In the Court of the Crimson King (subtitled An Observation by King Crimson) is the debut studio album by English rock band King Crimson, released on 10 October 1969 by Island Records. The album is one of the earliest and most influential of the progressive rock genre, where the band combined the musical influences that rock music was founded upon with elements of jazz, classical, and symphonic music. The album reached number five on the UK Albums Chart and number 28 on the US Billboard 200, where it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.Wikipedia
"In the court of the Crimson AHHHHHHHH AHHHHH AHH AHHH! AHH AHH AHHHHHHH!" So damn good. I was lost during some of the quiet free-form jazz shit, but I am here for all of the rest. And one of the best pieces of album art of all time!
2/14/2022 Today's Album: "In The Court of the Crimson King" by King Crimson - Finally, I am able to talk about an album from this generator that I know very well and can review top to bottom with ease. This album is incredible. This album defined what would become essential parts of 70s psychedelic rock, progressive rock, noise rock, and art rock. The production is top notch and the choice to split the music into 5 tracks makes listening to it an incredibly deep, yet digestibly experience. The first song, 21st Century Schizoid Man is one of the best openers to any album ever. The blaring saxophones, the blasted out vocals, the booming bass and top notch drumming make this track feel incredibly powerful and chaotic. There's many time switches, screeching saxophone solos, and dizzyingly polyrhythmic drumming. The band keep incredible co-ordination while having random pauses, impacts, and entrances in a way I haven't seen perfected again until Black Midi. The horns, bass, guitar, and drums play off each other so well and the vocals all throughout the track ranting about the terrible condition of this hypothetical 21st century man match the manic and unpredictable tone of the instruments perfectly. It's hard to tell when the track is going to end because of how noisy and scattered all of the instruments get. I Talk to the Wind follows this track up in an almost unexplainable way. It is such a calm and beautiful track that it gives the listener musical whiplash. The vocals are so smooth and dazed, lamenting the condition of the world and the way the vocalist simply talks to themselves and the wind around them. There are clarinets and flutes in the mix that add to the flowing and sedated nature of the track. The flute solo about halfway through the song followed by the pedaled guitar just sounds so pristine and clear they're memorizing. The outro solo from the flute is even more technically impressive and leaves the track off on such a groovy and impressive note. There is then a huge drumroll transition into perhaps the best track on the record, Epitaph. From the hypnotic guitar riff to the drowning bass and snappy snare hits, this album puts the listener into this cage as it drags you through the universe it creates. The singer illustrates a terrible dystopian environment that one might compare to today. The chorus on this song is powerful, insightful, and incredibly saddening. There is just an incredible weight to this song that leaves such an impact after what was such a laid back song in I Talk To The Wind. The whole album feels like it's set in this "world of the crimson king" which just so happens to be medieval Europe. There's instruments like harpsicord that add to this effect. Moonchild follows this epic piece with a haunting and atmospheric track called Moonchild. The lyrics are incredibly well mixed and produced, telling of this moonchild that yearns for a sun-child and dreams in the shadows of a willow. Each song feels like it holds lore to this mysterious land and this song just hugs your ears while doing so. There's a wailing guitar that accompanies drowning synth chords and cymbal clashes until the album completely tapers off into nothing. The 10 following minutes of this 12 minute track contain some of the wildest improv percussion and it really just needs to be listened to to believe. The 10 minutes of psychedelic ambiance is completely smashed with the intro of the final track, In the Court of the Crimson King. This song is the perfect finisher to the album, leaving it on a similarly noisy and chaotic note as it began and with many ending fake outs too! It's a great track to end off this absolutely incredible album. I have to end this off short due to text limits, but please listen to this album. It's something that has to be experienced and in the 3 years I've been listening to it, it hasn't gotten old. Score: 10/10 Period. Highlights: 21st Century Schizoid Man, I Talk To The Wind, Epitaph, Moonchild, ITCOTCK
A progressive rock landmark. Influenced so many things that came later, including Yes, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, Genesis, ELP, and many more. I never realized before that Yes pretty much stole the riff from 21st Century Schizoid Man for their song Heart of the Sunrise. Amazing debut album, it's like King Crimson emerged fully formed and mature. Classic. 5 stars.
