King Crimson
In the Court of the Crimson King


5.0
classic

Review

by Caesar Riley USER (25 Reviews)
June 10th, 2011 | 67 replies


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist

Review Summary: For the court of the crimson king...

In the court of the Crimson King. It is hard to accurately describe this album. The origins of said progressive are, in its own definition, innovative to say the least, but this is not an ordinary album. An album that, technically, started a genre, is supposed to be ambitious, and is supposed to complete a quest: a quest to expand and expose the potential within said genre, and to present it in one long opus that is a phenomenal-enough title to come full circle, enough for other groups to make the genre into a common day epic. The awe and nostalgia brimming of said album that would start an era of music to come. Of all the albums that have, quote, "started a genre", I have only come across three albums that truly filled the expectations. Court of the Crimson King is one.

The name of King Crimson should mean everything to any music lover. It has a sample of every music genre: the heavy, distorted guitars combines elements of hard rock and alternative, the crushing, constant drumming is like a more melodic metal, the varied instrumentals are exceptionally well-executed and bass-guitar dual riffs help tell the differences of progressive rock, it doesn't follow one rhythm each time, it continues onward with more tempos and varied instrumentals in between beats. The affinity for great vocal power in the vocalist's pitch proves otherwise, as it varies multiple times, such as the almost metallic voice on '21st Cenutry Schizoid Man', or the more settled, haunting inflection of 'Epitaph', and the more electronic, synthesized sections in 'Moonchild'. If anything, every element used in all music genres is brought together in this album, showing the creativity of Crimson King, undoubtedly making it more difficult to pick standout sections.

That being said, a mere five tracks that total up to fourty-six minutes can come as kind of a shock. Unlike the other three of the Big Four (Yes with their debut, Genesis with theirs), these songs tend to be longer than usual, not making it one of the easiest listens. It is, infinitely, an album that everyone should listen to, but a patient music lover will make it through the twelve-minute Moonchild. The shortest track is just above six minutes. It may be why I was hesistant of the album at first, due to the length of simply five tracks.

But the album expertly blends atmosphere, instrumental brilliance, and in-depth songwriting together in this phenomenal title. "The Court of the Crimson King" is one of the best examples of this, with various instruments, such as peaceful acoustic and flute sections, harmonic pianos, and a relaxing vocal performance by Ian McDonald. "21st Century Schizoid Man" is a dark, violent mini-epic that combines heavily distorted guitars, expert drum work by Giles, and great use of mellotron and picture-perfect flute and acoustic sections in "I Talk To The Wind".

If there was one thing that truly bugged me about this influential album, it might be the overlong length of some songs. Take an example of "Moonchild", the slightly less tolerable track on the album, at it's length of 12 minutes. Although the 9-and-a-half minute work of art ending, and the 8-minute masterpiece in the middle succeed, those wanting an album of 'normal length' will not find it here. But overall, I can't exactly find one aspect of Court of Crimson King that truly degrades it from being a brilliant album.

And that, my friends, is how progressive rock started.

Robert Fripp: Guitar
Ian McDonald: reeds, winds, vibes, mellotron, keys, vocals
Greg Lake: Lead Vocals, Bass
Michael Giles: Percussion, vocals
Peter Sinfeld: words and illumination



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user ratings (2692)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Bassist540
June 10th 2011


373 Comments


Well you finally reviewed lol. Nice review.

RavenRock
June 10th 2011


688 Comments


Well, there, my favorite album of the 60's finally reviewed.

RavenRock
June 10th 2011


688 Comments


Always has been. What did you think of the rev?

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
June 10th 2011


20752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

^as in the A7X drummer?

Digging: Townes Van Zandt - Townes Van Zandt

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
June 10th 2011


20752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

lol

demigod!
June 10th 2011


44569 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i think the rev was a good drummer but in a shitty band

Digging: Fugazi - Repeater

RavenRock
June 10th 2011


688 Comments


The review...

demigod!
June 10th 2011


44569 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

now review rush like i told you to ravenrock m/`

RavenRock
June 10th 2011


688 Comments


But good joke, ha ha.

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
June 10th 2011


20752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good review.

demigod!
June 10th 2011


44569 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sonic youre being so dark and angsty whats up

RavenRock
June 10th 2011


688 Comments


Maybe he's going through a metal meltdown.

liveatthegods
June 10th 2011


62 Comments


Metal meltdown? That review was better than the Arcade Fire, great job.

balcaen
June 10th 2011


3183 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

woooo another 5 review for this/another review from ravenrock

RavenRock
June 10th 2011


688 Comments


lol balcaen

And a metal meltdown is when somebody burns out from too much metal.

RavenRock
June 10th 2011


688 Comments


Did you guys hear about the new Yes album?

RavenRock
June 10th 2011


688 Comments


Ai yo

fsharptrit0ne
June 10th 2011


4814 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Album is amazing.

RavenRock
June 10th 2011


688 Comments


That's no joke.

fsharptrit0ne
June 10th 2011


4814 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Epitaph is probably one of my favorite songs ever.



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