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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!
Q Magazine placed this album in the top-twenty of the fifty heaviest albums of all time, famously a huge inspiration on the likes of Kurt Cobain and apparently Bill Bruford's favourite Crimson album (certainly with the ones he was involved with) it was also seen as the final King Crimson album. Obviously history has shown this was not the case but in 1974 Robert Fripp...
Published on 7 Oct. 2010 by L. Hutchinson

versus
21 of 40 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Why am I humming "Dinosaur"?....
The quality and significance of the music presented here is undeniable, and the desirability of hearing it in the best sound current technology has to offer is obvious.

The idea to present the original mix, as well as a new stereo mix of these albums in high resolution audio, and, at last, a surround sound mix as well in high resolution is wonderful...
Published on 15 Oct. 2009 by P. D. Allen


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!, 7 Oct. 2010
By 
L. Hutchinson (Newcastle Upon Tyne, Britain) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Q Magazine placed this album in the top-twenty of the fifty heaviest albums of all time, famously a huge inspiration on the likes of Kurt Cobain and apparently Bill Bruford's favourite Crimson album (certainly with the ones he was involved with) it was also seen as the final King Crimson album. Obviously history has shown this was not the case but in 1974 Robert Fripp disbanding King Crimson certainly saddened many as the announcement had a feeling of permanency about it. However, if this had been the final Crimson release they would have gone out on a high.

The five piece line-up that started with "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" had dwindled down to the one remaining constant, lead guitarist/ringleader Robert Fripp alongside drummer Bill Bruford and vocalist/bassist John Wetton. Percussionist Jamie Muir left after "Larks' Tongues" in order to join a Buddhist monastery. David Cross had officially departed before the recording of "Red" but agreed to contribute to the sessions. With five tunes to commit to tape and an entire album to fill, the members of King Crimson inundated alumni, old friends, and session musicians with requirements of help. Several excellent musicians make guest appearances on Red, including Mel Collins and Ian McDonald (last seen in King Crimson's court on "Earthbound" and "In the Court of the Crimson King" respectively). Although the line-up is not consistent the surprising thing is the consistency of the album's feel and tone.

"Red" continues from whence "Starless and Bible Black" left off--with less is more, stripped back and lucid arrangements but this time packed with a great deal more punch. The album opens with the eponymous title-track which is a hard-hitting catchy rock instrumental with an aggressive guitar riff and features an interlude with a cello solo. A very impressive album opener that grabs you by the balls and forces you to listen: an aggressive, exciting and exhilarating listening experience.

Things calm down with the second track, musically. "Fallen Angel" juxtaposes quiet but driving rhythm with disturbing lyrics. The song is about a boy who gets his younger brother to join the gang he is in, and eventually watches him die in a fight. The verse is in 4/4 and the chorus in 6/8. Uncommonly for this period of Crimson, oboe and Alto saxophone can be heard. Interestingly "Fallen Angel" is the last King Crimson recording to date to feature Robert Fripp playing acoustic guitar.

"One More Red Nightmare" is a bloody great track. Not only the best on the album but one of my overall favourite Crimson tracks. The song is about a nightmare inspired by the fear of flying and tells the story of a man who falls asleep on a Greyhound bus. The character in the story dreams that he's riding in an airplane and awakens just before the plane hits the ground.

The songs overall riff is brilliant and has a good groove to it but as you can imagine from the title and the fact it is by King Crimson, the nightmare element (i.e. bloody scary) is in great musically talented abundance. The vocal sections are in 4/4 time, with instrumental sections in 15/8, 7/4, and 12/8. Furthermore, it is this track Ian McDonald makes his first appearance on the album.

"Providence" is experimental art jazz and highly listenable but is the albums only weak moment. For the albums tight punchy delivery the track does meander somewhat. Yet, it still retains the dark mood and tone as heard elsewhere and for that reason, it still coheres with the rest of "Red".

The final track, "Starless" returns to the albums glory and is a great way to close the album. The track is epic and in some-way harks back to "Epitaph" from "In the Court of King Crimson", mainly for its use of mellotron. It begins as a simple vocal-laden tune with the mellotron creeping in and Fripp's guitar leading the proceedings beatifically. So far, so calm--however, the track descends into a discordant jam of noise (of course, still listenable) and fades out on a despondent melancholy note.

