Review Summary: KC's first and in the top three of their discography
This highly influential progressive rock album from 1969 is one of the best King Crimson has to offer, and has some of the best songs of all time. From the hard rocking distortion of 21st Century Schizoid Man to the cadence of I Talk to the Wind, this recording has everything you could want in an album.
Side one consists of:
21st Century Schizoid Man- The hardest song on the album by a very long shot. This song has distorted vocals by Greg Lake and the long guitar and saxophone fueled instrumental known as "Mirrors". One of the best of the album, which is not to say there are any bad tracks.
I Talk to the Wind- A calm song moved along by Lake's soft vocals and flute solos. If there was ever a song that could make anyone calm, it would be this. The shortest song on the album clocking in at a little over six minutes is one of the best six minuets you can have while listening to music.
Epitaph- My all time favorite song, the vocals of Lake, combined with Fripp's guitar playing and the mellotron, make it easily one of the best. The buildup to the repeated line "For I fear tomorrow I'll be crying" is one of the most rewarding once it reaches the climax towards the end of the song.
Moonchild- A thirteen minute epic including "The Dream" and "The Illusion". The first two minutes of the song, or "The Dream", is a mellotron driven poem about a moonchild. "The Illusion" is nine minutes of tapping, hitting of cymbals, and other various sounds. To some, this may be annoying and drag on, but others may enjoy the simple display of technicality involved in these noises.
In the Court of the Crimson King- A mellotron fueled nine minute song, and the best on side two, ITCOTCK is nine minutes of impressive vocals, and impressive drumming by Michael Giles, breaking away from the sounds of the chorus and verses twice, only to return to the glorious sound.
Key Tracks: All of them
This album is completely worth the price, I bought it on CD for $15 and I've seen it available on vinyl for about 30. If you want to start listening to King Crimson, start here, or Discipline is also a good place to start.