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KING CRIMSON

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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

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

From its formative years in Bournemouth, England in the late '60s, King Crimson's unwavering guiding light has constantly emanated from the abstruse intellect of guitarist Robert Fripp (b. May 16, 1946). Although he maintains that he is not the band's leader per se, he attributes the band's enduring viability to the collective brilliance of its individual members even though it seems to disband and reform at the wave of his magic wand. Fripp began playing guitar at the age of eleven with 'Trad. Jazz' perfomer Acker Bilk providing him with early inspiration. By the age of 18, he was playing with a hotel band in his hometown of Bournemouth performing at bar-mitzvahs and weddings while developing his distinctive guitar style which incorporated many classical techniques. While other early influences included such diverse sources as Bartok, Debussy and Django Reinhardt, he was particularly drawn to the 1967 Beatles song "A Day In The Life" which, he claimed, affected him in similar ways as classical composers and it was around this time his designs for King Crimson began to take form. In early '67, after playing with other local pop outfits, he joined two brothers, Michael and Peter Giles on drums and bass/vocals respectively. By October 1967, having changed their name to Giles, Giles & Fripp, they found themselves in London where they recor...
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Elements of King Crimson -Tour BoxElements of King Crimson -Tour Box
Limited Edition
DGM 2014
Audio CD$16.20
$29.16 (used)
In the Court of the Crimson KingIn the Court of the Crimson King
Remastered
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$8.60
$6.80 (used)
Live At The OrpheumLive At The Orpheum
Discipline Global Mobile 2015
Audio CD$18.98
Starless (Deluxe box set)Starless (Deluxe box set)
Box set · Limited Edition
Discipline Global Mobile 2014
Audio CD$178.42
$180.00 (used)
DisciplineDiscipline
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.79
$5.09 (used)
Red 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredRed 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$8.49
$10.91 (used)
Larks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredLarks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$7.79
$7.79 (used)
Three of a Perfect PairThree of a Perfect Pair
Extra tracks
Discipline Us 2006
Audio CD$7.79
$7.46 (used)
Starless and Bible Black - 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredStarless and Bible Black - 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Remastered
Discipline Us 2006
Audio CD$7.79
$8.22 (used)
Islands: 40th Anniversary SeriesIslands: 40th Anniversary Series
Extra tracks · CD+DVD · Remastered
Discipline 2010
DVD Audio$15.47
$17.99 (used)
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13h 41m
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13h 41m
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13h 46m
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Larks' Tongues In Aspic by King Crimson (CD, Sep-2000, Virgin) 30th Anniversary USD $11.89 [0 bids]
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King Crimson - The Construkction Of Light CD USD $1.88 [2 bids]
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KING CRIMSON-A YOUNG PERSONS GUIDE TO KING CRIMSON CASSETTE TAPE. VG++ USD $17.01 [0 bids]
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17h 27m
USA: 30th Anniversary Edition [Limited] by King Crimson CD 2002 USD $12.99 [0 bids]
17h 27m
CD beat ~ USD $11.23
CD discipline ~ USD $11.23
LP in the court of the crimson king ~ USD $23.45
CD in the court of the crimson king (40th anniversary edition) ~ USD $62.44
LP in the wake of poseidon ~ USD $23.45
LP islands ~ USD $23.45
LP lark's tongue in aspic ~ USD $23.45
CD larks' tongues in aspic ~ USD $11.23
LP live at the orpheum ~ USD $23.45
CD starless and bibleblack ~ USD $11.23
CD the 21st century guide to king crimson vol. 2 ~ USD $37.72
LP the power to believe ~ USD $22.21
CD usa ~ USD $11.23


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KING CRIMSON shows & tickets


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KING CRIMSON discography


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

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

4.60 | 3011 ratings
In The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.79 | 1471 ratings
In The Wake Of Poseidon
1970
4.09 | 1489 ratings
Lizard
1970
3.78 | 1288 ratings
Islands
1971
4.40 | 1966 ratings
Larks' Tongues In Aspic
1973
3.89 | 1251 ratings
Starless And Bible Black
1974
4.52 | 2329 ratings
Red
1974
4.10 | 1334 ratings
Discipline
1981
2.98 | 801 ratings
Beat
1982
3.24 | 794 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
3.62 | 739 ratings
THRAK
1995
3.16 | 170 ratings
Space Groove (ProjeKct Two)
1998
3.09 | 553 ratings
The ConstruKction of Light
2000
3.49 | 143 ratings
Heaven and Earth (ProjeKct X)
2000
3.97 | 850 ratings
The Power To Believe
2003
3.56 | 386 ratings
A Scarcity of Miracles (a King Crimson Projekct by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins)
2011

