TITLE: In the Court of the Crimson King
YEAR RELEASED: 1969
CHART ACTION: #28 US, #5 UK
SINGLES: In the Court of the Crimson King (#80 US)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: 21st Century Schizoid Man.
LINEUP: Robert Fripp, Greg Lake, Michael Giles, Ian McDonald
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Is this the birth of Prog? I think it’s the birth of Prog as a market force, for sure. Genesis, ELP, Rush, etc. all benefited from the success and vision of this album.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Starting off with a major blast from Fripp and McDonald, “21st Century Schizoid Man” announces King Crimson’s presence with authority. To this day, that’s their signature tune no matter who is in the band or what kind of lineup they have. The title track also packs some wallop and Epitaph has some great moments for sure. Anyone should have this in their collection just to see where prog rock came from.
The slower songs kind of put me to sleep – Fripp’s pastoral reflections didn’t excite me. They’re well crafted and all but I want some oomph in my prog.
What was also interesting about this album is that they used the mellotron not as a replacement for an orchestra, but in its own right as a unique voice to the production.
NOTES & MINUTAE: Starting a trend, this band fell apart on its US Tour, with Lake soon forming ELP, McDonald wandering around until he joined Foreigner in the mid-70’s, and Giles sticking as a drummer as a favor.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes. They did anniversary editions, but I don’t have one. That’s fine.
GRADE: A- : I can’t give it an A because of the two slower tracks, but I really love the other three.