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King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.63 | 4185 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars In some respects IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING has dated badly, as Fripp himself points out in his extensive liner notes to the FRAME BY FRAME box set. The album's apocalyptic themes seem overblown - a problem which is exacerbated by the sheer awfulness of the lyrics, and by Greg Lake's portentous delivery. "The wall on which the prophets wrote / is cracking at the seams" etc. etc. - when I was sixteen, I thought such words sounded deep, but now they make me squirm with embarrassment. I also feel the title track goes on for too long. Its 'psychedelic nursery' theme hasn't worn well (even if Steve Hackett would build his whole career on similar subjects), and the song was ruined once and for all, to my ears, when a friend pointed out the "aah- aah-aah-aah-aah" refrain sounded exactly like the melodramatic ballads which once used to dominate the Eurovision Song Contest.

However, if you consider this album (and especially its original A-side) from a purely sonic point of view, its importance cannot be overestimated. Fripp's blistering lead guitar and the entire band's "Rite of Spring"-type riffing on "Schizoid man"; the delicate interplay between flute, keyboard and guitar on "I Talk to the Wind" (superbly accompanied on drums); and the grand, mellotron- drenched crescendos of "Epitaph": all these have been imitated by so many other bands (starting with classics like Yes, Genesis and PFM) that 'Crimso' must be said to have spawned the very genre of progressive rock - or at least a great deal of it.

fuxi | 4/5 |


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