In the Court of King Crimson Paperback – 12 Nov 2001
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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on interviews with all the major players associated with the band as well as personal archives and much previously unpublished material.
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Top Customer Reviews
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my reading of 'In the Court Of King Crimson', I became quite a fan of the group, no doubt helped by the previously unpublished photographs and the in-depth interviews with even the most obscure band members!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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was initially a little uncertain about this book however as I began to chomp my way through it, it just got better and better and better. Read morePublished 20 months ago by S V Batchelor
Sid Smith has done an excellent job with this book. From the supplier I chose (via Amazon) my copy was about ten years old, but was in 'time capsule' condition and looked like it... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Harry Kirschner