In The Court Of The Crimson King - Reviews
Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.
Date Submitted: 11-Apr-96
By: (garypc at metro2 dot k12 dot mn dot us)
"The album as a whole works tremendously well. There is something timeless about it. It resists being dated (as, for example, Moody Blues albums seem chained to their era) despite the mellotron (which every prog band overused in that era). It also resists the sort of English pastoral feeling that plagued early Genesis (which I love, but doesn't mean it's faultless!) You obviously don't need me to say it, but it's one of the best albums from an incredibly fruitful period of KC."
Date Submitted: 27-Apr-96
By: George Korein (Mopobeans at aol dot com)
"I love the first side of this album. I love how its song order is loud (21st CSM)-soft (I Talk to the Wind)-grand (Epitaph). This method would be repeated on In the Wake of Poseidon and still be just as effective. Musically great stuff. The second side is a little lacking- the title track is good, but repetitive, and Moonchild is boring and silly."
Date Submitted: 7-Jun-96
By: Spanky Haddock (t3r9 at mainelink dot net)
"Still my favorite album by this unique & inventive band. I first heard this album a few years after it's release. It really has the fire, passion, & creativity that some select bands exhibit in their first major release. I'm not a pro-critic. Forgive my style....I talk from the soul, not the keyboard. The album cover speaks for the music inside!!! Peter Sinfield's lyrics. the art, the music...this album is King of the CLASSICS!!!! A rare & complete musical project yet to be duplicated. At some other time, I may bore you with my evaluations of my connection to the individual tracks... .to be continued...(like life)!"
Date Submitted: 10-Jun-96
By: James Bailey (jimab at rogers dot com)
"Like Claude Girard, I too was permanently changed by this album. It is still an inspiration today! Although not a stranger to esoteric music and other things at the time (being of English parentage, I was a Goon Show fan from an early age - which probably explains much!, also things like "They're Coming to Take Me Away", "Time" by the Chambers Brothers, and Psychedelia in general), it was just SO different from anything else, even the Moody Blues and Pink Floyd, that I was captured.
"I would disagree with those (R.F. included!) who think that the last part of Moonchild should have been edited out. Try listening to it on a surround set-up in a dark room. The sparseness is its best feature (I also love it when Robert breaks into "Surrey with a Fringe on Top").
"Interesting aside: The German pressing is missing the "whatever that sound is" stuff at the beginning of Schizoid Man. Anyone know why? Have fun!"
Date Submitted: 31-Jul-96
By: Bill Nicholas (newguy at buttercup dot cybernex dot net)
"This album changed everything for me in 1983. It was when I stopped listening to the stuff I did when I was a kid--Cat Stevens, Kinks--and opened Pandora's box. I remember being scared as hell of 21st cen. But in lies the beauty of it. I wanted to hear more--much more. Sure, RED, DISCIPLINE and ASPIC hold up better today then In the Court--and certainly have a lot more to do with KC and Fripp '96 then In The Court does. BUT, everything I love now---from Zappa to late 'Trane to Steely Dan to about 1,000 other things-some how can be traced directly back to me first hearing Fripp McDonald Lake and Giles and that Neurosurgeon SCREAMING for more. Like a first love, there may be many others, but it all starts HERE. For a kid growing up when Michael Jackson and Madonna and Wham ruled the record bins and ENO albums were $24.99 vinal imports, this album was THE oasis.
"I'll hear many, many more albums, but, knowing almost too much, no album will ever do for me what this one did. I wish I could hear its beauty and horror again for the first time. Pity."
Date Submitted: 1-Aug-96
By: Lizzie Shand (lizzie at shand dot reo dot dec dot com)
"While hunting through a pile of old records last year I fell across the exciting cover of this album. I HAD to play it -- I proceeded to do so AND LOVED IT!!!!!!!! The music is Timeless -- I may be one of the 'Youth of Today' -- BUT this music enthralled me!! 21st CSM is a wonderful, powerful beginning, set off by the gentle quiet of 'I talk to the Wind'. I especially enjoyed 'Epitaph' and the title track -- 'In the Court of the Crimson King.' It was, and IS, a fantastic collection of music!!!"
Date Submitted: 26-Aug-97
By: Paul O'Doherty (paul at ke dot com dot au)
"I am very new to KC and I though I'd send you my comments on the 1 album I own. I am not influenced by any other record and so I have nothing to compare it too.
"I have only just got this album after reading something about it in guitar magazine, being a fan of Prog Rock I bought it. Having never heard KC stuff before I would have to say that I just love the album to bits, and I've only had it for 4 days! I play it non stop and can't get the songs out of my head. They are just so weird and out of this world and a lot different to most other music I've heard. I love the gentle flute in I talk to the Wind and the crushing guitar in some of the other songs. The album is very imaginative and uses a lot of different instruments in an extremely interesting manner. The best new old music I've heard in many years.
"Thought you might be interested in comments from someone new to the KC world."
Date Submitted: 17-Dec-97
By: Laurent Pailhes (laurent.pailhes at montpellier dot men dot fr)
"L'album d'un commencement. Non seulement celui d'une longue discographie, aussi discrète que régulière dans les choix artistiques de ses compilateurs, mais aussi celui d'une démarche de création discographique autant caractéristique qu'inégalée. Combien êtes-vous, coupables mais non responsables, à avoir un jour entrevu dans les bacs aux puces, chez l'oncle soixante-huitard ou encore dans un recoin inexploré de votre propre discothèque la mine horriblement défaite du Roi Pourpre en pleine illumination sans prêter une oreille attentive ? Quoiqu'il ne s'agisse plus ici de solliciter l'ouïe seule - nos cinq sens ne seront pas de trop vers ce voyage musico-sensoriel.
"Les acteurs : qui sont-ils donc pour déclencher en votre serviteur telle avalanche d'éloges ? "Ils", non. Un tout. Le Roi Pourpre est sa court toute entière - "In the court of the Crimson King".
"Bien sur il y a bien ce Mr FRIPP, transfuge maniaco-guitaristique de THE LEAGUE OF GENTELEMEN (groupe dont je défie quiconque de repérer la moindre galette sur le marché ; forte récompense à la clé...) Certainement vous trouverez un parolier génialement illuminé du nom de Pete SIENFIELD. Bien sûr il s'agit de la voix de Greg LAKE amorçant l'invasion d'un dinosaure sonore du moment, j'ai nommé EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER. KING CRIMSON est un esprit. Mieux encore une école de style au point qu'il semblerait que quiconque s'y introduit armé d'une machine à bruit ne peut qu'y décupler son talent personnel.
"En fait ce disque est un rat de laboratoire pour une étude préalable dans un domaine dont on sait que le numéro zéro fait souvent office de référence. Vous l'avez compris, il n'est pas question ici de prendre contact avec la réalité mais de retrouver des "choses vraies".
"L'ascenseur arrive. Il monte, il descend ? C'est l'Homme Schizophrène du XXIème siècle qui ouvre brutalement les portes : déluge de cuivres rythmés jazz plus chant et guitares anormalement saturés pour l'époque. Ceux qui y étaient en 1969 ont mis moins d'une minute pour comprendre qu'une page avait été tournée. La partition semble plus saturée que le son, dans lequel on s'engouffre. Il n'y a pourtant pas de faille : les musiciens surdoués nous annoncent le fil conducteur de l'album.
"Le concept-disque n'est pourtant pas au rendez-vous ; l'artifice souvent utilisé par d'autres n'a pas lieu d'être. KING CRIMSON peut se vanter de pratiquer la sophistication dans une démarche de puriste. En effet, tout ceci reste du rock enrichi par la reprise des bases musicales afro-occidentales et de ses seuls styles essentiels. Ce disque est un exemple d'étirement du jazz par la musique classique, cimenté d'un folk planant mais rigoureux.
