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The McDonald & Giles Departure from King Crimson

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TODDLER View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: The McDonald & Giles Departure from King Crimson
    Posted: September 23 2011 at 10:23

Please read the review and post your opinions. I am interested in knowing what others think about the musical direction King Crimson would have taken if they stayed. Also for all of the fans who felt In the Wake of Poseidon was a mere repeat of In the Court of the Crimson King,...does this review put things into perspective for you? Would you personally feel there could have been a possibilty of liking Poseidon more if the material from McDonald & Giles had been incorporated into the album along with Fripp's contributions?

 


Edited by TODDLER - September 23 2011 at 10:34
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2011 at 16:57
What?  McDonald and Giles left King Crimson? When did this happen?  Well the band's doomed to failure now.

To be honest if you compare the album the two did after to KC, it's probably a good thing they did leave.  I have it but am generally unimpressed by it.  Not a bad album but not as good as the KC predecessor GG&F.


Edited by Slartibartfast - September 23 2011 at 17:00
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ghost_of_morphy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2011 at 17:09
Giles was a talent that KC sorely missed up until LTA.    A singer of Lake's calibre (or better) would definitely have contributed to KC,  McDonald should not have been missed.  Poseidon is a superior album to ITCOTCK, although ITCOTCK had a higher highpoint or two.
All personnel problems were rectified with LTA.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jean-marie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2011 at 18:20
We'll never know about that...Whatever Poseidon deserves a few more listenings
FAIS QUE TON REVE SOIT PLUS LONG QUE LA NUIT HAVE YOUR DREAM LASTING LONGER THAN THE NIGHT
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2011 at 19:13

It's a huge "What If" and a guessing game. It's the twisted nature of it which makes me wonder. They wrote some of the material while touring with the band in 69'. I wonder what Fripp would have added to it? He would have certainly changed things around a bit I'm sure. What then? Well,...maybe that would have been a plus? It's an unusual situation. A member of Prog Archives created a track list. He burned a disc of material from both releases adding tracks from McDonald and Giles and leaving off certain selective tracks from Posedion. Listening back to it one might get an idea how this particular version of Poseidon sounded. But you have to use your imagination because Fripp would have changed the way the music was presented on McDonald and Giles.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2011 at 20:16
Originally posted by jean-marie

We'll never know about that...Whatever Poseidon deserves a few more listenings

OK fine, but we're going to have to stick you in some air fire earth and water before we put you on the scales.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Mellotron Storm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2011 at 21:01
It's an interesting question and it's hard to say how different Poseidon would have been since Fripp always has the final say anyway. I'd be more interested in seeing where the "Islands" lineup would have gone if Boz,Wallace and Collins had stayed.Apparently it was them versus Fripp throughout the recording sessions and if the "them" had their way we would have had a fairly avant styled jazz maybe not too unlike Soft Machine's Third but with Fripp's muscle(guitar).Hard to complain though when Larks' Tongues In Aspic was the followup with Bruford on the kit.It's just i really like the style of Islands.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2011 at 22:39

The double album version

Side 1
1.Peace-A Beginning
2.Pictures Of A City
3.Flight of the Ibis  (instead of Cadence and Cascade) With sustaining Frippzoid guitar and Lake on vocal. McDonald and Giles on harmony vocals. Fripp adds a new acoustic guitar part in the same spirit as the one on Cirkus.
4.In The Wake Of Posedion

Side 2
5.Suite In C; including Turnham Green , Here I Am and others
The middle section of this has the same pattern as Schizoid man regarding the time signature and the style of improv on the woodwinds. Leave that section in, but find an alternative chord progression for the hokey parts that is only slightly different. McDonald and Lake sharing the lead vocal. Have Lake sing "Here I Am" His voice is much stronger for a song like that. Place some atmospheric guitar from Fripp into various sections of the piece.Keith Tippet is brought in to play piano. Steve Winwood still sits in as a guest on organ.
 
6.Groon....Suite In C ends abruptly and then Groon enters. No longer a single but a serious album track.

7.Tomorrow's People-The Children Of Today
Fripp plays a jazzy solo alternating with McDonald's flute and Keith Tippet on piano.Lake backs Giles on vocal and a few chords could be change for the sake of being less corny, but without losing the feel of the song.

