on 29 July 2005
This is a mezmerisingly powerful and dark album. There are similarities to the groups debut album, but "In The Wake Of Poseidon" also points towards the more discordant sounds that would appear on King Crimson's next few albums. "Pictures Of A City" is "21st Century Schizoid Man" part two but uses more extreme dynamics. "Cadence and Cascade" which features the vocals of Gordon Haskell (the remainder of the album features Greg Lake just before he jumped ship to form ELP) in a delicate jazzy piece. The mellotrons are whipped out in their full glory on the title track. "Cat Food" features mad piano playing courtesy of jazz genius Keith Tippett (check out his solo stuff - it is truly off the wall and amazing!). But for me its the instrumental suite that finishes off the album with its quotations from Holsts, "Mars, Bringer Of War" that shows the true character of this dark and complex prog rock classic. At one point it sounds like someone is digging in the garden!
on 3 July 2002
It's a lazy comparison to write-off 'Poseidon' as a pale imitation of its predecessor, 'In the Court of the Crimson King'. While the overall sound is similar, this should hardly be a surprise, Fripp and co. had created something so unique, they were unlikely to change it so soon. In addition some of the key elements of the first LP - Greg Lake's soaring, pure vocals, Fripp's edgy jazz/metal guitar work and the juxtaposition of mellifluous flute and blaring saxophone (although this time played by Mel Collins in place of the departed Ian MacDonald) all help to hallmark the band's remarkable originality.
However, new sounds and textures are liberally applied all over the songs, there's much more acoustic guitar and the use of Gordon Haskell's smoky, fragile singing voice on the beautiful 'Cadence and Cascade' works in brilliant contrast to Lake.
More than all of this, the LP is a more coherent collection of songs (with the possible exception of 'Devil's Triangle' which no longer sounds as revolutionary as it probably did 32 years ago). The strength in the songs comes from the writing rather than a reliance on the Mellotron to add a veneer of melodrama.
The only real regret is that Keith Tippet's staggering piano is limited to a single track 'Cat Food'. Surely this one song was the sound blueprint for Bowie's subsequent 'Diamond Dogs'. If Tippet had been allowed to embed his steely piano shards all over this album, it would without doubt have outgrown its more famous older sibling.
on 22 November 2011
Bob Fripp was a kind of musical Messiah sending out his disciples after each album to spread the Prog Gospel far and wide. Greg Lake would be the latest to leave but not until helping to produce a Crimson Classic. ITWOP has been unfairly knocked over the years for being too like its older brother 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' Whilst there are some format similarities 'In The Wake' stands on its own as a superb progression rather than a watered down copy.
Starting quietly before exploding into 'Pictures Of A City' Crimson push musical bounds to the outer limits with this fantastic fusion track. Listen to the quiet interlude whilst driving at night...in a city; brilliant. 'Cadence and Cascade' offers some acoustic respite before the temperature rises again with the title track. Here Lake's vocals match Michael Giles' drumming masterclass.
'Catfood' is probably the band's best known work-a postmodern masterpiece, funny and horrific at the same time. (I actually saw them perform it on Top Of The Pop's-footage long since lost)
This is an album to return to again and again. One critic of the time mused 'If Wagner was alive today he would probably be working with King Crimson' I bet he would have had plenty of input into this great album.
on 30 August 2000
When I bought this album on Andy's stall on Cambridge market in 1970 (?) I was disappointed because it seemed to be a less striking copy of the band's first album, which had so captivated me: so I've never played it much. Lately I had cause to listen again - and it was a real treat. Yes, the songs, the structure of the album ape 'In the Court..'. But so many highlights...Robert Fripp's beautiful guitar on 'Peace' (someone reassure me that there are 2 guitars on the middle part - I can't play it), Keith Tippet's wild, manic piano on 'Catfood', the confirmation on 'Epitaph' that the mellotron sounds simultaneously smoother and more menacing than any synthesiser string sound, Sinfield's amazing, sometimes funny, lyrics. I'm so pleased to have rediscovered the album that I've ordered a copy on CD to go with the vinyl one. If you like 'In the Court of the Crimson King' forget about it temporarily and listen to this!