Hello, Red Screamy Man, my old friend… You’ve certainly got a reputation, haven’t ya? The “first progressive rock record”, the “greatest prog album of all time”, a “game changer”, “an album everyone should own on vinyl”…so on and so forth. Here’s thing…You are good, no one’s denying that. You were more or less the first and ushered in a new era. I’m just not sure that makes you immune from criticism, though. Good news first, “21st Century Schizoid Man”: an absolute classic. 53 years on, it’s still an undeniable heavy-duty tune. Great, great, great. Now, “I Talk to the Wind”…I get it, gotta calm down the chaos after the sonic assault of “Schizoid Man”. 6 minutes, though? A little excessive, right? Even in a genre known for excess, this one feels like a bit much and kind sucks the energy out the room after a blistering first track. (Red Screamy Man tries to interject and defend himself) Now hold on, this is for your own good. You’ve been coasting on your reputation for too long and sometimes we need to hear the truth, even if it’s uncomfortable. And besides, you haven’t even heard everything I had to say… “Epitaph”…another classic. An absolutely gorgeous song and easy front runner for greatest Mellotron performance ever committed to tape. Yeah, it’s 2 and half minutes longer than “I Talk to the Wind”, but it does a lot in that time frame, where “Wind” just kind of rehashes the same musical ideas and tacks on a flute solo as an outro. Epitaph is dynamic, it flourishes, has swells of emotion…takes you on journey. See? It’s not all bad. You’ve done some wonderful things here. That said…“Moonchild”. Bro, not sure why you have the tendency to suck the life out of the proceedings right after you strike gold. This thing starts off like a trip to the Renaissance Fair and then devolves into minimalistic free jazz tedium. Again, too damn long and honestly, you’re starting to wear out your welcome at this point. I think even you realize that, because what do you follow it up with? “In the Court of the Crimson King”, which borrows some of the heaviness from “Schizoid Man”, inserts the spacey Mellotron soundscapes of “Epitaph” and makes for a fitting finale, even if it ends…weirdly. Well done. More good than bad, Red Screamy Man. A commendable effort, indeed. We both know you were the template and templates get improved upon and fine tuned…You walked so Lark’s Tongues in Aspic and Red could run. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, you’re the perfect gateway to King Crimson, but you’re not the be-all-end-all of the discography or even the genre and certainly not beyond reproach. Ok, sorry we had to hash that out…are we cool? (Red Screamy Man nods in agreement, but is unable to remove the screamy look from his face) Cool…good talk, bud. Seriously…“Epitaph” is amazing. You’ve got a lot to be proud of.
'I Talk To The Wind' is right. This is farting around, plain and simple. They put in a lot of work in place of inspiration, but for what? A seven and a half minute opener with half a hook to show for it. And they don't get any closer than that in the subsequent 36 tedious as fuck minutes.
Una obra mestra atemporal. Cinc petites joies d'orfebreria tan ben engastades que no es desgasten per més escoltes que es facin. Quina millor manera d'acabar el 2021 que escoltant un álbum 5 estrelles!
Superb, sounds like a real anachronism coming out at the time it did. King Crimson often sounded more expansive, grown-up and frankly more sinister than their peers - probably because they were. Nice to see a band that was (kind of) from my hometown represented on here!
Even in albums I enjoy, there's always one or two songs that just don't live up to the rest of the album. In The Court of The Crimson King is an exception. It's an album where I genuinely cannot pick my favourite song (Sure, there's only 5 on the tracklist but they're divided into parts so technically there's more). Even the improv part of Moonchild, which fans tend to dislike and which I found boring at first listen, is amazing once it transitions to the title track, and I can't imagine the album without it. That's really one of the many strengths of ITCOTCK: each new song part ends up complimenting the last one. The majority of the album is actually quieter and more peaceful than 21st Century Schizoid Man and the title track might make one think; it starts off with the angry but anthemic first song, then becomes more mellow and introspective, gradually building up to the climactic final track. That's not to say any of the 3 tracks in the middle are in any way worse; they're just as perfect as the opener and closer. I'd like to point out the absolutely fantastic instrumental work on this album (just like all future King Crimson albums, of course). Michael Giles' drumming carries the entire album and the whole thing would be significantly lesser if the band had a less talented drummer. Ian McDonald's (rip) flute parts are simply perfect too. In conclusion, listen to this album. Or I will find you.
