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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.63 | 4206 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This album and band certainly isn't the Adam and Eve of progressive rock, but it certainly is the moment the other animals in the Garden of Music realised a new, dominant species had been created.

Of course 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' is essential: by the criteria listed in Progarchives, this must rate five stars. Everyone interested in Progressive Rock must own it. Yet I must confess I don't much like it. I didn't like it when I first heard it thirty-five years ago, and I don't like it now. I can't stand Greg LAKE'S voice, which makes the album unlistenable. He reminds me of poor ROD EVANS and so many other late sixties vocalists, all GERRY MARSDEN knockoffs, refugees from the British Invasion. Have a listen to LAKE singing on 'Epitaph' and think 'Ferry Across The Mersey.' Well don't, actually, it'll ruin the album for you. LAKE'S voice is far too proper and polite for such a record as this, which is why, I presume, Fripp distorted it in '21st Century Schizoid Man'. 'I Talk To The Wind' is fluff. 'Epitaph' has more substance, 'Moonchild' is fun after LAKE stops singing, and the title track closes the album as powerfully as 'Schizoid Man' opened it.

I've bagged LAKE, so to be fair I must praise MCDONALD, SINFIELD, GILES and of course FRIPP. They are superb musicians (as is LAKE when he's not singing), and thanks to their virtuosity and FRIPP'S vision this record covers the gamut of progressive sensibilities. Symphonic, jazz-rock fusion, space rock, experimental, progressive metal and psychedelic rock are all here. FRIPP went on to influence virtually everyone in the progressive movement and many beyond it, and even people beyond music (Stephen King, for example).

So, the opening roar of progressive rock wasn't entirely convincing, but at least it got everyone's attention. As did the cover! See KING CRIMSON roar!

russellk | 4/5 |


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