone contrasts with heavy drums and distorted guitars, which give way to awfully distorted and mechanical vocals speaking lyrics of disillusionment and warfare. Indeed, a couple of the songs on this album were inspired by the political events of the time, namely the Vietnam War, which by this time had become extremely unpopular with the public. The brutal and cold nature of this song is complimented by frantic and dissonant jazz-inspired themes, which are explored in a lengthy middle instrumental where drummer Giles goes to work alongside a saxophone solo by McDonald. As if the initial riff didn't hammer the point down hard enough, it's almost as if when the band reprises it, it somehow gets heavier, making way for one more verse and the conclusion in a haze of noise. This is considered to be one of the most seminal compositions in progressive rock history, and if you haven't heard it yet, I recommend you stop reading and go do so.

Where "21st Century Schizoid Man" is Mr. Hyde, "I Talk to the Wind" is Dr. Jekyll. This is a more eccentric and calm piece, where the saxophone is abandoned in favor of the flute. It echoes more of the conventional yet pretentious proto-prog pop music that Giles, Giles, and Fripp played, and this should be no coincidence as this is a modified composition from that band. The distortion is lifted off of Lake's voice, allowing the listener to appreciate the dreaminess and delicacy of his lower range, augmented by introspective and provocative lyrics. But perhaps the most stunning thing that this composition brings to the table is King Crimson's confidence in switching between fast-paced heavy metal and slower more intricate psychedelic jazz. The innovation does not stop there however, as "Epitaph" follows up with a very emotional and striking performance that is sure to move any listener. It is here that King Crimson would make another pioneering achievement in rock music, utilizing the mellotron keyboard, which would become a staple of progressive rock in the coming years. The instrument is used to create a very baroque and dramatic backdrop to the disillusioned pessimism of Sinfield's lyrics, perfected by the impeccable vocal range of Greg Lake. This composition builds on the sounds made by bands such as the Moody Blues, and applies it in a melodic and gothic framework.

Perhaps the most controversial track on ITCOTCK is the twelve-minute, largely experimental "Moonchild". It begins with a two-minute theme that largely draws upon the melodic softness of "I Talk to the Wind", but after that it delves into a very minimalistic improvisational section. This is usually considered to be the only blemish on the album, and while I don't particularly enjoy this part of the song, I appreciate that the band was confident enough to compose such an abstract piece and include it on this album. In a way, this song serves as a prolonged introduction to the grand finale of the album, the incredibly eclectic title track. This song brings all of the themes and motifs that the listener has encountered so far and brings it together into an incredibly progressive and resonant performance. Perhaps no song better exemplifies the use of the mellotron on this album than it, as it is prevalent in the opening theme as well as the coda. The lyrics are medieval, yet surreal, existing in a separate universe from the dark and pessimistic themes experienced on "Schizoid Man" or "Epitaph", and it gives way to a very hallowing chorus that is sure to get stuck in your head. Just as with much of the rest of the album, the band makes sure to involve itself with heavy experimentation, and radical shifts in tone.

The amount of creativity and innovation would come to a head however, as King Crimson would fracture following the release of this album, with Giles, Lake, and McDonald leaving the band. ITCOTCK's immediate success caught the attention of keyboardist Keith Emerson, who would go on to snatch Lake for his own prog supergroup project ELP. While all three musicians would appear on the band's sophomore effort, they are credited as session musicians, with only Fripp and Sinfield being official members of the band. One could only wonder how much different the world of rock music would be today if Fripp didn't manage to keep the band together through this extremely tumultuous time.

ITCOTCK is one of, if not King Crimson's best works. Composed in a radical and unusual manner with respect to the rest of the music world at the time, it is by all means progressive in nature. As it is considered to be the first progressive rock album, it is most certainly essential and deserving of being in any respectable collection. Pretty much every song is essential to some degree, and I must stress that this is an album that is best consumed as a singular work, as tempting as it may be to split the longer compositions into individual listens. The only minor drawback is the relative blandness of the "Moonchild" instrumental; the only thing blocking this album from receiving a perfect rating.