Overwrought and outdated. I was never a big fan of prog-rock, even when it was current and I was young. Always felt like a bunch of young men being way too introverted for their own good. There are some fun tunes but ultimately I just can't get on board.
"Confusion will be my epitaph." A central line of the album, I defy you to think of anything more succinctly pompous. The reference to death, the deliberate ambiguity, the fact that the band hasn't realised the lyric makes balls-all sense: this album wants to be taken seriously, but there is nothing whatsoever that makes the listener contemplate (fuck the standard claims that cannabis opens up this album; that's no better than saying the album sounds better when you're drunk). Is there a more pernicious album in the canon? This is the album that invented prog rock, after all. Prog rock, my dear sugarplums, is the worst music genre of all. Prog rock is a perversion of all of rock's wonders. The smuggest, most conceited genre, prog rock bands wilfully failed to clock that their music was completely empty, that for all their virtuosity and Tolkien references (a children's author, for fuck's sake!), they had nothing to say at all. Every Roger Waters era Pink Floyd album has no deep message other than, "it's grim up north". Do you need further proof than the title of Yes' Tales of Topographic Oceans? I'll give it to you: Tales of Topographic Oceans was supposedly based on a series of Hindu texts, yet when pressed, the band admitted that they'd never evn read them. Or how about literally any lyric from Emerson, Lake and Palmer (Greg Lake was the guitarist and vocalist on ITCOTCK, and recycled the line "Confusion with be my epitaph" for their cyborg armadillo concept album Tarkus (yes, cyborg armadillo))? By the by, if you rearrange ITCOTCK, you get TIT COCK. As far as I can gauge, TIT COCK doesn't have an overarching concept. That is, I can't discern a central theme, even though the men involved (and it is only men) may claim that the album outlined the gulf between man in the hypothetical state of nature and man in the hyperthetical modern world of concrete and electricity. Horrifically, as I typed that, I realised that some trainspotters will assert that as the authentic reading of TIT COCK. Do you not comprehend that you can read anything into any old cryptic claptrap? Did you think "I Talk to the Wind" was a sagacious insight of a guru at one with Arcadia? If you're talking, you're technically talking to the wind except if you're in space. Hitler giving his speeches at the Nuremberg Rally was talking to the wind. And that inprovised section of Moonchild (a title condensed to utter painfulness) isn't improvisation, it's just hitting instruments at random. All this would be tolerable if the album had a sense of fun, a sense of theatricality, a sense of camp. But no, this is a serious contrivance, a work purporting to reveal the depths of humanity. But this album lacks the gravity for me to truly hate it, but instead I dismiss it like a wasp landing on my forearm. To give a contrast, I went and listened to Joy Division's Closer, an album I take seriously. I felt my eyes moisten during the third track. TIT COCK only made me mock. It shouldn't be a scream on the cover, it should be a boo. 21st Century Schizoid Man is one of Tony Blair's favourite songs.
I just couldn’t get behind this album. I don’t know how this is talked about on level with Dark Side of the Moon.
It's a classic, not sure what else to say.
It's a classic, one of the best albums ever recorded
Great album. Awesome exploration of sound
Prog at it's best
Awesome Listen, I hadn't listen too it for a long while.
Epic. I now understand where the flaming lips got all their licks from.
My first album. Still sounds amazing.
