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Old 07-22-2018, 05:25 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Frippin' Out: Trollheart's First-time Exploration of King Crimson's Music


In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)

So this is where it all starts, huh? Well, I actually did eventually listen to this album, when it came up on the list for my History of Prog journal, and was very very impressed. But I haven't listened to it since, so though this won't be the first time I'm listening to it, it will be slightly new to me. I see they're already being mavericks at this point. They have multi=part suites, but unlike Genesis for instance who would use numbers to differentiate the parts a few years later, or indeed the Moody Blues, who just broke up the tracks, to say nothing of others (whose name at present escapes me) who used letters, King Crimson take a leaf out of fellow proggers Van der Graaf Generator's book, and simply call the track by its main name, noting that it “includes” other songs, such as with “Epitaph (including March For No Reason and Tomorrow and Tomorrow)". Of course, I'm only going by Wiki and I don't know if this is how the track listing is shown on the actual albums, as mine aren't physical copies.

Only five tracks, but the album still clocks in at a relatively impressive 44 minutes. So let's break this puppy down, shall we?

1. 21st Century Schizoid Man (Including Mirrors): Heavy, powerful start to the album, with what sound like almost Beefheartian vocals. Sure, others copied these, but at this time I doubt anyone else was emulating the bold Captain. Maybe it's a vocoder? Not sure. Anyway, it's quite heavily psychedelic with a lot of jazzy elements thrown in, and you can already hear a band that's tighter than me at the pub. Serious skills here..

2. I Talk to the Wind: A lovely change into a soft, lush ballad. Really relaxing and just gorgeous. Lake's vocals are very soothing here, in contrast to the slightly manic tone of the opener.

3. Epitaph (Including March For No Reason and Tomorrow and Tomorrow): Hmm. Seems to be another ballad, with some fantastic orchestral stuff in there and guitar that pulls at your heart at times. Sublime.


4. Moonchild (including The Dream and the Illusion): The real epic here, coming in at just over twelve minutes, part of which (I assume the aforementioned “The Dream”) is sort of atmospheric, ambient instrumental music which really gets very quiet, though you can hear a lot of strange little sounds. Xylophone? Maybe a vibraphone? Touches on the piano. Susurrating percussion, all very almost surreal.

5. In the Court of the Crimson King (Including The Return of the Fire Witch and The Dance of the Puppets): I'm sure there's little I can say about this that hasn't already been said. The powerful vocals on the chorus, the sort of medieval atmosphere created, the flutes, the extended instrumental ... pure magic.


Result: Well as expected I loved it, but then that's hardly the revelation I'm looking for, since as I already said, I've heard this once before. Only gets better with the second listen though. I am a little surprised (pleasantly) by how laid back most of it is. Hopefully the rest of the discography can keep up this extremely high bar. Oh, and this is the first time I've really heard drumming I can say is something special. One other thing that really hits me about this album is how really advanced it must have been for its time. When you consider what Genesis and Yes were doing around this time, well, this knocks both into a cocked hat. Like I said, magic.

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Old 07-23-2018, 12:42 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Looking forward to you reviewing their other albums.
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:45 PM   #33 (permalink)
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I just noticed "Frippin' Out". **** you, TH.
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:45 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I just noticed "Frippin' Out". **** you, TH.


I couldn't decide between "Taking a Fripp Through the Music of King Crimson", "On the Fripp Side" or "Get a Fripp!" Went with that one in the end. Hopefully, they all would have annoyed you to various degrees.

Edit: Apologies to anyone who saw this post and thought I had the next album up. I'm working on it.
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:40 PM   #35 (permalink)
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In the Wake of Poseidon (1970)

Okay so here's where it really kind of begins for me. After the debut there is not a single Crimson album, or track, that I've heard (shut up) so all of this will be new to me.

1. Peace – A Beginning Just a quick a capella intro, less than a minute. Not much to say about that.

2. Pictures of a City (Including 42nd at Treadmill): Very jazzy, comes in very powerfully and has a nice groove. Melody and rhythm kind of reminds me of early Sabbath to a degree. Fripp breaks out the guitar magic about three minutes in and the track takes off. Does go a little too improvisational at the end though.

3. Cadence and Cascade: No problem with this one. Lovely little gentle ballad in a kind of Moody Blues vein. Lovely piano, lovely vocal harmonies, sweet flute.

