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King Crimson fans. Guide me.

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by PollyBass, Nov 2, 2003.


  1. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    As much as a progger as I confess to be, I have yet to hear ONE King Crimson song. I know alot of people swear by them, and if it's good, I know I will like it. So thusly, I need help.

    Good songs?

    Good Albums?

    Difference in albums?

    I'm an idiot for not listening to them before?
     
  2. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    A lot of the really good ones are pretty "out there" at the same time. But you could try "21st Centrury Schizoid Man", "Red", "Cadence & Cascade", "Elephant Talk", "Matte Kudasai", "The Great Deceiver", "People", "The Power To Believe, part II", "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With". All great songs, and quite different.
    Personally, I rank In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969), Red (1974), Discipline (1981), VROOOM VROOOM (95-96 live double album, released 2000) and their latest, The Power To Believe (2003), the highest. There are more, but those five are freakin' excellent.
    Yes. But you'll find many similarities in the albums of the same "era". The ones I mentioned above all sound very different (mostly because there are practically different bands on them!).
    Absolutely not. They are pretty tough to get into, and definitely not for everybody. Took me quite some time to fully appreciate them. Now when I do, I realise there's truly a gold mine to dig into - and the deeper I dig, the more I find!
     
  3. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Just so you don't get all disappointed if you don't "get it" first time through - take your time. It is good, and you'll probably like it, but maybe not right away.
     
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I used to think King Crimson were really "out there" when I was at school - but having heard a lot of avant garde and things like free Jazz - it all sounds pretty tame now. (I do still like it for nostalgia though!)

    I remember : "21st Century Schizoid Man" had a huge impact on me when I first heard it... but the other week I was in a shop called "Richer Sounds" - which sells cheap Hi-Fi - and this track came on their in-store music track (quite loud) and nobody in the busy shop, batted an eyelid!!

    It's become "elevator music" today!! :eek:


    ;)
     
  5. Yggdrasil

    Yggdrasil

    Aug 16, 2001
    Toronto/Buffalo
    There are several distinct bands, with the only common element being guitarist Robert Fripp.

    The first 2 albums (Court of the Crimson King & Wake of Poseidon) are IMHO grandiose prog rock - a sort of really heavy Moody Blues (YMMV).

    The 3rd & 4th albums : Lizard & Islands have some top English jazz players on them . These are my personal favourites; in fact when I was in my teens they served as my entry point to jazz - late at night I was listening to what we then termed "FM Radio" (no commercials,limited broadcast range)and heard something that sounded , to my fledgling psychedelic-rock-oriented ears, like King Crimson's Lizard. At the end of the track, they identified it as Pharoah Sanders "Jewels of Thought". It was worth listening to KC just to get there, starting a long journey into jazz. ( Coincidentally, I just picked up a bunch of the KC Club live CDs, and on one of them the Lizard/Islands touring lineup performs Pharoah Sanders' " The Creator Has a Master Plan" - bringing it all eerily full circle for me :)

    Albums 5-7 (Larks Tongue, Starless,Red) are a completely different turn , some with violinist David Cross; John Wetton sharing bass & vocals.Top notch.

    Starting around 73,but mainly after Red, Fripp went onto a number of solo projects, the most interesting being the solo album "Exposure" and a number of "Frippertronics" albums, the first one -No Pussyfooting- was recorded in collaboration with Brian Eno.

    Around 1980 a totally new King Crimson emerged, which was supposed to be called "Discipline", but Fripp did some thing rare for him, bowing to the commercial pull of the name KC, and simply named the first album by this group "Discipline". variants of this version continue on to today; I have almost all of it; it's very good, but leaves me cold - I just can't warm up to Adrian Belew.

    That's my scattered & incomplete take on KC.

    Frank.
     
  6. Casey. Go get the following albums (In order by date)

    Lark's Tongue in Aspec
    Starless and Bible Black
    Red
    Discipline
    Thrak
    The Power To Believe


    these 5 are probably the best starter pack to Krimson.
     
