Customer Reviews


39 Reviews
5 star:
 (23)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (3)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chill out prog
Islands isn't exactly the people's favorite King Crimson album, with so many brilliant releases, it's inevitable that some get left behind. Another thing is that, after you've bought this you probably wont listen to this record too often.
However, when you are in the mood, this is a brilliant album, very spacey and slow paced with great flute and sax that really...
Published on 17 Nov 2007 by Gentlegiantprog

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One for completists
This is by no means a bad album, but given the sheer quality of a great deal of the KC back catalogue (ITCOTCK, LTIA, Red to name but three) this record seems out of place. Boz Burrell's voice is rather weak: A Lake or a Wetton (or a Belew come to that) he clearly isn't. This is clearly a transitional record - between the Lake/McDonald et al line up and the Wetton/Bruford...
Published on 1 Jun 2001 by A. D. R. MARKS


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chill out prog, 17 Nov 2007
By 
Gentlegiantprog "Kingcrimsonprog" (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Islands (30th Anniversary Edition) (Audio CD)
Islands isn't exactly the people's favorite King Crimson album, with so many brilliant releases, it's inevitable that some get left behind. Another thing is that, after you've bought this you probably wont listen to this record too often.
However, when you are in the mood, this is a brilliant album, very spacey and slow paced with great flute and sax that really floats along beautifully.
On the heavier tracks, like 'Ladies of the Road,' there is a touch of the Schizoid Man/Pictures of a City style crimson fans have come to expect, however this album is mostly a kind of sprawling open minded cosmic jam.
The difference between the loose sprawling nature of Islands and the loose sprawling jams they play at other times, is that on Islands, they are great and beautiful, not just a mess of noise.
The two best racks are, in my opinion 'Sailors Tale,' (a brilliant building instrumental with a jazzy kick to it) and the title track 'Islands,' which is just plain wonderful.
Islands is a great record, that you deffinatly should buy, even if you don't listen to it every day.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Islands, 25 Nov 2004
By 
R J. Masters (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Islands (30th Anniversary Edition) (Audio CD)
Used to own this on vinyl but have recently re-puchased in CD format. It is truly timeless. The title track is immense and amongst my favourits of all time. The combination of the melotron and the vocals with mel collins sax are incredible. Sort of rock meets extemperised jazz! I think this album is KC's high point. A must for any serious collector of 70's prog rock!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THAT solo!, 7 Nov 2010
Islands is the last of the opening four quite magical albums from King Crimson (after In the Court of the Crimson King, In the Wake of Poseidon, and Lizard). Produced in 1971, it features in the Sailor's Tale a wonderful jangling guitar solo that Robert Fripp recorded late at night in one take. The moment his guitar meets and surfs a tidal wave of mellotrons still - after 40 years listening - makes my hair stand on end. (David Bowie liked it: listen to Fripp's guitar on 'Fashion') The music on Islands has for me the loosest, most relaxed feel of any KC album. A last nod to Hippy culture before the band entered the darker, tighter phase that led 3 years later to the band's 1974 masterpiece: 'Red'. This album Islands is launched by Formentera Lady, a largely improvised piece with rippling flute solos from Mel Collins, who later plays gut-churning sax on the fantastic Ladies of the Road. The title track Islands is a beautiful, gently lulling piece, a kind of Bridge over Troubled Water without the mush. Keith Tippett's dreamy piano is a million miles from the jagged runs and spiky chords he provided for Catfood on the Poseidon album, and Boz Burrell sings like an enraptured poet beside a shining sea...The occasional blemish has been left unedited which adds to the charm and keeps a live feel. The overall standard of musicianship is, as you'd expect with KC, fantastic. No wonder other prog rock bands held them in awe. While the Crimsos were recording in Picadilly, by the way, Pink Floyd were across Regent's Park at Abbey Road creating the equally wonderful Echoes. I gather (from Greig Lake on Youtube) that the original line-up has stayed good friends. What a reunion that would be! (For a more detailed review of the CD contents see a great review here by "Fletch"). This is the KC album I go back to most.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another KC original, 7 Nov 2006
By 
N. Mason (Taunton, Somerset United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Islands (30th Anniversary Edition) (Audio CD)
It is difficult to know if this or the previous album (Lizard) is the true end of the first incarnation of KC (first incarnation as far as style of music is concerned - not personnel). The soloists on this album (Fripp and Collins) are the same as the previous album but vocals and bass were now handled by Boz Burrell and drums by Ian Wallace.

The music is certainly different and if this is the end of the first incarnation it is a hell of a way to end. Do not expect easy listening but have no doubt that frequent listening, preferably on your own with no distractions, will be very rewarding.

