|UserReviews 4Approval 96%Soundoffs 57Album Ratings 2521Objectivity 92%Last Active 12-22-20 7:50 pmJoined 09-24-05Forum Posts 23Review Comments 4,100
|04.13.21 ||tec's 2021 Q1 - Top 15||04.07.21 ||tec’s KING CRIMSON, Ranked ♦|
|03.31.21 ||tec’s GODFLESH, Ranked||03.22.21 ||tec’s THE SMITHS, Ranked|
|03.11.21 ||tec’s RADIOHEAD, Ranked ♦||03.01.21 ||tec’s THE NATIONAL, Ranked ♦|
|02.22.21 ||tec’s BJORK, Ranked ♦||02.18.21 ||Breakfast Cereal Tier List|
|02.03.21 ||tec's DAVID BOWIE, Ranked ♦||01.20.21 ||tec's SONIC YOUTH, Ranked ♦|
|01.05.21 ||MUSIC: tec's Top 50 of 2020 ♦||11.23.20 ||2020 // 25 UNDER 25|
|10.27.20 ||Just got Nintendo SWITCH||10.07.20 ||tectac's Electric Wizard, Ranked|
|08.26.20 ||tec's Top 100 Albums of All Time ♦||08.21.20 ||FILM: tectac's Kelly Reichardt, Ranked|
|07.07.20 ||Top 25 of 2020: So Far! (Sept.)||05.27.20 ||FILM: tectac's Hayao Miyazaki, Ranked ♦|
|tec’s KING CRIMSON, Ranked|
The only prog rock band that matters tbh.
The ConstruKction of Light
Overall Score | 2.06 | 🌕🌕🌑🌑🌑
🥇 The Construkction of Light
🥈 Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part Four
🥉 Into the Frying Pan
Mega oof. Reminds me of that supermassive dip in quality that plagued the tail end of Can’s discography (ranked list forthcoming!); even the outdated, hypergeneric album cover recalls the same promise of unavoidable disappointment and overwhelming lack of character. This is King Crimson at once jumping the shark and phoning it in, not only tarnishing the “Larks’ Tongues” legacy with its weakest installment yet, but also bestowing upon us the two worst tracks in King Crimson’s entire repertoire—I’m referring, of course, to “Oyster Soup” and (especially) “ProzaKc Blues”, the latter of which is downright embarrassing. Admittedly the title track is quite nice, but it’s quite literally the only instance of slight redemption on what’s otherwise a complete and utter mess.
Three of a Perfect Pair
Overall Score | 2.67 | 🌕🌕🌗🌑🌑
🥇 Three of a Perfect Pair
🥈 Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part Three
🥉 Dig Me
My indifference toward this is a product of both my distaste for the painfully over-produced and vapid ilk of new wave influence as well as the album’s grueling homogeneity. Does this record suck? Absolutely not. Are you going to remember anything from it? Not likely. Hell, I’ve listened to this at least a dozen times over the years and can only consciously remember maybe four or five tracks—not even half. Granted, when the time comes for me to inevitably revisit it, I always find myself saying “Okay, I don’t hate this, but I also don’t love it. I barely even liked it. In fact, I’m not sure I feel anything toward it at all.” The bookends are nice, and really the only songs worthy of continual rotation. Everything else is just…there. Not good, not bad, just painfully average.
The Power to Believe
Overall Score | 2.68 | 🌕🌕🌗🌑🌑
🥇 Level Five
🥈 Dangerous Curves
🥉 Facts of Life
Nothing to truly despise here aside from the odd interludes, but terribly unexciting and aside from maybe “Level Five” and “Dangerous Curves”, largely forgettable. Feels like the warmed-up leftovers of THRAK, dried of all their succulence and crusty around the edges. I don’t really adore the pseudo-futuristic vibes and yet again, there’s barely an essence of spirit here—it often sounds like a couple of mathematically inclined robots decided to form a neo-prog rock band. I want to love this as much as the next guy or gal, especially as a self-proclaimed King Crimson pundit, but the tender experimentation that drives me wild is in short supply, and these regurgitated riffs can only do so much.
Overall Score | 2.84 | 🌕🌕🌕🌑🌑
🥈 The Howler
The ubiquitous whipping boy of King Crimson’s discography, and while I understand the source of those condemnations, I still don’t think this is the band’s nadir. Not a fan of the plasticized and autonomous instrumentation, as previously mentioned in my capsule for THREE OF A PERFECT PAIR, but there’s just a dash of ingenuity that occasionally sparks above the surface, and for as mundane as many of the songs are, the album closes strong with its two best tracks in rapid succession, arty progressive rock flowing gently into an avant-jazzy exclamation point. Weak by Crimson standards, but far from the weakest.
