Album #168 – In the Court of the Crimson King

Album #168

There is much to be said about this album. It helped influence progressive rock as a genre and also influenced other musicians. This album reminded me of The Moody Blues’ album Days Of Future Passed which was released two years before in 1967. That album should have been on the list but it was not because the critics all seem to dislike The Moody Blues and think they are a joke. I disagree. In the Court of the Crimson King could be viewed as a Moody Blues rip off. It is not. The album’s first track, 21st Century Schizoid Man Including Mirrors, is a clear example of what King Crimson’s sound would become. Their sound is musically complex rhythms and fast playing. This album lacks that but their future albums would have their fair share of that. This is the only King Crimson album to feature Greg Lake. Lake sings lead vocals on most of the album’s tracks. Lake would go on to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Robert Fripp, the groups guitarist, has remained a part of King Crimson through its different incarnations. His role is very limited on this album. The one song where he shines is Epitaph which has the same mood and atmosphere as Pink Floyd’s song Echoes, which would be released three years later. I had listened to this album before the album challenge. I enjoyed it then and I still like it. King Crimson set the mood for other Progressive Rock bands to use. Greg Lake’s involvement makes this album that much more special. But, it seems that King Crimson would become a distant memory after this album was released. Most people only know about this album and they ignore their other albums. Their 1981 album Discipline should have been on the list. It was their comeback album and featured Fripp with Tony Levin, Adrian Belew and Bill Bruford. It is very different from this album. The track Frame by Frame is so musically unique and complicated that it is hard for musicians to replicate. But, alas it is not. Overall I give, In the Court of the Crimson King, 5 out of 5.

Next: Songs From a Room by Leonard Cohen

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