King Crimson
Red


5.0
classic

Review

by e210013 USER (67 Reviews)
February 14th, 2017 | 41 replies


Release Date: 1974 | Tracklist

Review Summary: This is one of the greatest classic prog albums ever. It’s one of the most influential, too.

“Red” is the seventh studio album of King Crimson and was released in 1974. The line up on the album is Robert Fripp, John Wetton and Bill Bruford. The album had also the collaboration of David Cross, Ian McDonald, Mel Collins, Mark Charing, Robin Miller and Richard Palmer-James on the lyrics.


King Crimson was founded in 1969 by guitarist Fripp and drummer Michael Giles. The sound of the group incorporated several influences, ranging from jazz, classical, experimental, psychedelic, heavy metal, new wave, hard rock, folk and electronic. Even someone once said that sometimes, the group makes a kind of an intelligent heavy metal sound.

All in all, 1973 was a very special year for progressive rock in which many bands achieved their definite breakthrough and others reached their top. Some of the best prog albums belong to that year like “Selling England By The Pound”, “The Dark Side Of The Moon” and “In A Glass House”, only to mention three of the greatest. The year after, 1974, was a bit different. Although some bands continued to deliver some of their best albums, like “Mirage”, “Relayer” and “Crime Of The Century”, also to mention three of the greatest, but some cracks in the scenery of progressive rock became visible. Some bands explored their musical boundaries beyond imagination but others lost one or more important band members. 1974 saw Rick Wakeman leaving Yes, Peter Gabriel leaving Genesis and King Crimson coming to an end.

The latter King Crimson line up delivered one of their finest works, “Red”, just before falling apart. After five years of some of the most astonishing experimental music, from their stunning debut in 1969, onwards along several lines up changes, King Crimson died with a sudden death. The pivotal father figure of the band, guitarist Robert Fripp decided to call it a day. In reality, King Crimson never was a truly group, but a continuous creative musical process. A continuous creative musical process made by one of the most brilliant, complex and refined progressive minds ever, Robert Fripp.

A lot happened prior to this decision. At the end of 1972 Yes’ drummer Bill Bruford was asked to join a new version of King Crimson, after the first line up had lost its spirit. In two years, the new King Crimson quintet developed very rapidly, as a result of which three albums were made, many concerts were played and two members, percussionist Jamie Muir and violinist David Cross left the group. Although Cross had a part in the creation of “Red”, the album was officially released by the trio Fripp, Bruford and Wetton, as the album cover can clearly shows. “Red” proved to be King Crimson’s last studio album from the 70’s and seems to be many people’s favourite of the band mid 70’s period.

The title track opens the album, and is as typical for this version of King Crimson as it can get, consisting of a simple but yet powerful and heavy riff that carries the track all the way through. “Fallen Angel” is a strong vocal track with the mellotron mixed very far back in the sound on the verse, while the chorus is a far heavier and more electric thing. “One More Red Nightmare” is another prime example of how Fripp could use a very simple riff to create a really powerful and enjoyable progressive rock track. The album also features a piece in form of nine pointless minutes of random sounds and noise in “Providence”. However, you’ll soon forget about that, as it’s followed by the perhaps greatest King Crimson’s song ever, “Starless”. Not to be confused with the title track of their previous album “Starless And Bible Black”. This twelve minute masterpiece is probably the definitive King Crimson’s song as it manages to feature absolutely every side of the band’s sound and personality. It starts as a slow and wonderful mellotron drenched ballad with a beautiful main theme. It then goes into a disharmonic instrumental part that gradually becomes more intense and noisy before it’s relieved by a powerful jam where Wetton really shows how he’s good for at the bass. But the real climax doesn’t appear before the very end, where the track returns to the opening theme of the song, but now played really loud and heavy by the whole band. Incredible, majestic and powerful and it alone makes the album worth having.