Overall Score | 3.00 | 🌕🌕🌕🌑🌑
🥈 Walking on Air
🥉 Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
A solid step up from the two records that preceded it (and perhaps not coincidentally marked the end of yet another Crimson era), but still substantially below the baseline they set for themselves from 1969 through 1981. It’s a step in the right direction, though, shaking free the stranglehold of aggressively technical and woefully manufactured new wave trappings, venturing into more industrial and notably heavier soundscapes while maintaining the band’s signature progressive complexity. A solid release, all things considered, there just isn’t anything here that excites me much beyond a moderate hum.
Overall Score | 3.50 | 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑
🥈 Thela Hun Ginjeet
🥉 Frame by Frame
Whenever someone uninitiated asks my opinion on this album, I always deflect to my somewhat reductive but nevertheless accurate one-liner: “It’s as though King Crimson released a Talking Heads album.” Despite its middling placement in my list, I don’t mean that pejoratively, either—I love King Crimson, and that artsy, new wave influence lends itself well to their progressive and hypertechnical sensibilities without dipping into the overly mechanical and artificial polyphony of the two albums that would follow. There’s still a smattering of soul and humanism here, and in my opinion, this is the last great (or *nearly* great) King Crimson album that exists.
Starless and Bible Black
Overall Score | 3.63 | 🌕🌕🌕🌗🌑
🥇 The Great Deceiver
An almost-great album with several great tracks (see three above), some really good ones (“Trio”, “The Night Watch”, “The Mincer”), and a couple decent fillers (“We’ll Let You Know”, the title track) that is never quite able to muster that oomph into the territory of excellence, making this King Crimson’s weakest effort in their discography hitherto. Doesn’t help that it gets understandably overshadowed by its proximity to RED’s release, giving the impression of a glorified B sides release that just happened to surface preemptively (esp. considering its title). Despite its flaws, it is still a worthy entry into the Crimson canon and often overlooked because of its sandwiched position in their oeuvre. “Fracture” makes for an interesting precursor to math rock - a genre that didn’t exist at the time.
Overall Score | 3.88 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑
🥇 Lizard I – Prince Rupert Awakes
🥈 Lizard III – The Battle of Glass Tears
The first real step outside of Crimson’s carved-out path, albeit an aggrandization of the niche elements that were sprinkled across their two preceding releases. The avant-garde jazz is pushed more to the forefront, the symphonic elements consistently entwine with the prog-rock structures, hand-picked acoustic guitars slathered over oboe phrases, saxophone blares segueing into steamy bass lines, flute fiddling dancing atop jazzy drum beats and angular synthesizer noodling. Oh! And there’s still a massive, four-part closing track that operates as a sampler’s buffet of just about everything mentioned above. Here, more so than e.g. ISLANDS, I can empathize with the divisiveness. But you know what side I’m on, of course.
Overall Score | 4.00 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌑
🥈 Sailor’s Tale
🥉 Formentera Lady
A bit outside the box for Crimson, but not so outside of the box that I can rectify the album’s comparatively low(er) ratings on just about every aggregated rating platform. Sputnik, for example, has ISLANDS at measly 3.5, meanwhile THRAK and THE POWER TO BELIEVE sit at a 3.6 and 3.7, respectively. Even rateyourmusic has INSLANDS clocking in a few decimal points less than STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK. Not that I don’t understand subjectivity, I simply can’t comprehend a world where an overwhelming majority of people *don’t* rank ISLANDS in their top four of five Crimson albums. I digress—maybe I’m the weirdo after all, but something about the jazzy-chamber hybrid here tickles my sweet spot just right. If “Starless” didn’t exist, the title track would be my favorite Crimson song.
In the Wake of Poseidon
Overall Score | 4.38 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗
🥇 Pictures of a City
🥈 In the Wake of Poseidon
🥉 Cadence and Cascade
Indeed my spiciest King Crimson take. Not only do I understand the common complaint that this is nothing more than COURT PART TWO but I embrace it with arms wide open. (After all, growth for growth’s sake is the ideology of the cancer cell, innit?) I firmly believe had *this* been released first, it’d be hailed as a genre-defining masterpiece and COURT would subsequently wilt a little bit in its shadow. As such, I cannot bring myself to demerit this work of art simply because it bears a strong resemblance to its predecessor when in a vacuum it absolutely rules. It even has an acoustic ballad; a wonky, blues-influenced ditty; a multi-movement track; and three contextual interludes. Asking for more would be selfish.