Nunca había escuchado nada de King Crimson y vaya que es un viaje. Disco de 1969, es la pura psicodelia progresiva. Arreglos complejos, van de 0 a 100 y de 100 a 0 una y otra vez. Epitaph fue mi favorita del disco, lúgubre y grandiosa. Desafortunadamente después de disfrutarla tanto viene Moonchild y si fue tortuoso bajarle de revoluciones tanto durante tanto tiempo, pero en general es un discazo. Songs: Epitaph, 21st Century Schizoid Man
Having very well-known albums on this list goes against its purpose a bit; after all, the goal is to help people discover chapters in music history that they might otherwise be unaware of. But I can't complain about having a reason to listen to "In The Court Of The Crimson King" again. It deserves six stars, of course.
Favoritei várias músicas, não conhecia a banda, gostei muito das experimentações.
One of the greatest albums of all time!
Pleasantly surprised by this
I don't listen to this kind of music as much as I used to, but I was happy to hear some King Crimson again after many years. Great album.
Still a great album. I usually go for a later KC album and had forgotten how good this album was.
Classic. Modern. Masterpiece.
A real pinch in the hourglass for the genre; all the influences and fledgling prog ideas beforehand really came together into this album, and no prog rock can look back without tracing some roots to it. A true influence, and a true masterpiece.
I loved it, I loved the influences and everything about it it was amazing.
This slammed. Really, really good.
Amazing. Right out of the gate this album defined prog rock genre and set a very high bar for anything that would follow it. Overall great stuff.
Awesome album, I’ve been aware of it but never actually listened to it before, super-glad I did. I enjoyed the first track, 21st Century Schizoid Man, but loved the other four, especially Epitaph and The Court Of The Crimson King. Due to it not being on Spotify I’ll have to pick it up on vinyl I think.
This is a phenomenal accomplishment of an album, and it just feels right any time I listen to it
FIVE STARS An all-time classic and a personal favorite of mine. As is usually the case with those five-stars albums, I won't write a full-blown review about this particular record, because others have already written wonderful stuff about it and there's not much I can add that I feel could be relevant and interesting. It's just a gem. Go and listen to it a.s.a.p. Number of records left to review or just listen to: 933 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 33 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 18 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important to me): 17
Absolutely mega album. A stunning mix of prog rock, jazz, and symphonic music that's just a groundbreaking delight
Really really really enjoyed this a lot!!
✊🏻👊🏻Killer record, prog and jazz and blues mixed. Crazy to think this was made in 1969, all these guys were geniuses at their craft in composing.
Amazing vocals with no whiny or pompous quality of a glam rock star. Instrumentals breaks that does not intimidate but falls down like a snowflake on a quiet night. Short lyrics that is deep but not deep enough to be ironically self-indulgent. Here is a non-Floyd progrock album that legitimately blew my mind.
This one is a classic of progressive rock. 21st Schizoid Man is heavily Jazz influenced with quite some guitar noodling, which is a bit tedious. I Talk To the Wind is a sweeping 60's ballad dominated by a synth flute. Epitaph is the absolute high point of the album; it's such a strong and beautiful song, with great vocals by Greg Lake. Moonchild is the most experimental (and longest) song, with even more guitar noodling - I have to be in the mood for this one. Finally, The Court of the Crimson King is a classic in its own right, for me almost on par with Epitaph. All things considered, the highs on this album are incredibly high, while the lows are only somewhat so, but still interesting in their own right. I like this album quite a bit. 4.5/5
Bom pra caralho
An album which when you hear it for the first time on a project such as this you wonder- how have I never decided to give this a listen? It’s pretty amazing- it takes you to some other place entirely, one of menacing atmosphere and foreboding. What possible influences could these guys have heard to produce this work of art, something that feels entirely new and challenging. And whilst you can, of course, point to jazz and classic and rock influences, nevertheless, you still feel as if you’re entering some realm, some kingdom that only emerged in front of you, just now. Terrifying and curious in equal measure. Outstanding.
Good Lord what have I gotten into.
Needed more than one listen to really appreciate.
