Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#119 in the Series) is King Crimson, “In The Court Of The Crimson King.”
A Prog-Rock all-time classic. You can’t say anything less.
It’s hard to believe that this was the debut album from King Crimson, but it was.
“In The Court of the Crimson King” contained only five songs. But a few go down with the all time greats. ‘21st Century Schizoid Man, In The Court of the Crimson King’ and ‘Epitaph.’
I was an Emerson, Lake and Palmer fan before I was a King Crimson fan. I played ELP’s ‘Welcome Back’ live album until the grooves wore out. They included a part of ‘Epitaph’ in their epic song, ‘Tarkus.’ At the time I was unaware of this being a King Crimson song. So one day I finally grab the King Crimson album and I’m giving it a listen and I hear Epitaph and I was stunned to hear, what I thought, was an ELP included.
One of reasons I originally picked up this album was, of course, that Greg Lake from ELP handles the lead vocals.
King Crimson was and is and always will be Robert Fripp’s band. It’s his baby. One of the most talented and original guitarists, Robert has been the only consistent in all their configurations.
Other band members on this disc were Ian McDonald (Before he went onto play with that crap band Foreigner), flute and whatnot, Michael Giles, drums. Another key ‘member’ of the band is Pete Sinfield. Pete was the band’s lyricist. He’s still spitting out some great works to this day. He’s worked with some of the greats. You might know his work from ELP’s classic tune, ‘Pirates.’
This 1969 release peaked at #28 on the Billboard Top 200 sometime in 1970.
They helped define a genre that’s one of my favorites. And they’re still around as well.
This is one of the main reasons that I’ve decided to do this blog, column whatever. To point out ditties like this. I have a feeling that many people did not know this gem existed.
It’s the first solo release by Daryl Hall of ‘Hall and Oates’ fame. I don’t know if DH is the best rock vocalist of all time, but he’s in the team picture.
This was recorded in 1977 but not released until 1980. The wonderful RCA records held the album because is was ‘not commercial enough.’ I guess ‘very good’ just isn’t a good enough reason for a label to release something. I think it was just too different for their brain trust and they didn’t know what to do with it.
Here’s what this album was all about. It was part of a music trilogy that included two other releases. The first was Peter Gabriel’s 2nd album (The one with the scratching on the cover), Daryl Hall was part two. The final piece of the trilogy was Robert Fripp’s Exposure. Fripp played and produced all three. Hall sang on Fripp’s. Hall co-wrote a song on Gabriel’s etc etc. It was quite the interesting project.
It’s pretty hard to find. I believe it’s been out of print for years. Recommended track. “Gotta Have Something in 4/4 Time.
OK, now that we’ve established that, the next question is…..which one?
After Peter departed Genesis, his first four solo releases were all titles simply, Peter Gabriel. Why, he wanted them to be looked at as renewed releases of a magazine. Why did he stop this tradition with his fifth album, “So?” Well, you’ll have to ask David Geffen that question. He pulled rank. (Note: Even thou the fourth edition of the Peter Gabriel magazine collection was labeled as just ‘Peter Gabriel,’ it was widely known as ‘Security.’
So again you ask, Larry? Which one? Well here it’s going to be the third solo album. Sometimes even called, ‘Melt’
This was PG’s first solo album to go #1 in the UK. We in the States took it up to #22.
The opening track is ‘Intruder.’ Some guy named Phil Collins plays drums. This is were Phillip introduced his Big Boom drum sound that we, (and Mike Tyson) liked and mimicked so much on ‘In The Air Tonight.’ But yes, we heard it here first. (Collins was able to produce that sound by placing his drums at the bottom of a long tubular tower with mics at the top.)
Many more highlights on this piece of plastic. ‘No Self Contol, I Don’t Remember, Family Snapshot’,and’ Not One of Us.’
But two other tracks really stand out. ‘Games Without Frontiers’ and the chilling, ‘Biko.’
‘Biko,’ long a concert ender, was a narrative about the brutal slaying of jailed apartheid leader, Stephen Biko.
Musicians here included Tony Levin on bass and stick bass. Jerry Marotta also on drums, David Rhodes on guitar. Kate Bush on vocal and the great, ‘Mr. Synergy,’ Larry Fast on synthesizer and bass synthesizer.