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School me on King Crimson

Discussion in 'Music to Your Ears' started by edvard, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. edvard

    edvard Tele-Holic

    732
    May 15, 2016
    Bremerton, WA
    One of my favorite all-time bands has been Voivod. After their lead guitarist Piggy passed away, the new guy has been going full-throttle trying to fill his shoes (and doing an admirable job, in my opinion). I saw an interview with him and he said that in working with Blackie (bass player), he discovered that much of what Piggy did was lifted from King Crimson.

    So I went looking for some KC to study the DNA (so to speak) of Piggy's guitar weltanschauung, got as far as "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "Heroes" and just didn't get it. I mean, I know Fripp can be a bit inaccessible at times, and prog-rock isn't normally my thing, but I really wanted to know what the deal was. Maybe I'm not digging far enough? Maybe I'm missing the proper era; according to Wikipedia, there have been at least 8 "eras" of King Crimson's music, all going in different musical directions, the only common denominator being the mad genius of Fripp himself.

    So, I turn to you wonderful folks to show me what I'm missing about this grandly influential band that I've never heard on the radio.
    I'm strapped in, let's go...
     

  2. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

    Jun 22, 2009
    Falls City
    Lots of different lineups over the years.

    Thrak is one of my favorite albums.

    This may be my favorite song off the album...

     
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  3. suthol

    suthol Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 15, 2010
    Sydney - Australia
    Been a fan since 21st Century assaulted my ears and rather partial to this complex little piece

     
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  4. titan uranus

    titan uranus Tele-Meister

    Age:
    63
    297
    Sep 22, 2017
    36.395884, -78.710617
    You may wish to start at "Red" and then work forwards and backwards.
     
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  5. DonM

    DonM Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Age:
    70
    Apr 21, 2016
    Henderson,NV/SLC,UT
    This is what put them on the map for me back in the late 60’s.

     
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  6. The_Doctor [EV]

    The_Doctor [EV] Tele-Meister

    312
    Jul 22, 2014
    Virginia
    Crimson Mk. 1 was basically progressive rock, the origin. Two records worth, Crimson King and Wake of Poseidon, plus whatever live material. Greg Lake on vocals and bass, pre-ELP.

    Crimson Mk. 2 was kinda the same, but more confused. Lack of a really solid lineup and direction, some good stuff to be found tho. Honestly more easily enjoyed, IMO, through the live archive releases, Ladies of the Road is a prime example.

    Crimson Mk. 3 is the big shift, gain Bill Bruford and John Wetton and become, well, hard jazz? Jazz metal? Three excellent records, your mileage will vary as to which you like most, plus copious amounts of live material to pick from.

    Long hiatus, enters Crimson Mk. 4, bathing in the new wave trends and melding them with Indonesian gamelan and other world music influences. IMO, the ideal blend of pop and progressive. Also now American musicians enter the fray, Adrian Belew becomes an essentially equal creative force to Fripp for the next 25 years of the band's existence. Hit up Absent Lovers for a really excellent summary of this version of the band.

    Crimson Mk. 5 returns in the 90s after another long hiatus, now a "double trio" with guitars, bass/stick, and drums all doubled up. Hard dichotomy between the heavy abrasive metal side and the Belew pop side. The VROOOM VROOOM archive release is a really solid summary of this version.

    From there, it gets a bit more nebulous, harder for me to define more specifically. 2000s Crimson, don't recall specific lineup variations, but Heavy ConstruKCtion says pretty well what that era was about.

    And the current version, which is up to, what, an 8 piece band with 4 drummers now? Basically mining a lot of the pre-Mk.4 material for the first time in decades, primarily as a live act, though I think they may be working on material for a new EP at least.
     
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  7. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Holic

    Age:
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    520
    Aug 25, 2016
    89108
    ^^ what they said. Red, Starless and Bible Black, and Lark's Tongues in Aspic are just monumentally great records. But it took years to really appreciate them, after Discipline gave me my first immediately positive exposure to Crimson. It also gave me a yardstick to measure against everything else in the 80s (I was an impressionable lad at the time). Those four albums go to the proverbial desert island with me.
     
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  8. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Mar 23, 2016
    Raleigh, NC
    Or to be even more specific, start with "Starless" from Red. :cool:

    Of course, there are some people who just don't ever "get" Crimson.