"On a rarement fait mieux depuis... sauf peut-être le CRIMSON lui-même."
Date Submitted: 18-Dec-97
By: (nbos at silcon dot com)
"First of all, I'd like to say that Crimso songs like "Schizoid Man" and the like are NOT heavy metal. "Schizoid" is a fantastic prog CLASSIC and calling it heavy metal is an insult in my book. Just my opinion. "I Talk To The Wind" is pretty good, one of their better ballads. "Epitaph"... I love it. Not as much as "Schizoid" but anyone'll tell you it's fantastic. "Moonchild" totally stinks. They really wasted 12 valuable minutes of what could have been so much better than it is. It gives improvisation a bad name. "In The Court Of The Crimson King" is fabulous, but I have nothing else to say about that track. Overall, I find the album very satisfying."
Date Submitted: 13-Jan-98
By: Julie Voyer (jvoyer at visioninternet dot net)
"My opinion? My father listened to this album when I was very young (maybe 2 years old) so when I heard again later, at 14-15, I somehow recognized it and fell in love with Lake's voice and the King's music (this album only). Of course, at that age, NONE of my friends knew of the band, or any of them from that time for that matter. I asked my dad (who has good taste in progressive music) to try to write down the lyrics, which I am more than pleased to, finally, find in this page. In short, I will never be tired of listening to the "Court": it is a masterpiece."
"Mon opinion? Mon père écoutait cet album lorsque j'étais très jeune (j'avais environ deux ans), alors quand je l'ai entendu une autre fois, vers l'âge de 14-15 and, j'ai comme reconnu la musique et je suis tombée en amour avec la voix de Greg Lake et la musique de King Crimson (seulement cet album). Évidemment, à cet âge, AUCUN de mes amis ne connaissait le groupe, et encore moins les autres groupes de cet époque.. J'ai demandé à mon père (qui a du goût en matière dee musique progressive) d'essayer d'écrire les paroles, que je suis très contente de trouver, enfin, sur cette page. En résumé, je ne me lasserai jamais d'écouter "In the Court" : c'est un chef-d'oeuvre."
Date Submitted: 13-Jan-98
By: Ted Zimmer (fyodor at mixcom dot com)
"Here are some comments about the album, ITCOFTCK. I think that Greg Lake was best singer who ever blessed King Crimson and his soothing, mellow voice perfectly accompied the dark, subdued(except for schizoid man of course)tone of this album. The majority of the singing bass players in the history of the band were pretty bad, but Lake is the standout. Also, I think that Michael Giles is right up with Bruford as far as drummers go. Bruford is the master of course, but Giles had a very distinct style of his own which added the right touch to make this album successful. Listen to the flute solo at the end of "I talk to the wind" and hear his quiet yet wonderfully rythmic playing."
Date Submitted: 28-Jan-98
By: Nate Olmos (Olmos_Nathan_Lee at student dot smc dot edu)
"I am proud to say that this is the VERY first Crimson album I ever owned. For a kid of only 16 years of age, it was indeed "a young person's introduction to King Crimson." Boy, was I in for quite a surprise. I currently own five Crimson albums and have heard many others, but I still can't get enough from that album with the EXTREMELY HIDEOUS face plastered across the front cover. It still remains a frightening, intriguing, exciting, and ultimately rewarding experience to listen to it. And without using drugs, too!!
"From the crashing power chords of '21st Century Schizoid Man' to the majestic mellotron strains of 'The Court of the Crimson King', 'In the Court of the Crimson King' is undoubtedly a seminal influence on the development of the genre known as "art rock". Anybody who thinks Crimson copped ideas from the Moody Blues (the mellotron) to the Beatles (the concise arrangements) are completely clueless!! My hats go off to Robert Fripp, Ian McDonald, Greg Lake, Michael Giles and Peter Sinfield for creating this work of art."
Date Submitted: 5-Feb-98
By: (mdburgh at aol dot com)
"In the Courtof the Crimson King is exactly what Pete Townshend called it in 1969, "An uncanny masterpiece." I've been reading the reviews on this page, and I'm troubled by those who reject "Moonchild" after the inital whimsy. King Crimson's music is about nothing else but patience. I've been listening to this record for over twenty years and I've been getting more and more from it each time I play it. If you like King Crimson you can easily find your way into equally deep and mysterious waters such as BeBop or 20th century serious music.
"This great record is a gate into the world of intelligence."
Date Submitted: 15-Feb-98
By: (1 at aol dot com)
"This is the album that was the definitive push towards progressive rock (not the forgetting the all too bland Days of Future Passed, which was god awful).The guitar solo included in "Mirrors", coming from a guitarist, is still one the finest I've heard yet. Moonchild, although seemingly overlooked is also wonderful. This album over-all kicks-ass. It's powers of surreallity have many times blown me away while under the influence."
Date Submitted: 4-Mar-98
By: Gary Garles (sunshine at lisco dot com)
"In the late 60's I was a young boy growing up in Des Moines, IA listening to the radio and wanting more. One night I pulled in KAAY Little Rock on a small trans-istor radio. A man named Clyde Clifford played In the court, and I went nuts! Laying in a bed late at night, and I had just heard the voice of God speaking to me from deep space! I can still feel the excitement today when I think about it. There is enough raw emotion in that music to set anyone free."
Date Submitted: 15-Mar-98
By: (Dietlin at aol dot com)
"I can't remember when I first heard ITCOTCK, but it must have been around '72. I suppose it really doesn't matter much. Music of this quality is a rare phenomenon. Fortunately, it is always available somewhere in some form if we only make the effort to seek it out. But in the form of Crimson's first release, it is powerful beyond words. The power comes from musicians who are not afraid to test unfamiliar waters, and who trust that the music will eventually guide them where they need to go. The Thrashing on ITCOTCK was something that you hadn't heard before and generated a great deal of excitement and awe which helped launch the progressive rock scene. In this sense the album was truly ground breaking. If in some areas the music seems less impressive than in others, I suggest that it may just be an intentional disregard for traditional forms, and is as important an element to the album as "21st Century Schizoid Man" is. Remember, this record is about the decay of modern man due to his conformist habits. "Epitaph" is the most dramatic and poetic song on the album. Its simplicity is overwhelming and one of the strongest songs the band in any incarnation has performed. ITCOTCK is one of the defining musical moments of the 20th century."
Date Submitted: 17-Mar-98
By: Jon Dusting (JCDUS1 at student dot monash dot edu dot au)
"This album has to be one of the most spiritually moving and unbelievably creative ever. I am eighteen years old and have been a KC fan for 2 years, and have accumulated all albums up to Larks Tongues. Yet as incredible as those other albums are, this seems to be better by a factor two. I love every single song on this album. "Epitaph" and "I talk to the wind" can send me tears while "21st Century Schizoid Man" and the title track are purely exhilerating. The only part I hate about this album is not having enough friends who know about it, let alone want to talk about it."
Date Submitted: 18-Mar-98
By: Snicker Furfoot, Esq. (snicker at pinkpig dot com)
"Well, it took a little tracking, but I found you again ;) I have had a link to the Court of the Crimson King section on my page for a while, then Toby goes off and moves it, and of course, I never noticed ;)
"Just so you guys don't think I'm barmy, I'm a member of a US-based (but international) Live-Action medieval fantasy RPG. I hear you have tons of LARPs in the UK. Lucky sots. ;) Anyway, a LOOOOOOooooooOOOnng time ago, I had the great fortune of having a flower-child for a mother. Well, I still have the mother, just she's not so much a flower-child any more. ANyway, one of the albums in her increasingly eccentric collection happened to have this god-awful picture of some guy's face on it. I listened to the first track, thought my head was gonna explode, and almost gave the whole thing a miss. Then the second track began. And I was forever lost to the sounds of Fripp.