The first track (Formentera Lady) builds brilliantly from quiet beginnings before is segues into 'Sailors Tale' - a truly innovative and top quality instrumental. Two vocal tracks 'Ladies of the Road' and 'The Letter' have original and interesting lyrics which are a million miles away from '21st Century Schizoid Man' and some superb instrumentation to take them home. 'Song of the Gulls' and the tital track are orchestral based and benefit from a number of guest musicians - just sit back and enjoy, fantastic.

Don't hesistate if you like truly original music played by top quality musicians
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sailor's Tale, 9 Sep 2010
By 
Fletch-a-sketch "Fletch" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Another great re-master from King Crimson, `Islands' was King Crimsons forth album and was more of a transition album between King Crimson of `Court' and `Poseidon' and the later Seventies King Crimson of `Larks' and `Lizard' , The whole album has been re-mixed in 5.1 to stunning effect a great treat is `Formentera Lady' appearing on this release in many forms.
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 approved Steven Wilson Mix. This release marks the release of most if not all of the studio work of any worth for this period.
The contents then are as follows:
CD:

Original album 2010 mix:
With Bonus tracks:
Islands (studio run through with oboe prominent)
Formentera Lady (original recording sessions - take 2)
Sailor's Tale (original recording sessions - alternate mix/edit)
A Peacemaking Stint Unrolls (previously unreleased)
The Letters (rehearsal/outtake)
Ladies of the Road (Robert Fripp & David Singleton remix)

DVD:

MLP Lossless 5.1 Surround / DTS 5.1 Digital Surround:
MLP stereo / LPCM stereo - Original album 2010 stereo mix:
MLP stereo Original album 1971 mix,

Plus Bonus material
Islands: Alternative album:
1. Formentera Lady - Original recording sessions - take 2
2. Sailor's Tale - Original recording sessions - alternate mix/edit
3. The Letters - Rehearsal/outtake
4. Ladies of the Road - Rough mix
5. A Peacemaking Stint Unrolls - Previously unreleased
6. Islands - Studio run through with oboe prominent

Routes to Islands:

1. Pictures of a City - Early rehearsal by Islands lineup
2. Sailor's Tale - Early rehearsal by Islands lineup
3. Islands (fragment) - Robert Fripp reference cassette - mellotron on vibes setting
4. Formentera Lady - Rough mix from album recording sessions
5. Sailor's Tale - Rough mix from album recording sessions
6. Drop In - Early rehearsal by Islands lineup
7. The Letters - Live at Plymouth, mastered by David Singleton
8. Sailor's Tale - Live at the Zoom Club, mastered by David Singleton

Islands: Additional tracks: Assorted Ladies:

1. Ladies of the Road - Robert Fripp & David Singleton remix
2. Ladies of the Road - Original recording sessions - take 5
3. Formentera Lady - Original recording sessions - take 1
4. Formentera Lady - Original recording sessions - take 3
5. Formentera Lady - Original recording sessions - take 4

As you can see from the extras on the DVD this is a collectors dream of a release from a prog rock band that are now discovering a new way to play on each album driven mainly by line up changes. A worthy re-issue and a great album.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Somebody's got it wrong, 23 Jun 2002
This review is from: Islands (Audio CD)
I bought `Islands' on vinyl back in the dark ages when it came out and it remains my favourite King Crimson record, and they made a few good ones round then. Relistening to some after 15 years, what is impressive is the sheer variety and ambition. I stopped listening somewhere after Red or Starless maybe because they were becoming a bit guitar-bass-drunms dominated without the lovely otherworldiness of the flutes, reeds, mellotrons - which was THE attraction of progressive rock for me. King Crimson were in a different league than all other mellotron bands and Islands is the epitome of this sound - a beautiful haunting piece from start to finish, but barely classifiable as rock. It has the best mellotron track ever, A Sailor's Tale, and other aethereal materials - Islands, SOng of the Gulls, Formentera Lady. OK it gets a little modramatic in places but it's a beautiful rock symphony - though this termshas been greatly misused since. I like most of the other KC albums of the period (though Wake of Poseidon is just ITCOTCK duplicated in my view)- even a slight penchant for Earthbound though hardly the saem band or planet than Islands. But Islands is my choice to take to the desert island, Sue, where late 20th century rock tied up most loose strands to create an impresive new genre, derivatve - classical, jazz, folk - but fairly unique. Pity Robert Fripp seems such a prat, he did some magnificent compositions.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vastly under-rated, 18 Mar 2009
By 
Mr. P. W. Sanders "peterwsanders" (London England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Islands (30th Anniversary Edition) (Audio CD)
Many people dislike this album, but it's a flawed masterpiece. Taken as a whole, it is musical, gutsy, melodic, surprising all at the same time, and even Pete Sinfield's words are bearable.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars their best album, 30 Jan 2009
This review is from: Islands (30th Anniversary Edition) (Audio CD)
sad that islands always gets a bit of a beating in most overviews of the bands output. yup its quiet in parts and the lyrics a bit frilly. what really works on islands though for me is the way its layered together and produced. there is a real restraint throughout.