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

2.45 | 306 ratings
Earthbound
1972
4.00 | 352 ratings
USA
1975
2.79 | 21 ratings
Strange Tales of the Sailors
1991
4.53 | 274 ratings
The Great Deceiver: Live 1973 - 1974
1992
3.73 | 129 ratings
B'Boom. Official bootleg - Live in Argentina
1995
2.59 | 156 ratings
THRaKaTTaK
1996
3.77 | 132 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes One & Two
1997
4.38 | 213 ratings
The Night Watch
1997
3.73 | 96 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes Three & Four
1997
4.46 | 220 ratings
Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984
1998
3.33 | 3 ratings
Live At The Jazz Café (ProjeKct One)
1998
3.00 | 3 ratings
Masque (ProjeKct Three)
1999
3.00 | 3 ratings
Live Groove (Projekct Two)
1999
3.58 | 83 ratings
Heavy ConstruKction
2000
3.99 | 85 ratings
VROOOM VROOOM
2001
3.60 | 72 ratings
Level Five
2001
4.04 | 108 ratings
Ladies of the Road
2002
3.56 | 62 ratings
EleKtriK
2003
4.63 | 63 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 1. Live in Mainz, 1974 - Live in Asbury Park, 1974
2006
2.83 | 31 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson Vol.2
2007
3.83 | 31 ratings
The collectable King Crimson volume three
2008
3.37 | 24 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson, Volume 4
2009
3.62 | 29 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson: Vol. 5: Live In Japan, 1995
2010
3.40 | 16 ratings
Live In Japan (The Crimson Projekct)
2014

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

3.93 | 29 ratings
The Noise: Frejus
1984
4.44 | 117 ratings
Deja VROOM (DVD)
1999
3.67 | 105 ratings
Eyes Wide Open
2003
3.88 | 62 ratings
Neal and Jack and Me
2004
3.88 | 15 ratings
Inside King Crimson 1972-1975 An Independent Critical Review With David Cross
2005
3.10 | 39 ratings
Live In Japan 1995
2007
4.09 | 28 ratings
Live In Argentina 1994
2012

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

3.88 | 76 ratings
The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson
1976
2.08 | 52 ratings
The Compact King Crimson
1986
3.64 | 41 ratings
The Essential King Crimson: Frame by Frame
1991
3.15 | 35 ratings
Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson
1993
2.86 | 19 ratings
Schizoid Man
1996
3.25 | 33 ratings
Deception of the Thrush: A Beginners Guide to ProjeKcts
1999
3.78 | 69 ratings
Cirkus - The Young Persons' Guide To King Crimson Live
1999
3.55 | 63 ratings
The ProjeKcts
1999
4.38 | 47 ratings
21st Century Guide: Volume One (1969-1974)
2004
3.47 | 30 ratings
The 21st Century Guide To King Crimson Volume Two: 1981-2003 (4CD Box Set)
2005
3.77 | 25 ratings
The Condensed 21st Century Guide 1969 - 2003
2006
3.17 | 12 ratings
King Crimson - 40th Anniversary Tour Box
2008
4.71 | 67 ratings
In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD)
2009
3.50 | 17 ratings
Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings)
2012
4.41 | 18 ratings
The Road to Red
2013
3.89 | 8 ratings
The Elements
2014

