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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.63 | 4186 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This was one of the very first prog albums on the face of the Earth, and no one can deny that. Without "In the Court of the Crimson King", we might not be where we are right now. This is equally (and possibly more) important than classic proto-prog albums such as Sgt. Pepper and Tommy. So why am I giving this four stars? Well, it just isn't absolutely essential. This is all great music that any prog music fan should own, and I highly recommend it to anybody. Essential? Not quite. Excellent music? Certainly.

The Music:

"21st Century Schizoid Man"- This is an almost hard rock song, and is a great way to open the album. This has excellent use of saxophones from Ian McDonald with Robert Fripp's excellent playing. This has an improvised jam in the middle that builds and progresses incredibly back into a reprise of the opening. This is an excellent way to open up the album.

"I Talk To the Wind"- This is a much mellower song in contrast to the previous heavier song. This isn't a particularly interesting song, and is actually kind of boring at times. It does, however, have a very catchy melody with some nice woodwinds, but isn't exactly a "standout" track.

"Epitaph"- Another softer (but more epic) song, with no really "aggressive" sections. I like this song much than the previous song that somewhat bored me, and this is one of the best songs off the album. This has an excellent chorus and great use of a Mellotron.

"Moonchild"- Well, this is the one reason this album is a rounded down to a four, not rounded up to a five. It has a nice (if not very memorable) melody at the beginning, but for the last 9 or 10 minutes it's just pure improvisation. It's very directionless, doesn't build at all, and I have never been a huge fan of free time, so by default I shouldn't like most of this song. I always stop this song at three minutes.

"In the Court of the Crimson King"- This is the masterpiece on the album. There are a few other great songs, but this is the climax of the album, and is a great closer. It, once again, has exceptionally good use of the Mellotron and I wouldn't argue that this song is anything short of a masterpiece.


I do highly recommend this album to any progressive rock fan, and I won't deny this is a very important album historically and that this is a classic prog album. It has a few flaws, but they can all be excused in the presence of some of the greatest progressive rock ever recorded.

4/5 stars

J-Man | 4/5 |


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