8.Lucky Man....Lake persuades the band to record it using mellotron during the verses and chours. Subtle during the verse and poweful during the chours. At the end of the song the mellotron plays an improv type line which is similar to the effect on Battle of the Glass Tears. Instead of hearing Emerson's strange and unique solo at the closing...Fripp plays a battle hymn type distorted solo like what we hear at the closing of Battle of the Glass Tears.

Side 3
9.Birdman; involving The Inventor's Dream(Q.U.A.T.)
The Workshop, Wish-Bone, Ascension, Birdman Flies!, Wings In the Sunset, Birdman The Reflection
The intro to this is really beautiful. McDonald and Giles overdubbed harmonies in the same light as they did on "In the Court of the Crimson King" Fripp changes the piece by adding in his own written sections compromising the corny sections with a shade of dark....Lake sings "Slowly Up and Slowly Down" and the lead vocal at the closing of the piece. Ian McDonald sings lead vocal on the rest of it with Giles and Lake on harmonies.

Side 4
10.Peace-A Theme
11.Cat Food
12.The Devil's Triangle Parts I,2,&3
13.Peace-An End
 
                       
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jammun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 23 2011 at 23:19
Well it's interesting speculation.  I think Poseidon is a very good album, albeit sorta kinda just a remake of ITCOTKC.  If it had been the first album, we'd all have a different view of it.  Lizard is a different beast altogether and should not even enter into the discussion w/r/t McDonald and Giles.
 
I like that McDonald and Giles album, but it has not aged all that well.  Put it up against Poseidon or Lizard and it's immediately apparent who had the musical vision in KC, and I'm pretty sure it was not the drummer nor that guy who joined Foreigner.
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Lincoln County Road or Armageddon.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jean-marie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2011 at 02:44
Originally posted by Mellotron Storm

It's an interesting question and it's hard to say how different Poseidon would have been since Fripp always has the final say anyway. I'd be more interested in seeing where the "Islands" lineup would have gone if Boz,Wallace and Collins had stayed.Apparently it was them versus Fripp throughout the recording sessions and if the "them" had their way we would have had a fairly avant styled jazz maybe not too unlike Soft Machine's Third but with Fripp's muscle(guitar).Hard to complain though when Larks' Tongues In Aspic was the followup with Bruford on the kit.It's just i really like the style of Islands.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2011 at 03:09
I really like most of the McDonald & Giles album (though I think the Birdman piece is a tad long winded and outstays its welcome in places) Perhaps both Ian and Michael both belonged to the more 'pastoral hippy' side of early Crimson and baulked at the sort of direction the band were headed in thereafter? I remember an interview with the duo shortly after their departure where they stated that the atmosphere and mood generated at gigs around this time was they felt, bordering on malevolent, sinister and (gulp) satanic!!! (the subsequent Poseiden and Lizard certainly don't support this view apart from maybe the frankly wretched Devil's Triangle)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2011 at 08:39
Great opinions! Fantastic insight from Exitthe Lemming and jammun. and...BTW,...Jean-Marie ...I love Islands.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jean-marie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2011 at 08:47
Originally posted by TODDLER

Great opinions! Fantastic insight from Exitthe Lemming and jammun. and...BTW,...Jean-Marie ...I love Islands.
     So without knowing it, we have dreamt about the same island Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slartibartfast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2011 at 08:51
Another Thumbs Up for Islands and all the others of the inbetweens.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jean-marie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2011 at 09:06
Originally posted by Slartibartfast