Conclusion: Let’s face it. King Crimson’s “Red” is one of the most important albums in the history of progressive rock music. To Q magazine, “Red” is one of the fifty heaviest albums of all time. It’s very common consider “Red” as one of the most influential albums in the progressive metal style. King Crimson can also be considered as one of the pioneers of that genre. This is one of the best albums ever made and if you like your music to be bold, daring, groundbreaking, exciting and pushing boundaries then you can’t get anything better than “Red”. This album is worth buying for “Red” and “Starless” alone. This was the last of three albums from the band with this line up and represents a truly landmark for prog, one of the best albums by one of the best bands with three of the best artists. When we were confronted with the death of John Wetton, what can we do better than listen to this masterpiece? RIP John, we’ll miss you for sure.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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user ratings (1740)
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4.5
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
February 14th 2017


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

As some other Sputnik members did recently and as I did before with Chris Squire, David Bowie, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake, I also decided to render my homage to another great prog artist, John Wetton.

I must confess that I hesitated in chose which would be the album to make my review. It wasn't an easy task because John collaborated in so many albums than many of us can bought new shirts. About his solo career I only know his album "Battle Lines" and a couple of live things. But, despite the album be good it doesn't reflect the great quality of the artist. About some other collaborations with other artists I decided no, because I think it must be a more personal thing. So, it only was left his career with King Crimson and U.K. And about it, they only could be "Red" and "U.K.", the best on both bands. After some hesitation I decided on "Red". Despite I love both albums I think "Red" is more emblematic, important, influential, a really unique album. I think he will be in the future a man more known because his participation with King Crimson, particularly due to "Red".

R.I.P. John, we'll never forget you.

Your comments are very welcome as usual.

Piglet
February 14th 2017


7040 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

You can probably omit the second use of "album" in the summary since it's kinda redundant

e210013
February 14th 2017


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, Piglet. You're right. I really haven't noticed that. I'll change it.

MO
February 14th 2017


21718 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yep one of the best ever

SoccerRiot
February 14th 2017


2307 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Easily one of the best.

Detritivore
February 14th 2017


304 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Incredible album, and the darkest of their discography.





Divaman
February 14th 2017


1006 Comments


Nice review, nice tribute to Wetton.

e210013
February 14th 2017


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, guys. Incredible album and one of the best, indeed.

e210013
February 14th 2017


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ Divaman

Thanks, dude. I needed to do this. He always was one of the artists I admired most.

TheIntruder
February 14th 2017


237 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review and nice homage to Wetton. This is real one of the greatest prog albums ever made. Nice choice too. Pos.

e210013
February 14th 2017


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks bro. I'm very glad that many of you consider my review a nice and honest tribute to John, despite be only a simple tribute by a simple fan.

parksungjoon
February 14th 2017


5151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

and the smile



signals emptiness



for me

e210013
February 14th 2017


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, park.

parksungjoon
February 14th 2017


5151 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

np, worthy writeup for a god-tier album

e210013
February 14th 2017


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks, guys.

Jethro42
February 14th 2017


14760 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Good album to pay a tribute to Wetton. Arguably the best Crimson album despite the ''obligatory'' improvisation track ''Providence'' which is not bad after all. ''Red'' is a killer ''metal'' track that they always played live. In ''Fallen Angel'', we really feel an angel falling with a fantastic build up and an awesome chorus with an heavy final. ''One More Red Nightmare'' has a nice heavy riff with an awesome rhythm section. ''Starless'' is the most beautiful prog song ever.

I'm always surprised of that long hiatus the band has taken, but Discipline was welcome six years after.

Review was well written, e21 buddy.

e210013
February 14th 2017


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks buddy. As I said before, there can't be a better album to pay the best tribute to Wetton.

I was also very surprised with that long hiatus. But it's as I said, King Crimson was never a really group but a continuous creative musical process. And as a result, Mr. Fripp reformed the group only when he wanted. And as you know too, the other result was the creation of U.K. So, thinking of that in it after so many years, it turned out not to be such a bad thing. Why? Because it gave the perfect oportunity to Wetton and Bruford to create such a great group, despite their short life, U.K., and make one of the best prog albums, their eponymous debut album.

Anyway, returning to King Crimson, they returned only six years later but with another great album, one of their best, indeed, "Discipline".

Cheers.

BigPleb
February 14th 2017


50397 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

RIP Wetton.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
February 14th 2017


7467 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Brilliant album.

e210013
February 14th 2017


1314 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks BigPleb for your participation in my homage to Wetton.



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