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Sunday, September 18, 2016

King Crimson: Red (IAS #38)

This one's for the brainiacs:

King Crimson: Red

15 comments:

  1. "Starless" has a fantastic ending! It is specifically for the payoff of that ending that it's my favorite King Crimson song. What more you could want out of it?

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  2. yeah I don't get how the ending of Starless could be any better than it is. One of the all-time great moments in rock.

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  3. I have to agree with the two above me. When the original melody from the beginning returns with the guitar underneath... I feel like I've returned to the same place but with a brand new perspective.

    Still a great review. Thanks George.

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  4. I agree with the three above, Starless has the best possible ending of the best KC album.

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  5. Adding my voice to the chorus; the ending of "Starless" is breathtaking.

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  6. Once more: the ending of "Starless" is amazing. After one of the heaviest moments on the album, the only way out is a return to the main theme in an extra-momentous fashion -- it's the closest they got to recapturing the grandeur of "Epitaph".

    But that's a minor gripe -- another fantastic review. I find the "warning light" analogy very interesting. Mr. Fripp always did seem like the kind of guy who could sit through the apocalypse (alongside Keith Richards and Lemmmy), but he sure knew how to tap into those nightmarish visions of absolute destruction.

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  7. The climax of "Starless" is the pinnacle of the ebb and flow of the mood throughout this album.

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  8. the "starless" ending is like a supernova burst which cause tremendous gaseous clouds spreading away from a listener who is in position of a white dwarf

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  9. Lol ! Lots of love for Starless in here :-) ...and I’m certainly no different.

    In regard to overt operatics; it’s not as if the album resorted to symphonic crescendos in the preceding 38 minutes. IMO, the orgiastic pay-off at its conclusion is wholly justified ...resonating more powerfully because of Fripp’s admirable restraint during five angular, gloomy (but always riveting) sonic excursions.

    What boggles the mind is that in 2016, KC are considered influential enough to have not one but TWO authentic Progressive Rock albums inside the top 40. Being ahead of the likes of Neil Young, The Stones, The Who et all, really tickles (and justifies) my innate sense of Prog worship over the decades ...kinda sweet revenge for being lambasted for deviating from the righteous Post Punk / Alternative path. (PS: sorry, as much as I try, I do not regard Pink Floyd as true ‘Prog’ ...‘Crossover’, definitely).

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  10. Here's one where I wish IAS would uncouple from RYM preferences. If an album is important for one band, but not so much for the evolution of rock, does that really qualify it as "important"?

    I certainly admire KC, in most of their phases--and they certainly deserve a vaulted place in the whatever pantheons are under construction--but, c'mon! I'd trade the architectural skills of Red for a few other KC albums, let alone a dozen or so albums from other proggers.

    And let's really face facts: sized up next to half of anything by The Who, The Stones, or The Ramones, Red doesn't reach a single kneecap in terms of actual importance or influence.

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    Replies
    1. Not necessarily. The album has a grungy feel to it and probably had a influence on the movement. In fact, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana mentioned Red as an influence. Whether or not that qualifies, I leave to you.

      Out of curiosity, which Crimson albums do you prefer?

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    2. :-)... I was just about to reference the same influence on Kurt. But by such reckoning, do we also accept that he appropriated the Teen Spirit riff from Boston's 'More Than A Feeling??!'. I'd say the former is more likely than the latter ..... Go Figure.

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    3. Nirvana was born out of the Seattle scene, not the other way around. They would have had the "grunge" sound with or without Red, although it certainly didn't hurt.

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    4. better to be great than influential anyway, especially to the blight that was grunge

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    5. To Anonymous up there, I hate to be unoriginal but In the Court of the Crimson King is a real shot of something new in rock. That said, I'd take Absent Lovers over any of their studio albums, only because it contains Byzantine sound structures but emphasizes the ROCK within all the math, if you know what I mean. It has a certain Live at Leeds beauty, mastery, and fervor about it.

      As for Cobain, that marvelous stoner knew a very broad landscape of rock, said a lot of nice things about a lot of albums. Do we rate them all so higher than The Who or The Stones because one talented guy ate acid and tripped on them? Grunge owes a helluva lot more to The Who, Zep, The Ramones, and The Stones than to any prog rock album. Them's my 2 pennies, anyway.

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