King Crimson
In the Wake of Poseidon


4.0
excellent

Review

by e210013 USER (159 Reviews)
December 14th, 2020 | 40 replies


Release Date: 1970 | Tracklist

Review Summary: In the wake of their debut, but it’s more than that. It’s more like a cross between their debut and Lizard.

“In The Wake Of Poseidon” is the second studio album of King Crimson and was released in 1970. The line up on the album is Robert Fripp, Greg Lake and Peter Sinfield. The album had also the participation of Mel Collins, Michael Giles, Peter Giles, Gordon Haskell and Keith Tippett.


“In The Wake Of Poseidon” was one of the most difficult and confused albums to be recorded in the whole history of King Crimson, as the original band’s line up had all but split up at this point. It was recorded not exactly in the wake of Poseidon, rather in the wake of Ian McDonald’s and Michael Giles’ departure from the band. The departure of Giles might not have been exactly tragic since he was never an extremely prolific drummer, but the loss of McDonald was a terrible blow for the band that lost his multi-instrumentalist, but especially his song writing was much harder to replace.

Another blow was Greg Lake’s sudden decision to quit the band and join to Keith Emerson and Karl Palmer, to create the new super-group Emerson, Lake & Palmer, in the middle of the recording sessions. Thankfully, Lake decided to fulfil completely his obligations as a singer, except on one track, but had been relieved of his bass duties which were made by Michael Giles’ brother, Peter Giles. Michael Giles still filled on drums, McDonald was replaced by Mel Collins on saxophone and flute and Tippet on piano and Fripp took over the mellotron, the guitar and the song writing duties.

So, recorded at a time when the band was basically combusting within all the changes on their line up, Robert Fripp still managed to keep the things together long enough to get this excellent sophomore release. “In The Wake Of Poseidon” is often looked at as the inferior sibling to King Crimson’s landmark debut album “In The Court Of The Crimson King”. And while there’s no denying the impact that album had on the rock world, for me, in many ways, “In The Wake Of Poseidon” is just as impressive as their debut. But I can’t blame those who think that from an initial listen, the tracks on side one of the album seem like copies of the respective tracks from side one of “In The Court Of The Crimson King”, “21st Century Schizoid Man”, “I Talk To The Wind” and “Epitaph”. The similarities can’t be denied, but surprisingly, this doesn’t hamper my enjoyment of the album but actually increases it, because I can enjoy listening for those similarities each time and I like them. Naturally, after an enormous listening of those tracks, it’s good to be able to enjoy a similar alternative. But, “In The Wake Of Poseidon” is much more than that. “In The Wake Of Poseidon” some of the jazzier and avant-garde tones that the band would start to employ in greater detail on “Lizard” and “Islands” are already popping up alongside the soaring, Mellotron drenched symphonic rock that most had come to love from their debut album.

About the tracks, “Peace” is divided in three tracks, “A Beginning”, “A Theme” and “An End”. They’re three nice tracks with only vocals and acoustic guitars. “Pictures Of A City” is somewhat like “21st Century Schizoid Man”. It’s a typical band’s track, dominated by saxophone and guitar. It’s well composed with excellent Lake’s distorted vocal harmonies. “Cadence And Cascade” has similarities with “I Talk To The Wind”. It’s a mix of a folk and jazz, with Haskell providing the lead vocals and a breezy flute solo of Collins. It’s one of the prettiest songs the band ever made. “In The Wake Of Poseidon” is a monumental dramatic number, featuring waves of Mellotron, and a Lake’s poignant vocal work. It’s the album’s answer to “Epitaph”, and represents the masterpiece on the album. This is one of the best compositions made by them. “Cat Food” is an original track composed as something between jazz and rock. That makes a very interesting musical fusion. It’s a different track, very strange, but it’s very curious too. It also features a neat vocal work from Lake and has also some tasty guitar work by Fripp. “The Devil’s Triangle” is divided into three parts: “Merday Morn”, “Hand Of Sceiron” and “Garden Of Warm”. It’s a lengthy instrumental and experimental track. It builds some tension with an effective use of Mellotron, percussion and woodwind musical instruments. It’s the less accessible track on the album.


