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King Crimson - Islands CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.82 | 1770 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Gordon Haskell has left the band so Boz Burrell is brought in to sing and play bass (which he just learned). This would be Peter Sinfeld's last album with the band. Ian Wallace is on drums and Mel Collins takes care of the flute and sax. Keith Tippet guests on piano and Mark Charig on cornet. Man this one surprised me but then again maybe it sets up the next album to some degree with how experimental it is. I have to give Fripp credit for trying different things and always pushing the envelope. He was a trail blazer no doubt about it.

"Formentera Lady" is experimental sounding with violin, piano and flute coming and going. Not really any sort of melody happening here. Lots of great ideas though. Drums come in around the 3 minute mark changing the sound somewhat. Some good sax late in the song as well as a great vocal melody from a lady named Paulina. "Sailor's Tale" is my favourite. Kind of jazzy sounding. The drums pound away crisply as Fripp plays along. Mellotron comes in as drums speed up creating a fuller sound. Just one glorious track. "The Letters" is reserved with vocals, until a heavy soundscape arrives briefly. There is a sax solo followed by some experimental sounds. Nasty stuff and i love it.

"Ladies Of The Road' features provocative lyrics, an explosive sax solo, and a BEATLES-like melody that comes after 2 minutes. More amazing sax and mellotron later as well. "Prelude-Song Of The Gulls" is an instrumental with some orchestration and beautiful aboe melodies. Gorgeous track. "Islands" is almost 12 minutes long. Vocals, piano, flute and a melancholic sax solo before mellotron comes in as the song seems to wake up a bit after 7 minutes.

You know Mel Collins seems to be the main focus on this record even more than he was on the "Lizard" record. That would change on the next one "Larks' Tongues In Aspic".

Edit(July 2011) : I've bumped this up to 4 stars. I read recently where this man who bought this when it came out still finds things he didn't hear earlier on.This after 40 years. Well I couldn't agree more. I've grown to love this album and rate it 4.5 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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