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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.63 | 4188 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars I have to say, considering this album's legacy, ie: practically inventing prog rock all on its own, I have always found it quite disappointing. A friend bought it years ago, until which time I had only heard snippets of it. I borrowed it from my friend and taped it.I have to say I am glad I never purchased the cd. Nor have I any intention of doing! Of course, it is an old album, but it really sounds dated, compared to some contemporary releases. Floyd's first two albums, and the debut album from Yes, all come across as far fresher, even if they are more pyschedelic than this. I think what put me off in the first place is the opener, "21st Century Schizoid Man". It stands out like a sore thumb compared to the mellowness that dominates the rest of the album. Greg Lake has always had one of those voices that irritate me. He has ruined more than one ELP song, as he just can't cut the mustard as a singer, not IMO anyway. His voice is too choral. "21st" is a mismatch of sounds that could have been the title song for some awful TV programme for children, or teenagers, aptly titled "Here comes 21st Century Schizoid Man!" Captain Scarlet comes to mind here. Anyway, moving on, the second track is far better. "I Talk To The Wind" has melody, nice flute work, and interesting guitar. We can see here why this album influenced the early Genesis line up. Also, the presence of the mellotron all over the album shows why Tony Banks in particular would enjoy this. After this we have "Epitaph", split into two sections. This isn't too bad either, and I, at this point, upon first hearing this, began to settle down and enjoy the thing. Unfortunately, the next piece, "Moonchild", again split into two parts, lets the whole thing down again. There is some very quiet, and quite pointless guitar doodling. I am all for improvisation, but this takes the biscuit. Then comes the finale, "The Court Of The Crimson King". This is somewhat better, although to me, it sounds very influenced by The Moody Blues. (Not that I dislike that group at all.) Anyway, the album is thoroughly harmless, quite innovative, boring and repetitive in parts, and very, very dated sounding. As an album that influenced a whole genre, and turned other groups into progressive giants, I would give it 4 stars. But as an album that I could listen to again and again, I would only give it 2 stars. Therefore, I take the difference and give it 3 stars. Fripp is undoubtedly talented though, and lucky to be married to a girl I used to like a lot, the amazing Toyah! For those who have never heard this, yes, it is a seminal album, but if you can, borrow it off a friend first, or try to buy it at a bargain price.
chessman | 3/5 |


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