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

4.30 | 47 ratings
The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.20 | 36 ratings
Cat Food
1970
3.68 | 19 ratings
The Night Watch
1974
3.54 | 32 ratings
Epitaph
1976
3.64 | 14 ratings
Discipline 12'' Sampler
1981
2.92 | 16 ratings
Matte Kudasai
1981
3.00 | 4 ratings
Thela Hun Ginjeet
1981
3.05 | 20 ratings
Heartbeat
1982
3.03 | 16 ratings
Sleepless
1984
2.00 | 14 ratings
The Abbreviated King Crimson: Heartbeat
1991
3.59 | 105 ratings
Vrooom
1994
3.63 | 16 ratings
Dinosaur
1995
2.95 | 19 ratings
Live at Jacksonville 1972
1998
3.17 | 16 ratings
Live at The Marquee 1969
1998
3.13 | 5 ratings
King Crimson - A Beginners' Guide To The King Crimson Collectors' Club
1999
3.82 | 20 ratings
The Beat Club, Bremen, 1972
1999
3.27 | 13 ratings
Live in San Francisco - The Roar of P4 (ProjeKct Four)
1999
4.47 | 17 ratings
On Broadway - Live in NYC 1995
1999
4.19 | 20 ratings
Live at Cap D'Agde 1982
1999
3.79 | 19 ratings
Live in Central Park, NYC, 1974
2000
2.57 | 14 ratings
Nashville Rehearsals, 1997
2000
2.43 | 12 ratings
Live at Moles Club, Bath, 1981
2000
4.17 | 25 ratings
Live at Summit Studios 1972
2000
3.16 | 21 ratings
The VROOOM Sessions 1994
2000
3.75 | 15 ratings
Live in Detroit, MI
2001
3.70 | 22 ratings
Live At Plymouth, May 1971
2001
3.94 | 24 ratings
Live in Mainz, Gemany 1974
2001
3.12 | 12 ratings
Live in Northampton, MA (ProjeKct Two)
2001
4.07 | 5 ratings
The Guide to Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Parts 1-4)
2001
3.20 | 18 ratings
Live at The Zoom Club
2002
3.37 | 67 ratings
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
2002
3.18 | 12 ratings
The Champaign-Urbana Sessions, 1983
2002
3.44 | 18 ratings
Hyde Park, London, 1969
2002
4.10 | 10 ratings
Live in Nashville, TN, 2001
2002
3.48 | 16 ratings
Live in Berkeley, CA 1982
2002
3.21 | 15 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct One - Jazz Cafe Suite, December 1 - 4, 1997
2003
3.71 | 17 ratings
Live in Guildford, 1972
2003
3.40 | 11 ratings
Live in Orlando, FL, 1972
2003
2.68 | 13 ratings
The Power To Believe Tour Box
2003
2.91 | 13 ratings
Live at Fillmore East, November 21 & 22, 1969
2003
4.05 | 11 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct Three Live in Austin, TX , March 25, 1999
2004
4.00 | 13 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA , July 30, 1982
2004
2.60 | 11 ratings
Live in Brighton, October 16, 1971
2005
3.89 | 17 ratings
Live in Heidelberg, 1974
2005
3.63 | 14 ratings
Live in Warsaw, June 11, 2000
2005
4.00 | 11 ratings
Live at the Wiltern 1st July 1995
2006
4.11 | 9 ratings
Live in Munich
2006
3.00 | 4 ratings
ProjeKct Six - East Coast Live
2006
3.83 | 6 ratings
Projekct Two - CC- Live in Chicago, IL
2006
4.00 | 4 ratings
Projekct Three - CC - Live in Alexandria, VA, March 3, 2003
2007
3.70 | 10 ratings
Live in Denver, CO, March 13, 1972
2007
3.70 | 10 ratings
Live in Kassel, April 1, 1974
2008
4.20 | 5 ratings
Live at the Pier, NYC - August 2 , 1982
2008
4.00 | 6 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA, August 26, 1996
2008
4.00 | 8 ratings
Park West, Chicago, Illinois (August 7, 2008)
2008
3.56 | 9 ratings
Live in Boston, MA, March 27, 1972
2009
4.36 | 11 ratings
Live Zurich, Nov. 15, 1973
2009
4.00 | 8 ratings
Live In Milan June 20, 2003
2009
3.57 | 7 ratings
Live in Toronto, June 24, 1974
2011

KING CRIMSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Discipline by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.10 | 1334 ratings

BUY
Discipline
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by HoldsworthIsGod

5 stars King Crimson, never a band to be predictable, after a six-year hiatus releases a New Wave album? And with the seven billionth lineup? Could this possibly work in their favor? Well, much like Rush's Permanent Waves and Moving Pictures, yes. A resounding yes. With new guitarist/singer Adrian Belew (Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, David Bowie) and bassist/Chapman Stick extraordinaire Tony Levin (later to join up with future Dream Theater members in Liquid Tension Experiment) and longtime members Bill Bruford and Robert Fripp, their sound veers towards a more mainstream, Talking Heads-esque style, with influences from Javanese Gamelan music showing. The opener, "Elephant Talk", fuses go-go finger-tapped basslines with animal noises and alphabetical synonyms for the word "talk". Adrian Belew (one of my favorite guitar players) makes the song entertaining, and sort of comical (working with Frank Zappa will do that to you). "Frame By Frame" follows, with rapid Fripp guitar leads and syncopated rhythms, leading up to a really nice slower section in 7/8. "Matte Kudasai" (Japanese for "please wait") opens with seagull imitations from Belew, which is the vehicle to a ballad. The side ends with "Indiscipline", a heavier song that recalls KC lineups of yore. Side 2 opens with "Thela Hun Ginjeet", a paranoid funk track rivaling anything David Byrne ever wrote. The side concludes with two instrumentals, "The Sheltering Sky" (a reference to the Beat poets that would influence the next album, Beat) and "Discipline" (which is Danny Carey from Tool's favorite track). The album is a relatively easy listen, without many offensive tracks.

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 In The Wake Of Poseidon by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.79 | 1471 ratings

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In The Wake Of Poseidon
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by HoldsworthIsGod

4 stars This album, even though it sounds like a carbon copy of In The Court..., is still a great piece of Prog's more experimental side. The first track, "Peace-A Beginning" opens with a Greg Lake A cappella, portraying himself as wind, and other natural beings. Then, the similarities start: "Pictures Of A City" sounds extremely similar to "21st Century Schizoid Man", right down to the heavy riff and lightning-fast unison playing. "Cadence And Cascade", the only song on the album sung by Gordon Haskell, the vocalist on the next album, Lizard, sounds like another version of "I Talk To The Wind", with its pastoral mellotrons and whatnot. The side-closing title track is a ripoff of "Epitaph", yet with slightly less pretentious lyrics. Then we get another reprise of "Peace", which ends the side for good. Side 2 opens with "Cat Food", a jazz fusion piece in the vein of Frank Zappa's Hot Rats album. I highly recommend listening to the Pressurehed version for a more modern take on the track. Then, "The Devil's Triangle", a rewrite of Gustav Holst's "Mars" from the Planets Suite, does what King Crimson does best: shatters the conventions of songwriting. A sample from "In The Court Of The Crimson King" is inserted over top of the track about 3/4ths of the way into the song, which confused me at first, but then learned was part of a technique called "xenochrony", which Zappa used to effect on songs like "Inca Roads". And to close the album is yet another reprise of "Peace". All in all, it's a great album. If you like to be shocked and surprised by music, this album is for you.

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 The Elements by KING CRIMSON album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2014
3.89 | 8 ratings

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The Elements
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Gatot
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars King Crimson lovers ...Try Cirkus (live). It's wonderful!!!

This box set is nothing at all for those who are not familiar with songs of King Crimson both era: before Discipline (1981) album and those era of Discipline onwards until now. It serves as an excellent stuff if you understand King Crimson. If this is your first experience with King Crimson, do not ever try to have this one. For me personally it's something like when I wrote Gentle Giant "Under Construction" set couple of years ago where I gave full four stars rating for this site. It's simple, because I love Gentle Giant and familiar with almost all songs of the band. King Crimson is by no exception is one of my favourite legendary bands from the seventies as Gentle Giant, Yes, genesis, Van der Graaf, ELP and the like. So ...for me this ELEMENTS of King Crimson means a lot for me personally.

The boxset contains extracts of studio recordings, alternate takes, mixes with one or two instruments isolated, live recordings and rehearsals or in other words it contains versions of songs that I have never heard before. I almost cry really when I heard Cirkus (live) featured right here which was performed really wonderfully! Oh my God .. I could not believe with my ears the first time I listened to this version of Cirkus live. It's full five stars rating for this song as it's performed differently compared to other versions. In fact, the studio version I love it already. But this live version is totally different. The major difference is on the exclusion of guitar work! Can you imagine the song that was originally very great in its acoustic guitar work and it's originally very innovative and full of improvisation but when it's removed totally here in this live version still sounds wonderfully! This was taken from Live at the Marquee 1971 10/08/1971 and it's really prog to the bone man!!! I like the vocal line which was performed like there was no passion to sing but it sounds really great to my ears. And of course the entrance of drums followed with the legendary eerie mellotron-drenched sound that follows with loud volume makes the song sound really great! Oh my God .... I keep repeating this track over and over as I really love it very much. Thanks a lot Mr Fripp ...! This is really cool! The non-existence of guitar and the improvised saxophone work makes the song wonderful. There is also improvisation piece in a jazzy avant-garde mode that makes this version is invaluable! In fact, I also love the guitar extract which was featured only 15 seconds prior to this Cirkus (live) track.

Sailor's Tale from Islands album (1971) is also another wonderful piece that I love from this boxset. It sounds also differently. It's basically the version where guitar solo was the early take and you can see the difference. It's not just the guitar but the impact to the overall music is tremendous as I can sense the difference vividly. I bet you, if you love Crimson you would love this track as well.

This time we can have the luxury of enjoying legendary The Talking Drum mixed by the prog master Steven Wilson. I can not spell out clearly the difference with studio version but I am very sure that if you listen to this track you can feel the different taste than the original version. Of course this sounds raw but with the mind and hands of Steven Wilson you can enjoy the great sound subtleties of this version. The rest of the tracks under CD 1 are all interesting ones to enjoy especially Fallen Angel as well as 21st Century of Schizoid Man.

CD 2 offers also great alternative tracks starting with Discipline which heavily consists of great combined work of stick bass by Tony Levin, repetitive guitar work by Fripp and Adrian Belew. This opening track sounds the same as its studio version. The sort drums work under Three Headed Doom (Part 1) (0:44) is a great shot, followed with the live version of Neurotica (Manhattan) (live) (6:12). This time also we can enjoy the new mix of Sleepless by Steven Wilson which sounds much wider than the original version. One of my favourites on CD 2 is THRAK which was performed live at Shepherd's Bush 1996 30/06/1996, Shepherd's Bush Empire. It's exploratory in nature and more improvisational. I like the duo drums solo which sounds really great. The other one is Level Five which was performed live at Park West 07/08/2008, Park West. Last but not least is the session with Jakko represented by the last two tracks Separation (edit) (2:40) and A Scarcity of Miracles (7:32). I think the collaboration with Jakko has given new birth of new Crimson music even though the roots of Discipline is still there, of course.