"Red" is an absolutely brilliant album and it feels as though the moment the fantastic "In the Court of the Crimson King" was released , that absolutely brilliantly formed album, the band were reaching for this as their ultimate goal. Goal reached and all tasks carried out with great aplomb. Thankfully, we would not see the end of King Crimson but how would they be able to better this?
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!, 7 Oct. 2009
My favourite King Crimson album. It has everything that was ever great about early Crimson (and it seemed, both at the time and now) to perfectly sum up the band's first phase. Tuneful songs, dramatic music, jazz improvisations ... Red is a powerful, emotional, crash-bang-wallop of an album which has never been far from my turntable/cd player since it was first released in 1974. I know it inside out - every word, every crash on the cymbals, every power chord, every note of Sir Robert's guitar.

So I reckon this is my fourth copy of 'Red' - the previous being the 30th anniversary edition on CD. So why buy another? The extra tracks are interesting and the video content surprisingly good (both sound and picture). But it was the anticipation of playing the re-mastered DVD version I was really looking forward to and - WOW - I was not disappointed.

The sound is warm - it reminds me of the original vinyl rather than the two previous CD versions. Playing it LOUD produces no distortion and the instruments and John Wetton's vocals are all clear and balanced. But the surprise is the mix - I hear the vocals up front; I am much more aware of the saxes, oboes, violins, even (uncredited) cellos. Wetton's tuneful bass and young Mr Bruford crashing away in the foreground have never sounded so good.

In the end, I do not really have the words to describe just how good Red is - I laughed out loud the first time I listened to this new version and it has brought a tear to the eye of this 56 year old several times in the last couple of days. Warmly - no, crashingly - recommended
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Starless, 6 Oct. 2009
By 
Fletch-a-sketch "Fletch" (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
What have we got?
CD with the original album stereo mix plus 3 bonus tracks.
DVD with a multitude of extras:
1) 5.1 remix in MLP (DVDA) and DTS (for all DVD players including Blu Ray)
2) Stereo version in MLP (DVDA) and PCM (for all DVD players)
3) A French TV program ½ hour of Live King Crimson from 1974 with an excellent Video and sound transfer.
4) Bonus tracks in 5.1 and stereo.
5) A booklet with sleeve notes from the enigma that is Robert Fripp

The sound quality is excellent not suffering from the curse of modern production this is pretty dynamic. The music is both well played and is heavy-progressive-jazz (That is really not a bad thing) there is also a lightness of touch especially the standout track for me `Providence' (two versions on this disc original album and full length an extra two minutes) and the surround mix discrete dynamic and opens up the sound field using the rears in a sympathetic way, this really is demonstration stuff.

If only all reissues were competed with this much care and attention to detail. Music fans buy and you won't be disappointed, this really is good.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ferocious, 15 April 2002
This review is from: Red (Audio CD)
This is not a pleasent listen at first if you are not used to KC, and this is where I first started. It took a quite a few listens for me to get on with it, but it was worth it as further listens confirmed that it is an immaculate LP, and I don't think I'm anywhere near fully appreciating it yet. The first three are intense almost overbearing pieces which really demonstrate the tensiuon between the players, who were hardly talking. The title track is a Fripp composition, and that is quite evident when you hear it, and it is a very good reason to buy it. 'Fallen Angel' and '1 more Red Nightmare' are just as good. Its actually quite intimidating listening to such angry sounds coming out of players who know EXACTLY what they are doing; much moreso than on prevous KC LPs. 'Providence' is an improv from the Starless & Bible Black' days with David Cross. Contrary to another review this is not 'unneccessary' and given patience it erupts spectacularly. 'Starless' is a reworking of the title track from the previous LP, which was an improv. The transformation is such that it is only recognisable after careful and repeated listenings. Insufficient space to give it the write up it deserves, but suffice to say it is a fitting finale to KC, who died with a roar not a whimper, and when eventually ressurected the direction was radically different. The end of an era.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surround yourself in 40 years of Red, 26 Nov. 2011
By 
R. Thomson-smith (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Red, 30th Anniversary Edition (Audio CD)
I came across Red late in life buit despite that it has grown upon me unusually swiftly but I like it. Oh yes! Do I like it all? Oh no! Despite giving it many listens there is still a section that has me reaching for the remote control to skip and that is Providence. If it were not for this it would be as near as makes no difference, the perfect prog album.
However despite that one self indulgent moment I splashed out on the 40th anniversary set despite already owning the 30th anniversary version. Although I was not expecting huge sonic improvements it was the 5.1 surround mix that drove me to buy.
Was it a good decision?
Well, mostly. Notwithstanding the comments above about Providence, this album is IMHO one of the best of all time and any fiddling with it had better be good. The Steven Wilson surround generally works well and dramatically opens up the soundstage so this is good fiddling.