"I know a lot of people probably could care less about the Court album, but it has always been one I have enjoyed (actually, the only KC I have enjoyed). My mother made a Dungeons and Dragons adventure based on it, with album lyrics for clues (excellent, let me tell you!) And I have always used it to mellow out. Unfortunately, when I moved, mom kept the album. And at the time, it had STILL not been released on CD. But I never gave up hope - and one day, it appeared, as if by magic, right before my eyes.
"I'm still an addict. I fell in love with my very own "Moonchild", who followed me around for two weeks, because I sang her the song. What can I say - one little human experience, so extensively affected by KC.
"So, what the hell does this have to do with you? Well, I also run a page on Bardic music resources for my club. I just happen to feel that if you MUST put a CD in the deck, at least let it sound sort of period. And the Court album fits the bill nicely. So, there is a link to the E-T website (specifically the Court section) from my page at http://amtgard.pinkpig.com/bards/
"So I just wanted to thank you guys for being there for one lonely little person.
"Snicker Furfoot, Esq.
"Master Bard of Amtgard"
Date Submitted: 3-Feb-98
By: Jeff DeFabio (defab4 at earthlink dot net)
"Well, there's not much to say here that hasn't been said. Schizoid's great, Wind's great, Epitaph's great, Itcotck's great, Moonchild's a load o' crud. I HATE Moonchild! I had more enjoyment listing to my hard drive as this web site loaded! So you know what I did??? I've got this album on vinyl so I can manipulate it on tape... I totally cut it out. YES I KNOW YOU'LL WANT TO KILL ME BUT I DID. I replaced it with The Devil's Triangle. And do you know what? The whole album sounds better now! Try it! If you've got ITCOTCK and ITWOP on cd and you've got a changer thingy, try it out!"
Date Submitted: 18-May-98
By: Elizabeth Poupard (epoupard at ameritech dot net)
"It's fall of 1979. I'm still soaking in the experience of my first semester away at college. I'm down the hall talking to another Bowie addict, who says "If you love Bowie, you'll freak out over this!" He pulls out this album with a grotesque face on it, slaps the vinyl on the turntable and changes my life forever!!!
"Now its summer of 1982. I've just finished playing a night softball game in Fort Collins, Colorado and I'm making the hour-long drive back to Denver. I-25 is desolate and the sky is dark and beautiful. I'm tuned into KBCO from Boulder when Moonchild starts coming out of my speakers!! One of the most eerie and mystifying (and gratifying) experiences of my life!!
"My point in sharing these is experiences is - ITCOTCK, in its entirety, is one of the most profound musical works in the modern history of music. All who have commented seem to be in agreement with this except when it comes to Moonchild. I find it to be a beautiful piece, especially when you consider its place on the album.
"21st SM begins by knocking you senseless. ITTTW then gives you a sense of loneliness and despair ("...the wind does not hear..."). Epitath makes you wonder what the hell you're doing with your life. TCOTCK overwhelmes you with its epic presentation and character. Moonchild lets you chill out and find some inner peace on the Fripp emotional roller coaster ride!! I wonder about the sanity of the guy who edited Moonchild out, although I suppose he would have given the Mona Lisa larger breasts!!
"ITCOTCK is a masterpiece as originally presented - AMEN!!!"
Date Submitted: 1-Sep-98
By: Tomas Ljung (tomas dot ljung at vv dot se)
"After reading the comments above i can just say: What a sorrowful world this is! I mean, where only one person out of ten has experienced the power of whispering; where only one out of ten has felt the tenderness of the first soft wind of a new summer morning; where only one out of ten has been possessed by the spirit of real presence in an old, abandoned garden and where only one out of ten has met his Anima and found his own Lost Kingdom. Its an alarming poverty.
"I guess this message will be understood by approximately one reader out of ten. To the nine poor fellows i can just say: The World is still out there, full of Magic, Meaning, Signs and Love. Get out and discover it, and maybe you then will be able to appreciate the greatness of "Moonchild". Try it!"
Date Submitted: 16-Jan-99
By: Matt Melnicki (mmelnicki at hotmail dot com)
"well, certainly certainly certainly if you're here reading this, i'm sure you can appreciate this album (in the court...) but let me say that (growing up with 90's music in my veins) this album first struck me and fell flat on the floor... now, after many second glances the 1969 crimson outfit certainly hovers among the rest as the best... never are they so tight and loose at the same time... never are they so diverse... never are they so powerful and influential upon the human mind... never do they ever speak powerful words with hardly saying anything.... i believe that this album is such a powerful statement using music as a medium... slowly my taste for musical aesthetics grows and sprawls, but i think my growth toward liking this album is far the most significant... i began to like this album, actually, upon buying a book that helps interpret dreams, and that night, i listened -- on repeat -- to 'moonchild' over and over, and i had the best dreams ever...
"if you can appreciate this album for its music (every track, not just '21st century schizoid man' (as most of the "rockers" would choose" and not just "i talk to the wind" cuz it's the shortest) -- if you can say that you like every track incredibly so, then you understand art rock, if not music in itself..."
Date Submitted: 18-Jan-99
By: (G8trMAJ at aol dot com)
"I am a 42 year old Army officer. In 1970, most 14 year olds were into Grand Funk RR, Black Sabbath, Creedence, and Led Zeppelin. In short, music that was mostly in 4/4 time and about 3 minutes in length, the type of music anyone in a garage can play in an hour or so, for the most part. I was one who similarly enjoyed such music (I still do, except for GFR and Black Sabbath), but as one who played in the school band, I was always excited to play and listen to more complex music.
"Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this record at a friend's house. Owned by his big brother (and an accomplished pianist), this record cover was unlike any other I have seen to this point. Most covers were of the smiling faces of a group in a staged photo or a feeble attempt to cash in on the psychodelia of the time. This cover was demonic, almost frightening, and completely unique. The back side listed the "songs," all of which was more than six minutes in length. The only other attempt at this was the boring, amateurish "In-a-gadda-da-vida," by Iron Butterfly.
"Opening the album and gently lowering the needle onto the first track began with what sounded like industrial noises. I quizzicily looked at my friend with a "what is this crap" expression, then was bowled over by the wall of sound emanating from the speakers. As "21st Century Schzoid Man" boomed forth, I marvelled at the complex drum rhythms and discordant melody provided by the sax and guitar. I was further stunned by the vocalist's distorted voice belting out nightmare lyrics! Not a trace of "I luv my baybee, she's my guuuuurllll..." The sound was so crisp and precise, the musicianship superb. This was no garage band, but an assembly which sounded formally trained and steeped in classical and jazz roots. There was NOTHING like this to the mass audience (I found out much later that Aphrodite's Child's double album "666" was released, but only in Europe). With the staccato drumming and the extraordinary synchronization, I was completely transformed.
"As soon as the first cut violently ended, the second began. But if "21st Century Schzoid Man" screamed, "I Talk to the Wind" whispered with a soothing flute and calm demeanor. The second cut sequed straight into "Epitaph" with tremendous combinations of Bob Fripp's Mellotron and acoustic guitar and Greg Lake's powerful voice. Again, Michael Giles' drumming was unlike any I have heard before or since, and Ian McDonald's skillful use of what sounds like a bass clarinet, unique in the annals of rock.
"Side Two began with "Moonchild," a simple, haunting song which was followed by a rather perplexing instrumental. At the time I did not care for the instrumental, thinking it frivilous, but I could forgive it when listening to the magnificent title piece. Like "Epitaph," "In the Court of the Crimson King" combined grandiosity with lilting lyrics, superb musicianship, and originality.
