King Crimson
In the Court of the Crimson King


5.0
classic

Review

by maggotbrain69 USER (2 Reviews)
February 15th, 2013 | 126 replies


Release Date: 1969 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The original and the quintessential prog rock piece, encapturing the soul of the genre, and expanding its boundaries.

Many rock fans and critics would argue that today, in the 21st century rock scene, as schizoid as it may be, progressive music is as good as dead. But, if we were to spin the clock backwards and jump through a couple decades, all the way to the late Sixties, we'd witness it's very conception. Bands like The Moody Blues and Genesis were experimenting with new instruments, sounds and new approaches to songwriting, drawing from earlier hints by The Beatles or The Mothers of Invention; Pink Floyd were still more psychedelic and spacey than progressive at the time.

Then, in October of 1969, a group called King Crimson emerged, fronted by the flamboyant guitarist Robert Fripp. Coming from the instrumental pop background of Giles, Giles & Fripp, and adding some new members in Greg Lake, Ian McDonald and, crucially, Peter Sinfield; they turned the corner with a vastly experimental way of composing songs, while keeping their habit of mostly improvized playing.

The result was none other than In the Court of the Crimson King, a record that, as time would later have it, made history. Fiercely opening with the hard rock riff of Schizoid, the band travel over a multitude of sonic landscapes, mellotron-induced eerieness and strangely structured passages. The music is diverse, never giving you what you expected, but boggling your mind with its twisting and whirling – sometimes orchestral and ambiental, other times bizarre and challenging. Surprisingly or not, always with perfect attacca.

The guitar is mostly melded with the mellotron, daring in the solos and elegiac in the leads, thus evoking both strong and tender emotions, respectfully, from the listener. This ability to connect to the listener on many levels is surely helped by the implementation of a rich instrumentarium and a wide range of influences, including Fripp's ever so dear jazz fusion; instead of draining everything they can from blues rock like most of their contemporaries.

A careful listener's highlight of the record would be the lyrics, or more appropriately said - poetry, courtesy of Peter Sinfield. Brought in solely as a lyricist, he gave his vivid imagination the reins and charted colourful territoria. His strophes are canny and curious, inviting the listener to pay closer attention, creating abstract imagery in their mind.

History would dub In the Court the original and the quintessential prog rock piece, and rightfully so. Even though it was released in the genre's toddler years, it encaptures the soul of prog like no other record, while at the same time expanding, or rather erasing its boundaries. It set the bar so high that not even King Crimson were able to reach it ever again.


user ratings (2750)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
FearOfNapalm
February 14th 2013


80 Comments


album rules, great review

apert
February 14th 2013


3067 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

moonchild brings this album down so much for me, rest is gold

ChopSuey
February 14th 2013


2392 Comments


yup


dannyboy89
February 14th 2013


13065 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Nagrarok's review of this is possibly the best one.

Decent review, I'd have to see what more experienced users say about it.

BTW, anyone who doesn't love this is not a real prog fan.

Jethro42
February 14th 2013


12635 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good review. Props for mentioning Peter Sinfield.
http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review/36047/Peter-Sinfield-Still/

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2013


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

epitaph is the most beautiful song of all time

Jethro42
February 14th 2013


12635 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yes it's up there

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
February 14th 2013


24098 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

the 5eist 5 that I ever 5d

CONFUSIONNNNNNN

WILL BE MAH EPITAAAAAAAPH

Digging: Mitski - bury me at makeout creek

Gwyn.
February 14th 2013


15322 Comments


epitaph is the most beautiful song of all time



/fact

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2013


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

but i fear tomorrow, ill be cryiiiiing

YoYoMancuso
February 14th 2013


11224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Moonchild is absolutely amazing for the first 2.5 minutes, a breath of fresh air really. I wouldn't mind the jam if the song only went like 7 or 8 minutes. Either way the rest is too good to not 5.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2013


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

your introduction is flimsy, incredibly speculative, and short sighted.

mindleviticus
February 14th 2013


8331 Comments


21ST CENTURY SCHIZOID MAAAAN

fuck this one of the best prog albums of all time

foxblood
February 14th 2013


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah the intro isn't too good

tommygun
February 14th 2013


25413 Comments


gd albm

mindleviticus
February 14th 2013


8331 Comments


yeah the intro isn't just too good. It's INCREDIBLE

Gwyn.
February 14th 2013


15322 Comments


"Despite what you may think, this is the absolute worst record of all time. No songs about rock n roll, sex or drugs, and my biggest complaint is the display of talent, flawless combination, juxtaposition and integration of jazz and classical into sporadic 'rock' music. Integrate? Taking ideas from another genre, placing them perfectly into a diverse set of rock songs and making an album that rides on it's composition, elegance and quirkiness rather than on pop hooks and lyrics about doing drugs? Lol, hard. Pretentious drivel. Ersatz ***. Why would somebody torture themselves with supposed 'rock' music that doesn't even rock hard? Oh, please. Talent? Why display that in music? Why show off Fripp, why? Sure your compositions on this album were dense, artistically genius, varied, new, and light years ahead of their time but so what? Where are the ***ing pop hooks and short songs? And what about the manipulation of the main melody in the closer track "Court of the Cocksucking King"? You think you're smart for placing a slower ambient section of a reworked version of the same ***ing melody you used for the entire song as a bridge to a huge, loud, and epic conclusion. Haha. Nonsense. Is it rock n roll? Nope. It's talent. Who the *** wants that? Ersatz *** to the highest degree."


The interesting thing about this sound off is that he still rated it a 2.0

Calc
February 14th 2013


12367 Comments


saying something is the original prog and then saying it expanded its boundaries makes no sense. just a thought

Chortles
February 14th 2013


18096 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah the intro isn't too good


budship revoked

Digging: Cocteau Twins - Treasure

foxblood
February 14th 2013


6797 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the intro of the review ya dingus



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