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King Crimson - Red CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.55 | 3248 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars I have heard a lot of anticipation about this album but didn't know what to expect after i finally got it. Obviously the line-up has changed quite a bit, with only Robert Fripp surviving from the original line up of the debut album which completely blew me away. It is a shame to say goodbye to David Cross but i think King Crimson proved they could manage brilliantly as a three piece.

Bill Bruford gives an immense performance on the drums throughout the whole album, whether its him whacking away on the powerful intro track or his quiter drumming to fit in with the mellower sections of the album. It really looks like he has settled in well after leaving YES, and he managed to record on masterpiece albums with 2 of the biggest prog bands ever.

This album opens with the title track, "Red". This is a powerful and menacing instrumental. I cant get over how lush their style of playing and their distortion is. I think this sound has had a strong influence on bands to follow. I also saw a strong grunge sound with Robert Fripps guitar on this album, so i am guessing they inspired bands like Pixies and Pearl Jam. This opening instrumental really grabs the attention of the listener. I guess it does show some similarities to the opening track on their debut, "21st Century Schizoid Man" as it uses distortion to its advantage. This is one of the main influences to set King Crimson aside from other prog bands of the time. The use of saxophones and violins also made them stand out and they used these features to their maximum ability on this album.

"Fallen Angel" is an excellent piece. The vocals just blew me away. I love the way the mellow opening with the lush acoustic picking (it sounds like it anway) comes in after the opening verse (around 50 secs i think). This progresses beautifully into that lush distortion and the mixture of this, the vocals and sax absolutely blows me away. This is one of the albums most incredible music and is probably my favourite track on the album.

"One More Red Nightmare" is a close contender and another excellent piece.Again there is a perfect blend of the three main members and the additional saxaphones, oboes and so forth. This song tries to expand that sound furthur and it works wonderfully. One of the most emotional parts on this song, and the whole album is when the distortion comes in at 2:05ish and is followed by a lovely drum rumble by Bill.

"Providence is one of the most progressive pieces on the album and rather experimental. It kind of reminds me of the last 9 odd minutes of "moonchild" which was track 4 on "In the Court of the Crimson King". The distorted guitar is less apparent hear but there are some interesting experimental effects used and the additional musicians really get to show off their stuff here. It is a beautiful piece and very good to listen to.

"Starless" is a dark, expansive piece that closes the album, i found this piece to be excellently arranged. I am not sure if it is a continuation of the last album or anything but i love the way the lyrics link to their previous effort, "Starless and Bible Black". This piece is the most progressive on the album, which makes it rather captivating. It kind of sums up by combining all the different sounds and moods on the album and is a real wonder.

Red offers immense musician work, vocals, lyrics, production and arrangement. This album sounds a lot more stripped down and simplistically arranged than their monster debut but it has just as much depth, which makes it so special. Red is a defining album of King Crimson as well as progressive rock and an essential purchase for any rock collection as there is a little something for everyone on this album.

frenchie | 5/5 |


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