That feeling when one of your favourites pops up on the 1001.........😊 I've listened to this for many years and it is quite simply in the Top 10 of all albums ever produced. Barry Godber's haunting artwork inside and out, Peter Sinfields mystical lyrics, Fripps inspired guitar, McDonald's multitude of wind and Keyboard instruments (that Sax is a killer), Lake's vocals and powerful bass (so dominant) and Giles's drums (i've never heard anyone play the drums that well since)....... .......and finally to the Vision: to create something that stands alone in it's own world, untouched and eternal. There are haters that like to label everything and disdainfully call this 'Prog' then close their minds. Of course it's their own choice but I think they're missing out.
Amazing drumming awesome opening track. Other songs also hold up. Amazing album.
Intense. A cornerstone of prog rock. So many decades later, it still feels experimental. May have to see if a cover band tours--I would imagine this album is 100% better live.
The moment when jamming while on LSD became highbrow art Classic album that is still great today
Day 100 and a classic album that I’ve never herd before that’s good!… The album starts with 21st century schizoid man and I have to say ( for the 60’s) it’s certainly one of the most unique songs I’ve ever herd. Love the fuzzed out vocals, and the extended instrumental in particular! (The only thing is when he yells “21st century schizoid man”; I annoyingly have the thought of Kanye West’s ego spreading over the song). It’s really odd though because the next song I talk to the wind removes the every bit of heaviest in favour of a baron psychedelic folk track it’s not a favourite but it’s still enjoyable. Ending side one is epitaph it’s such an epic, grand and powerful sounding tune that definitely never misses a beat. But then the instrumental of the song comes in a much slower section sounding like death marching through the song, honestly flawless! Side 2 track one and also the album’s penultimate track moonchild and and don’t get me wrong I like the song but the more silent bit in the middle where you can only hear little bits of sound is just too long really; but hey It’s prog what are you gonna expect. The court of the crimson king alone redeemed everything bad about moonchild as it’s probably in my top 3 album closers of all time now, so grand, so epic and ultra climactic, just perfection! Fine, only 4/5 songs were perfection but those songs make up for moonchild!
I think I wrote earlier that there is bad prog and good prog. There is also great prog (a rare occurrence). This is great prog and for me five stars is not enough. It is a towering achievement and I am not sure if the blend of rock, folk, classical and free jazz has been surpassed. It sounds progressive today, fifty plus years later. Even the album cover is one of the great ones, and an entire generation heard Crimson in the Kanye sample.
best album cover ever
The first album with 5 stars! While it's not my favourite prog rock record. These guys were definitely ahead of their time. (Opening track is so good!)
It wasn't just the doves that flew out in Hyde Park on that fateful July day in 1969. With them went the blueprint of a genre that would come to define, for better or worse, the sounds coming from Britain in the ensuing decade that was pouring out of many aspiring bands that favored complex time signatures, ambitious concepts and grandiose statements. And, if it weren't for King Crimson and their epochal debut In the Court of the Crimson King, I surely believe that progressive rock wouldn't have had the headstart that it needed to produce the Yes's and Genesis's and Emerson, Lake and Palmer's of the world. Sure, those bands would arrive eventually but they would have Robert Fripp and his mad genius to thank for the heads up. Perhaps one of the all time greatest debuts to have an all time great opening track, it's incredible to think that we allowed one band (or one man) to have all that power. But we did and we're thankful for that. By the way, Godspeed Barry Godber and thank you for an immortal album cover. Never has a sleeve defined a sound so well.
i talk to the wind is enough for five stars
Для 1969 года это просто ВАУ.
One of the true prog rock masterpieces, brilliant album.
The album that got me into progressive rock. I heard it when visiting Philadelphia on a family-owned radio station that had DJs that played what they liked and not what they were told to play. The first few notes and I was hooked. Made sure I listened for the name of the band after it played. Totally blew me away.
In my college days this record was like holy artifact. Listening to it again now after so many years, it doesn't give me that same "spiritual experience" but it's still a landmark record that was/is insanely influential on many of my favorite artists.
love this album
Epitaph made me cry. What a beautiful mournful song
Insanely creative, sooo far ahead of its time
Did not realize King Crimson was this old! This album rules and was incredibly foundational for so much incredible prog music that came afterwards. Even if you don't like or haven't heard this, you know someone influenced by it, and likely even recognize the cover art! || I will acknowledge some unnecessary and potentially off-putting sections and interludes of sound between songs, but not apologize for them.