OVERALL: 4.8/5

 In the Wake of Poseidon by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.84 | 2150 ratings

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In the Wake of Poseidon
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Dream_Nebula

5 stars Review - #6

I always found King Crimson's In The Wake Of Poseidon to be a great sophomore release. Starting with the first track Peace - A Beginning. I always found this track to be a great opener to the album. Greg Lake's beautiful vocals really shine here. Next we have Pictures Of A City. This track is similar to 21st Century Schizoid Man. But also it is quite different. The song is aggressive and also jazzy. It is overall a extremely solid track with no flaws. The musicianship on this song is also great. After the bombastic and jazzy piece Pictures Of A City we get Cadence and Cascade. This song is very different then the previous track. I always found this song to be charming. Gordan Haskell's voice fits this track very well. magnificent is one way to describe the next song on the album. In The Wake Of Poseidon is one of my favorite King Crimson songs. The mellotron is just stunning. Along with the fantastic drumming from Michael Giles. Greg Lake uses he's voice extremely well on this track. Everyone needs to here this song if they like King Crimson or just progressive rock in general! King Crimson decided to open side one of the album with Peace - A Beginning and they decided to open side two with Peace - A Theme. This allows the album to feel more connected. This track is a lovely short acoustic piece. Similar to the first Peace on the album. Cat Food is a very interesting track. This song is jazzy and is just a really fun track. It isn't my favorite on the album but I still always enjoy it whenever I hear it. Now we have the longest song on the album, Devils Triangle. This song is just breathtaking. I always loved laying down with my eyes closed while I listen to this track. Devils Triangle will take you on an adventure. Very underrated King Crimson track. The final song the album is Peace - An End. Side one and two open with Peace song and the album concludes with one too. This is an outstanding way to close the album. Overall, this is a phenomenal King Crimson album and one that does not get appreciated enough. Definitely give this album a listen if you haven't heard it yet.

Peace - A Beginning - 4/5

Pictures Of A City - 5/5

Cadence and Cascade - 5/5

In The Wake Of Poseidon - 5/5

Peace - A Theme - 4/5

Cat Food - 4/5

The Devils Triangle - 4.5/5

Peace - An End - 4.5/5

Overall - 5/5

 Larks' Tongues in Aspic by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.41 | 2950 ratings

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Larks' Tongues in Aspic
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by A Crimson Mellotron

5 stars Masterpiece is a word that is perfectly sufficient to describe the hectic sonic Abaddon separated into six compositions that leave you sweaty, excited, and severely bewildered, right after finishing the last notes of the recording. Recorded in early 1973 and released in March, 'Larks Tongues in Aspic' is an album that crushes down all classifications and tags.

Right before this, King Crimson had released the more jazzy, romantic, and even a bit shy album 'Islands' but a musical incompatibility between the Crimson king himself, and the rest of the band members resulted in the departure of Mel Collins, Boz Burrell and Ian Wallace, in addition to the parting of the ways of the band and Peter Sinfield, just to be replaced by an entirely new line-up that was supposed to pursue an entirely different musical direction, and so it did. John Wetton on bass and vocals, Bill Bruford from Yes on drums, David Cross on violin (and viola), replacing the role of the wind instrument, and Jamie Muir, a free-improvising percussionist who was an underground legend at the time.

This line-up had the task to create compositions based on free improvisation while drawing influences on Eastern European classical music, most likely sparked by Robert Fripp's interest in the music of Béla Bartók. This was made possible heavily because of the presence of the very interesting figure of Jamie Muir in the band - his rig, often resembling a junkyard, featured bells, shakers, rattles, chains, and all sorts of random drums and found objects which could, of course, only add a unique element to the music.

The title track, or rather its two separated parts that bookmark the album are staples in King Crimson's catalogue, the first of which is entirely a band effort. 'Book of Saturday' and 'Exiles' are melancholic and somewhat gloomy, 'Easy Money' is a rocking, jazzing, throbbing masterpiece, and 'The Talking Drum' is pure cathartic chaos.

Pulsating, utterly full of suspense, dramatic, and unthought-of, yet invigorating and relieving in a strange and hard to describe way, this album has to be absorbed to be understood (well, partly understood, at least). An album that does not necessarily make sense, while it gives off a strong sense of inseparable wholeness; a record that will shock you, excite you, scare you, and finally perplex you, 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic' will also inspire you and it will demand your attention throughout every single second, just to give you the final blissful feeling of completion and nervous expectation!

 In the Court of the Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.63 | 4298 ratings

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In the Court of the Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Dream_Nebula

