Monday, August 22, 2011

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die #168. King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)

168. King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)

Label – Island
Producer – King Crimson
Art Direction – Barry Godber
Nationality – UK
Running Time – 44:01

Track Listing

Side one
"21st Century Schizoid Man" (Fripp, McDonald, Lake, Giles, Sinfield) – 7:21
including "Mirrors"
"I Talk to the Wind" (McDonald, Sinfield) – 6:05
"Epitaph" (Fripp, McDonald, Lake, Giles, Sinfield) – 8:47
including "March for No Reason" and "Tomorrow and Tomorrow"

Side two
"Moonchild" (Fripp, McDonald, Lake, Giles, Sinfield) – 12:13
including "The Dream" and "The Illusion"
"The Court of the Crimson King" (McDonald, Sinfield) – 9:25
including "The Return of the Fire Witch" and "The Dance of the Puppets"

“In the Court of the Crimson King” is the 1969 debut album by the British progressive rock group King Crimson. The album really consists of only five long songs, but additional titles were given to sub-sections of the songs to ensure that the group received the full amount of song writing royalties from their music publisher and record company making the record seem to have 12 songs! Since this album was recorded new rules have become standard in the music publishing business which take into account the length of the songs as well as the number of titles on an album.
The album was produced by the band themselves after initial sessions with The Moody Blues producer Tony Clarke failed to produce any spark. Unofficially it is generally considered to be Greg Lake that actually did most of the production work on the album, along with Robert Fripp.
This falls into the category of a band that I have always kinda known about but never actually heard. The album itself is a roller coaster ride. Loud passages followed by quieter moments dominate. The standout tracks are the classic and often covered "21st Century Schizoid Man." and the ballad "I Talk to the Wind." The title track, "In the Court of the Crimson King," completes the disc in grandiose fashion. While I didn’t love the record, I did not despise it either. It is however not something I would put on for repeated listening.
The iconic cover are was done by Barry Godber who died in February 1970 of a heart attack, shortly after the album's release. It would be his only painting.
The album reached #5 on the British charts, and is certified gold in the United States, and it is generally viewed as one of the strongest of the progressive rock genre.
In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition “The Story of Prog Rock”, the album came #4 in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums". It was named as one of Classic Rock magazine's "50 Albums That Built Prog Rock"
It is recommended – with caution.

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