Tuesday, February 12, 2008
King Crimson - In The Court of the Crimson King
I remember getting into the first time on listening to King Crimson's first album 'In the Court of the Crimson King'. It was the Summer of 2000 and my Sister had picked me up after I had seen one of the best movies that was now playing in a small theater called 'Fantasia 2000'. I remember we were going to Soundwaves to buy some music for ourselves while we in the music section and looking for some albums that we wanted to buy. At the time, my sister was into this godforsaken mainstream music scene of the late '90s and 2000's with bands such as Sugar Ray, Madonna, Korn, Matthew Good Band, and all that 98 degrees teenybopper crap. It just made me want to vomit of hearing that garbage sound of Britney Spears (ugh!) But I remember going through the Rock section and I see this screaming face which was the Schizoid Man, and I couldn't take my eyes off it. So I remember buying the album just for the hell of it. As we went home, I went into my room and had my headphones on and put the CD in my old portable CD player and played from beginning to end. I was completely blown away by this group I was about to discover named King Crimson. During that time period of 2000, I was discovering the genre of the Progressive Rock of the 1970's. I discovered Pink Floyd, ELP, Rush, Yes, and the Peter Gabriel-era of Genesis. But being at the age of 15, it was the right album at the right time to feel the energy of Fusion, Jazz, Tolkien related lyrics, and proto-metal sounds. Plus the new synthesizer instrument of the prog genre, the Mellotron.The opening track of the sinister sounds of '21st Century Schizoid Man' will have you waiting to go inside the evil doors of the politics of republicans and the Vietnam War. Robert Fripp takes the guitar to a different level, while Ian McDonald goes nuts on the sax, Greg Lake's voice almost sounds like a Leslie Bullhorn while he sings as takes his bass to fast-walking bass lines and using a fuzztone situation of the human race.The beauty and warmful softness side of King Crimson in 'I Talk to the Wind' is a perfect match point with the flute and Lake's Vocals take the listener to a grassy meadow. Crimson also had a darker side with 'Epitaph'. This track had almost a supernatural feel to it. What is most important about this group is their arranging and composition. They always wanted to keep the tempos different and the strangeness side beyond. They always have a strange taste on how the music was going to react to the listener. 'Moonchild' is a 12-minute composition that features King Crimson doing improvisations and becoming more of an Avant-Garde jazzy style of music. The first two minutes of Pete Sinfield's lyrics dealt with a ballet dancing in the trees and in outer space. And then it becomes really strange, but Crimson knows how to keep the wagon rolling. The finale of the album is the 9-minute epic 'The Court of the Crimson King'. This is King Crimson at their best with alot of darker values and the grinding wheels meeting the puppets dancing of the mellotrons that grow evil and louder. This is a perfect track to end the album. Sadly, this was the last original line-up that appeared in the first album and disbanded at the end of the flower generation. Fripp soon had various band members from Boz Burrell of Bad Company fame, Mel Collins, and a few unknown musicians until the classic King Crimson line-up from 73-74 (Larks Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red) Featuring John Wetton on Bass, Lead Vocals, Yes drummer Bill Bruford, violinist David Cross, and percussion madman Jamie Muir who left KC after the release of Larks Tongues in Aspic. Today, the first album remains the birth of the beginning of the Progressive Rock-era and it brought the genre the slice of life to a beginning of a younger generation of fans who are discovering the music of King Crimson. If it wasn't for King Crimson, there would be no experimental music, progressive metal, or the Prog genre if it wasn't for The Court of the Crimson King.