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King Crimson - In the Wake of Poseidon CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.84 | 2291 ratings

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2 stars The King is dead...long live the king

Quite possibly the worst Crimson album ever released (so Earthbound and Islands sucked too, but at least they had some energy and balls) representing a particularly barren and fractious period in the band's history.

Lake and MacDonald appeared to jump ship in the middle of this and given the horrors on offer, probably chose wisely. Michael Giles was to follow soon thereafter and it seems clear from published records of this exodus that the Crims were not a happy bunch of campers.


'Pictures of a City' strays perilously close to 21st Century Schizoid Man in its developmental structure but is still a belter in the Crims catalogue and easily the best track here by a country mile or two. The music before the singing starts appears to be a conventional minor blues but they manage somehow to coax an angular jarring effect out of these traditional changes. I have always loved Michael Giles drumming and his unique style on their 1st two albums lends a rhythmic subtlety and anchor to the music.

'Cadence and Cascade' debuts the toffee coated larynx of Mr Gordon Haskell to beautiful effect as the song fits his soporific style perfectly. Interestingly, another version of this melody appears on the MacDonald and Giles album under a different name. The writs must have been flying....

'Catfood' is rather silly but utilises the infectious bass riff in the Beatles Come Together to great effect and, even though commercially orientated enough to be released as a single, manages to contain some truly freaky and avant garde piano from Tippett (the 'Top of the Pops' audience look bemused on the footage)

'In the Wake of Poseidon' ain't too shabby a song but its form and structure relegates it to being a pale imitation of Epitaph from the debut album. Wonderful guitar line from Fripp on the intro however.


'Peace' in its three guises is just plain drippy and wetter than a dolphin's wedding tackle. The melody is neither memorable in its unadorned or arranged settings and just seems like a waste of time all round. Lake's vocal is quite plaintive yes, but as for unforgettable hooks, you don't hang your coat on a spear do you?


'The Devil's Triangle' or more appropriately, 'Satan's Chocolate Fireplace' is an incoherent welter of half-baked and unfinished ideas ladled over a sludgey bolero beat lifted straight from Holst's 'Planets Suite' Lovers of the Mellotron (of which I am more than partial) would even turn their noses up at this concoction. It just never goes anywhere or has a transitional development to speak of and seems to last for days. Intense yes, but so is a jackhammer.

King Crimson regrouped after this debacle and went on to record some of the most innovative music in the 70's bar none, and for their fortitude alone, we should be thankful.

Unfortunately this record suffers from the inevitable comparisons with its ground breaking predecessor, and Robert and his ever changing stalwarts of the Red Guard are guilty of applying In the Court's template onto much weaker material which simply disintegrates under the strain.

ExittheLemming | 2/5 |


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