Another Thumbs Up for Islands and all the others of the inbetweens.
In between makes me think of: Said the straight man to the the late man, where have you been, i've been here and i've been there and i've been in between,and i think of this topic, most of guys didn't understand on PA LOL
FAIS QUE TON REVE SOIT PLUS LONG QUE LA NUIT HAVE YOUR DREAM LASTING LONGER THAN THE NIGHT
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jammun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2011 at 21:53
ExittheLemming you take the words right out of my mouth.  When I say M&G has not aged all that well it's exactly that pastoral hippy trippy side of it to which I refer.  And it's not necessarily the music, which is pretty solid, 'cept that flute stuff which doesn't work very well for me.  And spare me some of those lyrics.  I looked long and far for the CD of M&G, pre-Amazon days, and paid a premium for it, so I am not dissing it randomly, not at all.  Good album, but put it on and listen start to finish, then listen to Poseidon or Lizard or Islands or anything but Earthbound, and as I've said it's obvious who's the musical visionary, even if he did wander in some prog desert for a year or two without a working band.  We all know what happened when he emerged from that desert, where against all odds he apparently consumed some lark's tongue in aspic.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GypsyJoker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2011 at 22:32
Crimson would've been a better band had McDonald and Giles both stayed; Mel Collins was the only "replacement" musician of their caliber until the LTIA lineup.  McDonald was Crimson's prime mover in the early days, and while his vision may not have been as "Crimson-esque" as RF's, the band would've been better off with McDonald in charge.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote prog4evr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 24 2011 at 23:03
Originally posted by GypsyJoker

Crimson would've been a better band had McDonald and Giles both stayed....
Here, here!  Well said, my good...um...Joker...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2011 at 00:02
Originally posted by prog4evr

Originally posted by GypsyJoker

Crimson would've been a better band had McDonald and Giles both stayed....
Here, here!  Well said, my good...um...Joker...


This got me thinking (not always a good thing) Crimson at the outset represented such an abundance of talent in one small space that in hindsight,  it's hardly surprising that the threat of trampling underfoot would have engendered a recruitment policy resembling an evacuation drill in those early years. I know it's a bit of a glib generalisation but most 'big' bands of any genre have one or two prodigiously talented individuals who lead the rest (yer solid dependable Bill Wyman/Charlie Watts types) willingly or otherwise, into hitherto uncharted territory and innovation. With Crimson however, it's not inconceivable that such were the untapped latent treasures on offer, they could have split into 2 or even 3 different bands that would have gone on to forge important developments in Prog in their own right. The McDonald and Giles school, had they endured, may have  ended up in hippy Gong, Khan territory. The more hard edged Schizoid Man school (i.e. Fripp's) mutated into the Larks incarnation while the remains of all that just might have stolen a march on avant/jazz rock fusion. Wild speculation on my part. (the best kind)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote jammun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 25 2011 at 01:47
Originally posted by ExittheLemming

Originally posted by prog4evr

Originally posted by GypsyJoker

Crimson would've been a better band had McDonald and Giles both stayed....
Here, here!  Well said, my good...um...Joker...


This got me thinking (not always a good thing) Crimson at the outset represented such an abundance of talent in one small space that in hindsight,  it's hardly surprising that the threat of trampling underfoot would have engendered a recruitment policy resembling an evacuation drill in those early years. I know it's a bit of a glib generalisation but most 'big' bands of any genre have one or two prodigiously talented individuals who lead the rest (yer solid dependable Bill Wyman/Charlie Watts types) willingly or otherwise, into hitherto uncharted territory and innovation. With Crimson however, it's not inconceivable that such were the untapped latent treasures on offer, they could have split into 2 or even 3 different bands that would have gone on to forge important developments in Prog in their own right. The McDonald and Giles school, had they endured, may have  ended up in hippy Gong, Khan territory. The more hard edged Schizoid Man school (i.e. Fripp's) mutated into the Larks incarnation while the remains of all that just might have stolen a march on avant/jazz rock fusion. Wild speculation on my part. (the best kind)
 
Yes it's all coulda woulda, and I'm not disagreeing, but Lizard, at least side one, blew all that up for me.  Crimson was and still is, for better or worse, Fripp.  We can and will argue here about Poseidon and Islands, and maybe even Lizard though I don't understand that (not to mention the later stuff); but once Bruford and Wetton were on board and we're into that era, KC were probably about as good, to this day, as it will ever get, musically...leaving Giles and McDonald and for that matter Lake and everyone else in the dust.  Wha? someone gonna listen to any Styx album instead of Red?  Really?  More contemporously speaking, Dream Theater?  Really?  Is that the best you can offer up?  Sorry, I don't mean to be an a****le, but there are three albums recorded by Fripp/Wetton/Bruford that just wax any comers (save some jazz guys) and they don't even have to try the competition is so lame.  They do not even have to try it's so good. 
 
Everyone reading this, disengage from your computer and go listen to The Night Watch. 
Can you tell me where we're headin'?
Lincoln County Road or Armageddon.
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