Following "In The Court Of The Crimson King", "In The Wake Of Poseidon" was all the more remarkable, in that it contained half of the original group. Songwriter Pete Sinfield now had nearly total lyrical control. "Poseidon" is peppered with more poetic and beautifully arranged songs than its predecessor, but also contains the stark urgency of that original.
"Peace-A Beginning", a sweet vocal/acoustic song opens and then transcends into the wild jazz infused "Pictures Of A City" where there are bridges and changes in momentum in less than eight minutes than on "In The Court's..." songs. There is a theme within this album as songs seem to alternate between calm, whimsical melodies to the urgent, almost frantic pace of some of King Crimson's best songs. This is proven again with the very pretty "Cadence And Cascade" before diving into the mellotron weighted title track, with great lyrics and the pre ELP vocals of Greg Lake. The very short "Peace-A Theme" is quickly followed by one of King Crimson's most bizarre songs (if that is possible), "Cat Food" marked with a seemingly non-sensical piano that bounces around like; well a cat running back and forth across the keys. Amazingly, this song was released as a single with "Groon" as the B-Side. It was an odd choice indeed.
"The Devil's Triangle" (Parts 1, 2 and 3) are a mesmerizing, haunting, almost fearsome trio of songs that push the edge of sanity on a mellotron with a marching drum beat. Part 1 introduces the listener to the original mood before a bridge of a computer-like foghorn pierces the song. Part 2 continues the pace with a second bridge with the simple banging of a `stick on rock'. Then all hell breaks loose on Part 3 with the tempo increasing and the occasional jazz input for emphasis and variety. About a minute into the 3rd part the band begins a true concoction of a random free-form of musical mayhem, including a great short harmony vocal from "In The Court of The Crimson King". Its musical madness until "Peace-An End" brings the album full circle with a calming melody and lyrics that seems to bring sanity back until the final fade-out.
The 2010 mix of "Groon" is included here which is a rock/jazz influence that can only be King Crimson, with the dichotomy of making no sense and total sense at once. Two extras on the CD are an alternate version of "Peace: An End" and a Greg Lake vocal of "Cadence And Cascade".
The DVD contains the entire album remixed by Steven Wilson in 5.1 from the original studio master (note that "The Devil's Triangle" was painstakingly remixed from a stereo version). Along with the 5.1, there is the Lossless 2010 Stereo Mix, The original 1970 stereo mix (the 30th Anniversary remaster) and some great bonus tracks. The single version of "Cat Food" is here, along with three versions of "Cadence And Cascade", three versions of "Groon" (take 1, take 5 and take 15 for those who need all the details), the rehearsed version of "The Devil's Triangle" and an alternate mix of "Peace An End".
King Crimson actually matches if not tops itself with this 40th anniversary edition with more music and great liner notes again, by Sid Smith.
'In The Court of the Crimson King' has often (quite rightly) been described as one of the most important albums of the late 60's/early 70's Prog Rock genre. It was always, therefore, going to be difficult to follow this album and it became even more so when most of the band jumped ship just before or during its recording leaving guitarist Robert Fripp and lyricist Pete Sinfield as the only original members.
Despite the fact that a good deal of the material was not new (Pictures of a City and Mars had been part of the bands live set for months) this album does seem in parts as if they felt they had to get an album out quickly and the safest bet was to follow the highly successful pattern of the first album. 'Pictures of a City' is very similar in make up to '21st Century Schizoid Man' and then 'Cadence and Cacade' is the quiet following track (as 'I Talk to the Wind' is on the first album) The title track is very reminiscent of 'Epitaph' on the first album with great swathes of mellotron dominating the track. 'Cat Food' is the first different track on the album (and it certainly is - I shall long remember them performing this on TOTP!!) 'Mars' ends the album as it did their live set at the time.
If it sounds as if I am doing nothing but criticise the album it is not my intention as 36 years on I still play it regularly because, even if it is similar to the first album, it is still top quality music played extremely well and the title track is one of KC's top tracks from any of their many line ups.
Well worth a listen but if you are going to buy one early KC album then the first is probably a better bet
When naming the best King Crimson album or top ten prog albums, somehow its very rare that someone says 'In The Wake Of Poseidon.'
Maybe they should; this is a great album, its got everything going for it that 'In The Court...,' does.
Greg Lakes Voice is wonderful here: rich, commanding and mysterious. Gordon Haskell's vocals on the memorable 'Cadence and Cascade,' are pretty great as well.
