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In The Court of The Crimson King (1969)

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In The Court of The Crimson King (1969)

Postby Gilesfan on Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:00 am

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The album that started it all. The place to begin. From the very opening "sounds" to the very last "sounds", In The Court of The Crimson King: An observation by King Crimson is probably the most definitive of all King Crimson albums.

Not only the music, but the cover and artwork.

The 30th Anniversary Edition's version with the press clips etc., make the whole King Crimson story worth re-examining.
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Postby ChewChewGumChew on Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:18 pm

Would this album be considered more of a "classic" in the mainstream music community if it had been the only release by the King?
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Postby vrooom on Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:23 pm

ChewChewGumChew wrote:Would this album be considered more of a "classic" in the mainstream music community if it had been the only release by the King?


Now that is a very interesting question. Say, for example, what would have happened if KC had been wiped out in an air crash like Buddy Holly (yeah, I know it's dreadful, but they weren't this is just talk, right?).

Like a lot of artists who have died prematurely Hendrix, Drake, Joplin, Hutchence (joke), I guess the album would have been held up even higher as a cornerstone of prog music. It certainly would have been a mind-blowing statement. "Right, this is King Crimson. Full stop."

No ELP, no Fripp output, Belew would probably be touring with a Zappa tribute band...the possible futures are fascinating.


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Postby diderot on Fri Apr 16, 2004 2:44 pm

vrooom wrote:
ChewChewGumChew wrote:Would this album be considered more of a "classic" in the mainstream music community if it had been the only release by the King?

Now that is a very interesting question. (...) No ELP, no Fripp output, Belew would probably be touring with a Zappa tribute band...the possible futures are fascinating.

Darren

Following this line I think there would be an alternate cover art release as it seems to be repugnant for some people (e.g. my wife and ex-wife).

To avoid any doubt I confirm I love this cover art!
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Postby Sebastian Knight on Fri Apr 16, 2004 2:53 pm

The cover is one of the most memorable covers, though. I wouldn't change it for the world.

As to how the album would have been perceived -- I think it would be a cult item, and critics would speculate wildly on where the band would have gone next. I don't think anybody would guess the future as represented by Larks, much less Discipline. Also, people who saw the band live would constantly complain that if you've only heard the album, you haven't heard King Crimson, but God only knows whether there would be the equivalent of Epitaph to prove them right.

My own $.02 on the album: I like most of it a lot, but the improvized stuff on Moonchild leaves me cold (whereas I love the improvs from the live '69 material I've heard). It's still one of my favorite KC studio albums, however. "Epitaph" in particular, and a great version of "Schizoid Man".
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Postby diderot on Fri Apr 16, 2004 3:55 pm

Sebastian Knight wrote:The cover is one of the most memorable covers, though. I wouldn't change it for the world.

Me too! But if the band had gone (as Darren speculates), the record company would change everything: from the cover art to the track order; select tracks to prog-rock compilations to make more money from this single release!
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Postby Indyrod on Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:47 pm

It was the cover that first did it to me, and that was back in the seventies. I should clarify that, actually my little Brother had bought the LP and I was amazed by the cover. He is six years younger than me, but he was responsible for getting me back into rock music, and especially psychedlic rock (Iron Butterfly, etc.). I was more impressed by "Court of the Crimson King" than I was "Schizoid Man", although in time I have grown a tremendous respect for "Epitaph". Many years passed by and I had really lost any knowledge of King Crimson. Then, as my KC story says, I was listening to a Progressive radio station back in 2001, when "Court of the Crimson King" was played, and I fell back in love with it. From there I started to research what had happened to KC since my brush with them in the seventies, and wow was I surprised. Shortly after that, it was announced KC would be playing here on the "Level Five" tour in Nov/2001 and I decided to go. Several weeks before hand, I started my KC web experience, found KCNN, joined, found the old KC Yahoo Group, joined, started buying ALL the remasters. It was magic time then, I was hooked and became a Crimhead. Then I heard "Discipline" and my head exploded.

So, if I had not be intrigued by that album cover, and the specific song "Court of the Crimson King", none of this would have happened.
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Postby Dog_none on Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:59 pm

This was the first Crimson album I ever heard. I bought it in the mid 90's when I was in junior high (or early high school) on the recommendation of someone at the "Genesis" Bulletin Board on Prodigy.

I loved it from the start. To me, it combined the beauty & majesty of Genesis with the power of Rush (my two favorite bands at the time).

Like Seb, I'm not a huge fan of the improv of Moonchild. What a shame given how wonderfully the piece starts out! But the rest of the album is so great that I can forgive 10 minutes of nonsense.

Hearing this album was enough for me to opt to blow my hard earned cash on the rest of the Crimson catalog (I never had a social life, so I had $$ to burn). This was before the age of internet music downloads, and I didn't know any other Crimson fans, so I had to take a chance. I actually didn't like most of it at first. I dug a couple of tracks off of each album, but overall I was pretty disappointed. It seemed too complicated, too centered around the guitar, too rough on the ears. The music just didn't make sense to me.

When I was a freshman in college, I started to really get into "Court" again. The album just started speaking to me in new ways. Some of the lyrics described perfectly my general feelings & attitudes, and the music got more captivating with each listen. So I decided to give the other albums a chance. This time around, I got it. And once it clicked, I was hooked.

Now, oddly enough, the '69 band is my least favorite incarnation of the King Crimson. I still think the band was great, and still love this album, but to me it is mostly a harbinger of the true greatness that was to come.
Last edited by Dog_none on Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby vrooom on Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:59 pm

I just remember at 15 years old my best friend showing me the sleeve, me being intrigued by it and asking him to play the album. He replied, "Nah - you wouldn't like it!"

Fool!

For a while, I had it in my head that King Crimson was a reggae band...and I don't know where I got that idea from. :oops:


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Postby The Doc on Sat Apr 17, 2004 9:55 am

It was the first Album I heard as well, probably at about age 12 when my mum brought it home. I'm sure I must have been intrigued by the cover but it was the music that really caught my attention, especially Schizoid Man. I do recall spending ages working out which bits were 'Mirrors' 'The Return of the Fire Witch' etc. (at that time I didn't realise it was a fiddle to get 10 items on the record for financial reasons)

Good thread this - will we stick to studio albums and keep them in Chronological order for neatness?
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