King Crimson – In the Court of the Crimson King (1969)
This album simply doesn’t work as an interrupted listen.
I found having this on in the car while running errands was a frustrating experience.
And that’s about the best I can do for criticism!
My fellow bloggers suggested this was a debut for the ages and they were spot on. The challenge this week has been finding uninterrupted blocks of 44 minutes to immerse in the record.
Beginning at the beginning, the 21st Century Schizoid Man’s riff: the journalist from the 1001 book described it as ‘gargantuan’ and I couldn’t agree more. Speaking of 5 dollar words, the true meaning of the word cacophony? Check out the last 30 seconds of the song.
I Talk to the Wind changes gears completely but this flute-driven number is just as excellent.
Epitaph reminds me of music Bowie would eventually write, which is rarely a bad association. Nor is the Damon Albarn vibe I get from Moonchild & its gorgeous guitar outro.
The Court of the Crimson King wraps up the 5-song set in fine fashion. All musicians perform admirably throughout but a tip of the hat is required for Ian McDonald & his impressive job description on this record: woodwinds (saxophone, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet), keyboards (mellotron, harpsichord, piano, organ), vibraphone, backing vocals.
I had originally thought about analyzing each track in depth until I was reminded of Depeche Mode’s (out-of-context) advice: words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm.
Therefore, I will end the review by insisting you go listen to this in its entirety. Post haste. On vinyl for maximum cover art appreciation if possible.