Overall, this is a very special excellent boxset for me personally. But I do not want to be so biased and becomes very subjective - that's why I put four stars (SOLID) as actually I can put five personally. But it's not fair for those who are not quite familiar with King Crimson. Therefore I think four stars is sufficient. Crimson lovers would definitely love this boxset, for sure. Keep on proggin' ...!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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 The Noise: Frejus by KING CRIMSON album cover DVD/Video, 1984
3.93 | 29 ratings

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The Noise: Frejus
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by thwok

4 stars Only one review of The Noise: Frejus so far? You mean other people aren't as obsessive about King Crimson as yours truly? I"m shocked! I think your ultimate opinion of this DVD may depend greatly on how you feel about what the band was doing during this period. I know there are listeners out there who think Robert Fripp and friends should have stopped at Red, if not before. I like what King Crimson was doing in the 1980's; I think "Heartbeat" is a great song! So, I love this DVD.

I don't watch a lot of concerts. I can't stand it when live performances of songs sound just like the studio versions, and the band members don't bother to interact with the audience. Even though the band doesn't talk to the audience much on this DVD, you can tell that Adrian Belew and Bill Bruford are having fun and appreciate the feedback from the audience. Since this is King Crimson, it's a given that the playing is beyond reproach.

I especially enjoy it when Bruford steps up with Belew to perform "The Sheltering Sky". My only minor quibble with this concert is "Indiscipline". It's my least favorite song on Discipline, and I think this version is self-indulgent. However, this song wouldn't be nearly as interesting played by almost any other band. In conclusion, I'm giving The Noise: Frejus 4 stars. Anyone who's at all interested in this period of King Crimson should see this.

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 In The Court Of The Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.60 | 3011 ratings

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In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Glimpse

4 stars The day In The Court Of The Crimson King hit the shelves of record stores worldwide, was the day Rock Music would change forever. In The Court is often considered to have single-handedly created the entire Progressive Rock genre. In reality it would be more accurate to think of it as an eruption. Artists like The Nice, The Moody Blues, and Pink Floyd among others had already been laying the foundation for Prog, building up pressure to the point where it just might explode into the mainstream. That explosion came in 1969 as "In The Court Of The Crimson King". The album caused a sensation upon it's release, nobody had heard anything quite like it before. With sales upwards of 500,000 copies in the US alone, it was certain to many that this was going to be the start of something big. After the release of "In The Court", hundreds of Prog Bands began to sprout up between 1970 and the end of the golden era of prog in the late 70s. Whether or not these 70s era Prog artists took direct inspiration from the album, they all have this album to thank for opening up the ears of thousands to progressive music, allowing many bands to at least achieve a cult following as opposed to being doomed to the abyss of obscurity. So, enough background, it's about time we take a dive into the album itself!

First off to bat we have "21st Century Schizoid Man", a jazzy piece with prominent Saxophone throughout. The track starts out soft, with airy woodwind sounds appearing seemingly at random. Then as if to startle the listener, McDonald's sax enters center stage with a powerful presence, welcoming the listener to the body of the track. Lake wastes no time once McDonald finishes his phrase, bringing his heavily distorted vocals into the creating a sound somewhat similar to the psychedelia of the 60s. The vocals here are short and to the point, consisting of just two short verses mentioning schizophrenia and the Vietnam War, (Which was still being fought during the time the album was released.) After the second verse we enter the middle section, fittingly called "Mirrors". Here we are treated to another solo by McDonald, This one being considerably more complex than the one seen near the beginning of the track. McDonald's sax sounds rather spastic here, as the pitch never stays the same for more than one note, but instead consisting completely ascending or descending notes. However, it's the schizophrenic instrumentation that gives "Mirrors" it's name, as the sound reminds me of light bouncing around a room full of mirrors, never moving in the same direction for too long. The "Mirrors" is split by a solo courtesy of Fripp, with a mild acidic sound similar to Lakes vocals earlier and some trademark King Crimson sax nonsense. After that idea is wrapped up we return to the ever shifting sax part from before Fripp's solo, this time with a guitar mirroring the sax. Before you know it, Lake's vocals have returned and are sounding just as distorted as before, this time singing only a single verse commenting on materialism. The ending fits the track perfectly, made up of McDonald's sax starting out slow, and speeding up until all musical order falls apart into a cacophony of incoherent sax overdubs.

Now, if you were expecting the entire album to be as exciting as "Schizoid Man", you'd be disappointed. The next track, titled "I Talk To The Wind", is a soft piece featuring now undistorted vocals by Lake as well as some vocal harmonies, calm percussion, and soothing woodwind accompaniment courtesy of McDonald. It is essentially the antithesis of "Schizoid Man" with it's tranquil sound and larger focus on vocals. The song has a very pretty melody that is sure to please the symphonic fans out there, but feels rather awkward to have two tracks that are so jarringly different in such close proximity to each other. However, as we venture further into the album, it becomes increasingly evident that "Schizoid Man" is actually the odd one of the bunch. This track is a sample of what is to come, marking a transition from the Jazz-Fusion sound heard in "Schizoid Man" to the more Medieval / Symphonic sound found throughout the rest of the album.