"King Crimson's debut album was an astonishing work in its day, and remains fresh and vibrant as it approaches the 21st Century. This, of course, is the definition of a true classic work. This album kicked off the Progressive Era, which allowed mucisians the opportunity to stretch their abilities and talents for an audience that appreciates technical virtuosity and creativity. It is not Rock and Roll, and it should not be labelled such. It is a genre unique to itself, and will always have a following of those who demand more than music to dance to."
Date Submitted: 11-Mar-99
By: (SPLENDOR66 at aol dot com)
"After reading all those wieghty and heartfelt posts I feel almost like an idiot saying this, but perhaps it's been overlooked too long. I am a great fan of LPs for the simple reason that the cover art on so many albums was stunning. This is rather a lost art, replaced largely by smeary bits of nothing on the non-playing side of a CD and mainly dreary and useless "liner notes". I can't remember the last time I saw lyrics written out for anything. What a pleasure it is then to pull out my much-loved copy of ITCOTCK, put it on the turntable, and lose myself in contemplation of the album's cover art. It is artwork like this that can enhance the listening experience and expand mental horizons. I have to say that while I love this album absolutely, it's not my favorite KC release musically (gotta give that to Red), but along with Pink Floyd's The Wall and Big Brother & the Holding Company's Cheap Thrills, it ranks as one of the greatest cover art LPs of all time.
"P.S. As for Moonchild, it's neither boring nor stupid. It simply requires a more profound level of calm than lots of harried people can sustain nowadays."
Date Submitted: 19-Mar-99
By: Antonio Recuenco (Ottia at gmx dot net)
"Even though this album is the classic King Crimson stuff -the pieces are all imposing statements in a quite decent order; in this sense this album is modellic- it has never fully convinced me... the pieces mature in very different ways, not all of them grow on you, but some of it can get a bit dated -it always depends on time... "21st Century Schizoid Man" is naturally the bomb: it impresses straight away from the first hearing (above all "Mirrors" -such exhilarating pauses are really nice- and the frantic end); but afterwards... "I Talk to the Wind" needed some time -this elegant tune remembered me too easy of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (which I utterly dislike). "Epitaph" is a song that doesn't communicate with me (yes, alright, it's very symphonic, moody, pessimistic... -but it doesn't strike, it's a ballad full of pomp, the magnificence of it doesn't provide enough room for lyrism). "Moonchild" is something I couldn't hear the first month after having acquired the album -some years ago, until that time the only little experimental thing that I knew was Mike Oldfield's (!!!!) "Amarok"-, but with the years it has become really interesting -I prefer such a style in the improvs that "We'll let you know"'s, not so dirty... the last one is somehow a small cliché to my point of view: only the two middle instrumental passages gain my attention all between the bombast. Of course it's only an opinion (otherwise lots of people would kill me!), but I think that yet being the paradigmatic KC album it's not so rewarding as I had expected."
Date Submitted: 26-Mar-99
By: (junkrods at mindspring dot com)
"how any one can critizeITCOTCK is amystery to me. I have listened to this album since its inception. the melodies are mezerizing.Greg LAKE's vocals are overwhelming.the "undisoplined" disopline is superior,and unquestionably the father of all progressive. this lp is timeless"
Date Submitted: 18-Apr-99
By: Kevin Patrick MacNutt (kevin dot macnutt at england dot com)
"This is still one of my all time favorite albums and the second Crimso album I purchased on December 29, 1991 at 12:58pm (I used to keep the recipts to all my CD's in their jewel boxes, under the grey tray) from a cashier named Lori in Park City Center in Lancaster, Pa.(alot of info on that ticket). The first Crimso release I bought was U.S.A. and was curious what the original "21st Century Scizoid Man" sounded like, and lets just say I was very pleased. As far as "Moonchild" goes, I like it in it's entirity (depending on my mood) and I was quite shocked when my dad was liking it, and was even more shocked when the title track came on and he stated that he always wondered who did that piece since WMMR in Philly used to play it all the time in 1969 and 1970. It even shocked me more (about 17 yrs at the time) to go to friends houses and see ITCOTKC amongst their records. I love this album and probably always will. It is far superior to ITWOP."
Date Submitted: 9-Jul-99
By: Stephen De Prospero (StephenfromNY at webtv dot net)
"The godfather if all Art/Progressive rock albums ITCOTCC is a timeless masterpiece. For some reason I've havent gotten into Moonchild that much. I love the although it seems to long and overdone. Thats really the only thing I dislike about this album. As for the other tracks, there ace's in my book.
"As for all you In the Wake of Posiden haters, I feel that the album is an equal counterpart and seemingly perfect follow up album but where ITCOTCC is semi-mythlogical ITWOP takes on the true mythogical sence."
Date Submitted: 29-Jul-99
By: Phil McKenna (PMcKenna at starmarket dot com)
"To put it in contemporary terms, this album is DA BOMB (as in, it blew to bits everything else around it at the time)!!!!
"I still vividly remember hearing this at the age of 15 (I'm 39 now) and being absolutely floored!! I had already owned a vynil copy of USA at that point in time, so I wanted to go back to the roots so to speak.
"Schizoid Man just knocked me for a loop in it's original arrangement! I marvel now at how crisp and precise the ensemble playing was even back then and how well it was recorded given the relatively primitive studio technology of that time. It was one of those rare moments where Stravinsky, Ornette Coleman, and Hendrix found a meeting ground! Greg Lake definitely had a commanding presence on both bass and voice! I would've loved to have been the fly on the wall for those sessions.
"I Talk to the Wind showed just how you can do a ballad and not be sappy! I loved the flute work and Fripp's understated jazz inflected chording on this especially.
"Epitaph was a glorious mixture of gloom and grandeur that influenced many a Mellotron slinging progger for eons to come. Love those overdubbed bass clarinets too in the middle section, or was that 'tron? Truly one of KC's finest moments!
"Moonchild, I have to agree with many, should've been faded when the aimless improv section started. I would've loved to hear a studio version of "Drop In" or "Travel Weary Capricorn". Was it true they covered a Joni Mitchell song in their set? I thought I read that somewhere.
"The Title Cut, definitely another of the finest KC moments ever!!! Love the vocal work as well as that eerie Mellotron!!! I'm amazed at how good it sounded live too. Definitely a great test of a song's quality!
"This was the blueprint, the one that started it all!!!"
Date Submitted: 19-Aug-99
By: (agraria at biblio dot cib dot unibo dot it)
"There's not much to say about this album (well, indeed there would be much!), except BUY IT! Everyone should have it, like Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's and Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon: an all time masterpiece."
Date Submitted: 1-Oct-99
By: (GGBOCK at aol dot com)
"I am only twenty one, which I can tell for certain is not the average age of a King Crimson fan. I grew up looking at the frightening cover for it was in my dad's record collection (now I have my own copy on delicious vinyl). It scared me so much that I had problems listening to it in my teen-age years; I knew about it but couldn't bring myself to listen to it. I finally heard it for the first time at the age of nineteen and fell in love. I also had a good laugh at how long it took me to discover that what lie underneath the product of my childhood nightmares (literally) would be the bringer of my musical fantasy. I checked out the CD from the library and copied it after hearing it only once (on the backside of a dubbed copy of Radiohead's OK Computer... great tape).
"I love every song and I love the overall flow. People it seems like to dump on Moonchild calling the song a "waste of space" and wishing it were not on the album. Bollucks. Try listening to the record again, I say. The song is actually, in my opinion, vital to the overall aesthetic of the album. True it is not the best song on its own, but in the framework of In the Court... it opens up new frontiers and acts as a breath... a pause before moving on to whallop you again. The ballad of I Talk To The Wind plays a similar role on the front side of the album, but lacks the open spaces of Moonchild and although I Talk To The Wind is a better song it plays a slightly less important role in the overall construction of the album.
