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Red (1974)

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Re: Red (1974)

Postby EruditeMan on Wed Feb 12, 2014 8:55 pm

Larks' is definitely challenging shit. Technically challenging to play and mentally challenging on the ears. It's harder to get into maybe, but I'd agree with Indy that Starless & Bible Black is where I really felt alienated. I don't think I truly loved that album until I listened to a lot of the Great Deceiver box set and various full shows from that lineup. Something clicked and suddenly I couldn't get enough of the improvs and all the other material I used to find hard to listen to.

I really wish Red had received a touring lineup. I'd love to see what THAT lineup could've done with Red in a live setting. One More Red Nightmare and Fallen Angel would've been great additions and round out those live setlists to keep them fresh. If only...
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Re: Red (1974)

Postby Indyrod on Wed Feb 12, 2014 9:31 pm

even though I am still not a fan of "SABB", that album has one of the most amazing songs of all time, "Fracture". talk about technical skills, that song definitely was jaw dropping. so difficult to play, that even Fripp knocked that off the live gigs not that long after the album. but, what a hell of a song. "Fractured" was also an amazing song taking its lead from the original.
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Re: Red (1974)

Postby Ironclaw on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:32 am

An absurd statement about Fracture from Indyrod. Fracture was even on the playlist for the very last gig in Central Park.

Anyway, Red is great, but SABB is, in my not-so-humble opinion, greater. It is for me the only perfect album KC has made. However, in order to "get" SABB (and improvs such as Providence on Red) it may be necessary to have some familiarity with 20th Century European orchestral/chamber music AKA Modernist "serious" music (incorrectly called modern classical music by many people.) For any Crimson fans who have not really listened much to that sort of thing but are willing to give it a try, I'd suggest starting with the Violin and Piano duo sonatas of Bartok, which one old friend and fellow fan of SABB labeled "Heavy Wood" on first listening.


(BTW, I'm not talking about stuff like Phillip Glass, who is firmly within Postmodernism, not Modernism. Postmodernism does, however, relate to KC from Discipline onward.)
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Re: Red (1974)

Postby Indyrod on Thu Feb 13, 2014 9:56 pm

Ironclaw wrote:An absurd statement about Fracture from Indyrod. Fracture was even on the playlist for the very last gig in Central Park.



really, the subject is the "RED" album, and my point was it wasn't played live after the Larks era. I thought that was clear. and yes, I know it was played at Central Park, as do most of us. thanks for the contribution.
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Re: Red (1974)

Postby Ironclaw on Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:31 am

First of all, I want to thank Indyrod for all the work he puts in around here. But the thread had been going off topic for several posts before I responded to what was there, trying to relate what I was saying back to Red and reposting the bulk of my comment on the more appropriate thread.

But unfortunately, the point I really wanted to make is being ignored. It is my opinion, and it might be a somewhat well-informed one, that improvs such as Providence (on Red!), or even set pieces such as LTIA cannot be fully appreciated by people who don't have time for Bela Bartok, or Ralph Vaughn Williams, or Benjamin Britten, or Igor Stravinsky, or Sergei Prokofiev. I think that is what Fripp, and even Greg Lake, are talking about when they say that King Crimson had/has its roots in music of the European tradition. If that makes me a musical snob, so be it! Although there may be no accounting for taste, I bet there are few progressive rock musicians of a professional level who don't get into music like Bartok. And probably even some Heavy Metal ones. Richie Blackmore once said (more or less), "The Violin is mightier than the Guitar." I agree with him.

If I misunderstood what Indyrod meant, I am sorry. Perhaps you think I stated the obvious. Indeed, what I said was painfully obvious. No, what you wrote wasn't clear, Indyrod. I guess you meant to say that 20 years later after two extended periods of oblivion when Fripp and Bruford and four other guys finally chose to revisit material from the mid-70's edition of KC they didn't attempt Fracture alongside LTIA pt 2, The Talking Drum, and Red because Fracture is so difficult. That could be.

But we digress. The topic is supposed to be Red.

So, why is Red not the perfect KC album?

1. The back cover should have been the front cover. This is, in itself, unimportant and has been rectified by "The Road to Red".

2. However, having a photo of the band as the cover symbolised, as I think Vroom pointed out, that Crim was moving towards the mainstream. In other words, Red ultimately became the first step on Wetton's own "Road to Asia".

3. There is too much naked guitar sound. Kicking out the violin and replacing it with sessions from alumni and others did not quite achieve the richness of colour found on the albums LTIA and SABB.

4. The one thing that really bothers me about Red is the vocal verses in "One More Red Nightmare". I almost cringe when I hear them even after all these years. The rest of the song, including the vocals for the refrain, are wonderful.

5. Actually, Red is almost perfect.
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Re: Red (1974)

Postby jtmack on Sun Feb 16, 2014 8:06 am

I've always thought early Crimson had more of a Jazz feel. Early Yes and Genesis more classical music feel...
Oh my bad off topic rant :P
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Re: Red (1974)

Postby Ironclaw on Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:08 am

I agree wholeheartedly that there was more Jazziness in early Crim than there was in Yes and Genesis, and the importance of improvisation is a big part of that. But I think that all the great Progressive Rock bands mixed Rock, Jazz, and so-called "Classical" (if one includes under that label both actual Classical Music as well as the kind of Modernism from the world of musical Conservatories that I am talking about). I'd say that speaking of the so-called "Classical" element in all three of those bands, KC had more of the "Modernism" of that Conservatory world and Yes and Genesis had more of the "Classicism".

Now, back to the topic of Red:

One of the things I love about the studio version of Starless it is the way Ian McDonald's Alto Sax solo reminds me in places of some of the licks he laid down in 20th Century Schizoid Man from ITCOTCK. I hope I've got it right...that is Ian McDonald, isn't it?
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