50 years - Favorite King Crimson

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50 years - Favorite King Crimson

Post by kindredlost » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:52 pm

Late 1969 "In the Court Of the Crimson King" was released. The rest of history is what it is...

Question:
What is your favorite "period" of KC? My impression of KC is of power and beauty all rolled into one.

The early work is important and close to my heart.

"In The Court of the Crimson King" is no doubt a timeless classic and pre-existent. "Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules"... Pete Sinfield was a master lyricist.

The middle years carry a load of favorites.

"Red" has more to offer than most modern work by leagues. "Starless" still brings me to my knees.

this live version is full of poor mixing but shows still displays the power of the band at the time. David Cross is still with them then.

[video][/video]

...and of course the "Discipline" era when they were lean and mean.

[video][/video]

The millennial crossing still brought a strong inventory.

"The Power To Believe" is probably my favorite KC of all time.

[video][/video]

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Post by commodorejohn » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:35 am

That first album is an all-time classic - but, while there's still a lot of stuff I like in the rest of the Sinfield era, none of the other albums truly equal that first effort. The Wetton era is hands-down the best run the band ever had, in my view - from the wild inventiveness of Larks' Tongues in Aspic to the heart-rending beauty of "Starless." There's been great stuff before and since, but nothing has ever topped that.
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Re: 50 years - Favorite King Crimson

Post by nigel » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:57 am

kindredlost wrote:Question:
What is your favorite "period" of KC? My impression of KC is of power and beauty all rolled into one.
For me, it's always going to be the 73-75 releases. Maybe it's just because that's when I discovered them - I may have heard some of the earlier stuff, but it didn't really stick. I enjoyed the 80's band immensely, but some of the songs just don't quite make it. The 90's were great, but sometimes felt like they were just trying to play the 73-75 stuff but louder. After that I was listening to different things, I guess, and didn't really keep up. I've listened to the newest incarnation, and while it's undoubtedly a massive band, somehow it just doesn't do it for me.

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Post by MindMachine » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:59 am

1st album.

Red.

Live Epitath - Vol. 1 BBC Radio or Vol. 2

Islands (just this song) - Ladies of the Road

Three of a Perfect Pair
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Post by cretaceousear » Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:27 pm

Yeah the Wetton era - amazing stuff.
Very fond of Islands too.

Long ago I used to like 'In the Wake of P.' but played it recently and it's a bit meh, apart from Cat Food which is fantastic.
(Don't like Lizard at all apart from one track and I never formed a deep attachment to first album)
Never got to know the Discipline and later era very well, though I saw them once back then.
I have Thrak - I've played it a few times the last few months and it's very good. Really quite Beatles-y while prefiguring Radiohead.
I was a big Fripp fan.
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Post by neandrewthal » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:19 pm

In a way I feel like we're still kind of in the discipline era (they've shifted and evolved but never radically reinvented) so my favourite era is all of them :party:
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Post by numan7 » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:45 pm

hey ,let's not forget about giles, giles & fripp :

[video][/video]

hmm, i think i'd say my favorite KC era/album after all these years is probably larks' tongues (utter perfection that it was). but they're all pretty great.


cheers
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Post by hsosdrum » Sun Nov 17, 2019 5:58 pm

Fave era: Bruford/Wetton era (Lark's Tongues thru Red)

Fave album: Lark's Tongues in Aspic

Fave song: "Starless"

Only KC version I ever saw live: Islands tour at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium in 1972. Phenomenally great concert. Fairport Convention opened for them. Fripp sat on a tall stool for their entire set and never left it — not once — until their set was over.

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Post by commodorejohn » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:21 pm

cretaceousear wrote:Long ago I used to like 'In the Wake of P.' but played it recently and it's a bit meh, apart from Cat Food which is fantastic.
(Don't like Lizard at all apart from one track and I never formed a deep attachment to first album)
Never got to know the Discipline and later era very well, though I saw them once back then.
In the Wake is interesting in that most of the material is pretty solid in its own right but the moods and structures of both the songs and the album as a whole are so similar to the first album that you can't help but compare them - and while it's good, it's no In the Court. If KC had an overt imitator like Yes did in Starcastle, it would be an A-game effort from those guys - but measured against the True Original, it falls short.

Lizard has interesting bits, but nothing all that compelling and it never really gels as a whole. Same goes for Islands, although that's a better total effort than Lizard.

