King Crimson United Kingdom

A493 Prog305
[Magnificent Musicianship67, Solidly Awesome Composition67, Beyond Great Production67, Beyond Great Lyrics61 and Excellent Songwriting68]
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Review by MoebiusStreet published
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Red 1974
S untagged

This is the greatest piece of music ever recorded.

This is not pretty music. My wife won't let me listen to it in the house, she says it's too distracting. But it's incredibly beautiful, in its way. It's awesome, it's terrifying, and that's where its beauty lies.

Tracks

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- Red 6:16
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- Providence 8:10
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S Starless 12:16
Review by OpenMind published
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Red 1974
S Prog Rock

In the Olympic Sound studios, on the months between July & August, 1974, a crazy unusual band have continued to break the volume limit, who was indentified with the color red. In the end, they came out with a record that was milestone in the prog music, and symboled the end of the hippy generation. Her name was King Crimson. The album called "Red".

King Crimson, one of the pioneers of progressive rock, have gone through a lot of changes. The trio of 72'-74' (Fripp-Guitar, Wetton-Bass, Bruford-Drums), was the most unified & innovative of them. Fripp just got better on his playing & compsing skills, Bill Bruford had bought a lot of exprience and got on a meteoric learning course & John Wetton had invented a bass sound that destroy everything near to very little pieces...The three during the recording was at their best and "Red" is definitely their victory.

Musically, "Red" is a sequel to "Larks Tongues In Aspic" & "Starless & Bible Black". The constant stress between freestyling and sticking to the plan, had produced a high & interesting level of interest. Fripp, as a composer & as a performer, had totally personified his vision as a musician - the complete combination between Hendrix & Bach. A unite of Rock, Modernism & Classic music.

The two jewels on the crown in my opinion are the opener & the finale: "Red" - The instrumental track, with a threatning violin (played by David Cross) & a "distortion contest" between Fripp & Wetton. "Starless" - One of the best prog tracks ever recorded, a true wonder of production & structure. Former "Crimsons" have collaborated like Mel Collins, Ian McDonald & Robin Miller that contributed the wind instruments, when Wetton's friend, Robert Palmer James, who wrote those tragic lyrics. "Starless" includes three parts that combine wonderfully all the moods of the "Crimsonist" atmosphere ever: Melancholic sadness, Jazzy Happiness, Improvisated wildness & dramatic nobelty.

After the album was released, Fripp has lost his mind and decided to retire from music, due to mental reasons that no one really understands till today. Wetton & Bruford was furious about his desicion, but managed to survive and to found their own bands. Fripp has retired from music also, and came back with the album "Discipline" in 1981, When he came back with the "Crimsons" several times later in the 80's & 90's.

King Crimson tried to re-create this enormous sound that came out in this album, unsuccessfully. Maybe it's because great albums cannot be re-created.

Tracks

1.
S Red 6:16
2.
3.
4.
S Providence 8:10
5.
S Starless 12:16
Review by OpenMind published
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S Prog Rock

A classic of early prog rock. The grinding guitars, angular rhythms and unrelenting energy of "21st Century Schizoid Man" still sound fresh today. Indeed they continued to play this live for decades afterwards. "Epitaph" and "The Court of the Crimson King" are also iconic pieces of symphonic rock. The notorious Mellotron synth-orchestra sound takes centre stage here, as it would on countless future prog anthems. Although the underlying music is simple enough, it was their control of dynamics and sound that prevented these pieces from being pure stodge. The drum-rolls and Mellotron swells of "Epitaph" are perfectly-timed. But symphonic rock isn't just about Mellotrons - this track also has a fantastic sinister funeral march section on low woodwinds, courtesy of Ian McDonald.

It's only marred by the rambling of "Moonchild". After starting with a little pastoral acoustic song, this descends into several minutes of aimless stoned-sounding guitar and tuned-percussion twiddles. Peter Sinfield's spaced-out hippy lyrics are also at their most twee and dated here. "I Talk To the Wind" is much more tasteful - a pretty ballad whose flute solo and pastoral colour foreshadowed a lot of early Genesis.

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S Epitaph 8:47
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A Moonchild 12:11
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Review by iQuizzle published
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Islands 1971
S Mellow Symph Classic Rock

I guess I'm going to be the outlier here, but this is quite easily one of my favorite albums by KC. The final two songs are chillingly beautiful and the whole album has so much character. It might seem somewhat minimalist compared to In the Court... and In the Wake..., but it does a fantastic job and striking emotional resonances for me.

Tracks

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S Islands 11:54
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