    But if nothing else, listen to at least one track from each album and appreciate that this is a band that has continuously evolved and refused to be put into a simple little box.
     
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  9. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 9, 2008
    Detroit
    Disregard all the previous posts (plus that's just sooo many words) - here's the whole shebang in 3 records :


    1.) First record

    2.) Red or Lark's Tongue (either - doesn't matter)

    3.) Discipline

    That's THE most comprehensive overview of Prissy Fripp's whole bag.


    (Let's be realistic - THRAK and later is drawn directly from Discipline and/or Red)



    I personally love the "Islands" era band - especially LIVE - but that's for experts/more adventurous listeners.
     

  10. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Bit of a hard left turn here, but give a listen to 21st Century Schizoid Band....Ian MacDonald, Michael Giles, Peter Giles, and Mel Collins. (all played at one time or another with Crimson) plus another guy on guitar and vocals.....they play a lot of "older" Crimson, plus my favorite, "MacDonald and Giles" LP which is pure genius. I do prefer earlier King Crimson with Greg Lake on bass and vocals, also Peter Sinfield on lyrics....true poetry, complimenting the music PERFECTLY.
     

  11. SomeVelvetMorning

    SomeVelvetMorning Tele-Meister

    129
    Aug 10, 2017
    New Hampshire
    It's such a mixed bag, that you just have to try different albums. But yeah, definitely give a listen to Red.
     

  12. SomeVelvetMorning

    SomeVelvetMorning Tele-Meister

    129
    Aug 10, 2017
    New Hampshire
    Islands is pretty underrated. I love that album. Gorgeous
     

  13. Ron R

    Ron R Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    51
    Mar 23, 2016
    Raleigh, NC
    That "other" guy, Jakko Jakszyk, is a member of the current KC lineup.
     
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  14. RoyBGood

    RoyBGood Poster Extraordinaire

    I love the Adrian Belew era, but the three albums (Beat / Discipline / Three of a Perfect Pair are split between tight, XTC-ish songs and lots of improve/noodling. Imho, the best of those three makes one killer album. Bill Bruford and Tony Levin - what a combination!

    I recommend Red too.
     

  15. Ex-riverman

    Ex-riverman Tele-Holic

    Age:
    44
    603
    Jun 17, 2016
    Tulsa, OK
    This has it covered for me. Lizard and Wake Of Poseidon for seasoned listeners.
    I love Voivod!
     

  16. The_Doctor [EV]

    The_Doctor [EV] Tele-Meister

    312
    Jul 22, 2014
    Virginia
    This is basically why I recommended Absent Lovers up there, it really does hit just about ALL the best songs on those three records (only a few really missed, "Model Man" being the most obvious example), and frankly betters them. It's basically how the CD edition of The Name of This Band is Talking Heads essentially hits all the best bits of the first four Talking Heads albums, and in almost exclusively better versions because Talking Heads were such an outstanding live band. One of the best live records I've ever heard, Absent Lovers.
     
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  17. A.B.Negative

    A.B.Negative Friend of Leo's

    Aug 26, 2008
    Scotland
    I'll stick my neck out and say The Night Watch would be a great introduction to 70s Crimso.
     
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  18. Wyzsard

    Wyzsard Friend of Leo's

    Jun 22, 2009
    Falls City
    What a prissy post !

    :lol:
     
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  19. Sollipsist

    Sollipsist Tele-Holic

    Age:
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    520
    Aug 25, 2016
    89108
    "And by the way, if you see your mom this weekend, be sure and tell her SATAN SATAN SATAN" :D

     
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  20. FrontPU

    FrontPU Tele-Holic

    516
    Jul 6, 2008
    nyc
    As one who brought up with KC's music, I can roughly say the albums representing the 2 main styles of theirs; "In the Court of the Crimson King" (1969) and "Discipline" (1981).
    However, it's not always the case for everyone. As you might know already, it's quite hard to say actually what is the style of KC and/or RF. The same can be said of Piggy, only the late knew exactly what the style of KC/RF for him.
    So we can't even assume what's the possible answer unless we know what is Piggy's playing/song-writing style. Can you let us hear some of songs representing that?
     

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