The single most influential album of progressive rock ever released
Released in 1969, this incredible album by King Crimson not only established a new genre of music (progressive rock), but single-handedly established the different models subsequent prog bands would follow. In short, all of the elements that characterize prog (especially ensemble virtuosity) came together in one place on this album. Many musicologists (including this prog-obsessed biologist) regard In the Court of the Crimson King as the single most influential album of progressive rock ever released.
The band members on this album include Robert Fripp (electric and acoustic guitars); multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald (saxophone, flute, piano, organ, mellotron); unbelievably good drummer Michael Giles; Greg Lake (bass, vocals); and last but not least Pete Sinfield (lyrics). All of the musicians are excellent and set new standards for ensemble virtuosity that would be taken up in earnest by the major English prog bands including Yes, Genesis, ELP, Gentle Giant, Van der Graaf Generator, and Jethro Tull. I should note that the influence of King Crimson was not just restricted to England and spread throughout continental Europe, particularly Italy - listen to any early PFM album (1972-1974) for proof.
The pieces on the album cover a broad spectrum of styles, moods, tempi and dynamics ranging from all out rave-ups to delicate passages comprised of just flute and soft cymbal work. The opening track 21st Century Schizoid Man features blistering riffs played in unison by several musicians and at breakneck speeds. There are sections of this piece that are vaguely reminiscent of the furious pace of be-bop jazz. In stark contrast to this all-out assault is the quiet and contemplative piece I Talk to the Wind, which showcases Ian on the flute. Epitaph is my favorite piece out of King Crimson's entire recorded output and features (in all its glory and splendor), the mellotron with string setting. This instrument, with its haunting and sweeping textures, lends this piece (and the album) an emotional sophistication that is truly something to behold. The 12'13" Moonchild is an odd piece that is more of a sound collage than anything else. Specifically, it opens with a brief and somber guitar passage and Greg on vocals, which then gives way to a very experimental and "free-form" instrumental passage that features various percussion instruments and delicate guitar parts (they verge on "noodling"). In fact, there are moments where the "noodling" gives way to sections of near silence. The opening flourish of the closing track The Court of the Crimson King breaks the listener out of the reverie induced by Moonchild, and is structurally somewhat similar to Epitaph - just like Epitaph, it features a ton of mellotron with some great ensemble work and is pretty haunting.
With regard to this particular iteration, the sound quality is excellent and is perhaps better than the other versions out there. (By Jeffrey J.Park - Massachusetts, USA)
King Crimson - 21st Century Schizoid Man
01.21st Century Schizoid Man
02.I Talk to the Wind
05.The Court of the Crimson King
06.Moonchild 2009 mix (Full version)
07.I Talk to the Wind (Alternate take - Duo version)
08.I Talk to the Wind (Alternate Mix)
09.Epitaph (Backing track)
10.Wind Session (from album session recordings)
Robert Fripp: guitar
Greg Lake: bass guitar, lead vocals
Ian McDonald: reeds, woodwind, vibes, keyboards, mellotron, vocals
Michael Giles: drums, percussion, vocals
Peter Sinfield: words and illumination
[Rip and scans by SILVERADO]
First post of the 2004 edition in Mp3 320k By Oldrocker BR
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