"Do not let these opinions in any way detract from what should be the main point: the whole album is magnificent. After reading so many reviews that said that the album is great but would be greater without Moonchild I felt the need to express the dissenters point of view. Plus, who the heck are any one of us to tell King Crimson that they did something wrong. Overly ambitious fools. Fripp and Co. will show you the way if you will just listen."
Date Submitted: 18-Nov-99
By: Russ Salas (crimhead at pop dot flash dot net)
"The remastered 30 year anniversary CD of In The Court Of The Crimson King is fantastic!!!!! This sound has been recaputured in its original fullness. Get it!!!"
Date Submitted: 2-Feb-00
By: Kelley O'Neal (Kelxl at aol dot com)
"Just found this site today. Quite glad to see it...took me 5 different search engines to even get a hit for KC. Anyway, my review...a statement really, a reflection of a different era, memories long forgotten. First, I have never owned a KC album, a friend made a cassette of "In the Court of..." for me back in about '82 or '83 with "Earthbound" on the B side. Three years later a neighbor, discovering our mutual interest turned me onto "Frippertronics" and "3 of a Perfect Pair". OK, I was enthralled by all four. A more realistic description of my affection for these albums would leave my typ'o'ing fingers numb. Suffice it to say, though the recording quality is terribly poor, a well used vinyl my friend had, I have never bothered to actually go out and buy a copy, I covet these tapes so much. Through 17 years these tapes have been with me; through 12 different residences, three girlfriends, a marriage ( and thankfully the divorce). Yesterday I came across my tapes again. I knew I had them with me all along, they had settled to the bottom of my current tape container, a vinyl six pack cooler with carrying strap. I know it has to have been at least ten years since I listened to either of the tapes, my then wife was not impressed with Fripp and the boys. I was rather excited to play the tapes but had to get to work, so took them along with me. In addition to the full time grind I work part-time as a souse, where the rest of my co-workers are 17-24 year old youth who's greatest musical thrills come from hip-hop, trance, and other assorted techno. Though we enjoy sharing our musical intersts, I wondered how KC would go over with this younger crowd (some disbelief that the music was older than they were, but wasn't the stones, who, led zep or other name they might recognize. Though I did see some foot tapping to the bluesy funk of "Peoria"). I, on the other hand found that I was still keeping perfect beat, could mouth the lyrics word for word. Even admidst the overwhealming stress of a dinner rush still raised a few goose bumps during Epitaph, and felt my blood pressure fall to a more healthful level during Moonchild. I realize this is not your typical review style, and, truthfully, a review this was not meant to be. But I certainly reviewed some great forgotten memories last night.
"If you truely want to reappraise your appreciation for KC, just put them away for a while, explore what else is out there, then a year or two from now share them with a friend who is unfamiliar with Crimson, and enjoy."
Date Submitted: 6-Mar-00
By: Richard Wilson (RichardW at arkleg dot state dot ar dot us)
"Recently purchased this release from Pony Canyon (Virgin-Japan) of the 30th Anniversary Edition of The Court of the Crimson King. This is a mini-LP in a gatefold and it is remastered (with the assistance of Robert Fripp) in 24 bit and 24 karat gold. The gatefold is protected by a reclosable plastic cover which is very practicle.
"The sonics on this disc are exceptional. The highs and mids are crystal clear and the lows are there as well, depending on your subwoofer gain preferences. No tape hiss exists.
"In addition, included is a color booklet of photos and press clips from circa 1969. Most are very interesting.
"In total, no fan should be without this gem. "Poseidon/Lizard/Islands" are to be released any day in the same format with the rest of the work (up to 3 of a Perfect Pair) coming out in May, 2000. I only hope the others are as good as the first.
"Enjoy, KC fans."
Date Submitted: 20-Apr-00
By: Darryl Weppler (zravkapt at yahoo dot ca)
"By far one of the greatest albums ever made. Still my favorite KC album and the first one I bought. Considering it was made in 1969, on 8-track technology, and recorded in a week or so...it's sounds amazing! "21st Century Schizoid Man" is stunning, almost Black Sabbath meets jazz-fusion. "I Talk To The Wind" is an excellent folk-rock piece(and Fripp didn't even write it!). "Epitaph" is dramatic and has the best lyrics of any KC song. "Moonchild" is the only dissapiontment; It starts off well enough, but the 10 or so minutes of inaudible screwing around is really pointless. The title track is a masterpiece, with the Mellotron and harmony vocals. Overall, excellent. 4.5 out of 5."
Date Submitted: 27-Sep-00
By: Walt Kolt (wkolt at prodigy dot net)
"It was spring 1970, Marysville, California and we were looking for new and original sounds. There was a real surge in a variety of music fueled by a competition between east and west coast. Quicksilver was taking off and we had just seen Yes on it's first concert tour, opening for Jethro Tull. (That may have been 71, but it's still a good memory). A friend handed me two albums, In the Court of the Crimson King and Upon Hearing of King Rooster. I never gave either back. I haven't played King Rooster in 20 years but I've listened to King Crimson ever since. The vinyl is now scratchy but I have several CD and MP3 versions. We played it in California, we played it back in Buffalo (my home town). We played it ten times a night. After over thirty years I still love the entire album and it still sounds as fresh, original and strangely modern today as when I first heard it. I can only think of a handful of albums with the same credentials ( Beethoven's 9th and Jethro Tull's Stand Up being two other examples) Epitaph still gives me chills and the flute on I Talk to the Wind sounds incredible every time I hear it. I honestly believed "In the Court of the Crimson King" was the greatest song ever written back in 1970, I still haven't heard one that comes close to it's emotional impact on the listener. Very few modern artists come close at all. It's an album I've shared with my friends, my children, and hopefully my grandchildren. I hope they have another 30 years."
Date Submitted: 28-Feb-01
By: Mike Mclaughlin (mikemclaughli41 at hotmail dot com)
"At the age of about 14 I was raking through my father's LP collection when I came across a record with what I thought of at the time as a weird & slightly disconcerting face I opened up the gatefold and there were the words for the songs (I was at the time a practicing awful lyricist) I read the words to 21st Century Schizoid Man & thought. "How the hell do these words fit any tune they're bizzare?" So to relieve my curiosity I put the record on and from the first riff of Schizoid man I was hooked and immediately taped that song (ignoring at the time the rest of the album) and ran off to listen to it. Many years later (aged 18) I was out drinking with some fellow musicians (who were both elder and better at playing than I was) they were talking about King Crimson (the name seemed somehow familiar but I was unable to place it) I heard frequent mention of "Dinosaur" (here I drift off into how the first Crim album I owned myself was THRAK). I figured out a little while later where I'd seen the King Crimson name before and delved once more into my father's vinyl grotto (already a source of much enlightenment) and dug up that LP with the "weird & slightly disconcerting" face on it. Upon a repeated listening 21st Century Schizoid Man blew me away again and I then continued to listen, I was most shocked at the contrast between the first song and this interesting (and somehow hauntingly familiar) song I was hearing now. I listened on Epitaph was a song that I played a few times before I turned the record over, Moonchild was not an immediate hit with the young heavy rocker sitting with headphones on and a ridiculous looking mullet but I LOVED ITCOTCK itself and played the whole album over and over again then I looked further and found Lizard, Islands, Lark's Tongues In Aspic, Starless & Bible Black, and Red, I listened to all of these and only ITCOTCK and Red struck me dumb at the time (although I have since come to appreciate all the albums). I returned to the pub the following week to relate my tales of listening to King Crimson and was told by my (more narrow minded) friends that they only "Really" liked the 80's King Crimson and bits of the 90's band's catalogue and "couldn't get away" with the earlier stuff. Anyway for my money ITCOTCK is a fantastic album and sounded fresh in 1997 when I first listened to it so it's appeal is by no means limited. (Punctuated by ramming little dots in where I thought they fitted best, without reguard for any real English Language skills)"
Date Submitted: 14-Mar-01
By: (Sixstringjustice at aol dot com)
"Could there be a bigger fan of the Mellotron than myself? Possibly David Kean or Les Bradley himself,but I know more about the Mellotron than any any other keyboard out there and I don't even own one!
