Guy Berger

***King Crimson Corner***

270 posts in this topic

I've been listening to In the Court of the Crimson King a lot since yesterday; I feel like my appreciation for this album grows with each listen. One of the (flawed) masterpieces of the late 60s. Probably Greg Lake's best performance on vocals, and he offers some very nice bass playing. Ian McDonald's flute playing is quite nice. Michael Giles's drumming is incredible. Fripp's guitar playing is nice though not quite as distinctive as it would be 3 or 4 years later.

As far as the songs -- it's easy to understand why it turned so many heads 36 years ago, because the music is really powerful. "21st Century Schizoid Man" is just a terrific merger of free jazz and heavy metal -- also, an unusual case of Mingus's clear influence on rock'n'roll. "I Talk to the Wind" -- beautiful flute, very nice vocals by Lake, takes the Moody Blues thing and adds a lot of depth. "Epitaph" is powerful, particularly when it builds up to that mellotron crescendo at the end of the verse. Side 2 is weaker -- as I've listened to more and more jazz, my comprehension of the lengthy collective improvisation on "Moonchild" has improved but it's still pretty weak to these ears. "In the Court of the Crimson King" is quite powerful, but far too long and repetitive. (Nice interludes, though.)

Guy

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As far as the songs -- it's easy to understand why it turned so many heads 36 years ago, because the music is really powerful. "21st Century Schizoid Man" is just a terrific merger of free jazz and heavy metal -- also, an unusual case of Mingus's clear influence on rock'n'roll.

It may be one of the earliest examples of heavy metal.

Mingus? How?

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mingus --> davy graham --> bert jansch --> jimmy page et al

when i have more time i'll start a davy graham thread but he is, suffice to say, one of THEE guitar greats & an early, brilliant exponent of expanding the range of, arranging for acoustic guitar. skip the first album but most everything after that is mindblowing (minus the goddamn beatles covers in the later '60s).

some tunes davy did: "better git it in your soul" (solo, in 1964), "blue monk," "grooveyard," "buhaina chant," etc. (& that's just for starters.)

xxc

I didn't know Davy Graham played acoustic guitar in King Crimson.

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Good thread for me because I've been thinking of starting to buy some KC cds. I have a japanesse import of "In the Court" but the sound is muffled. Are the 30th anniversary remasters the way to go?

Edited by Matthew

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As far as the songs -- it's easy to understand why it turned so many heads 36 years ago, because the music is really powerful. "21st Century Schizoid Man" is just a terrific merger of free jazz and heavy metal -- also, an unusual case of Mingus's clear influence on rock'n'roll.

It may be one of the earliest examples of heavy metal.

Mingus? How?

That R&Bish riffing over a fast 6/8 rhythm reminds me a lot of "Better Git It in Your Soul", though once it moves to the solo section it's more Trane+Elvin. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. I should have phrased it as "an unusual case of Mingus directly influencing a rock song".

Guy

Edited by Guy

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The last time I experienced Crimson in concert was a hit by the double trio version. Afterwards, I felt as if the molecular structure of my being had been altered from the criss crossing assault of frequencies from amplified string instruments. I floated home as if in out-of-body flight.

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As far as the songs -- it's easy to understand why it turned so many heads 36 years ago, because the music is really powerful. "21st Century Schizoid Man" is just a terrific merger of free jazz and heavy metal -- also, an unusual case of Mingus's clear influence on rock'n'roll.

It may be one of the earliest examples of heavy metal.

Mingus? How?

That R&Bish riffing over a fast 6/8 rhythm reminds me a lot of "Better Git It in Your Soul", though once it moves to the solo section it's more Trane+Elvin. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. I should have phrased it as "an unusual case of Mingus directly influencing a rock song".

Guy

At least it's a tune I'm familiar with. :g

Hm...I never made the connection. Interesting thought though.

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That R&Bish riffing over a fast 6/8 rhythm reminds me a lot of "Better Git It in Your Soul", though once it moves to the solo section it's more Trane+Elvin. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. I should have phrased it as "an unusual case of Mingus directly influencing a rock song".

At least it's a tune I'm familiar with. :g

Hm...I never made the connection. Interesting thought though.

Not an original thought, though -- I think Ed Macan brings it up briefly and offhandedly in Rocking the Classics.

Guy

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i was trying to get into the "islands" band recently but have not liked it as much as i hoped for.

i checked out the live at summit studios DGM release. king crimson even does sort of a version of "the creator has a master plan". a lengthy jam has an unfortunate cut in it, which bothered me.

ok stuff-i should check out more. this was the band with ian wallace on drums and mel collins and boz burrell. i wish keith tippett had stayed around to play some live shows.

i don't like that on most live releases they put out i see songs i don't like (such as "the devil's triangle-mars" stuff) whcih gets a little old to me.

i had just had surgery when i got the great deciever box set so i was high on percosets for a week or two and that box set really blew my mind. this was another incarnation where sometimes i don't like the songs they repeated (though i do like some fluffy ones-i think "exiles" for instance, is very nice) but the improv is really interesting. hard rock improv....

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i had just had surgery when i got the great deciever box set so i was high on percosets for a week or two and that box set really blew my mind. this was another incarnation where sometimes i don't like the songs they repeated (though i do like some fluffy ones-i think "exiles" for instance, is very nice) but the improv is really interesting. hard rock improv....

I don't think Crimson became a decent song-writing band (with a few exceptions) until Adrian Belew joined. As far as the Islands band -- I have a few of their live CDs and will give them a spin next week. My recollection is that they sounded better live than in the studio. "Sailor's Tale" is awesome. Out of the three early 70s "orphan" albums I think Lizard is the best, and quite underrated.

Guy

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don't forget to check out the new download site, DGM live. there are some shows available there only (no KCCC CDs for these yet), including 2 from the Islands era. as great as the early years are (and I agree with the praise for the debut album), whatever they are doing NOW (or next, in the current situation, as they are on hiatus for 2 years) is most interesting to me

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The Islands band put out what had to be the second-worst recorded live album ever released by a major label, 'Earthbound' (the worst, of course, is 'The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl'). Do any of the subesquent remasters really make much difference on 'Earthbound'? 'In the Wake of Poseidon' was interesting because it was sort of a rerun of 'Court' done more purely Frippishly. I loved the Wetton/Bruford/Corss/Muir version of the group. The Belew version was a totally different group to me, not an extension of what came before.

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whatever they are doing NOW (or next, in the current situation, as they are on hiatus for 2 years) is most interesting to me

I stopped paying attention after the Construkction of Kcrap.

Guy

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Guy - Do yourself a favor and check out The Power to Believe (it's $5.99 at yourmusic.com). It's GREAT!

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I'd never heard KC before "Court". I just bought it cuz I liked the cover. It has been and remains one of my all time favorite albums. I did buy the 30th anniversary edition when it first came out and it sounds fine to me. I still have the original LP, but it's been played so many times, I'd hate to think what it sounds like now.

The transition between "21st Schizoid Man" and "I Talk To The Wind" still jars my tiny brain even after all these years. One of the truly great segues. I still remember the first time I ever listened to this album. I was sitting in a window in my dorm room on a sunny, spring afternoon wondering where they would go after a wallbanger like "Schizoid" and then, wow!...go figure.

Those were the days. I admit to having several, shall we say, heavily medicated experiences circa 1969/70 that wound up with this music as the soundtrack. Suffice to say, this one is rather firmly etched in my consciousness.

Agree 1000% with the comments about drummer Michael Giles. Just train your earborne isolated camera on him for awhile and you'll be amazed. Just make sure there's nothing right below your jaw, so when it drops open involuntarily, you won't hurt yourself.

Up over and out.

Edited by Dave James

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I was curious about the sound of the live recordings by the band with Boz, Collins and Wallace

I had the original Earthbound LP - and the sound was awful

fwiw - I like the Larks Tongue/Starless/Red incarnation(s) far more than the earlier or later line-ups.

I love "The Breat Deceiver) 4 CD box from 73-74

I saw them live in 1981 with Belew, Levin and Bruford - it was decent - but lacking the power and the glory of the mid-70's band - and they only did two tunes from the glory days - Larks Tongue - part 2 and Red

and they played Larks Tongue Part 2 - twice the second time as an encore

not hearing Fracture in place of it was big letdown at the time - I mean - Fracture is pretty much what the best Crimso was all about - the power and the glory

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I was curious about the sound of the live recordings by the band with Boz, Collins and Wallace

I had the original Earthbound LP - and the sound was awful

It sounds a bit better with the reissue of 2002 (I think that's the year) but it just never will sound that good given the way it was recorded.

If you go to King Crimson's Discipline Global Mobile site, click "Shop" and enter Boz Burrell in the search box it will give you a list of live discs that feature him. At the moment they have sold out of copies of Earthbound.

I have the Detroit KCCC and it sounds better. The bluesy version of "In The Court Of The Crimson King" is wildly different than the studio version.

Jacksonville is a fairly rough recording but I'm able to tolerate it as it has my favorite version of "Ladies Of The Road." Or at last a darn good one.

fwiw - I like the Larks Tongue/Starless/Red incarnation(s) far more than the earlier or later line-ups.

I like it better than earlier line-ups (most of the time) though not always more than later ones. It all depends on my mood. :cool:

Are you familiar with the Elephant-Talk site? It's a fan based site of many things Crim. If you click on "Releases - KC" near the bottom right of the navigation bar on the bottom of the page you'll bring up a list of albums. There are reviews by fans, some better than others but sometimes sound quality is mentioned. I've used it a lot for consdering KCCC releases. The site may be dying off though as the later releases aren't reviewed.

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Ladies of the Road is a good live compilation of the Islands band. Disc one is a collection from the Club releases, and disc 2 is a compilation of guitar and saxophone solos from Schizoid Man performed by that band

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To add to our discussion of King Crimson's (obvious) jazz roots, I was looking through the Epitaph booklet and found the little bios EG* (KC's management) wrote for the band members back in 1969, presumably for promotional purposes.

Among Greg [Lake]'s influences: the music of Hendrix, the Beatles, the late 50s rock stars, and the bass playing of Richard Davis.

Ian [McDonald]... lists among his influences John Handy, Eric Dolphy, Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, Donovan and the Beatles.

[Robert] Fripp listens to and is influenced by the music of Debussy, Ravel, Bartok and among contemporaries, the Beatles. He admires among guitarists John Williams, Segovia and John McLaughlin.

Judging by the jazz names these guys are dropping, they had some pretty hip music collections. (How many people were listening to John McLaughlin before 1970?) McDonald's choice of Handy and Dolphy is somewhat suggestive given the Mingus connection.

Guy

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[Robert] Fripp listens to and is influenced by the music of Debussy, Ravel, Bartok and among contemporaries, the Beatles. He admires among guitarists John Williams, Segovia and John McLaughlin.

Judging by the jazz names these guys are dropping, they had some pretty hip music collections. (How many people were listening to John McLaughlin before 1970?)

I think that JMcL was a session musican before becoming known as a Jazz musican. Lots of people would have heard him on the radio and if you into Jazz in London in the late '60s, you would have known who he was.

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[Robert] Fripp listens to and is influenced by the music of Debussy, Ravel, Bartok and among contemporaries, the Beatles. He admires among guitarists John Williams, Segovia and John McLaughlin.

Judging by the jazz names these guys are dropping, they had some pretty hip music collections. (How many people were listening to John McLaughlin before 1970?)

I think that JMcL was a session musican before becoming known as a Jazz musican. Lots of people would have heard him on the radio and if you into Jazz in London in the late '60s, you would have known who he was.

McLaughlin played in the Graham Bond Orgainzation in '63with Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Dick Heckstall-Smith, and recorded 'Things We Like' with Jack Bruce. He also had worked with Alexis Korner,a nd recorded with John Surman prior to this time. So he was pretty well known in musical circles in England already, and certainly Fripp would have been well aware of him.

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[Robert] Fripp listens to and is influenced by the music of Debussy, Ravel, Bartok and among contemporaries, the Beatles. He admires among guitarists John Williams, Segovia and John McLaughlin.

Judging by the jazz names these guys are dropping, they had some pretty hip music collections. (How many people were listening to John McLaughlin before 1970?)

I think that JMcL was a session musican before becoming known as a Jazz musican. Lots of people would have heard him on the radio and if you into Jazz in London in the late '60s, you would have known who he was.

McLaughlin played in the Graham Bond Orgainzation in '63with Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and Dick Heckstall-Smith, and recorded 'Things We Like' with Jack Bruce. He also had worked with Alexis Korner,a nd recorded with John Surman prior to this time. So he was pretty well known in musical circles in England already, and certainly Fripp would have been well aware of him.

Nevertheless, JMcL was very much a "musician's musician" at this point, even in Britain.

Guy

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I recall reading an interview of JML by Fripp, where Fripp told JML that he didn't listen to his music anymore because he didn't want to be too heavily influenced by what JML was doing.

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I recall reading an interview of JML by Fripp, where Fripp told JML that he didn't listen to his music anymore because he didn't want to be too heavily influenced by what JML was doing.

Here's a link.

A question for those more knowledgeable about Crimson -- I have the May 11, 1971 concert with Fripp, Collins, Burrell and Wallace at Plymouth Guildhall. Did this predate the recording of Islands?

Answer: According to the press clippings in the 30th anniversary reissue of Islands, recording for the album was completed in September or October of 1971. The album was issued in December.

Guy

Edited by Guy

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