Discipline I ignored for years, but on revisiting it recently I discovered that there's a lot to like about it. Still, it doesn't speak to me the way the original or Bruford/Wetton lineups did.
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Post by Chrome Dinette » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:03 am

I tend to like Starless and...., Lark's....., and Red the best, though a sticking point for me (true for a lot of prog, really) is the vocals.



Having said that, I think the recent 7 and 8 piece line ups of the band do the best job of performing material from all eras. I've even warmed up to some of the vocal material I wouldn't always listen to.

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Post by PavlinaA » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:12 am

I'm not a big fan but still "Starless" is one of my favorite songs ever

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Post by hsosdrum » Mon Nov 18, 2019 6:56 pm

Chrome Dinette wrote:I tend to like Starless and...., Lark's....., and Red the best, though a sticking point for me (true for a lot of prog, really) is the vocals.
I always felt that Wetton was a solid vocalist in the studio — great tone and emotion and good intonation. For me, "Starless" is his high point with KC, both on vocals and on bass.

Unfortunately, his vocal intonation tended to go to shit when singing live (especially with Asia).

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Post by sduck » Mon Nov 18, 2019 9:52 pm

I'm a major KC fan. Have been since I first heard The Court of the Crimson King on Cornell's college FM station back in 1969 when I was a very impressionable 12 year old. I like almost all of their stuff, although their second and third records were kind of too much for me at the time, although I've grown to appreciate them more over the years. I have ALL the recordings they've released, often on multiple formats, which is saying a lot, as Fripp is quite famous for trying to cash in on collectors like me, releasing dozens of Collector Club releases of ROIO.

Favorites are: Lark's Tongue in Aspic - I think my brother gave me the vinyl of that when it first came out for my birthday - the album was released March 23rd, 1973 - my birthday was the 25th. Think about what else was happening musically back in those days, and you can imagine how totally alien that album sounded - those guys must be from another planet or something!

I've only seen them live once, here in Nashville, back in 1994 or so (and yes, you can buy a collectors club version of that show). Belew lives here, and has a studio/rehearsal space, so they did some warm up shows for a tour here. Oddly enough, a few days/weeks before this, I was buying a pizza at a popular local pizza place, and happened to glance at the guy behind me in line, and it was none other than Robert Fripp. That's nashville for ya. Adrian Belew was a fairly regular one of the audience members for my band (I play in the local symphony).
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Post by cretaceousear » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:53 am

Mention should be made of The League of Gentleman - the band Fripp got together when he wanted to be an "intelligent, mobile, independent unit" right after Wetton era KC.

The album sucks but live they were fantastic.
Barry Andrews keys, Sarah Lee bass and a drummer who fell by the wayside. Tiny gigs in pubs and clubs but what an energy.
Got to see them 3 or 4 times. There was one track called Blue which I can still recall that may have found its way into later material.
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Post by cptnal » Thu Nov 21, 2019 5:38 am

I actually like the LoG stuff. :mrgreen:

Big Crim head. Got all the anniversary box sets (more Crimson than you could possibly shake a Chapman Stick at). Found them out through the Discipline stuff, but my favourite is still the Larks' Tongues era. All the live improv stuff shows just what a force of nature they were.
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Post by hsosdrum » Thu Nov 21, 2019 6:51 pm

cptnal wrote:...All the live improv stuff shows just what a force of nature they were.
I remember being completely blown-away when I found out that "Fracture" (on Starless and Bible Black) was a live recording. All four of them were at the absolute top of their game when they did that one.

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Post by Bodo1967 » Fri Nov 22, 2019 4:47 am

I seem to be the only one here who has 'Lizard' among their favorite KC albums :lol:. And 'Cirkus' from that album is probably my all-time favorite KC song. I was so happy when I heard and saw them perform it live in Berlin in June :love: .

My other favorites (I have at least all official albums at home, plus some of the "official bootleg" stuff, or whatever they call it) include the 'obvious standards': 'In the court of', 'Larks' tongues', 'Red'...

And one that is definitely non-standard:

Wait for it...

...

... yes: 'Earthbound'!

I love this album. And I'm neither sarcastic nor kidding. The sheer brutality of this record (I have the vinyl, afaik it hasn't even been released as a CD yet) pre-dated so-called 'extreme metal' by at least 20 years... 8-)
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Post by hsosdrum » Fri Nov 22, 2019 6:01 pm

Bodo1967 wrote:... yes: 'Earthbound'!