"I would'nt have this obsession if it weren't for albums like THE COURT or just about any other pre '75 KC release. The producer(?) was clever in canging the EQ from song to song to keep the listening fresh from beginning to end. I suspect that Ian McDonald tried to think as a string arranger to make the 'tron sound more authentic."
Date Submitted: 6-May-01
By: Maan (maan_barua at satyam dot net dot in)
"I'm 19 and a King Crimson lover... I think the whole album In the Court of the Crimson King is superb... the album as a whole... and not just its parts... Epitaph is classic, but In the Court of the Crimson King is best... And Frippian chords are typical!"
Date Submitted: 12-Feb-02
By: Richard Vasiliy (tijemart at yahoo dot com)
"Record rating 10.
"Overall rating 15.
"Best song IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING.
"Worst song MOONCHILD.
"Maybe this album can be called as "the sharpest breakthrough of all Rock-Music History". Really it was as if "the roaring thunder from clear skies". Though some bands already triedto make experiments with Progressive music, though they did it carefully (Beatles, Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, Rolling Stones, VDGG). But the 1st KC’s album were the 1st absolutely ultraprogressive record of Rock. (Thus I cannot agree with Mr. Marcon).
"IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING is my favorite album of King Crimson. I must say that Robert Fripp was always the leader and the central figure of the band, but except the debut album where also Ian McDonald and Greg Lake could be called as the central persons, and two my favorite KC’s songs were recorded just by McDonald (and of course with lyrics of great rock-poet Peter Sinfield, who wrote all the lyrics for the 1st four albums of the band).
"I think this album has no lacks in something, and I enjoy with all moments of it. That’s why I give the highest rating for the album.
"The record begins from (maybe) the most favorite composition of KC fans. The band plays this song on concerts nowadays too. I’ve read a lot of articles about 21st CENTURY SCHIZOID MAN and read only good about this song. 21st CENTURY SCHIZOID MAN is about dark technocratic future (maybe about nowadays?) with it’s crazy machines, paranoic people and bleeding children. Industrial sounds in the beginning and distorted singing of Lake add the darkness to music and words. Also the song containsthe excellent instrumental mid-section, that is so well-known to us all. I even can play it being awaken in the middle of the night. This composition is some jazzy with excellent playing of winds which sound such heavy as metal. Though this track has a contrast to compare with four another songs on album those are the wonderful ballads with a perfect power of mellotron (oh! It sounds so great!!!!) and Lake’s voice.
"The next song I TALK TO THE WIND is the gentlest ballad on here about human’s sadness which cannot be heard by the wind. When I listen it I feel an apogee of spring when thousands of nice flowers are flying away from their trees to heaven.
"EPITAPH make me feel the similar feelings but more sad and even tragic ones. It has very gloomy lyrics about the lost fate of man living "under bright sunlight with his nightmares and dreams". It’s my second favorite song of King Crimson. Lake sings it like a minstrel of 15th-16th Centuries (Renessance!). It also has unforgettable instrumental passages, particularly I like the "dark moment" on 6th-7th minutes of the song. Sometimes I want to cry when I listen it.
"Than another one nice ballad MOONCHILD follows. After Lake’s singing it transforms into very nice lengthy instrumental jam. Of course it’s not simply "jam" but it nas its own musical sense. I understand it as "traveling of magic Moonchild to the Court of the Crimson King". And when Moonchild reaches it... ...IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING begins!To my opinion it’s the best, the nicest composition of Robert Fripp and Company; this song is the general Etalon of art-rock to me. It has all compounds necessary for the perfect art-rock composition; beautiful melody, dramatic sincere vocal, complicated structure, very "characterizing" rhythm (Giles is great drummer!), some surrealistic lyrics, perfect performance... Oh, it gives me the highest feelings! This composition’s picture reminds me the wonderful back-view of Da Vinchi’s MONA LISA and also - faraway temples on big mountains, spring trees in a huge garden and the sunlight hidden by the clouds.
"I listen this album nine years already and I always listen it with a big pleasure. By the way, it’s the 1st art-rock album that I ever heard. ...and if haven’t it, believe me, your musical collection has a huge lack!"
Date Submitted: 4-Apr-02
By: (WeatheredWall at aol dot com)
"Screaming saxophone, roaring guitar, the sizzle and buzz of iron claws and blood racks . . . 21st Century Schizoid Man made quite a first impression on my fourteen year old mind. It was a perfect fusion of jazz and rock with many classical overtones (thanks to the mellotron). The power exerted by the band in this song is so great that it is difficult to prepare someone for their first listening to this album.
"For those who find the instrumental section of Moonchild to be unrequired or even misplaced, there is a deeper understanding of the music of King Crimson still waiting. Admittedly, the piece is unlike any other on the album, and for this reason, it raises controversy. Unwarranted accusations of "underdeveloped" and "meandering" are missing a deep subtlety present in King Crimson's work.
"One must remember that this is a "concept" album and should be listened to and evaluated as such. Notice that, although there are some long pauses on the album, none appear between songs. Each side of the original vinyl issue was a whole, fluid listening experience (two very different "adventures"). Who knows what kind of recording they'd have issued had CD's been around?
"Branded as "pretentious" and "cynical" (not to mention ponderous, frivolous and boring) by its severest critics, King Crimson's first record is perhaps one of the greatest albums ever conceived. Constructed as what appears to be a seamless whole, the music smashes our sensibilities, lulls us with a disturbing sweetness and torments us with claustrophobic imagery. It is difficult to calculate the effect this recording had on the contemporary music scene back in 1969. The album cover says it all."
Date Submitted: 8-Apr-02
By: Randy Doak (v-ntxrd at microsoft dot com)
"In July of 1969, at the tender age of 15, I was indelibly changed from exposure to a King Crimson show. I was visiting with relatives in London on my summer vacation and was invited to a show at the Marquee Club featuring a sensational new band, the name of which I had never heard. The music from In the Court of the Crimson King, has been bubbling around in my subconcious from that night forward. I have never actually owned a copy until last week, when I broke down and purchased the 30th anniversary remastered version.
"It’s been fun becoming re-aquainted with the music again, though the recorded version only hints at the power and paranoia I experienced in '69. It was a brave stroke to include the improvisation at the end of Moonchild. Improvisation is more about process than product, which makes it seem out of place on a "rock" album. The Moonchild improv shows Fripp and friends at a beginning point in the process of trying to find a personal language. As I remember it, the live improv I heard, which must have taken place several months after the recording, was full of fire and energy and not tentative at all. It was also a discreet piece, not tied to any song. They placed it at the end of the set. On the album, the song Moonchild seems to color the improv by setting a pastoral mood. To me, improv starts from zero and either grows it's own legs or writhes around on the floor. The rest of album is a beautiful realization of the music, but you really had to be there, experiencing the crystal clarirty at ear-shattering volumes. I also remember a blinding white light.
"The fate of all mankind I see
"Is in the hands of fools... More true now than ever, unfortunately."
Date Submitted: 23-Sep-02
By: Simon Brigham (slb23 at shaw dot ca)
"Well, about 5 years back, before I got into progressive rock, I happened to come across this CD. I thought the cover was interesting, so I listened to it. I thought it was the weirdest thing in the world! "21st Century Schizoid Man" was way too "hard" for me. but I thought the title track was cool. It's really eerie and magical.