Continuing on in the Symphonic direction set by "I Talk To The Wind" is our third stop in our tour of the Court, "Epitaph". It is a very moody track, featuring dark instrumentation using acoustic guitars, clarinet, base clarinet, and heavy use of mellotron. The Wind directly leads into Epitaph with a timpani acting as a bridge between the two tracks. After the timpani bridge, we receive a solemn welcome from the acoustic guitar intro, followed soon after by Lake's emotional vocals. Now, the lyrics featured in "Epitaph", are some of, if not the darkest found in any of King Crimson's albums. The lyrics themselves have a very somber tone to them, the gist of these lyris is that if mankind is to continue in it's warmongering ways, we will surely end up destroying ourselves. Not really the most original concept, but still a very emotional one none-of-the-less. The tone is further developed by subtle percussion and acoustic guitar accompaniment, as the ever mystical sounding mellotron to provide an ominous feel to the track. After the slow buildup in tone from the start of the track to the four minute mark, we reach the only instrumental break found in the track. This break is absent of mellotron, but instead features a dirge like arrangement with McDonald's clarinet and base clarinet playing along with minor acoustic ideas scattered here and there. Then upon the return of Lake's vocals, verses one through six come back, and as the track begins to build up Lake repeats verse six up until about seven and a half minutes, when the track starts to fade out.... Spooky.

Now we move past the middle of the album and into the second half, where we encounter the 12 minute "Moonchild". The track starts simple enough, being a primarily mellotron driven section, along with a rather interesting cymbal alterations by Giles. The vocals have a very pretty, medieval sound to them, and in conjunction with the lyrics, give it a very mystical feel. However, this section only makes up two minutes of this 12 minute song. With the next ten minutes consisting completely of free improvisation. Now, normally given King Crimson's reputation, you'd think the improv would at least be somewhat interesting to listen to, well that's not the case here. The improv featured here has rather sparse instrumentation for the remaining ten minutes, making for a very dull listen in my opinion. However, there is one part of interest in this section, and that is when Fripp plays an excerpt from "The Surrey With The Fringe On Top" at a point during the section. Sadly, it's not enough to raise my favor of this track, as I usually just end up skipping it after the two minute mark.

At long last we reach the title track, the nine minute "The Court Of The Crimson King" a return to the Symphonic sound after the more Avant-Garde "Moonchild". The beginning is a rather straightforward mellotron info, introducing the listener to the idea that is seen throughout the track. That, when paired with Lakes vocals create a certain sense of majesty, a mood that one would expect for such a song. There are four vocal sections throughout the track, each containing two verses telling the tale of the "Crimson King". After each of these four vocal sections there are another four sections consisting of the melody played by the mellophone at the start of the track, except this time it sung by Lake along with the use of overdubs to create a choral effect with Lake's vocals. Though while you think that the repetition of the aforementioned idea would sound like it'd become tiring fast for many, (especially after multiple listens,) but none of the three choral breaks are quite the same. The first break, (found about one minute into the track), is the most basic of the three, containing only the choral part. The second, (about two minutes in), is were things start to change up a bit. Here the choral part remains unchanged, but, after two repetitions of the melody, it moves into a brief mellotron solo, before returning to the choral melody, repeating another two times. The third, (about four minutes in), has the same choral melody, though this time, you may notice that there are now additional overdubs increasing the amount of harmonies found in the choral break. After the usual two repetitions, we move into a flute solo, which, has not been seen in the album since "The Wind". It is a very pretty flute solo, and it's melody provides a refreshing break from the usual melody heard throughout the past few minutes. After the solo, we are led into the fourth verse by an acoustic guitar rather than the choral idea used the first two times. The fourth verse sounds pretty much the same as all the others stylistically speaking, and at about six minutes in we reach the fourth and final choral section. For the last choral section we return to the basic choral features we heard during the first choral break, this time with a slight twist. The chorus repeats three times now, each time featuring additional overdubs with each repitition. After the third repition you're promptly led out by a percussion roll, as everything gets quiet. Many first time listeners are often tricked into thinking that the track ends after the fourth choral section ends, Admittedly, even I was taken by surprise when the woodwinds came in soon after the third cymbal, (quite a cute little thing they did there when I think on it now.) With a soft, chamber-ensemble sounding woodwind part there, I had expected something not quite as bombastic as what came afterwards. The reprise of the melody is brought in by Giles's percussion, making way for the mellotron, (now having lost the magnificence from before instead taking on a rather hectic tone.) Along with Fripp's guitar, which hasn't been as dominant in the ensemble or as acidic sounding in the album since "Schizoid Man". Ultimately, despite being as repetitive a song as it is, it's short enough and brings enough ideas to the table to keep the interest alive, making for a very satisfying conclusion to this album.