Some of the songs here are epic; the energetic 'Pictures of a City,' and the grand and lush Title Track are some of Crimson's best work.
Even the weird and uncharacteristic 'Cat Food,' grows on you, especially the drumming, its very fun.
Overall, a fantastic album that deserves more recognition. Buy it Now!
on 21 November 2014
King Crimson, despite the numerous line-up changes throughout their career, have always produced challenging and highly interesting progressive rock, often with a jazzy twist, and this follow-up to their superb debut album is a worthy successor. Stylistically, this album follows the template of its predecessor; gentle acoustic songs such as the recurring 'Peace' motif and the lovely 'Cadence And Cascade' are interwoven with heavier dynamic set pieces such as 'Pictures Of A City' and 'In The Wake Of Poseidon'. 'The Devil's Triangle' is, quite simply, brilliant - a glorious, menacing study in evil lasting over 10 minutes, proving beyond any doubt that Robert Fripp is one of the most original writers of avant-garde music. For me, this is a gorgeous album which I would highly recommend to progressive rock fans both young and old.
on 17 June 2014
After the success of the superb 'In The Court Of The Crimson King', the curse of prog rock bands found it's way to Robert Fripp and co, with members of the band leaving and others joining etc. It hampered the band's natural development and instead, left Fripp with no alternative but to make an album that would repeat the formula of the debut. The end result is actually quite good.
To say that 'In The Wake Of Poseidon' is an exact replica of the first album however, is a bit off the mark. Fair enough 'Pictures Of a City' and the title track are slightly reminiscent of '21st Century Schizoid Man' and 'Epitaph' respectively from the debut, but there's more depth, drama and atmosphere on display.
'Cat Food' is a Beatles-seque piece of accessible silliness and the meandering epic 'The Devils' Triangle' must be one of the most terrifying pieces of music ever recorded, creating an atmosphere of pure evil at times. Listen to it with the lights off and you'll know what I mean. The three 'Peace' tracks are short, quiet acoustic guitar based pieces that break up the overall intensity of the album rather well. The production is also an improvement on the 'ITCOTCK'.
Admittedly, 'In The Wake Of Poseidon' doesn't quite reach the heights of the first album, but it's a more than worthy successor. It's just a shame that Greg Lake decided to leave King Crimson after it was recorded, as the next two albums continue a downward spiral of lineup changes and naff singers who didn't really make the grade.
Thankfully, Crimson would eventually re-discover their mojo in 1973.
Another great re-master from King Crimson, `In the Wake of Poseidon' was King Crimsons Second album and follows the template closely set by the first album, we know from the sleeve notes that Robert Fripp (Guitarist) does not like the album as much and in particular would have loved to excise a whole section of `The devils Triangle' however this has not happened as much because this track is missing the multi-track masters as anything else. The whole album has been re-mixed in 5,.1 with the devils triangle section enhanced for surround using the rather excellent Pentio software so this does not sound to bad in surround though not nearly as good as it could have done should the multi track tapes have been found.
The 40th anniversary edition then comes with a CD and DVD and plenty of extras, a surround mix two stereo mixes in Hi resolution original and 2010 Fripp approve Steven Wilson Mix. This then is the most complete re-release that is possible and probably one to make the Genesis fans a bit jealous that their albums were not reissued with such care and attention.
The contents then are as follows:
Original album - 2010 mix
Peace: An End - Alternate mix
Cadence & Cascade (Greg Lake guide vocal version)
MLP Lossless 5.1 Surround - 2010 mix
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround - 2010 mix:
MLP lossless/LPCM - 2010 stereo mix
11. Groon Remix
MLP Lossless Original 1970 stereo mix:
Plus Bonus Tracks:
1. Cat Food (single version)
2. Groon (single b-side)
3. Cadence & Cascade (unedited master)
4. Cadence & Cascade (Greg Lake guide vocal version)
5. Cadence & Cascade (instrumental take from Wessex Studios)
6. Groon - Take 1
7. Groon - Take 5
8. Groon - Take 15
9. The Devil's Triangle (rehearsal version from Wessex Studios)
10. Peace: An End (alternative mix)
It's a shame about the Devils triangle but this still gets a 10/10 in my book a great package and another top reissue.