Larks' Tongues in Aspic
Overall Score | 4.42 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗
🥇 Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part One
🥈 Easy Money
🥉 Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part One
A wonderful record that combines the prog rock roots of King Crimson with slightly more experimental zest and tonal outreach—you’ve got the blistering opener which comes damn close to Heavy Metal (esp. for 1971) on one hand, and the folky, symphonic art rock amalgam of “Exiles” on the other. There was a time when I didn’t comprehend the greatness within, many moons ago. But it has grown on me tremendously, revealing more and more its layered complexity with each revisit, slowly crawling its way into my Crimson Top 3. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if it jumped into second place eventually. Fantastic, gargantuan.
In the Court of the Crimson King
Overall Score | 4.50 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌗
🥈 21st Century Schizoid Man
Timeless, undeniably influential, and yet immensely approachable. Nearly a decade and a half ago, I remember scanning RYM’s charts for the greatest albums of all time—many of them I’d already heart (OK COMPUTER, DARK SIDE OF THE MOON), a couple of them were lost on teenage-me (LOVELESS, LIFT YR SKINNY FISTS), but IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING is the one that blew me away. Even without having a fraction of the scope required to fully appreciate it at that time, I could tell by simply listening that this record was special, and it remains special to this day. Admittedly my biggest gripe is the extended improvisation after “Moonchild”; funny, because the first two minutes and thirty seconds are some of the album’s best.
Overall Score | 5.00 | 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌕
🥈 One More Red Nightmare
🥉 Fallen Angel
The apex of prog rock—any and all progressive rock artists should’ve just given up and switched genres after 1974. Nothing will be able to top this. Nothing even comes close. Sure, it doesn’t stake the same trailblazing claim as King Crimson’s 1969 debut, but who cares? This perfects the prog rock formula they essentially created in every conceivable way; improvisational influence with unparalleled tightness, understated yet unforgettable riffs, perceptible complexity that sidesteps unnecessary wankery, and a sublime performance from John Wetton, my personal favorite among Crimson’s rotating wheel of lead vocalists. “Starless” is almost objectively one of the greatest tracks ever recorded.
|Alright folks, lemme have it.|
|i'd be mad at discipline at 8 but like 8 is a great number so it's ok|
gonna properly read this L8r when i dont have a million things to be doing at work, nice one tec
|and yeah best band ever|
|8 is 1. 5 & 6 would be near the very bottom for me. Agreed on 13 though.|
|I knew I’d catch flak for DISCIPLINE’s relatively “low” placement - I love the album, but it’s too difficult for me to consciously rank it above anything I’ve placed ahead of it 🤷🏼♂️ 😭 |
|Aside from 4 (and 8 c'mon man), good ranking. 1 is 1|
2 will always be a nebulous "yeah it's great, but really?" for me, I think. never really got caught up in the almighty greatness of it as much as appreciating what it's done for music
|Lizard is way too low|
|"growth for growth’s sake is the ideology of the cancer cell"|
Please don't let this catch on
|Moonchild as your third favourite itcotkc song is based af|
|no no no list is all wrong !!!1|
and yeah best band ever 
|So fucking glad 5 is so high, one of the most underrated albums of all time.|
|"If “Starless” didn’t exist, the title track would be my favorite Crimson song."|
very good Islands take, thank you tec
|ok i'm back 12 is the worst of their 80s iteration agreed and i respect red @ 1 that album was WAY ahead of its time and influenced so much heavy music it's ridiculous|
lovely write-ups as always man, enjoyed reading them immensely
|" influenced so much heavy music"|
It did? Which bands
|u are a funny user man|
|oh sry if youre earnestly asking i could drum up a few it struck me as an ironic comment|
|yes, that was a serious question |
|nirvana primus and tool immediately come to mind, also bands like magma, goblin, tera melos|
Which goblin albums?
|that was a brainfart plz ignore, was thinking of orange goblin though that one is tenuous since there are clearer links to the sludge that was happening in the 70s, but i do see the thread|
|“Starless” is almost objectively one of the greatest tracks ever recorded. |
Islands is indeed underrated. I agree with top 3.
|@Ledd: Thanks man.#TeamIslands 👊🏼 |
@Ghandhi: saw that quote used for the new Godspeed album, I think either here somewhere or maybe on RYM, and kind of used it in jest here. Though I suppose that’s hard to decipher via text. Anyway the sentiment isn’t terribly misguided w.r.t. my feelings on the backlash that POSEIDON typically receives 🤷🏼♂️ And yes Moonchild proper is phenomenal.