However...

Occasionally he gets a bit carried away especially 8m44s into Starless which IMHO is one of the best tracks and tries to jump the different guitars around between back and front which sounds like a good idea but doesn't work in practice. However the crescendo at the end is truly breathtaking. Justifies the purchase of the surround sound on its own.
The videos are interesting but not something that you would watch over again. Robert seems to be staring scarily into the camera at every shot he's in. Rather old fashioned and in any event can all be found on YouTube.
I never thought that Mr Wetton was the best vocalist in the world and this version allows you to sing along in true Karaoke style - to Fallen Angel at any rate.

So is it worth the extra money.... let me think now?
YES!
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Red hot, 22 July 2009
By 
Friendlycard (Norfolk, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Red, 30th Anniversary Edition (Audio CD)
For me, "Red" is the definitive King Crimson album, and one of the best rock albums of this or any other era.

The title - and the back-cover picture of a dial with the needle well into the red - denote danger, and the album is characterised by a dark, edgy feel.

By this time, KC had been slimmed-down to guitarist Robert Fripp who also played mellotron, John Wetton (later of Asia, and a superb solo artist) on bass and vocals, and Bill Bruford on percussion. All three individual performances are superlative throughout. Fripp's guitar and mellotron work is excellent, Wetton's vocals perfectly complement the instrumentals, and Bruford's performance thoroughout the album verges on the miraculous.

Also making significant contributions were David Cross (violin), Mell Collins (soprano sax), Ian MacDonald (alto sax), Robin Miller (oboe) and Marc Charig (cornet).

The album kicks off with the title track (6.16), a superb instrumental which sets the dark, edgy and classy tone of the album as a whole. "Fallen Angel" (5.58) finds vocalist Wetton in fine form, accompanied by some superb drumming from Bruford.

"One More Red Nightmare" (7.07) again sees the band in fine form. It starts off with a percussion-driven session which segues into an edgy vocal from Wetton. KC then move into an excellently performed instrumental section (listen out for the sax solos here).

"Providence" (8.06) is a remarkably original track, and it can take several listens to appreciate fully the artistry and complexity that the band weave into this performance.

And then comes King Crimson's tour-de-force - "Starless" (12.18), an epic which, for me, is the finest track that the band ever produced.

The track begins in lyrical mood, in which Wetton's excellent vocals are wonderfully complemented by a sax solo of marvellous tone and feel. After about four minutes, the track shifts into a second movement, an ascending, edgy instrumental section in which all of the instrumentals are on the top line (listen out for Bruford here). About nine minutes into the track, we get an explosive section in which amazing sax playing takes the lead. Finally, we're back into the lyrical theme, leading to the kind of crescendo of which King Crimson were the masters.

So there you have it - a wonderful, dark, magisterial rock album. Forty minutes tend to pass very quickly with this album.....
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the beginnings of metal....., 27 Sept. 2006
This review is from: Red, 30th Anniversary Edition (Audio CD)
This album, released in late 1974, was to be the last of the Fripp/Bruford/Wetton albums. It continues along the same lines as its predecessor Starless and Bible Black, but in a more concise manner. Bill Bruford is the star of the show here. His percussion is agressive and inventive, whilst retaining its trademark neatness and penchant for precision. Overall, it works well with Wetton's thunderously powerful bass work. At this point, KC must've had one of the most muscular, hard hitting rhythm sections in popular music. Fripp is known for his cerebral, fluid and detailed approach to guitar playing, so it's interesting to find his work here much less dominating and less complicated than usual. This isn't to say that it's uninteresting! He plays exactly the right parts for the songs and his tone is heavy without being fuzzy and too bassy. The weakest track on the album is Providence, a track recorded live during their Italian tour of that era. It takes repeated listenings to fully appreciate its value, yet it is somewhat overshadowed by the other tracks. The last track, Starless, is a fantastic song which builds up after the vocals stop into a tense, hectic instrumental in an odd time signature. Bruford is magnificent here and the woodwind and brass work very well. Fripp plays some quite emotional mellotron lines during the intro and outro. This album offered and aggrression and power quite unlike the other rock musicians of the day: It wasn't bluesy, it didn't have lots of guitar solos, it didn't feature a star frontman vocalist. It represents an intelligent, English approach to rock music. Kurt Cobain stated that Red was his favourite album. it's easy to see why.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "RED" Album!, 23 Nov. 2009
By 
Martin A Hogan "Marty From SF" (San Francisco/Oakland, CA.) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Remastered in DTS 5.1 Digital surround sound, this 1974 release is astounding. After purchasing, "In The Court of the Crimson King" in DTS 5.1, I had to get this and it's no disappointment. Unlike "In the Court..." this edition doesn't flaunt the surround sound as much, but still makes it sound like you are in the studio.