Conclusion: It’s impossible to get better from perfection. So, if you are expecting something better or even equal to “In The Court Of The Crimson King” you won’t be getting it. However, I believe that this album is as strong as any in the band’s catalogue. It may not be as a classic as the previous one is, but the tunes on this album are just memorable and enduring and it’s full of great songs. Some of the jazzier and avant-garde tones the band would start to employ in greater detail on “Lizard” and “Islands” are already here. The band would have time to evolve and develop. For now, it was enough to simply prove to the world that the group would prevail through any vicissitudes it was forced to weather, retaining everything that made them such a great progressive outfit in the first place. Overall, I think this is an excellent overlooked album that deserves to be judge on its own merits and not merely as an adjunct of its famous predecessor.


Music was my first love.
John Miles (Rebel)



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Comments:Add a Comment 
e210013
December 14th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I always saw In The Wake Of Poseidon as an underrated album. Many people tend to see it as a minor work of King Crimson, a clone of In The Court Of The Crimson King. It's true it isn't as good as the previous one. It's true it isn't as important as the previous one. It's true it hasn't the originality of the previous one. It's true it's structure is very close to the previous one. It's true it was a very difficult album to make by the band. But it's also true it has some of the best and most beautiful tracks ever made by King Crimson, especially in their earlier days. But, I really think the album is more than that. It has some seeds of what would be their future sound.

So, maybe after you reed my review you can see my point and can revisit it with a different eyes, see it by a bit different perspective.

parksungjoon
December 14th 2020


25412 Comments


agreed hard w/ ur comment pos'd hard

Digging: Government - Shitshitshit [japanese death poem]

e210013
December 14th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks park. It's always nice to see a huge fan of this album.

parksungjoon
December 14th 2020


25412 Comments


no disrespect to other classic prog bands but kc were always extra special in my eyes

islands is fucking underrated as well

e210013
December 14th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I strongly agree. King Crimson always was the quintessential band of the prog rock scene.

Divaman
December 14th 2020


7659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree with e about this album being underrated. And I've always especially loved the title track.

Digging: The Flaming Lips - The Terror

e210013
December 14th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Diva. The title track is really amazing.

Jethro42
December 14th 2020


16200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I love to listen to this album. The obligatory improv track ''The Devil's Triangle'' drags too much and is not really satisfying. It's a filler that I use to skip out off the album. But the rest, omg! The first two ''Peace'' songs are enhancing the songs to come. In effect, they add value to the intros of them songs. ''Peace an End'' is welcome to end it all, but it's weird to have ''Devil's Triangle'' just before. If anything, I'd end up the album with this aforementioned song.

''Pictures of a City'' and the t/t are arguably the two best songs here, followed by ''Cat Food''. I'm also from those who think that the album is kind of ITCOTCK part 2, but who cares if its well crafted, well done in every aspects.

normaloctagon
December 14th 2020


3672 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice a KC rev. love this album. pos'd

Digging: Madvillain - Madvillainy

Donchivo
December 14th 2020


1121 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent album, agreed! Also agreeing hard with Park on Islands being underrated AF: In my book, Islands and Construkction are by far the most underrated albums by the boys...

Digging: REZN - Chaotic Divine

Jethro42
December 14th 2020


16200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Btw, to me, ''The Devil's Triangle'' is listenable when I'm in the mood.

I posd your review, my dude!

Jethro42
December 14th 2020


16200 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Oups, double post.

Divaman
December 14th 2020


7659 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I like Islands myself.

e210013
December 14th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I completely agree with you Jethro. I always saw this album as ITCOTCK part 2 with some slow differences. Sometimes I even listen to both albums in a row, one after the other.

Thanks bro. I'm glad to see that many people consider it a great album too.

And I'm very glad. This time my rating is lower than yours. Lol.

e210013
December 14th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks for the comment and pos norma.

e210013
December 14th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I also agree with you Don. If you reed my review about Islands, you'll can see that I'm a great fan of it too. It's one of the many underrated album in the history of music.

Thanks for the comment pal.

TheIntruder
December 14th 2020


499 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice review man. You are right. It is always a pleasure to see so many supporters of this great album. Have a pos e21.

e210013
December 14th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks my friend. It's always a pleasure to see you on my reviews.

farmerobama
December 15th 2020


277 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great Review!

Far from my favorite KC, but I can't deny the outstandingly evil and glorious The Devil's Triangle. Still haunting my dreams.

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - The Helm Of Sorrow

e210013
December 15th 2020


3158 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I agree farmer. Not their best, but still great. Thanks.



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