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Consensus? Best album? Worst album? FIRE!
but then I liked Thrakattak as well.
but I really think Discipline is a great album. Well worth checking out as well. In the Court... and Red are also both amazing albums. Larks Tongues in Aspic is another phenomenal album. I can tell you greats, I can't really tell you about worsts.
Court of the Crimson King - essential, a brilliant album
In The Wake of Poseidon - good in parts, but drags on side 2
Lizard - quirky, very English - I love it
Islands - great, tracks like "Sailor's Tale" captures Fripp's playing
Larks' Tongues in Aspic - the next stage of KC - again, essential. Amazing constructions. The percussion-playing (and toys) of Jamie Muir raise the excitement level.
Starless and Bible Black - follows on from Larks' Tongues - I find the song lyrics banal, but the playing (especially the semi-live tracks like "Fracture") is astonishing.
Red - ultimate heavy record? A consistent sound throughout - Radiohead must have listened to this.
Discipline - the band now goes from being British to being half American, and the sound changes. (The band was going to call itself Discipline at this point, but decided to stay as KC - to get more money?). Intricate polyrhythms - but a noticably 1980s sound.
Although I like Discipline (oooh errr), I lost interest in KC at this point.
There is an interactive CD-ROM around called "Musical Guide to Larks' Tongues in Aspic" by Andrew Keeling. Keeling was commissioned by Fripp to produce this; it analyses the construction of the album - quite amazing insights. The whole album (down to timings of solos, etc.) is constructed on Tantric principals and using things like the Golden Mean - Fripp was into Tantric stuff at the time, see the cover art for instance.
Keeling also did a CD-ROM describing "Wake of Posedion" - I didn't find that one very interesting.
I was playing it in the car yesterday whilst driving over The Snake Pass in Derbyshire in the fog - wonderful. It must have one the biggest dynamic ranges of any album.
Worth it just to hear "21st Century Schizoid Man".
"In the court of King Crimson" by Sid Smith is a worthwhile book describing all the KC albums - worth getting just to try and follow the line-ups.
"Robert Fripp" by Eric Tamm is an odd book - basically, it tells you what a strange man Fripp is.
Another album worth hearing. When the original line-up of King Crimson broke up after "Court of...", sax player Ian McDonald and drummer Michael Giles (with bass playing brother Peter Giles) made an album, just called "McDonald and Giles". It's like the gentler, prettier side of early KC, without the nasty edginess. Good stuff - and the drumming is magnificent.
USA - also essential.
Earthbound - earlier live album recorded on cassette - good playing but rough sound.
Also, there's loads of official live bootlegs and stuff, including a 4-CD box set of the Starless band live, which is amazing.
It's a fascinating progression from 'The Court of the Crimson King' through to 'The Power To Believe', with four distinct phases. Every album moves on from the previous one. Personal favourites are the debut, 'Islands' and 'Larks Tongues' but I'm starting to get into the 80s stuff a lot more. Sounds very Talking Heads in places. Fripp's recently re-released solo album 'Exposure' is fantastic too. Overall - awesome band.
There's a good reason it does sound like Talking Heads.
Also, David Byrne sings on one of Fripp's solo albums and there is the Talking Heads-Eno-Fripp connection too.
But the one I constantly go back to is Great Deceiver - the live 1973-74 box set (reissued last year as 2 double CDs). Stripped down to guitar/bass/violin they are quite spectacular.
The Minx and I / we/ us viewed Prog Britannia yesterday evening. The Minx's view was favourable. Peter Sinfield was the only member of KC 1969 on the programme, and Bartley Britvic the only playing member from the 1969-74 period interviewed. Bill's comments were lotsa fun. KC's influence at the time was greater than a history can easily reflect, perhaps because there is less video / documentary material easily available than for other primo bands; and perhaps because some useful characters weren't interviewed. Among these potentially useful contributors, is myself; and I declined to be interviewed for the series. Regarding the view, of Crimson's particular influence at the time & of ITCOTCK as definitive, I might be biased; but I don't believe so.
There is a dark side to the period, as most likely to every period. Dark & Light meet, and the point of meeting is where the action takes place; and that action is mostly invisible. Agents of the Dark from the music scene of the time have names, and might be named; their actions can also mostly be described. The names belong to different areas of functionality: musicians, audients, industrials & commentators. The Light is mostly in the music, and speaks for itself. Describing the Dark is, conventionally, too negative & nasty to present in detail to decent people; in this case, those decent people turning on their television to learn about the history of prog (a retro-fit appellation) initially termed underground rock, then art rock & eventually progressive rock. Presumably, the majority of viewers are primarily interested in the music & its players, not a global overview of how to bend a joy, with corresponding effects on the winged life. Which leaves a lot of commentary, necessary to an understanding of what actually went on in the whole act of prog-musicking, to remain unspoken. So, how could I have been interviewed without describing in detail an education in the frailties of human nature?
Popular culture devolved into mass culture.
Higher nature capitulated to lower nature.
Aspiration bowed to commerce.
It is not possible to record the history of the period without an account of its business practices; and therefore its business practitioners. It is not possible to convey the decisions & actions of the time without referring to extensive drug use by musicians, audients, industrials & commentators.
The key to the musical movement, and its impact at the time, probably cannot be experientially conveyed; only described: the immense power that was at the heart of the music; the inexpressible benevolence that was made available & transmitted via popular culture.
I remember reading his blog a couple of a years ago. It was all like this.
ALso: "Among these potentially useful contributors, is myself; and I declined to be interviewed for the series." THANKS ROB!
is my favourite by a long way
i also like Beat
Any fans? The album really doesn't prepare you for ITCOTCK, even though all of GG&F are on it.