Excellent album and hidden gem. Deserves more listens
Fuck you if you think Frank Zappa is better or weirder than King Crimson. This album is basically perfect. Normies should not even begin to consider thinking about attempting to try listening to this without the proper headgear. All necessary precautions must be taken, not to be limited to the usage of thick wall padding, a straitjacket. This album is legally and medically considered a highly effective (if extremely unsafe) method of boosting one's IQ to beyond normal human range. Severe volume is recommended for maximum dilation of the third through fifth eyes and/or other sensory organs. Do not attempt while primitively confined to any arbitrary set of three dimensions; alternately, if confined to less than the necessary number of dimensions: use quickly, far too much, and in any way not recommended. Seriously, this is some heavy-duty shit, man
It’s like if a rock band tried to replicate classical pieces. I love me a good rock ballad, and this has 4 of em, with Moonchild being a bit of a breather/interlude. I love how cinematic and grand the instrumentals are, but the periodically fall away to just a single instrument. Very well put together and all around a fantastic time. 9/10
Brilliant. Possibly the best prog rock album ever made
Absolutely incredible, easy 10/10
This is a weird album. I loved it
A prog rock staple - something new around every corner.
Majestic genius. Opened the door for the most magical and fantastical genre of all time: prog rock. A fusion of high art with rock music, taking inspiration from classical, jazz, psychedilia, and rock n roll. I love so much about prog: its themes, its complexity, the unorthodox musical forms, the high degree of technical skill involved, the long tracks that each feel like self-contained journeys, and so on. Prog musicians in the early 70s reached incredible artistic heights; when was the last time a genre even AIMED that high, let alone reached it? Nobody strived for majesty like these guys did. Modern music feels empty and cheap in comparison to this. First track is just insanity. Robert Fripp is a twisted mad genius; anyone who knows anything about King Crimson knows that much. The drums are just outstanding for 1969. Everyone is playing at a high level on this track. Second track is serene and gorgeous, reminds me of halcyon days long since past. I feel like I'm in an enchanted forest meadow. The third track is apocalyptic and tragic: "The fate of all mankind, I see, is in the hands of fools." The Mellotron adds so much richness to the sound The first few minutes of the fourth track are hauntingly beautiful. Obviously there's too much noodling, but I at least like part of the ambient section, specifically the guitar-driven parts. In defense of the noodling, I would at least say that it perfectly primes you for the impact of that final track. The final track mesmerizes me. Its sounds are lush and overwhelming. The lyrics confuse and entrance me. It is almost too majestic to describe with words. It is otherworldly. It sounds like heaven and hell colliding.
Epic. I remember the first time I heard "In The Court of the Crimson King" many years ago. It was unlike any other music I had heard before. It's not a surprise to find how influential this album has become. I think prog rock has a tendency to become too experimental and become an exercise in musicianship rather than just being good music, but I think that King Crimson hit the nail on the head with this one. 5/5
Wouldn’t change a note
21st Century Schizoid Man gets this an automatic 5 star. Amazing song, great album.
damn i love this
I read a lot of good things about this album but I have never got to listen to the album until now. I now understand why people hype this record as one of the greatest. It has beautiful production, soulful vocals and excellent instrumentation. For me, I love the drumming by Michael Giles throughout the whole album. That guy is a fucking machine. I also love how Ian McDonald adds power to songs with his saxophone on 21st Century Schizoid Man while setting the mood and feel with the woodwind on "I Talk to the Wind" and "Moonchild".
Ah, yes the sound of blaring horns. Seriously though, one of the most progressive albums of all time (through my minuscule knowledge). It harsh, it's loud, and it's complex. but that's what it makes it great. The harshness of it is what makes the album amazing, a true originator of prog metal. (i.e. 21st Century Schizoid Man) Well, actually part of it is beautiful. Strange wording. Still, one of the greatest albums of all time.