I love this album. And I'm neither sarcastic nor kidding. The sheer brutality of this record (I have the vinyl, afaik it hasn't even been released as a CD yet) pre-dated so-called 'extreme metal' by at least 20 years... 8-)
I have it on CD (it's from the only tour where I saw KC live). I love the version of "Sailor's Tale" on that record; I only wish they hadn't faded out the drum solo. From the beginning of the solo it sounded like Ian Wallace was having a very good show that night.

The CD is a 30th-anniversary edition 24-bit remaster by Simon Heyworth and Robert Fripp, from 2002.

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Post by trentpmcd » Fri Nov 22, 2019 7:45 pm

cretaceousear wrote:Mention should be made of The League of Gentleman -
*** snip ***

The album sucks but live they were fantastic.
**snip***
.
Hey, I loved that album! ;) I have it on vinyl (it has "the next step is discipline carved into it) but have no way to play my vinyl, so haven't heard it in, literally, decades...

As to KC, wow, impossible to say. Maybe the live album USA, which both sounds like old Crimson yet has moments that sounds like Discipline. That first album, though... and Larks Tongue. And.. OK, all of them - impossible to pick a favorite.

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Post by tau_seti » Fri Nov 22, 2019 9:32 pm

I do love Red, and then Discipline and itCotKC and Islands, of course. Must not forget Larks' Tongues either.

I've enjoyed seeing KC for my 50th, 51st, and 52nd birthdays. The timing of the NYC shows has been virtually perfect. I think this year's (at Radio City Music Hall) wasn't quite as good as last year's or 2017, but it's a minor quibble. All were phenomenal.

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Post by trickness » Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:33 pm

For me it’s a toss up between the Larks/Starless/Red period and Discipline/Beat/TOAPP. Completely different sounding bands but totally unique. Absolutely incredible that both of these bands were truly King Crimson, and they deserve huge credit for never devolving into a nostalgia act like almost all of their peers from those periods. Saw them a month ago and it’s still like watching a high-wire act.

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Post by hsosdrum » Sat Nov 23, 2019 6:49 pm

trickness wrote: ...they deserve huge credit for never devolving into a nostalgia act like almost all of their peers from those periods...
I got "Live at the Orpheum" (2014) and unfortunately, that's exactly what that CD/DVD sounds like to me. In spite of having 3 remarkable drummers I didn't think the band brought anything new to the table on that one. Listened to it exactly once and put it away with much disappointment.
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Post by LNerell » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:59 pm

hsosdrum wrote: I got "Live at the Orpheum" (2014) and unfortunately, that's exactly what that CD/DVD sounds like to me. In spite of having 3 remarkable drummers I didn't think the band brought anything new to the table on that one.
I was at that show and felt the same way watching it live. Also the CD isn't the entire performance and is rather short which was disappointing.

On the other end of the spectrum for me was the first time I saw them live which was back in 1981 at The Roxy for the Discipline tour. I wasn't that knocked out with the album, but after the show I fell in love with it. It is still probably the best rock show I have ever seen, I mean Fripp actually stood up for his solos! :lol: It probably helped that I was literally leaning against the stage right in front of Fripp for the entire show. Couldn't ask for better place to be.

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Post by hsosdrum » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:49 pm

LNerell wrote:... the first time I saw them live which was back in 1981 at The Roxy for the Discipline tour. I wasn't that knocked out with the album, but after the show I fell in love with it. It is still probably the best rock show I have ever seen, I mean Fripp actually stood up for his solos! :lol: It probably helped that I was literally leaning against the stage right in front of Fripp for the entire show. Couldn't ask for better place to be.
Oh man, I would LOVE to have seen them in such an intimate setting as The Roxy. (P.S. How was your hearing after being so close to Fripp's amp for a whole show?)

I did see Bruford at the Roxy in '78 or '79 (with Jeff Berlin, Dave Stewart and "The Unknown" Mark Clarke) and it was a great show. Also saw Gentle Giant there in '80 at what turned out to be their very last performance in the USA.

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Post by Bodo1967 » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:31 am

hsosdrum wrote:
Bodo1967 wrote:... yes: 'Earthbound'!
I have it on CD
[...]
The CD is a 30th-anniversary edition 24-bit remaster by Simon Heyworth and Robert Fripp, from 2002.

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Happy hunting!
Thanks for that hint :tu: , I wasn't aware they issued it as a CD in the meantime. There is even a 40th anniversary CD + DVD issue with even more songs, "new stereo mixes" and such. Think I'll have to buy that one :deadbanana: :lol: .
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