4. In the Wake of Poseidon (Including Libra's Theme): The moment that organ starts I'm in love with this song. Kind of puts me in mind of my boys VDGG, like something off H to He or maybe Aerosol Grey. Also again a very Moodies influence, or maybe that should be the other way around? Whatever. Great track anyway.

5. Peace – A Theme: Again, just a short little instrumental. Nice for what it is.

6. Catfood: I can't place my finger on it; there's just something about this I don't like. It reminds me of the worse tracks by Spock's Beard that make me unsure whether or not I will ever like them as a band. No, not into this one at all. Actually the ending is good, but that's about it.

7. The Devil's Triangle (i) Merday Morn (ii) Hand of Sceiron (iii) Garden of Worm: An eleven-and-a-half minute instrumental? This better be good. I read that it's based around Holst's “Mars” but that his estate wouldn't allow them to use it so they had to kind of disguise it. I can hear it, but had I not read that I don't think I would have made the connection. Hmm. Oh no wait: I definitely would. I hear it clearly now. Takes a while to get going, but then there's plenty of time I guess.

It's quite funny in a way: Fripp saying “so we can't use your music? Well **** you: we'll make it so close to it that it'll really piss you off without being legally actionable!” Reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Homer says “How much are we getting paid for this?” referring to the story of Bart's life, and Marge says “the producers changed it just enough so that they wouldn't have to pay us!” Heh. Loving this at the moment I must say; high point of the album.

Very cleverly done, shows real skill to skate that close to the edge (pun intended) without falling over. Like the addition of the chorus to “In the Court of the Crimson King” thrown in there. Overall, a definite ten out of ten here.

8. Peace – An End: Bit of a hippy ending with a short almost a capella piece though the acoustic guitar and the vocal harmonies that come in are nice.

Result: Nowhere near as good as the debut, though to be fair I hadn't expected it to be. To follow up such an instant classic inside a year would have been asking a lot. Still, I'm a little more underwhelmed by this than I had thought I would be. There's more on it that I don't like than I anticipated, though the good tracks do outweigh the bad. I feel it doesn't quite hold together the same way ITCOTCK did, that it's perhaps a little disjointed? Don't know, but overall not as impressed this time round. Still good, even great, just not, for me, a classic.



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Old 07-24-2018, 04:47 AM   #36 (permalink)
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It seems quite bizarre and even incredible to me that a prog rock fan in his 50's is only now starting to listen to the music of King Crimson.

Better late than never, but WTF?!
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:28 AM   #37 (permalink)
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It seems quite bizarre and even incredible to me that a prog rock fan in his 50's is only now starting to listen to the music of King Crimson.

Better late than never, but WTF?!
There has to be some reason. You can't be as deep into the genre as he is without actively avoiding King Crimson for some reason, and he hadn't even heard an album until a few years ago so it can't be because he didn't like what he'd heard. Did they sound like they wouldn't appeal to someone for whom Genesis and Marillion are the height of musical brilliance? I find that plausible tbh.
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:44 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Psy-Fi View Post
It seems quite bizarre and even incredible to me that a prog rock fan in his 50's is only now starting to listen to the music of King Crimson.

Better late than never, but WTF?!
Oh it's a very sad tale.
I was captured by aliens at age 10, and brought to a planet where there was no music in the world except Genesis and Marillion. Someone once suggested Rush but they beheaded him, which is to say they made him into a living head. Nasty.

I only managed to escape at age 53 and have since been trying to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge. Please be patient with me. This is all so new.
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:50 PM   #39 (permalink)
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Oh it's a very sad tale.
I was captured by aliens at age 10, and brought to a planet where there was no music in the world except Genesis and Marillion. Someone once suggested Rush but they beheaded him, which is to say they made him into a living head. Nasty.

I only managed to escape at age 53 and have since been trying to fill in the gaps in my musical knowledge. Please be patient with me. This is all so new.
**** you I want the real reason. No metal fan on earth has ever avoided Slayer for 40 years (and yes Slayer hasn't been around for 40 years but close enough and this isn't about Slayer).
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:53 PM   #40 (permalink)
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**** you I want the real reason. No metal fan on earth has ever avoided Slayer for 40 years (and yes Slayer hasn't been around for 40 years but close enough and this isn't about Slayer).
Probably true. I don't even really like Slayer, but I've still owned over half of their albums.
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