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King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.64 | 4754 ratings

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5 stars King Crimson - 'In the Court of the Crimson King' 5 stars

No, this wasn't the start of progressive rock. Whether I like to admit it or not, I consider maybe The Beatles, Franz Zappa or the Moody Blues to be a start for this genre to the best of my knowledge. It is undeniable though, that this is the album that put prog on the map. I don't give it extra stars for that reason; it put prog on the map because it was just a great album by itself. I find it to indeed be one of the best albums in the 60's.

At this time, there was no leader like there is now. This band was made up by Robert Fripp (guitar), Ian McDonald (winds, sax, keyboard, mellotron, everything etc.), Greg Lake (bass, vocals), Micheal Giles (drums, percussion) and Peter Sinfeld (lyrics). It is important to recognize every member that has ever been in King Crimson. The pretty much all are virtuosos at their instruments and each form something magical after their go-around with King Crimson. Basically, this band is just full of high- standards.

21st Century Schizoid Man is the opening number. Probably the most chaotic thing to hit the music scene at this time, with some really heavy, distorted guitar with the drums and saxophone blasting away also. Greg Lake's voice is also heavily distorted giving this track a pre-heavy metal feel. Quickly going into a time signature shift thereafter with some jazz licks, the track just goes into chaos. There is a spacey guitar solo in here as well. The track closes out with a sort of 'free-improv' section where everyone is doing their own thing at the same time instead of focusing on one musician. Very creative.

Not content to keep the same format, the next track starts out with a flute intro, very calm and relaxing. The track features Greg Lake finally getting some clean vocals done, which sounds great and some fantastic guitar interplay by Fripp.

Epitaph is one of the most depressing songs I have ever heard. This track uses the mellotron to its deepest appeal.

Moonchild is the most important track on the album. The guitar intro by Fripp is very unconventional to me even now, after hearing so many different things. It is all over the place, but remains so melodic and smooth. The track really feels like a song for about 3 minutes until there is just minimalism, short bursts of sound and very little improv for a good number of minutes. It really leaves it open to interpretation. I just feel a sense of curiosity and calming when it's done, it really speaks out to me as something different.

In the Court of the Crimson King closes out this brilliant album. Plenty of mellotron and chanted vocals giving this a really really old song appeal from the medieval times. The lyrics fit so well accordingly too. Can't really argue here, this song is a masterpiece of music.

This wonderful and diverse album deserves no less than five stars in my opinion. It put prog on the map, because it was a good album, it is already clear it wasn't the first.

ProgBagel | 5/5 |


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