"I ended up not buying it.
"So about 5 years after my first "encounter" with KC, I bought it. I had been looking for 3 years for a good-priced copy. And I found it.
"The only song I don't like is "Moonchild". The last 3/4 of it doesn't capture my attention at all.
""Epitaph" is so magestic and stately. And "Schizoid Man" is still as weird and freaky as ever. "I talk to the wind" is really pretty and nice.
"I don't recommend this being your first introduction to KC. I'd recommend Starless and Bible Black as good album to start with."
Date Submitted: 27-Feb-03
By: (thecooler at attbi dot com)
"The first record by KC is in my top five all time records, maybe number one. It is unquestionably magical. Like all great works of art, it lives in it's own place, untouched by time. I still get a chill listening to it. It's right up there with Tolkien, The Beatles, El Greco, you name it, as a phenomenon that will never be repeated. I like subsequent works by King Crimson, lots of good stuff, but nothing compares to the first record. Can you tell I kind of like it? I bought it years ago cause the cover was a freak and lo! the music was astonishing! Thanks to the blokes who put it together. I forever raise my glass to you!"
Date Submitted: 19-Sep-03
By: Claude Girard (girard dot claude at ireq dot ca)
"I wrote a comment in 1996 about ITCOTCK and I stand by it!!!!! I am still surprised at my HEEEnglish :-)"
Date Submitted: 04-Dec-03
By: Jerry Lewis-Evans (jane dot lewisevans at virgin dot net >)
"I first heard this album in 1970 when a school friend phoned me up, and in a state of some excitement insisted on playing the title track to me over the phone. I think he'd taped it on reel-to-reel from the radio (John Peel). I doubt if the audio quality was up to much, but I've been hooked ever since. We both went to the same school as BF in Wimborne, but a few years later than he did, and would occasionally see him around town. I have often asked myself whether my love of the band arose from a feeling of Old School loyalty, but after 30+ years I know it's much much more than that. I saw the band several times, twice at the Bournemouth Winter Gardens (circa Poseidon and Islands) and later at Finsbury Park (circa Lark's Toungues), all fantastic concerts.
"I wouldn't say ITCOTCK is my favourite, but looking back it's immense significance was the complete shock of the new, that feeling of a first step into uncharted waters that later albums built on in very different ways."
Date Submitted: 14-Jan-04
By: Scott McFarland (mcfarland at ac-tech dot com)
"What’s to be said, this truly is a remarkable record. Contrary to what some of the band members say about this record, I think they did manage to get a great deal of their energy and persona down onto this record in a rather perfect way – I don’t think this could have been better. Fripp’s intensity and creation of detailed musical structures, McDonald’s exceptional lyricism, Giles’ rather perfect drumming, Lake’s muscular voice and bass, and Sinfield’s exceptional lyrics, they are all in full effect here."
Date Submitted: 25-Mar-04
By: Stephen Brill (dutchboy at ovis dot net)
"Just relocated this beauty in the CD bin, I can remember having this on LP & on 8-track. I have to admit these songs bring back so many memories of friends & lovers, all of which have gone their own ways. For those people I spent countless hours of listening to this masterpiece with, I can only hope if you hear these tunes, a smirk will rise upon your face & you will be reminded of those times we shared together. Those were the daze. What lyrics written today can even compare??? Thanks, Steve Brill"
21st Century Schizoid Man
Date Submitted: 29-Jan-98
By: Nate Olmos (Olmos_Nathan_Lee at student dot smc dot edu)
"For the first 27 seconds of listening, eerie whistling and keyboard effects kept myself riveted in suspense and fear.
"Suddenly, an ominous metal riff (Daa Da Da Daa Da Daa..) slammed HARD on the downbeat, making me jump in awe of the power being unleashed into my ears. Then came "Cat's foot, iron claw...". Greg Lake's screaming distorted lead vocal scared the hell out of me. I had never heard Lake sing this way with Emerson, Lake and Palmer!
"The instrumental section kept me glued to the speakers. Listening to Robert Fripp play guitar for the first time, eschewing the use of blues scales in favor of a modal, harmonically intriguing approach was quite a surprise. Just when I thought it was over, Ian McDonald comes wailing on his (alto?) saxophone, squealing some rapid Ornette Coleman-esque runs, culminating in manic explosions of anarchic squeaking. It was a challenge trying to keep up with Fripp, McDonald, Lake and Michael Giles when they played the unison fast break. I was falling over myself trying to catch up with the band. The band finally returned to the main riff, and concluded with a free-for-all assault on their own instruments, lasting for about 12 seconds.
"I put my CD player on pause, screamed my head off for a few seconds, readjusted it and continued listening to the rest of the album.
"That, my friends, was a description of my very first listening of "21st Century Schizoid Man". I had just been initiated into the music of Crim the Great, and another door to my continuing love for music had been opened. I was only 16 years old at the time. And even to this day, I cannot forget that exhilarating experience."
I Talk to the Wind
Date Submitted: 3-Mar-96
By: Barrie Sillars (100763.1142 at compuserve dot com)
"After the onslaught of the album's opening track, something lighter. This is Ian McDonald's track through and through, with his flute taking centre stage backed-up by his reeds. Fripp's mellow guitar is there sounding more like an electric piano. His solo in the middle is simple and effective. Note should also be made of Lakes hollow bass sound. The overall feel of this track is very open and jazzy, moved along by Michael Giles skittish drumming. I particularly like the way the whole thing stops after about five minutes to just start up again to allow the flute solo to go off by itself. On the album this fades right into the next track, another assault."
Date Submitted: 3-Apr-97
By: Mike Pierron (pierron5 at mei dot net)
"The mellotron in the middle the song gives me the chills every time I hear it, I love it ! This is my favorite cut from the album , a very powerful tune ! Cream of the crop Crimson.*****"
Date Submitted: 17-Feb-98
By: Nate Olmos (royalscam at hotmail dot com)
"Just when you thought you could relax to "I Talk to the Wind", a timpani roll ushers in this grand mellotron epic. This piece gives me the shivers every time I hear Greg Lake's dignified vocals tackling Peter Sinfield's pessimistic (but truthful) lyrics. Nowhere is this more apparent than during the middle section of the song, where Ian McDonald maneuvers his mellotron into a boiling crescendo, which washes into Robert Fripp's lush, arpeggiated acoustic guitar. If you raise the volume of your stereo during the long fadeout, you'll catch some awesome drum fills by Michael Giles. In essence, "Epitaph" is a timeless piece to listen to over and over."
Date Submitted: 21-Oct-96
By: Daniel Kirkdorffer (dankirkd at comcast dot net)
"In my mind, 'Moonchild' has always represented the aspect of King Crimson that creates a chasm between the band and a wider audience. When I introduce King Crimson music to people, one listen to the 'improv' section of this track is enough to scare them away, and for them to brand King Crimson music forever as nothing more than noise. This has probably been a commonly repeated experience for many affectionados. The irony is that the first part of the track is a very simple and lovely little piece of music. I wouldn't be surprised if the 'improv' section of 'Moonchild' is not held in high esteem by the players themselves. Its purpose may have served nothing more than a means to fill up vinyl, and qualify for certain levels of royalties."
Date Submitted: 10-Aug-97
By: Marc Polonsky (marcwordsmith at sfo dot com)
"[...) I have to say that, for me, the entire song Moonchild is far and away the very best thing about this album. The first two minutes is not only a lovely song [...), it is an extraordinarily haunting melody and poem. The arrangement is ethereal and beautiful, and it is the very best lyric, I think, by Sinfield. And then the improv which follows builds on the mood created by the song. It is authentically other-worldly to my ears. It is rather understated compared to most improv, and I can see how some listeners might find it thin or aimless, but for me it takes me right into the Moonchild's world, which is a natural and relatively quiet world. I think it's an extraordinarily unique and (for me) most effective piece of music."
