In The Court of The Crimson King (An Observation by King Crimson) is an LP which deserves a place in every record collection. The cover alone gives it a presence on the shelves within the ranks of other LPs, but the real twinkling gems are, of course, the classic, heavy prog of 21st Century Schizoid Man, the delicate psychedelia of I Talk to The Wind and the epic which is The Court of The Crimson King. The vinyl weighs in at a hefty 200g but the songs are so much heavier in so many ways.
Vinyl LP £16.49 KCLP1
200g vinyl reissue LP on Panegyric.
9/10 Penrith Steve 14th February 2016“In The Court of The Crimson King” was the debut album by King Crimson. Released in late ’69 it pretty much invented the prog rock genre, with Robert Fripp and Co eschewing blues influences that laid the foundation for rock music in favour of jazz, folk and classical influences. It opens with the magnificent “21st Century Schizoid Man” which employs the hugest of opening riffs and then jumps to the stabbing chords and distorted vocals spitting out apocalyptic anti-Vietnam war lyrics and then develops into a manic jazz-rock work out with too many time changes to comprehend. It’s quite a journey, leaving you a bit frazzled at the end. It is followed by “I Talk To The Wind” which soothes all that the opening track disturbed in you. It’s almost pastoral jazz rock sounding similar to Pink Floyd or The Moody Blues more experimental moments. “Epitaph” takes the pastoral feel of the previous track up a notch by adding symphonic grandeur and a soaring melody. There’s a similar theme to the opening track of an apocalyptic nature, “Confusion will be my epitaph / As I crawl a cracked and broken path / If we make it we can all sit back and laugh” and the painful refrain of “I feel tomorrow I’ll be crying”. “Moonchild” is creepy and ethereal in tone with lyrics to match. This track was used brilliantly in the Vincent Gallo film “Buffalo 66”, incidentally. The later part of the song is improvised and goes from the ethereal to the plinky-plonk weirdness akin to parts of Olivier Messien’s Turangalia Symphony. The title track closes the album and employs a psychedelic etherealness, which is reminiscent of The Moody Blues “To Our Children’s Children’s Children” album whilst having the pastoral elements of “I Talk To The Wind”. I’m not a huge fan of prog rock per se, but this is an absolute cracker, from the cover to the music within.
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