@Ars: which albums that I’ve ranked above it would you demote?
@octogon: Thanks, friend ❤️
@DadKungFu: Especially on this site!!! 3.5 average is unjustifiable.
@Veldin: God bless you 🙏🏼
|Discipline is either the third or second best King Crimson album. Also Beat and Three of a Perfect Pair are both fantastic albums. Worst in their discography are Islands and Lizard, not even close really. In the Wake of Poseidon isn't that necessary either.|
If we're including live albums then the best King Crimson album is Absent Lovers.
|The Power to Believe is fantastic too. I'd probably go something like: In the Court > Discipline > Red > Starless > Larks' Tongues > TPtB > Thrak > Beat > Three of a Perfect Pair > Construktion > Wake of Poseidon > Islands > Lizard|
|RED is that one.|
|@quetzal cmon lizard isn't that bad. you've never rode through the parlor wearing nothing but your armor playing indoor games?|
|counterpoint to your thesis: Yes and Camel rule (I also consider Can prog weirdly) |
Top 3 on point tho. Love these lists
|@OSEL I don't think King Crimson has released a truly bad record, but Lizard is just really uninteresting. |
Those takes are spitfire hot, quetzal.
@Wines: I’ll give you Yes. They rule. At least their early stuff did. Camel is hit or miss for me. But I respect the choice. Mostly I’m just glad you didn’t say Rush. Then we couldn’t be friends anymore.
|Dude rush is fuckin awesome and you know it|
|Switch 4 & 8 and it’s the correct list. |
|^While I obviously don’t agree, I am totally OK with this take.|
|And please leave that Rush praise outta here !!|
|Accurate enough ranking. The first 4 are correct. 8 is a bit low. Nice write ups for 12, but it's more than average. Will read the rest.|
|Thank you, Jethro my dude 🙏🏼|
|You have the holy trinity, but 8 is way too low and 4 too high. But every KC album is great, even construkction of light and toapp.|
|I knew DISCIPLINE was popular, didn’t realize this many people totally loved it, though. Respect.|
|TCOL is the only one wherein I really struggle to see the appeal. Even though I have TOAPP rated low, I can understand how it would be right up some people’s alleys. Especially big fans of New Wave and mega-technical production. TCOL, on the other hand, is just uninventive and boring from any angle, bringing almost nothing new to the table.|
|That's true that TCOL is nothing new but I find it really interesting. There's a kind of industrial/end of the world vibe that will be more developped in the power to believe. I really like it. KC is a perfect band for me.|
|Demon of the Fall|
|Just move Discipline to where Poseidon is and I can live with it. Red is becoming a top 5 album of all-time for me! P.S. Nice Islands score.|
I haven’t actually heard any of their later works.
|Glad to see RED climbing in your personal canon so swiftly. It’s somewhere in my Top 10. Simply perfect, sublime all the way through.|
|When Discipline came out, I enjoyed myself.|
|Discipline is like their third best album behind Red and Court though|
|>When Discipline came out, I enjoyed myself.|
I wish I was there to see it
|It’s not that I don’t like DISCIPLINE...I do...a lot. I just like seven albums more than it. A testament to Crimson’s early greatness, if anything. |
|Demon of the Fall|
|I like Discipline more than the Talking Heads classics, I don’t know if that’s controversial, maybe? I definitely get the comparison.|
‘Discipline is like their third best album behind Red and Court though‘ (2)
|Discipline is their second best behind Red|
|Discipline is their first best ahead of Larks|
|Good list, I like the very professional review format you have going. |
Red and Court will always be at the top because they are both very original and also the most easily accessible Crimson albums...yes, moreso than Beat! I never get tired of them. Both top 10 albums of all time for me.
|As for being the only prog band that matters, looking at your favorite music, KC probably is the best fit for your tastes. I would suggest Gentle Giant and Van Der Graaf Generator if you haven’t given them a shot.|
|I've only heard an album ortwo from VDGG - I think I liked them, didn't love them, but would be willing to give them another shot (along with more of their catalog) for sure. Haven't heard anything from Gentle Giant so I'll dive in soon. Thanks for the recs!|
(And despite what I said, I do like some early Yes and a few Camel albums.)
|Ah got it, so you don’t hate all mainstream prog. Yeah, check out Octopus by Gentle Giant. A weirder, darker band you might like is Magma. Try their album Mekanik Destructiw Kommandoh. Both bands have a lot of good albums to choose from.|