Date Submitted: 21-Jan-98
By: George Selinsky (selinsky at worldnet dot att dot net)
"After something as great as Epitaph, Moonchild's subtlelty comes as a welcome. The beautiful melody, the ethereal guitar/mellotron arrangement, together with Greg Lake's excellent delivery and Sinfield's lyrics literally take you away from Epitaph's sad world and immerse you into a dreamland. The improvisational half traditionally gets a bad wrap for being too long and overextended. True, I would rather they have shortened it. However, it is truly the first free flowing Crimso improv, and is a realistic musical interpretation of a dream - it changes from mystery, to confusion, to boredom, then finally, to beauty. Right after the most beautiful moment, our dream is awoken by the summoning Mellotron in "The Court of the Crimson King". This piece is essential to this great album's excellent flow, and is what makes it so progressive."
Date Submitted: 10-Jul-98
By: Ted DeVirgilis (Tdevirg at aol dot com)
"You will find this song featured in the Vincent Gallo movie: Buffalo '66. Christina Ricci does a tap dance routine to it!"
Date Submitted: 14-Dec-98
Date Updated: 20-Noc-12
By: (piano4tet at binah dot cc dot brandeis dot edu)
"Schizoid, Epitaph, I talk to the wind, and Court are like land masses, while Moonchild is the ocean. (Maybe I talk to the wind is the air?) Anyway, that's the balance of this great record! In it's own way Moonchild is just as bewildering as Schizoid, maybe more so. Don't skip Moonchild just because it's not loud or something. And please don't edit it on the 40th annivarsary reissue... oops too late! :("
Date Submitted: 29-Jun-99
By: Manoel Maria do Nascimento Jr. ( manoel at pinkfloyd dot com)
Review in Portuguese:
"A maioria tende a dizer que a seção improvisada de "Moonchild" é chata, muito longa e que poderia pelo menos ter sido editada. Ora, esta seção é essencial para o equilíbrio do álbum, além de ser, como já foi dito, uma interpretação musical de um sonho e também do mundo da Criança Lunar. É também uma forma de contraponto à tensão do lado A, iniciada com a tensa "21st Century Schizoid Man" e aumentada com a lúgubre "Epitaph".
"Reparem também no título de "Moonchild": a canção inclui The Dream e The Illusion, que, eu imagino, devessem ser improvisações ao vivo do Crimson na época. Escutando com mais atenção, percebe-se que o início da improvisação é relaxante, calmo, como um sonho bom. Depois de alguns minutos, a sensação causada é de uma certa angústia, como se o sonhador houvesse sofrido uma desilusão durante o sonho e acordasse assustado, como se dá com o desembocar da improvisação na tonitruante introdução ao Mellotron de "In the Court of the Crimson King".
"Comparando a improvisação com outras similares, como "Interstellar Overdrive" e "A Saucerful of Secrets" na versão do disco Ummagumma, ambas do Pink Floyd, é notoria a maior fluidez dos músicos do Crimson ao improvisar sem restrições de harmonia ou melodia, em algo próximo ao free jazz.
"Por tudo isto, eu elejo "Moonchild" minha canção favorita do disco In the Court of the Crimson King, quase empatando com "I Talk to the Wind"."
Review in English:
"(First of all, please note that English is my second language and forgive me for any grammar mistake.)
"Some people tend to say that the "improv" section of "Moonchild" is quite boring, too long, and that it could have been edited. This section, in my opinion, is essencial to the album flow and equilibrium, and, as it was said before, it's an musical interpretation of a dream and also of the Moonchild's world. It's also a conterpoint to side A's tension, started with the intense "21st Century Schizoid Man" and raised with the lugubrious "Epitaph".
"One can note that "Moonchild"'s complete title includes "The Dream" and "The Illusion", which, I think, form the infamous "improv" section. Maybe these titles refer to live improvisations by the early King Crimson which they felt like "hey, man, let's record it now to catch our live show mood into vynil" (Fripp may have the answer to this question-would you please answer, Bob?). The titles are very clear about the improvisation's mood changes: in the beginning the listener feels soothed and relaxed, just as in any good dream, but there's a change towards the end: somehow the improvisation starts getting tense, as if the good dream of the beginning was just an illusion, and we are suddenly awakened by "In the Court of the Crimson King"'s thunderous Mellotron intro as we would awake from a nightmare.
"Comparing it to other similar improvisations like "Interstellar Overdrive" and "A Saucerful of Secrets" (specially the Ummagumma version) by Pink Floyd, it's clear that Crimson musicians were more fluent when improvising without any harmony or melody restrictions, playing something close to free jazz.
"That's why I elect "Moonchild" my favourite song in this album, almost being drawn with "I Talk to the Wind"."
Date Submitted: 28-Jan-00
By: Gunnar Schillings (aquamine at iafrica dot com)
"nice too see so many comments on "The Court". I especially liked GGBOCK at aol dot com 's feel and wording, as it seems he reflects a lot of the greater atmosphere of the "Album". And now it is a CeeDee, by no means seedy, but in my memory it was a defining example of "Album Art", multi-media as far as the time allowed it (no computers around) in a single package. Moonchild is an ancestor of ambient music, chance, intuition and reflection,.... healing. Today's music compiled on one CD tends to be more streamlined to one direction only. Rock is rock, metal metal, ambient ambient, boring boring, overlooking the pleasures of contrast and perspective. Music is time demanding, and with this length is honest. I feel that the quiet passages of e.g. "Thrak" are too short and hurried as if the paranoia predicted for the 21st century got hold of the creators a bit early. Relax."
The Court of The Crimson King
Date Submitted: 26-Apr-96
By: Claude Girard (girard dot claude at ireq dot ca)
"I was 15 when I first heard that song on my high school student radio. I ran to the studio and gesticulated through the glass at the announcer; "What is that music ?". He showed me the LP cover..."O mon Dieu!!!" the Red Face!!! the King Crimson!!! That song etched my musical neurons permanently: the plaintive mellotron, Greg Lake's beautiful voice, the incredible (even by today's standards) drumskin sound at the end of "The dance of the puppets", the mysterious gothic lyrics (OK no debate: they sounded doubly mysterious for a French speaking adolescent but they had a music of their own and fitted perfectly to the melody) etc., etc.. Power, originality, musicianship...they were THE best and this song is their classic and a "www" progressive music classic. Now, I am 42 and this song is still the only one with a score of 5+ on 5! But like I said... my neurons were elated back in 1969....
"They were so good that they could not last together and ...did not."
Date Submitted: 24-Mar-97
By: Daniel Caccavo (danielj at interport dot net)
"It's interesting to note that aside from the coda, there is little electric guitar on this track - it's mostly acoustic guitar, piano, electric harpsichord and Mellotron. Quite an arrangement...
"And BTW, the calliope used on the coda is also that wind rushing sound before "21st Century Schizoid Man". They held down as many keys as possible, so no distinct tones were made (this acc. to Ian Macdonald)."
Date Submitted: 23-Jan-98
By: (startreks at aol dot com)
"Believe it or not, this is actually my favorite song from this whole album - and even the entire King Crimson catalogue. I got 'In The Court...' in 1997 - and it was my second King Crimson album - (My first was Discipline) and BOY what a different sound. I remember quickly flipping through the songs, searching for something that immediately caught my attention. This DID. This song is a masterpiece - it is incredible - the theme so... cool. I love how it ends - but then goes on, after it ends - clever. And in general I think that this song still remains one of the best examples of classic/progressive rock ever. Oh yeah - this whole album in general rules, and it's still my favorite even though I've gotten many more since I got it."