Tuesday, December 05, 2006

168. King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)

Track Listing

1. 21st Century Schizoid Man
2. I Talk To The Wind
3. Epitaph
4. Moonchild
5. In The Court Of The Crimson King


Again, together with my appreciation of AOR comes my big appreciation of Prog. I just love it, even though my girlfriend cannot take the wankery involved in it. This album is, however, one of the few cases where technical masturbation is not overwhelming. It is a great album.

The album starts and finishes with a bang, in two of the rockier tracks of 1969, and the middle is composed of quite fragile and delicate music, which is quite beautiful, even though Moonchild streches itself too long in its micro-sound jazz jam thing, though even that does create a certain feeling that goes well with the song.

Unlike most other Prog albums there is very little showing off for the sake of showing off, it all seems to work to higher or lower degrees. For the time, the mix of Rock, Jazz and Classical is also quite innovative and in this case very well done. All the tracks are really long, as would be expected of a Prog album, but none of them, except the previously mentioned Moonchild is overly long; they are the right size for what they want to do.

Definitely an essential Prog album, so buy it from Amazon UK or US.

Track Highlights

1. In The Court Of The Crimson King
2. 21st Century Schizoid Man
3. Epitaph
4. I Talk To The Wind

Final Grade



Recent Live video... pretty close to the album version, although only original member is Ian McDonald... but who gives a fuck?:

From Wikipedia:
From the beginning, King Crimson performances featured improvisations, in which the music can, and frequently does, go anywhere. Improvisations can be imbedded in composed pieces, like Moonchild or Thrak, but most Crimson performances over the years have included at least one stand-alone improvisation, where the band simply started playing and took the music wherever it went, sometimes including passages of improvised silence (as Bill Bruford's contribution to the improvised Trio). The earliest example of an unambiguously improvising King Crimson on record is the spacious, oft-criticised (as self indulgent) extended middle-section of Moonchild from the first album, in which the composed parts act as bookends to the improv.

Unlike most rock improvisation or jamming, these sessions are rarely in any sense blues-based. They vary so much in sound that King Crimson has been able to release several albums consisting entirely of improvised music. Occasionally, particular improvised pieces will be performed in different forms at different shows, becoming more and more refined and eventually appearing on official studio releases (the most recent example being Power to Believe III, which originally existed as the stage improv Deception of the Thrush, a piece played onstage for more than six years before appearing on record).

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