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Old 06-19-2007, 06:42 AM   #19 (permalink)
boo boo
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And 8 months later.

Red - 1974

Robert Fripp - Guitar, Mellotron.
John Wetton - Bass, Vocals.
Bill Bruford - Drums, Percussion.
David Cross - Violin.
Mel Collins - Soprano Saxophone.
Ian McDonald - Alto Saxophone.
Robin Miller - Oboe.
Marc Charig - Cornet.
Richard Palmer-James - Lyrics.

1974 is a special year because KC didn't just make one awesome album that year, they made two. Because both of these albums were made only 9 or so months apart and features the same lineup of Fripp-Wetton-Bruford, they come off with very similar vibes. However while SABB was a very heavy, dark record, Red while heavy and dark itself, is like SABBs cooler, slicker younger brother, with a jazzier, space rock sound that recalls their earlier album Lizard.

Because he felt that his role in the band was being downsized, Cross left the band, and only appears on two tracks, Providence and Starless. To fill in Cross's absense, Fripp called some of his old buddies to perform on this record. Mel Collins returns on Sax after a 3 year absense, and Saxophonist Ian McDonald makes a grand return on his first KC album since ITCOTCK, the first KC album.

While KC were working on this album, they were also rehearsing for a sequel to this album, which would have been titled Blue. Unfortunately, it never happened, and only 2 months before Red was released. Fripp announced that King Crimson, the band that revolutionized progressive rock, was ka-put. Red was to be the last King Crimson album, or at least until they reunited 8 years later. When you think about it, Red was (or would have been) the ultimate swan song for one of the most innovative rock bands of all time.

If you were to ask me, Red is argubly the best Crimson album. And its also their most influencial. If you want to listen to the blueprints for The Mars Volta and Tool. You will find it here.

1. Red: The intro to this amazing album opener begins bluntly, with great force and an excellent synth-like guitar line, before kicking off into what I consider to be one of the coolest guitar riffs ever. Wettons bass has an almost cello quality to it. The way this instrumental track subtly evolves is hard to discribe. Just listen to it.

2. Fallen Angel: If you were to ask, why? Why, am I so obsessed with prog? All I would have to do is name drop this song, it's my favorite King Crimson song, so therefor, It's my favorite prog song. Its a beautiful song with accoustic guitar (last time Fripp would ever play one on record), oboe and cornet. Some of Fripps finest guitar work can be found here. This song uses a brilliant soft/loud verse/chorus dynamic that was unusual at the time, but is oh so common now. This song shows that even at their freakiest and most expermental, King Crimson could still be melodic.

3. One More Red Nightmare: I love this song. The only thing that gets me is, could they have found something better to write about than falling asleep on a Greyhound bus and dreaming about a plane crash? No matter, it's King Crimson, and guitars speak louder than words. This is a very intense, groovy song, with hypotizing bass, weird effects with hands clapping and two amazing saxophone solos by McDonald. You almost get a feeling like you're seasick when you listen to it. But in a cool way.

4. Providence: One of the weirdest Crimson jams since Moonchild. This one starts off with some really f*cked up violin playing by Cross. Later on accomplied by guitar, bass, oboe and percussion. For those want to know just how crazy Crimsons jams can get, this is a good start.

5. Starless: What is odd about this track is that it sounds more like two different compositions glued together, the first is a gorgous ballad, with smooth guitars and mellotron by Fripp and soprano sax by Collins. Indeed this song gives the impression that King Crimson took a time warp back to 1969. However thats just the first 4 minutes, afterwards KC switch it back to jam mode. With Cross's mental violin sneaking in, eventually kicking off a big noisy jam before finally calming down to make a much awaited return to melodic mode, with the opening guitar melody being revisited on sax, sounding off a gorgous outro to such a powerful song, like the rainbow after a storm.

Last edited by boo boo; 06-19-2007 at 06:49 AM.
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