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Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
86
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 18 March 2016
I've always been meaning to get a King Crimson album, but, for some reason, have never gotten round to it. When my guitar teacher told me at the end of one of my lessons 'We'll do King Crimson : Red,' next week, I was surprised and finally relieved to have no excuse NOT to buy their albums! I checked out the title track online, loved it, and ordered this album straight away, and here it is!
This is very much a guitar driven album, but a very unusual one at that. Robert Fripp is undeniably a true master of the guitar - as is showcased in the excellent instrumental title track that gets this album going. Very proggy : unusual time signatures, Diminished Scales and weird chords provide for a very unusual, different and refreshing listen - but for the guitarists out there - it's actually surprisingly easy to play!
The overall sound is very much 70's prog rock, but also with a few elements of would then be labelled 'Metal' - the harsh, buzz-saw main riff of the title track for example, but pigeon-holes, genres and comparisons are ultimately useless here, and there is a lot of different styles of music covered here.
Whilst fleeting and seemingly second to the instruments there ARE vocals here, which, if you haven't heard them before, sound a little like post-Syd Barrett Pink Floyd e.g. 'Fallen Angel.'
This album is not for dumbed down pop fans, King Crimson are way too intelligent musically for anyone thinking Lil Wayne or Taylor Swift is a musical genius! But if you love music, especially of the guitar-driven variety, this is an essential purchase. Don't expect to 'get it' straight away - it may take a few listens. Personally, I found it to be a much needed breath of fresh air and has reinvigorated my love for the guitar.
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on 11 September 2013
Bought a copy of this classic album to replace my ageing original. Good pressing and not too much "interfering" when re-mixing the original by that guy from PT. I have not had any issues regarding pressing quality as reported by others here but still prefer the original. Save the original for those very special occasions and, in the meantime, play this one. Still a very good effort and well worth the money IMHO.
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on 3 June 2017
A good album with some guitar work by Robert Fripp.
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on 9 June 2017
The last of my King Crimson purchases and still enjoyed.
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on 17 March 2017
perfect
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on 18 March 2017
Sublime
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on 28 August 2013
I thought this re-release would be a great opportunity to own one of my favourite Crimson albums on vinyl, but I have been very disappointed. This is the third copy I have received from Amazon due to the first two having a serious pressing fault which is a localised warp which renders the first track on side one ("Red") unplayable as the needle lifts off the vinyl. I thought the first copy must have been damaged but the second copy was identical. Now I have received my third copy and that too has the identical fault. I have over 2,000 LPs and I play them on high end audiophile equipment so I know there is nothing wrong with my turntable. In the end I have resorted to heating the vinyl with a hair dryer and pressing the vinyl flat with heavy books. This has rendered the album playable although there is still a noise as the needle passes over that part of the vinyl but for £13 it is acceptable. Anyway, no need to review the content here as that is a given and there are many many reviews to which another from me would add little. Potential buyers beware and look out for this fault which has clearly not been resolved by the manufacturer.
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on 4 January 2017
Fantastic
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on 26 November 2011
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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VINE VOICEon 22 July 2009
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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