'In The Court of the Crimson King' has often (quite rightly) been described as one of the most important albums of the late 60's/early 70's Prog Rock genre. It was always, therefore, going to be difficult to follow this album and it became even more so when most of the band jumped ship just before or during its recording leaving guitarist Robert Fripp and lyricist Pete Sinfield as the only original members.
Despite the fact that a good deal of the material was not new (Pictures of a City and Mars had been part of the bands live set for months) this album does seem in parts as if they felt they had to get an album out quickly and the safest bet was to follow the highly successful pattern of the first album. 'Pictures of a City' is very similar in make up to '21st Century Schizoid Man' and then 'Cadence and Cacade' is the quiet following track (as 'I Talk to the Wind' is on the first album) The title track is very reminiscent of 'Epitaph' on the first album with great swathes of mellotron dominating the track. 'Cat Food' is the first different track on the album (and it certainly is - I shall long remember them performing this on TOTP!!) 'Mars' ends the album as it did their live set at the time.
If it sounds as if I am doing nothing but criticise the album it is not my intention as 36 years on I still play it regularly because, even if it is similar to the first album, it is still top quality music played extremely well and the title track is one of KC's top tracks from any of their many line ups.
Well worth a listen but if you are going to buy one early KC album then the first is probably a better bet