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I tend to agree with Yggdrasil
    - Islands is my favourite now and I can't stand Adrian Belew either!! ;)

    I don't like any of the albums FF lists!!
     


  8. Funny. I really like Adrian. I guess it has to do with the fact that I was raised on the 80's Krim more or less.


    I just really can't get into the original Krimson lineup. I like the first album, but I HATE Wake of Poseidon
     
  9. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    That's funny and fitting that you should say that, Bruce. Robert Fripp said not long ago that he is reluctant to tour in England because they are viewed as a nostalgia act by many people there and when they do a concert people only want to hear songs off of Red and Court of the Crimson King. Apparently that's different than most other countries where most of the audience are comprised of fans of the new and old material alike.

    brad cook
     
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - I think that's right - most people here are nostalgic for the old stuff, but the new stuff has hardly made any impression over here.

    I never see them written about or their albums doing well - but in the late 70s they were really popular over here and albums got in the charts, were talked about in the music press and I heard their records played in clubs I visited as well.

    I saw Robert Fripp play with the "League of Gentlemen" in the 1980s but I can't remember him touring here since?

    I think their music just doesn't fit into any "markets" over here - so not Indie, not Jazz, not Rock etc. etc.
     
  11. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    You have to remember that this is rock music, and by rock standards it is pretty "out there" still. Maybe not compared to acts like Can or Mr. Bungle or whatever, but to the other 99.9% of rock bands.
     
  12. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Pollys diggin' it guys.



    Pollys REALLY diggin' it.

    I got a couple songs last night from...somewhere... and they more than justify getting a couple albums.

    The first song I ever heard by them FYI, is now "21 century schizoid man". I love it. I have no idea WHY I never listened to these guys in the first place. Thanks for all the help Oysterman, and everyone else. And who the FUZZ is playing the bass on this track?(21 century schizoid man) I'm totally ignorant when it comes to KC right now.
     
  13. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I'm only a fan of the Belew era (1980-present?). I love Adrian Belew, his vocals and his guitar playing. His lyrics can sometimes be corny, particularly on his solo albums, but with KC he's fantastic.

    My favorite KC record is "Discipline", it's absolutely classic. I also love "THRAK" and highly recommend it. Of the new quartet of Fripp/Belew/Mastelotto/Gunn I like "The ContruKtion of Light" better than "The Power To Believe", but I've never heard anyone else who does. Maybe it's because I had already heard 3/4 of "Power" on the "Level Five" tour EP and the "Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With" releases.

    If you can catch them live, do so. I personally find their music much more approachable in person than on record, I don't know why.
     
  14. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    If it's the original 60's album version, it's Greg Lake.
     
  15. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I like Belew era Krimson. Awesome group. I'd recomend Discipline, Three of a Perfect Pair, Thrak, and The Power To Believe very highly. TPTB is my favorite record of the new millenium.
     
  16. DigMe

    DigMe

    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    I like all eras of Crim and I also like The Power to Believe very much.

    When I first heard that version of "Happy With What You Have to be Happy With" my reaction was "Yes!" It was refreshing to hear that after what I viewed as a pretty weak album in The ConstruKtion of Light. I liked some songs off of there but a few made me want to vomit.

    TPTB, however, is a big rolling, monstrous affair with moments of quiet beauty and grace mixed in. I love it.

    brad cook
     
  17. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
     
  18. P. Aaron

    P. Aaron Supporting Member

    What, is the effect is the bassist using on the title track "Lark's Tongue in Aspic"?

    It's soooo delightfully wicked.
     
  19. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Fuzz and wah, I think. Might have read that it was a "both in the same pedal" type of affair. All attempts I've made to get Wetton's fuzz-wah sound have failed. :( :D
     
  20. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Yup. Though, if you downloaded the song, who knows what version you've got? Could be Lake, Boz Burrel, John Wetton, or Tony Levin and Trey Gunn.

    Polly - you can probably listen to snippets on Amazon or something to figure out which version of that track you have (original on same album, Burrel version on "Earthbound", Wetton on "USA" or "The Great Deceiver" set, or TL+TG on "Vrooom Vrooom").