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In the Court of King Crimson Paperback – 12 Nov 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 346 pages
  • Publisher: Helter Skelter Publishing; 01 edition (12 Nov. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900924269
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900924269
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 370,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Synopsis

Illustrated throughout with exclusive photographs and rare memorabilia, this biography of the prog-rock band draws on interviews with all the major players associated with the band as well as personal archives and much previously unpublished material.


Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I felt compelled to write a review that might underline the fact that this is a book accessible to all, not just hard core fans of 'The Crim' and dyed-in-the-wool prog rockers!
I'm not your typical King Crimson fan, but I believe it is rare to find a rock biography with such a stunningly ebullient and charismatic narrative style. Sid Smith carries the reader along, page after page, handling every twist and turn of the group's progress with care, decency, and not a little wit. At some point during my reading of 'In the Court Of King Crimson', I became quite a fan of the group, no doubt helped by the previously unpublished photographs and the in-depth interviews with even the most obscure band members!
To sum up: I would recommend In the Court Of King Crimson for anyone who has even the vaguest interest in 'The Crim'. It's a smashing read, and has had the knock on effect of boosting their record sales in Kent by two albums.
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Format: Paperback
I've seen quite a few so so reviews in the music press regarding this book. The key gripe from reviewers seems to be that there is not enough of an insight into Robert Fripp. Given Fripp's reluctance to interviewed and his personal distrust of the music press I would have to say Sid Smith did an excellent job getting the many revealing comments from Fripp that he did. Also, despite the common perception that King Crimson is Fripp's band there are plenty of insights into the way King Crinson operates from other band members.
At the end of the day this book places the focus squarely where it needs to be - on the band's music. There is a phenonmenal amount of information about how the various line-ups approached the playing and recording of various songs and I found Sid Smith's coments and perceptions gave a great insight into the band. The only thing that isn't in the book that I would have liked to have seen is more detailed information and reviews about spin-off work, eg Tony Levin and Trey Gunn's work. For me this was one of the most essential purchases of 2001.
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By Keyzer Soze VINE VOICE on 7 Dec. 2001
Format: Paperback
A truly excellent book. No fan of King Crimson should be without this work. Using interviews with past and present band members as well as chronological narrative, Sid Smith describes the evolution and activities of The Crim from the early days in Bournmouth to the present day. As the story progresses to each new album phase, all the tracks are discussed along with commentaries from those involved in producing them. You probably need to be a Crim fan to get the most from this book, but anyone interested in the background to the creation of great music will not be dissapointed by this read.
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Format: Paperback
It's hard to believe that a band that has been going as long as Crimson has not really been accorded a decent, comprehensive biography which looks in detail at their thirty plus years of playing. Well with the appearance of In The Court Of King Crimson all that has now changed. Housed in a beautifully designed cover, the book is chock full of unpublished photographs and fascinating narrative which lets the numerous band members tell the story of this great group. In the press it's usually Robert Fripp who tells the tale. So it's refreshing to hear other perspectives. Writer Sid Smith has conducted interviews with the most obscure and elusive members of the group as well as friends, family, engineers, etc.

This means the reader gets a much better picture on how things have worked in the group over the years, the relationships within the band and its effect upon the music. Given that Crimson have been going for so long it's hardly a surprise that there have been some fairly turbulent times. However unlike some rock bio's, the stories of drug use and splits are handled with great aplomb, avoiding any hint of judgement or sensationalism. Once I started reading it I couldn't help but run to the CD player and have the albums playing alongside. That's how I know this is a great book. So to summarise: In The Court Of King Crimson has exclusive pictures, new interviews, and critical analysis, all of which adds up to a must-have book for any fan of the group and beyond.
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Format: Paperback
As semi-authorised biographies go, this is damn good. Sid Smith seems to have interviewed most if not all of the many people who've passed through the ranks of King Crimson, not least the Crimson king himself Robert Fripp, who provides an Olympian but puckish running commentary on the recollections and assessments of his bandmates. There's a track by track assessment of all Crimson's songs up until 2000's 'The Construkction of Light' (sic), and Smith is not scared of saying when he finds a given track disappointing.

The story is essentially a tragicomic one, about a band whose only constant member (guitarist Fripp) hates to think of himself as the 'leader' but also reserves the right to say when anybody else's contribution is or isn't appropriate. To say that, over the course of King Crimson history, this attitude has led to some friction, is to understate considerably. But besides being a hopeless control freak, Fripp is also a wise, erudite and often very funny commentator on his own inadequacies, as well as a drop-dead demon-from-hell guitar player. This book is a tribute to the band which he has for almost forty years, if not exactly led, then at least navigated. It's also full of amusing rock anecdotes and unwitting self-revelation by the less self-aware participants (Greg Lake and Peter Sinfield in particular come across as insufferably self-important.)

Great fun for KC fans, but maybe a revised edition is called for? KC has only brought out one proper album since 2000 but the band's history has been no less turbulent and fascinating in the meantime.
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