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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.55 | 3233 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Review Nš 18

King Crimson was founded in 1969 by guitarist Robert Fripp and drummer Michael Giles. King Crimson is probably the most innovative and experimental group that ever existed. The band is considered the founder of the progressive rock music, with their debut studio album "In The Court Of The Crimson King", released in 1969. The group's sound incorporated various musical influences, during their long history, ranging from jazz, classical, experimental, psychedelic, heavy metal, new wave, hard rock, folk and electronic. In my humble opinion, beyond King Crimson be the most experimental and innovator group in the progressive rock scene, it's the most eclectic too. In one occasion, someone even said that sometimes, the group makes a kind of an intelligent heavy metal sound.

"Red" is their seventh studio album and was released in 1974. It was their last studio album in the 70's, before Fripp temporarily disbanded the group, in the same year. The album has been released later, in the same year, after their split and without the usual world live tour.

The line up on the album is Robert Fripp (guitar and mellotron), John Wetton (vocals and bass guitar) and Bill Bruford (drums and percussion). The previous fourth band's member David Cross (violin), left the group in 1974, reducing the group as a trio. Nevertheless, the trio recorded the album with the help of Cross, as a guest musician. The album had also the participation of five other guest artists, Ian McDonald (alto saxophone), Mel Collins (soprano saxophone), Mark Charing (cornet), Robin Miller (oboe) and Richard Palmer-James (lyrics). McDonald and Collins are two other ex-members of the group. This trio is formed by three of the most brilliant musicians and instrumentalists who ever existed. Fripp, beyond the founder and leader of King Crimson, is considered one of the best musicians and guitarists. He also has collaborated with many other artists, all over the time. Wetton was one of the founder members, the front man and the principal songwriter of Asia. He was also member or cooperated with so many others bands and soloists all over the time, such as, Family, Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry, Uriah Heep, UK, Steve Hackett and Wishbone Ash, beyond his solo musical career. Bruford, was one of the founder members of Yes, and has been a prominent figure in the progressive rock movement. He made the live tour of "Seconds Out", as the drummer of Genesis, and has also a solo career of great success. Bruford is also considered one of the greatest drummers of all time.

"Red" has five tracks. The first track "Red" written by Fripp is the title track song. It's an instrumental track, very powerful and heavy. It features heavy guitars, an incredible bass line and a unique drumming style. It shows clearly the band's ability to feature multiple time signatures in only one song. Despite being a song written in 1974, it sounds very futuristic, even now. The second track "Fallen Angel" written by Fripp, Wetton and Palmer- James is a very beautiful ballad with great vocal performance by Wetton. It has beautiful musical arrangements that include reverse delays and mellotron lines, which give to it a unique flavour. The third track "One More Red Nightmare" written by Fripp and Wetton is a very dynamic and energetic track with great guitar work. It has also an interesting sound, clapping hands. It features different time signatures with an unforgettable guitar riff, an impressive saxophone solo and the great ability of Wetton singing. The fourth track "Providence" written by Fripp, Wetton, Bruford and Palmer-James is other instrumental track, very experimental, and it's probably the most progressive song on the album. Here, we can appreciate the incredible communion between all band members. "Providence" was recorded live, and is the only live piece on the album. The fifth track "Starless" written by Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Cross and Palmer-James is the lengthiest track on the album and is, for me, a really masterpiece, and is one of my favourite King Crimson songs. It's a great dark song with the Wetton's melancholic voice. This is a truly classic song, and I'm really glad that it has returned live on the Wetton's solo set list, in its full version. "Starless" represents the perfect end to a perfect album.

Conclusion: "Red" is simply one of the best and most important albums in the history of the progressive rock music. "Red" is my second review of King Crimson's albums, after "In The Court Of The Crimson King". For me, these two magnificent albums are undoubtedly their best, and two of the best albums ever made. To Q magazine, "Red" is one of the fifty heaviest albums of all time. So, it's very common to consider "Red" as one of the most influential albums in the progressive metal style. So, because of that, King Crimson can be considered the pioneer of that type of music. If you don't have yet this pearl in your musical collection, buy it now and rapidly. Any King Crimson fan will want to add it into their musical collection. And after all, it has been reissued and remastered a few times, and all over the years.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

VianaProghead | 5/5 |


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