King Crimson - "In the Court of the Crimson King" (1969)

Discussion in 'Music' started by Lucifer Sam, Jan 13, 2005.

  1. Lucifer Sam

    Lucifer Sam Vegetable Man

    The thinking man's Pink Floyd.
    King Crimson's wonderful 1969 debut which kicked-off the progressive movement seems just as relevant today as it did thirty-five years ago.


    I've had In the Court of the Crimson King in my music library for a good year now, but I have only recently fully indulged in it. Throughout the last five or so turns this album has taken on my turntable, I have begun to realize how great it really is.

    The band, which consists of Robert Fripp on guitar, Ian McDonald on reeds, woodwind, vibes, keyboards, mellotron, and vocals, Greg Lake on bass guitar and lead vocals, Michael Giles on drums, percussion, and vocals, and Peter Sinfield on words and illumination, sought to create an album that was to be experienced on an intellectual level, rather than a simple head-banging, rock-out level.

    What King Crimson created was the album that would single-handedly jump start the progressive rock movement.

    The album opens with the jazzy "21st Century Schizoid Man," a classic Crimson anthem. This is as closest the band ventures into the world of rock on In the Court of the Crimson King. A towering wall of guitar, drums, and McDonald's jazzy instrumental treatments, accompanied by Greg Lake's distorted voice, "21st Century Schizoid Man" is an almost frightening listen. The lyrics aren't all that comforting either. For example, a segment of the song reads:

    Blood rack barbed wire
    Politician's funeral pyre
    Innocents raped with napalm fire
    Twenty first century schizoid man.

    The album then flows into the beautiful "I Talk to the Wind," laced with delightful vocal harmonies. The song, written by McDonald and Sinfield, is easily the most beautiful song on In the Court of the Crimson King.

    The remnants of "I Talk to the Wind" eventually transform into the majestic "Epitaph," the best song on the album and quite possibly the best song in King Crimson's extensive discography. Often hailed by Crimson fans, "Epitaph" is a beautiful yet melancholy piece with some of the most intelligent lyrics ever written for a rock song.

    Side two opens with what many critics feel prevents In the Court of the Crimson King from being hailed as a masterpiece. The 12-minute "Moonchild," a very lovely ballad, is often looked down upon for its use of free-form jazz. Many listeners find it to be a rather boring listen. However, given time, an open mind will find the beauty that the song embodies.

    "Moonchild" drifts into the final song on the album, the title track, "In the Court of the Crimson King." The song, fueled by Ian McDonald's mellotron, Robert Fripp's acoustic guitar, Greg Lake's eerie vocals, is another fan favorite.

    This album, at the end of the psychedelic wave that over time wore on many music enthusiasts, must have been a wonderful breath of fresh air. Gone were the songs about romance and young adult angst. King Crimson instead included in their lyrics medieval literary references, astral travel, and mythology. Their incorporation of orchastral music with rock music was quite revolutionary for 1969, and their impact on modern music, especially progressive rock, is never-ending.

    I have to say that In the Court of the Crimson King is quite possibly the all-around best album of 1969.
  2. puddin

    puddin Banned

    My dad has that vynle. I listened to it heaps growing up and its awesome.
  3. Jabbawaya

    Jabbawaya Member

    It's a very good album. Larks' Tongues in Aspic is another good one.
  4. Spinor

    Spinor Member

    Yes...and the man who has been most significantly behind this music is very interesting, and still active producing music.

    I would say he is a true master.

    I am 49 years old now, but my daughter, myself, and now even my grandson are surrendering to his music.....and surrender is perhaps the correct word. You must surrender to it...and it creates a world for you as you enjoy it.
  5. * agrees with Jabbawaya *

    truly the start of something great
  6. FemmeFatale

    FemmeFatale Member

    I like it. [​IMG]

    I got into King Crimson about a year ago, but then I kind of fell...out...of it. I don't know why...:confused:
  7. I bought this on vinyl about 2 years ago. I only heard it once before I was unable to use my turntable, which now sits under my bed collecting dust.
  8. nightwanderer

    nightwanderer Member

    Great album by one of my favorite bands! If you havent yet checked out the 73-74 Crimson lineup you should. Them along with Can were probably the greatest rock musicians of the 70's.
  9. Pressed_Rat

    Pressed_Rat Do you even lift, bruh?

    That album grew old with me. I liked it at first, but now if I listen to King Crimson, which isn't often, it's usually Lark's Tongues in Aspic or Red.

    It's definitely an important album, but not really one of my favorites, even from that year.
  10. lover/young_peace

    lover/young_peace Senior Member

    Did you write that?

    Anyways, I didn't like that album. :D
  11. Lucifer Sam

    Lucifer Sam Vegetable Man

    No, this is actually the only Crimson album I've had the chance to listen to. Once I get some money, though, I think I'll pick up a couple more. Maybe I'll take Pressed_Rat's advice and try Lark's Tongues in Aspic and Red. I've read good reviews for these.

    Yes, of course. [​IMG]
  12. moondance

    moondance Hip Forums Supporter HipForums Supporter

    Yep, an excellent band. I saw them live in Bristol UK in '73 and still remember it like it was yesterday. And still listen to their albums.
  13. soulrebel51

    soulrebel51 i's a folkie.

    mmhmmmm damn Derek, thanks for the suggestion. :sunglasse

  14. yamamamo

    yamamamo Member

    I only know the title song from that album, its a very good song. My dad loves them so he probably has it in vinyl, I'll check it out if he has. Just from that song its easy to see they are talented.
  15. Xanadu

    Xanadu Member

    great debut album indeed, very groundbreaking i suppose.
    does anyone know i the cover is made for the band or is it ripped of from an famous painter? i believe i have seen similiar work by an spanish painter...incase of, they seem to have an interest in historical painters, im refering to The Night Watch which is my all time favorit kC lyrical.

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