Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King Crimson cuts the first great progressive rock album, 30 May 2003
This review is from: In The Court Of The Crimson King (Audio CD)
Time and time again we are confronted with artists who put out a great debut album and never climb that high ever again. When it comes to talking about the paradigmatic example of such a phenomenon my choice would be King Crimson and their debut album "In the Court of the Crimson King." Released in 1969 with its distinctive cover art, this was the album that set the standard for progressive/psychedelic rock for the next decade. Except for the title track the songs are ensemble efforts by guitarist Robert Fripp, drummer Michael Giles, bass player and lead vocalist Greg Lake, keyboard player Ian McDonald, and lyricist Peter Sinfield.
The best track on the album is the first, "21st Century Schizoid Man," with its big main riff and jazz-rock middle section ("Mirrors"). The music is somewhat distorted at times, but that does not stop the group's musical virtuosity from coming through. As you would expect from the title, the song paints a picture of dystopian future that embodies the worst tendencies of the late 1960s, and remains the standard by which other progressive rock epics are judged. In terms of political sensibilities nothing comes close. The song also stands out because the following track, "I Talk to the Wind," is more folk-rock and constitutes a sort of cleansing of the palate before proceeding to the rest of the album (it is actually a song members of the group had played on earlier efforts).
The title track is not the best King Crimson song, but it is probably their best known one (and the one song that was written just by McDonald and Sinfeld). The conceit is of a medieval court afflicted by a black queen, fire witch, and other equally dark images heading for total destruction. It is a daring finality, teetering on the brink of the sort of bombastic pomposity that often afflicted progressive rock (Emerson, Lake & Palmer's "Tarkus Suite," with its synthesizer excess is the obviously example that comes to my mind). Musically on this album as a whole it is McDonald who makes the biggest mark on the album, playing mellotron and assorted other instruments like saxophones, although Fripp's guitar is also prominent. When I was growing up the singing voice I most wanted to have was Greg Lake's, and this is the album when he sounds the best. The result is that "In the Court of the Crimson King" is one of the albums that has to be considered when you are making a list of top albums from the Sixites or in the history of progressive rock music. It does not matter that King Crimson had a revolving door lineup and that it would take them years to come up with anything close to this classic album.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota

Top Reviewer Ranking: 8,949