Prog album that deserves multiple listens
"In the Court of the Crimson King" is the debut album by English rock band King Crimson and considered one of the earliest and most influential albums in the progressive (prog) rock genre. It is and was the only album with all orginal members including Grebg Lake (lead vocals, bass), Robert Fripp (guitars), Ian McDonald (woodwinds, piano, mellotron, organ, vibraphone), Michael Giles (drums, percussion) and Peter Sinfield (lyricist, illumination). They all had major roles and all produced this album. There have been various remixes and reissues. Pitchfork described this music as a hybrid of menacing rock, classical sophisticated, pastoral pyschedelia and free-jazz mania. I'll say, quite the journey. You can really go down the research rabbit hole on this one with the comparisons to Roman Emperor Frederick II and the content and art. I'd need at least a month to adequately take in. Side one or the below/earth/present side begins with "21st Century Schizoid Man." The sound of air which then kicks into a big music sound. Proto-metal riffs, jazz rock drums, the alto sax and Greg Lake's distorted lyrics. A guitar solo and a totally musical chaotic ending. Images of burning politicians/starving children and I think a commentary on the destruction of the Vietnam War and contradictory societal moral values. A monster of an opening song. "I Talk to the Wind" slows things down. Gentler vocals by Lake. A dominat flute. An outsider/elder talking (to the wind) and no one is listening. A dramatic start to "Epitaph" which then slows down going softer and then builds with the music and emotion. The mellotron. A Cold War commentary. Many think a transition song connecting the first and second sides. "Moonchild" kicks-off side two or the above/metaphysical past side. The first part is a ballad and the kicks in to a trippy space jam. Jazzy. Pyschedelic. Chill. Yeah! Abstract images with the moon as a center piece. The album ends with their single "In the Court of the Crimson King." Very dramatic. The mellotron riff. Now we're talking about the sun. References to colors, jesters, queens...very medieval. About death? A similar chaotic/dramatic ending just as the album starts. There can be a lot here in this album if you want to keep digging. The artistry and music alone is great without trying to figure out the meaning. An epic album and still sounding great, every bit its masterpiece reputation.
Великолепный альбом, в котором замечательно всё. Изощрённый инструментал, который иногда перекликается с текстом, прекрасный вокал и трогательно-суровые тексты тянут за душу с каждым прослушиванием каждый раз, как в первый. Это альбом нужно прочувствовать каждому.
This has been one of my favorite albums of all time, for a long time. It was a pleasure to listen to it straight through again.
This is an incredible album, especially taking into consideration when it was released. In 1969 we were still listening to Pop am radio songs. FM was still considered "underground" radio. This was so different than other albums being released. Like Abbey Road, Tommy, let it bleed; songs like honky-tonk woman, crimson and clover, build me up Buttercup; music was really starting to change in 1969. I discovered this album around 1971. That was when I was starting to listen to Grand Funk and Deep Purple and other things besides the a.m. radio Pop hits. Definitely the best album cover of all time in my opinion.
This is easily one of my favourites albums not only from rock history, but from music history in general. I listened to all of King Crimson's discography, and while it is full of perfect albums, I still think that no one could surpass the greatness of their debut. Everything about this record is just on point: the lyrics, the guitar, the orchestral and jazz arrangements, the percussion, Greg Lake's theatrical vocals... "21st Century Schizoid Man", despite having limited lyrics, still remains as one of the most brutal and aggressive anti-war songs, and so does "Epitaph". "I Talk To The Wind" and "The Court of The Crimson King" still give me the same chills that I got the first time that I listened to them. Even "Moonchild", the weakest track on the album, is still a very solid song. If you liked this album, I heavily recommend checking out the rest ofKing Crimson's huge discography. Seriously, if you thought this album was insane, believe me when I tell you that the rest of their music becomes even more batshit crazy as they evolve. Despite never achieving mainstream success, this band managed to have a huge influence and/pr be a pioneer in genres such as prog rock, prog metal, avant-garde metal, jazz rock, experimental rock, prog folk, math rock, industrial, industrial rock/metal, post-progressive and even perhaps new wave (looking at you, 80s albums...) and post-rock (looking at you "Starless"...). If you like any band of these genres, their band members probably listened to King Crimson. Or perhaps they listened to Rush instead. Or maybe both...