This album is held to some of the highest standards of all Progressive releases, and after you give it a listen it's easy to see why. No two tracks are quite the same, each bringing a few tricks of it's own to the party. But as creative as it is, King Crimson would not reach the height of their potential until several years to come, as the variation of the album not only shows their creativity, but also says to me that they're were not quite sure what they wanted to be at that point of their career. Any Crimson fan knows that in the albums that follow, they would begin making a slow transition to a predominately Jazz-Fusion sound. In the following years of all the tracks from "The Court", "Schizoid Man" was the only one that remained a key part of their live repertoire. "The Court", (and "The Wake Of Poseidon", but that's a review for another time), was them experimenting with their sound in an attempt to discover what they'd become. "The Court" is the infant of the King Crimson discography, and as a result, lacks the more matured songwriting found in later albums as Crimson began to find their place.

In the end, "In The Court Of The Crimson King" is still very much a high quality release, and undoubtedly one of the highlights of the King Crimson discography. It serves as preview to their entire '69 - '74 era sound, making it a must-have for any Crimson newbies. My suggestion if you are looking to purchase the album, I'd recommend the 2009 remaster, as it contains an trimmed version of Moonchild reducing it from 12 minutes to four and a half minutes, making the track much more tolerable to sit through. (It also includes the original version of the track as well if you're interested in knowing more about the whole song.) But all I can do is make a recommendation, it's up to you to decide whether or not you like it, I'm just here to convince you to give the album a listen!

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 The ConstruKction of Light  by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.09 | 553 ratings

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The ConstruKction of Light
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat

4 stars Time passes and different versions of King Crimson come and go through the years. The huge band that existed for the previous album "Thrak" is now down to 4 members. As always, the sound of KC changes with the release of another album. The basic sound is still there, the hard chugging rock is more apparent on this album, yet with a diminished line up, the sound strangely doesn't sound as cohesive as previously. But, that is not a major issue, because the new KC is now focusing on counterpoint, 12-tone style works, slower arpeggios to match the style of the 12-tone system. This gives a feeling of post-metal to me. This music paves the way for further exploration by the hundreds of post rock/math rock bands to follow. This is not to say that this album is responsible for the start of the post rock movement because there were some bands already out there, though somewhat obscure. I think what KC does with this album is make the movement a little more focused and dynamic. I know a lot of KC fans here don't consider this one of the best KC albums, but I think a lot of KC listeners expect a return to the sound of "Red" or "Lark's Tongue". I don't think it is in KC's plans to return to anything though. They have always been progressing to something else and that is what they do here.

This album is cold and metallic, no doubt about it. There is not much let up of the hard churning rock that bubbles out of your speakers. That is because this is the type of music that they are exploring. Now I have to agree that the first track "Prozakc Blues" is a little annoying in the change up of the vocals that are here, but it does sort of echo the feeling you get while under the influence of the chemical being sung about. Beyond the vocals on this track though, the instrumentals are still top notch KC brand smash and stomp music apparent through the album. On the 2 part "Construkction of Light", you hear the slow arpeggios being passed between the guitars that make the song sound like a study in the classical inspired 12-tone sound. Believe it or not, there is a melody going on there, and the most interesting thing is in the way the vocals take over a variation of that crazy tune when they suddenly kick in on the 2nd part. The vocals throughout the track and most of the tracks on the album are modified and harmonized to great effect that also match the cold metallic feel of the album. The lyrics here are more a series of words than they are phrases. Another proof of KC brilliance and a clear picture of how they never follow the norm.

The following tracks continue in the same vein, some instrumental and some vocal. "Frakctured", "Lark's Tongue Part 4" and "Oyster Soup" tend to stand out, but I love the entire album. This instance of "Lark's Tongue" sounds to me like a more accessible "Pelican" sound especially in the early days of "Pelican" when that band's music was more straightforward post-rock. The difference here is a better use of dynamic and phrasing, plus more of a "start-stop" sound that breaks up the grinding noise of the guitars. Then, once again, we are surprised with the first instance of vocals in any appearance of ":Lark's Toungue" in the Coda section.

Really the only relief we get on this album from the hard guitar and beat is the last half of "Heaven and Earth" which tends to work as a cool down for the album, though the sound is still cold and metallic.

I don't understand the low ratings given by other reviewers on the site. A lot of people tend to say that they don't get this album, but knowing that this is just another exploration in another realm of music and that it explores (what were back then) newer sounds of post rock and math rock, maybe that will help with the understanding. I don't honestly know if that was KC's intention or not, but it seems that they always unintentionally influence progressive rock every time they make a new album. Give this one a better chance everyone. It's not their best but it is still better than what you are rating it at. 4 stars.

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 Ladies of the Road by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 2002
4.04 | 108 ratings

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Ladies of the Road
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

3 stars Plymouth, 1971 is for those who resent the jammy, partly improvised approach on "Earthbound" recorded in the same year. Here, the same line-up delivers classic KC numbers, most of which are poor renditions when compared with the original studio recordings.