its a case of the 'spaces' in the music suggesting a totally understated groove, the only dip in the whole album is 'prelude: song of the gulls' , id have preferred an extended monster version of 'a sailors tale' personally - but thats a minor niggle.

headphones really bring out this album and there are many exhilirating moments, the sax explosion at the start of 'the letters' is just one... its probably a solitary album although not dark.

musicially, it always seems to be a 70's cousin of the equally powerful last two talk talk albums...

just returned to this album this week, its in a very small collection of albums that still holds interest after almost 20 years (yikes) of discovering it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it or leave it, 13 Jun 2008
By 
This review is from: Islands (30th Anniversary Edition) (Audio CD)
I first heard this album when I was in high school during the end of the '70s, and found it pleasant and intriguing but seldom placed it on my turntable. Then I grew accustomed to it along the years, and about a decade later all along the '80s it became my ONLY KC album constantly played. Nowdays about 20 years later, I still play it on a regular basis and enjoy all the "nuances" it can develop, all the reviews stating it as a fantastic album or as an average quality for KC (which anyway means stellar for other bands) or even as a poor and weak album, tell a part of the story, they are all true simultaneously, depending on your mood and inner state of mind. So this is the only recomendation I can make, this is no easy listening stuff, it is an album which is made to survive time and fashions, in a way it is a classic. If you want music made to endure get it, otherwise leave it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Unlikely Cohesion Of Songs, 4 Dec 2010
By 
Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (San Francisco Bay Area) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
Released after "Lizard", founder Robert Fripp was said to have been exhausted and unsure whether he could carry on with another album. Indeed, "Islands" is one of the more fragmented, yet diverse albums to that date. The original six songs seem to be contradictory in their inclusion. From the start of "Formentera Lady", a laid back bluesy number to the final, beyond mellow extended title track. "Formentera Lady" seamlessly melds into "Sailor's Tale" through a simple edit of cymbals. On the album, you can hear the cymbal edit from one channel to both, but editor master Steven Wilson has crafted yet another masterpiece with this album. "Sailor's Tale" begins with an amazing guitar piece by Fripp which sounds as if the guitar is completely out of tune, sequencing into one of the fastest and manic instrumentals yet. The beat with the mellotron is urgently blasted forth with a wind down of Fripp's unique frazzled guitar sound.

"The Letters" is an odd song for King Crimson (is that possible?), with evil lyrics by Pete Sinfield and Fripp, which has a wild bridge blast of guitar and jazzy brass ending with a bold vocal. But it is "Ladies Of The Road" that sparks intense lyrics of misogyny. Often hilarious in its blatant rhyme, the song still bounces along with tongue in cheek sarcasm. "All of you that the girls of the road, are like apples we stole in our youth" and "Stone-headed Frisco spacer, ate all the meat I gave her, said would I like to taste hers, and even craved the flavour". The lyrics are just a side track for the bands free-style. The band has fun alternating between the vocals and the sultry, salacious jazz sections. It's actually a series of bridges with various moods and inventive solos.

What follows is one of King Crimson's most perplexing songs I can imagine. "Prelude: Song Of The Gulls" would seem out of place, if it were not King Crimson. This beautifully created instrumental chamber piece is actually a highlight and emphasizes the near schizophrenic collection of songs on the album. But it's the ten-minute title track that brings the album to a beautiful close. Slowly building from a calm, patient beginning, the song glides along with an amazing cornet solo. Pete Sinfield's lyrics are some of his best on this song. It's a fitting ending to an inventive, if uneven album.

Sid Smith sleeve notes reveal a great deal about the mood of the group at this time. There are also extra tracks and alternate versions. The CD presents a complete stereo remix by Steven Wilson & Robert Fripp alongside a group of additional tracks representing an almost complete alternate album of studio takes, run-throughs and mixes. The DVD-A presents a complete 5.1 surround sound mix by Steven Wilson, in which he sometimes isolates instruments to one channel bringing out the clarity and resonance. Also here is a hi-res stereo version of the 2010 mix, a hi-res stereo version of the original album mix taken from the 30th anniversary master source and almost 90 minutes of additional material. Most of this material has never been previously released, including many studio takes mixed from the original recording sessions specifically for this release. Once again, Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp have reproduced a remarkable series of sessions and brought "Islands" back to life.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 4 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Islands (30th Anniversary Edition)
Islands (30th Anniversary Edition) by King Crimson (Audio CD - 2009)
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews