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Essential King Crimson

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Petary791, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I'm into prog and such, but I have a lack of King Crimson in my collection. I have the song "Thela Hun Ginjeet" with I love, and I'm wondering what are some good songs/albums to buy? Thanks. :)
  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    In The Court Of The Crimson King
    USA (a great live album)
  3. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Well they try to reinvent themselves with every few albums, so one cd isn't not going to cut it.

    Buy these discs:

    In the Court of the Crimson King. First album, pyschedelic prog
    Red. Where they finally found their "evil" sound.
    Discipline. Their eighties sound. Thela hun Ginjeet is on this album.
    Power to Believe. My personal favorite Crimson and one of my top five favorite albums ever, currently.

    That will narrow it down to the major periods, if you like Power to Believe you will like Thrak, if you like In the Court of... you will like In the Wake of Poseidon.

  4. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    The first three albums are the same kind of vibe... frankly, if you own In The Court of the Crimson King... you don't really need "In the wake of Poseidon"... well... other than for the song "Cat Food."

    Red was the first album I got from King Crimson, and it got me hooked. Do not start with "Starless and Bible Black"... it's mostly improv, it can get a little boring at times, but the song "The Night Watch" is one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard... ever... it's just absolutely perfect.
  5. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS

    Walking on Air gives me the same feeling. It's beautiful; emotional, but not sappy; interesting; damn near any positive expression of words could be used to describe that song.
  6. Start with Red or Discipline. Do not start with Thrak. (not a bad album, but not a good starting point).
  7. I love the song One More Red Nightmare. It's catchy as hell, and is a great example of the use of clapping in a song without making it suck.
  8. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    When you have listened to:

    In the Court...
    The Power to Believe

    ...the next ones I'd recommend would be:

    Larks' Tounges in Aspic
    VROOOM VROOOM (The double trio live 2cd. If you have this one you don't need THRAK, at all.)
    Beat (which at least I think is highly underrated by most)
  9. DubDubs


    Aug 23, 2004
    Los Angeles
    In the Court of The Crimson King is a dinfinate essential,
    Discipline is a fantastic album
    And Red is simply brilliant.
  10. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    If they are touring and playing anywhere near you, do not miss them. I've been a fan since Discipline and seen them live multiple times. Their music is much more accessible live, I'm not sure why.
    I feel the same way about Vrooom/Coda: Marine 475 from Thraak. The bass melody in Vroom just blows me away. I learned it once many years ago - like most Crimson music it's a lot more complicated than it sounds. :eek:

    BUY DISCIPLINE And to make sure that the Crims get the majority of the money from the sale, buy it from Discipline Global Mobile.
  11. Phe


    May 30, 2005
    Oulu, Finland
    I started with Epitaph. It's a two CD collection of their early works (In the Court of Crimson King etc). Ah. Memories :cool:

    Power to Believe is also good. I never got into Red, but I might check it again when possible.
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Crimson has gone through a large number of incarnations, no two sound very much alike so the best idea is to start with one album from each period.

    The original band (Greg Lake on bass) lasted only long enough to record "In The Court.." It holds up well as one of the best examples of early UK prog rock.

    The next three albums (Poseidon, Lizard, Islands) were done with a revolving door of players and are pretty spotty.

    The next band emerged with "Lark's Tongue in Aspic" which I still prefer over the other two albums they did (Starless & BB, Red). This lineup (John Wetton on bass) had a lot of fusion jazz influences and played more instrumentals.

    After five years in retirement, the next lineup (Tony Levin on bass and Chapman stick) again did three albums...the first, "Discipline" is the one to get. Now the band starts sounding a bit like Talking Heads (Adrian Belew had been in in TH and does sound a bit like David Byrne vocally).

    The band broke up again and came back with the "double trio" lineup (Levin on bass/stick and Trey Gunn on stick), again the first (and only studio) recording "Thrak" is probably the best.

    They broke up AGAIN and came back with the "ProjeKCt" bands which are subsets of the double trio lineups (Levin and Gunn play but not together). These recordings (a 4 CD box set, a single CD comp of those 4 CDs and some individual CDs) are a mixed bag, much more experimental. I would avoid these at first.

    The latest recording "The Power To Believe" finds them distilling the sound of the double trio into something a bit more mainstream (well, for Crimson it's more mainstream). Gunn is on stick (no bass). I don't think much of this one, it seems like a rehash of Thrak and the songs don't grab me as much.

    So in general my recommendation is to get the debut recording of each lineup first. It seems the freshness fades quickly with Crimson lineups, I have no idea why.

    For me the REAL essentials are:

    In the Court of the Crimson King
    Lark's Tongue in Aspic
  13. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I love Thrak personally. They released a live DVD with this line-up entitled "Deja Vroom" which has terrible menus but fantastic performances. Well worth buying.
  14. Get hold of the Great Deciever box set, lock yourself away in a dark room and listen from start to finish.

  15. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Alright, i'm going by abark's list and i'm gonna hit up Border's tomorrow.
  16. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Excellent advice. Do not miss LTA. It is the reference. Then you can explore the other dimensions.

    The Great Deceiver is important because it documents the band's live character. This was an avant garde effort with strong emphasis on live improv. This set of discs is edited by Fripp from his own set of recordings. It is the real deal, 200 proof; but not for the faint of heart.

    My feeling is that this is musician's music. Non-musicians tend to not get it.
  17. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    excellent post... and good call on the essentials. Like Matt I got "Red" first. Then "Frame to Frame" (listening to it now) I think it's done a good job to touch on the different lineups... plus the live disc make it a good way to get to know KC.
  18. Joe Garage

    Joe Garage

    Mar 13, 2005
    The Thrak album and The Deja Vroom DVD is a must!!
  19. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    I just got In The Court today. I'm really likin' it. Next i'm gonna get Red next.
  20. Petary791


    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Alright, i've heard 3/5ths of Red and 5/7ths of Disclipline, and I have to say that I like Disclipline the best. The other 2 were kinda "meh" but I really like this one.

    What kind of effects does Robert Fripp use? That dude's crazy! Also, does Tony Levin play a Stick a lot on this album?