From the complex soundings of "Red" and the wild "Fallen Angel" to the more somber "Providence" the band can be clearly heard with no distortion whatsoever. Robert Fripp's guitar playing is simply amazing and every track is different in sound, feel and ambience. It's a real treat to hear different versions of "Red", "Fallen Angel" (love the instrumental songs) and "Providence". Also included is "A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos", which I did not realize was a live recording until the applause at the end!

While the CD is perfect for those who prefer stereo recordings (remastered to perfection), the DVD contains additional songs with videos. Sure, it was 1974 and there is not much in the way of psychodelia, but that's the point. It's the music that matters. The videos of "Lark's Tongue In Aspic: Part II" is nothing short of amazing and it makes me want for the album of that name. "Starless" is also a standout video cut, with the classical King Crimson song arrangement that is breathtaking. Sid Smith provides a nice biography of the band with Robert Fripp speaking about pop star status. This is more than progressive rock. This edition is a keeper.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King Crimsons darkest album and one of their best, 5 July 2004
By 
Dr. D. B. Sillars - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Red (Audio CD)
Red is the last of the trilogy of albums which the great King Crimson line-up of the mid 70's produced. After this Fripp disbanded the group, much to Bruford's chagrin as he thought there was life in the beast yet. On the evidence of this studio album he was right. This is KC at their darkest and most ferocious. The album sleeve reflects the music within. Black, with a VU meter going off the scale into the red, such is the power of the music. Fripps guitar never sounded so metallic as on this recording.
On the opening "Red" he shreds the riffs on this mighty instrumental. Bruford bangs metal sheets on "One More Red Nightmare". The highlight is the closing "Starless". A beautiful piece which harks back to the first album, in that Ian McDonald guests. It opens quietly with a plaintive mellotron intro before Fripps characteristic sustained guitar enters, playing the opening melody. Wetton's vocal section is yearning and powerful. This leads into a slowly building instrumental section where the band let rip. Special mention to Mel Collins on sax and Marc Charig on cornet here.
This album was influential on a young Kurt Cobain. Never had prog sounded so abrasive and fired up as this. There was something dark and mysterious going on, but Crimson was put on hold so where this all might have gone was never realised. Shame, though the subsequent live material that has been released from this period, clearly shows that no other band was making such a powerful statement as King Crimson. King Crimson have gone on to produce great works, but there was something special going on here that was barely just imagined. Maybe Fripp has been searching for that something all these years.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, mysterious, hidden, magical, 6 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Red (Audio CD)
Having bought "Larks Tongues In Aspic" and "In The Court Of The Crimson King" (both good but something missing) I was pointed to this recording following the spate of good reports that I had heard. Thankfully, these were not false.
This album is heavy, really heavy. Not that the guitars of over distorted, the use of violin, sax and claranet arrangments, not to mention Bill Bruford's cruel time signitures, makes this the behemouth of all prog rock.
The opening track is not overdrawn like other prog instamentals, it's so catchy that Kurt Cobain used echos of this throughout the Nevermind album.
The standout track of this recording is "Starless", a 12 minute prog masterpiece. This is one of the most complete songs of all time, from the slow beat melatron inroduction to the distoted bass and sax at the almost orgasmic end. One feels treated by finery when this song ends. Fantastic stuff.
So, if you are a rock fan experimenting with prog then this is for you. If you are an existing prog fan then this is for you. If you like music then this is for you. Just buy it, it is one of those records that you simply must have.
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