At this point the band must have been really tired of touring and practically, ready to disband - as they have, shortly after. The vocals of Boz here are the second least inspired recordings I've ever heard from him with KC, or any other band. Those vocals are so weak that practically bring down this performance to a 1 star rating. This isn't Fripp's finest performance, either. His guitar is less prominent than usual, which is a surprise as he is/was a Gurdieff devotee of discipline and normally he would not miss a single note, not even for the life of our Planet. But on this performance the work lacks body and substance.

This concert is largely saved by Mel Collins, who is permitted to do some sensational runs on saxes and flutes, conjuring images of Pharoah Saunders. Any Collins fan would want to hear this. Also, Ian Wallace plays his heavy drums to much satisfaction - as usual.

The album as a whole is a bit of a flop and little more than memorabilia, but Collins, Wallace are lifting the game for about 15-20 mins overall.

The sound quality is poor, but not horrible.

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  Cat Food by KING CRIMSON album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1970
3.20 | 36 ratings

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Cat Food
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

1 stars "Don't think I am that rude if I tell you that it's cat food, not even fit for a horse"

Cat Food is an early single by King Crimson released in 1970. The title track is an edited version of a song from the band's second full-length album In The Wake Of Poseidon from that same year. The song is not a particular favourite of mine but one has to admit that it is probably one of the most suitable songs from In The Wake Of Poseidon to be released as a single. I prefer the longer album version anyway as this edit sounds truncated.

What is of special interest here is the b-side Groon. Or at least it is interesting in virtue of being a non-album b-side. However it is actually not very interesting in its own right as it is a jazzy, improvised piece that comes across as a throw- away. I don't particularly enjoy listening to it at all to be honest.

Both the edited version of Cat Food and Groon have now been made available as bonus tracks on the remastered CD version of In The Wake Of Poseidon so there is really very little intrinsic value in this single. For completionists only.

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 Earthbound by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 1972
2.45 | 306 ratings

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Earthbound
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars The ugly duck of the KC pond? In some ways the answer is yes. The recording quality is poor, but the performance is great.

Surprisingly, by the time this line-up went on tour in early 1972, it was already decided that they will disband afterwards. Yet, they played with remarkable enthusiasm and almost in a visionary way. What came out as "Earthbound" is a selection of tracks performed in the US in Feb/March 1972. Interestingly, Fripp chose to publish largely improvised tracks, contrary to that the band had also performed pieces from their first four studio albums at the same venues. (Much of the complete performances had been made available under the umbrella of the King Crimson Collectors Club.)

The style is a combination of heavy Rock and Jazz, but not to be confused with Jazz-Rock as a genre. Fripp plays furious guitar often venturing into Jazz territory. This is beautifully complemented by Mel Collins on saxes. Boz, who was very fond of Jazz, but himself a rather mediocre musician is also at this best here. His scat vocals and heavy bass are probably the best that I know of. Add Ian Wallace with his mega-heavy chops on the skins and it is an experience I wouldn't want to be without.

The music itself is 5 stars for my taste. Sadly, it was recorded onto a Lo-Fi cassette player, technology at an elementary stage back in 1972, more of a novelty then. In recent years a 24-bit remaster with somewhat improved sound quality was released on CD.

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 The ConstruKction of Light  by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.09 | 553 ratings

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The ConstruKction of Light
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars FraKctured

Until recently The ConstruKction of Light was the only King Crimson studio album that I had not yet heard, and until now the only one that I had not rated. Compared to its predecessor THRAK from 1995 and its successor The Power To Believe from 2003, this 2000 album is clearly a less fulfilling affair overall. Yet, a few of the tracks are similar in both quality and style to what can be found on those two albums. Personally, I am not very fond of the post-1970's King Crimson output but I can appreciate some of the material from this period (particularly the instrumental side since I never much liked Adrian Belew's vocal style or his lyrics for that matter). Another noteworthy things is that with this album Robert Fripp is the sole connection to the classic era of the band as Bill Bruford is no longer involved. However, in my view the relation to the spirit of classic King Crimson was tenuous already with Discipline in the early 80's.

The album opens with ProzaKc Blues which is as the title indicated a Blues based number. And as if that wasn't bad enough, it also has awful vocals! They redeem themselves with the next few tracks beginning with the title track which is very much in the style of earlier Belew-era songs. Into The Frying Pan is also a rather decent number and so is Frakctured which refers back to 1974's Fracture. The three Larks' Tongues in Aspic parts obviously also refer to an earlier work. In between these two backward-looking numbers we get The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum which pretty much summarizes the very worst aspects of Adrian Belew. His talk-like singing and the utterly incoherent lyrics is something I never understood the value of since I first was subjected to the abomination that is Elephant Talk on Discipline.

Overall, a rather mixed bag this one with some okey tracks and some misguided experiments. Perhaps not the band's worst album, but certainly not among the better ones.

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