The blueprint for so much prog to come. This listen I was struck by how the more ambient parts sounded so similar to Echoes. 9/10
10/10. Yeah, I really liked this. Very melodramatic and complex. Only downside is it makes me think of that "Prog Rock? More like Frog Cock" meme I had described to me once
9/10 I always forget about this album and then every time I listen to it I’m like. What have I been doing. It’s great, cool variety of sounds and styles but each one of them is great
even in spite of the jazz influences and instrumental breaks that create an effortlessly cool, meandering tempo, In The Court of The Crimson King, King Crimson’s seminal debut that practically changed the face of progressive rock, is a bubbling pot of endless urgency that quietly brews underneath the skin of each song, so that by the time the album comes to an end, the slow walk has become a full blown sprint. it does make sense that jazz and rock — ripped from the same cloth in how they both yield to unexpected twists and turns, and yet are wholly different in pace and structure — would be sonically matrimonial, but King Crimson refuses to exist in the equilibrium. each song sounds as though their influences are clashing; their key elements here are flipped, contrasted, and then juxtaposed, designed to be at war with each other. and like an actual battle, there is no knowing where any of this songs are headed. this is most prevalent on opener “21st Century Schizoid Man”, where all sense of musical predictability is thrown out the window, and every song that follows it is just as burdened with a similar volatility: they change time signatures with almost no sense of reason; random pauses and brief silences appear out of nowhere in the middle of songs; they introduce instrumental breaks when the songs begin to climax (the flute solo in the middle of the title track is some of the most sublime); and then build frantic polyrhythmic drum sections that grate and grind. what results is a carefully orchestrated battlefield where chaos rules supreme, and the only casualties are those left playing catch up to King Crimson’s madness.
One description I’ve often seen of this album is that it sounds like it could’ve been released today. Certainly, there are elements that betray it being a product of the 60s, but it’s no mean feat to still sound fresh more than 50 years on. One reason for this is probably the fact that prog bands are using it as a reference point even to this day. The more relevant reason, however, which is common with every album that transcends time and genre, is great songwriting. And every song on here is a classic, never quite replicated by another band since except maybe King Crimson themselves. This is all without mentioning the massive musical talent within the band: Greg Lake steals the show with his powerful voice, not to overshadow his nimble bass playing providing great counterpoint to the rest of the music. Robert Fripp, who should need no introduction, takes a more subdued role, with hints of his unique melodic approach present in the guitar solos/improvisation. Michael Giles provides a stunning performance on drums, showing off his impressive chops not just in the bombastic moments but also the quiet ones. Not least of all is Ian McDonald, showing faultless multi-instrumental prowess on reeds, woodwinds and keys while also being the principal songwriter. The lyrical contribution of Peter Sinfield also deserve mention, illustrating wondrous fantasy worlds alongside rough depictions of war, solitude and the human condition. This line-up of King Crimson was not to last, as Ian McDonald and Greg Lake would leave the group before the release of their next album less than a year later, with Fripp taking over as band leader and principal writer from then on (even the artist behind the iconic cover art, Barry Godber, would tragically pass away a few months after the albums release at the age of 24). King Crimson then went on to experiment wildly with their style for the rest of their career, leaving behind perhaps the greatest debut album of all time. P.S. The flaw of the album is not Moonchild. That song is wonderful all the way through. The true flaw is the anti-climactic fake out ending of The Court Of The Crimson King. Why they decided to put that one last instead of using the perfect ending that precedes it I will never understand.
This might be one of the most important album in my musical evolution and journey. I was 15 or 16 years old the first time I heard it. With this album, I discovered a whole other way to play drum. I learned that a strong listening within the musicians can be a game changer for a jam part or even for a written part. I found that an album artwork can be weirdly fascinating. I also gave a more important attention to abstract lyrics and poetry. And most of all, it was my introduction to my favorite instrument ever : the mellotron. I remember the first time I listened to this album, I have rarely felt something so strong on the first try. 5 stars is not enough.