ARTIST: King Crimson
TITLE: In the Wake of Poseidon
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #31 US, #4 UK
SINGLES: Cat Food
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Doubt it – radio doesn’t play Crimson.
LINEUP: Robert Fripp, Greg Lake, Mel Collins, Michael Giles, Peter Giles. Keith Tippett. Gordon Haskell sings one track.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Amidst the chaos of the crumbling of the first incarnation, Fripp pulls together a good to great second album that expands on his musical vision.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Somehow, Fripp did it. After the ENTIRE band quit on him, he picked up the pieces, asked a few friends and ex-bandmates kindly to play on the next album, and well, here you go.
Bookended by “Peace” (with a beginning, theme and an end), the album goes through heavy rock, a gentle and placid ballad, and a couple of extended workouts, including one that rivals the Mothers of Invention for planned instrumental chaos.
Oh, and there’s “Cat Food”, a legitimate single and fun song that you’d never expect from a band seemingly as serious as King Crimson. It’s a hoot, and they actually went on Top of the Pops to mime to it.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Lake sang on this album in exchange for King Crimson’s PA. The Giles brothers were also just helping out. Collins and Haskell would join the band proper soon, and Tippett played on many of their early albums.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A couple of anniversary editions (30th and 40th) have the great “Cat Food” B-side Groon, among a couple of other re-mixes and demos.
GRADE: B+: I love “Cat Food” and “Pictures of a City” (and “Groon”). The rest is decent, and the chaotic instrumental goes on a bit too long.