5 stars Review - #4

I still remember the first time I heard this album. I was 16 and I was just starting to get into progressive rock. I was listening to bands such as Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin at the time. We were going to Florida and I was told that I could purchase one album on iTunes since the plane ride would be a couple hours. I decided that I would purchase In The Court Of The Crimson King since it was not on YouTube, Spotify or any other streaming platforms. I purchased the album the night before the day we were going to Florida. That entire night I listened to that album over and over again. I probably ended up playing that album around 3 to 4 times that night. I was blown away! I never heard anything like it before. No album has ever been able to give me that feeling I had that night while listening to this album. Some albums came close but none have come to pass it. The next day I played the album over and over again in the car ride to the airport, in the airport, and on the plane. This album was the spark that helped me get into progressive rock. The album does not get old either. I have played the album over 50 times and it still sounds great. Every song on the album is perfect and played with perfection. I just wish this lineup lasted to make a few more albums. If I had to say one flaw on this album it would have to be the improv on Moonchild. The first 2 to 3 listens it's enjoyable, but it isn't to enjoyable beyond that. I always skip it now when I listen to the album. The instrument playing on this album is also incredible! The drumming still amazes me and Greg Lake's vocals still give me goosebumps. My favorite song on the album would be In The Court Of The Crimson King, but I love them all. Overall, this album is a innovator for progressive rock and one of my favorite albums of all time. Everyone needs to hear this masterpiece!

21st Century Schizoid Man - 5/5

I Talk To The Wind - 5/5

Epitaph - 5/5

Moonchild - 4/5

In The Court Of The Crimson King - 5/5

Overall - 5/5

 Red by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.56 | 3415 ratings

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Red
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Sllepty

5 stars This for me is the best King Crimson album out there. I think that it has that perfect mix of King Crimson where it's not too much (In The Wake Of Poseidon) or too little (Lizard). I love Lizard and In The Wake Of Poseidon but read topples them down easily. The only real competitor with this album is (as you may guess) In The Court Of The Crimson King, which some say defined the classic prog sound. I think songs like the classic Starless and Fallen Angel really show how heavy this album is. Some would say it's early metal which I don't completely disagree with. One More Red Nightmare and Providence are amazing songs in their own right but stacked up against the monster that is Starless they aren't overshadowed they just don't hold up as well. The bonus tracks on this album are a treat themselves. A Voyage To The Center Of The Cosmos and Providence (full version) are both some of King Crimsons' best Improv work. The improv on this album really shows what King Crimson has to offer when it comes to that world of music. The final bonus track (which is Starless live in central park) is (in my opinion) the best way to listen to Starless, seriously, if you haven't checked it out, do so.

To sum it up, Red is an essential Progrock album and should be listened to by anyone that wants to get into the genre, rather they like it or not, it's a good album to be exposed to.

 Meltdown: Live in Mexico by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 2018
4.37 | 40 ratings

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Meltdown: Live in Mexico
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Uruk_hai

4 stars Review #42

I always wanted a live album in which I could say that I was part of the audience and now here it is. KING CRIMSON played five nights in Mexico City as a part of the Radical Action tour (July 14, 15, 16, 18, and 19, 2017) I went to the second and third night and it was unbelievable: the seven-headed monster that recorded the Monkey Mind album got a new head (Jeremy STACEY) who was the new drummer while Bill RIEFLIN found his place as the main keyboard player.

The wonderful experience of seeing your favorite band playing alive all (or almost all) the songs that you love and know by heart is indescribable, the eight guys gave amazing performances and we the audience ended absolutely satisfied with the shows. To me (and I'm sure that to everyone who attended any of the five shows KING CRIMSON gave in the Metropolitan Theater) this album is a very sentimental experience since when I hear it I can re-experience the feeling of being there watching my favorite band playing as I always wanted to see it.

I don't consider this an indispensable album if you were not a part of that audience, musically it's almost the same as listening to the "Radical action bah, bah, bah, monkey mind" album, so the rate will be only 4 stars, 4 well-earned stars.

 Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 2016
4.71 | 114 ratings

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Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Uruk_hai

5 stars Review #41

This album was like the awakening of the sleeping god, which now came in a seven-headed form.

This is probably the best live album KING CRIMSON has in its entire catalog. Three CD's filled with the most epic songs from almost all of their studio albums plus some new songs that were originally composed for this record. This new line-up of seven musicians (FRIPP-LEVIN-MASTELOTTO-RIEFLIN-HARRISON-COLLINS-JAKSZYK) is one of the most powerful line-ups that Crimson ever had.

The songs from "In the court of the Crimson King", "In the wake of Poseidon", "Lizard", "Islands", "Larks' tongues in aspic", "Red", "Discipline", "Thrak", "The construKction of light" and "The power to believe" are taken to a new level of experimentation while the new songs (and even the ones that came from "A scarcity of miracles") give a very fresh sound to the band.

There are just two songs whose performances didn't convince me: "Red" because the three amazing drummers of this line-up couldn't play as good as Bill BRUFORD in this particular piece and the drumline feels kind of poor and "Epitaph" in which the mellotron got lost and Jakko JAKSZYK sang it almost a cappella; out of that, the album is fantastic and also it was the Monkey Mind tour which brought KING CRIMSON to play in Mexico City so I'm very thankful for that.

Absolutely amazing!!

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

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