King Crimson

Here beginneth the Crimson pages:

In the Court
In the Wake
Larksí Tongues
Great Deceptions
Coda: Red
Disciplined Beats
Double Trio
21st Century Guides and Favorites

What began as a seminal, groundbreaking quartet ended up being guitarist Robert Frippís ongoing (and offgoing) concern. When the original Crimson broke up, Fripp grabbed the reigns and never let go, summoning and disbanding the Crimson icon at will. Numerous players came in and out of the court, and the groupís formations generally played progressive rock in the best sense of the adjective. Serious without being pompous, occasionally skewering rock conventions, King Crimson has its own sensibility.

King Crimson was a favorite of mine for a long time, but that begs the question of which Crimson. Well, Iíve never quite decided between the Starless and Discipline quartets. Both have unique strengths and lots of great, indigenous material. The only Crim Iíve seen live was the double trio edition in 1995 - it was fantastic - so I have a soft spot for that lineup as well. I am not a diehard fan any longer, but in doing these reviews, it was no leap to remember the old enthusiasm.

The reviews at the links above cover all of the studio albums through 1995, along with the main live albums and several titles that are part of the King Crimson Collectorsí Club, a mail-order series of archival performances and studio addenda. (Iíve noted these Collectors Club discs in parentheses, and I should say that Iíve only included ones I find particularly relevant. It would be a separate task to review all of them.) The original albums were reissued around the turn of the century on Virgin in remastered editions, while most of the live discs are shepherded by Discipline Global Mobile, Frippís own label. No doubt much of the live music would never have seen the light of public release were it not for DGM.

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