Red - Reviews

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Entire Release

Date Submitted: 18-Mar-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"An alchemic fusion of all the facets of Crimson so far, drunk with electricity and played like there is no tomorrow. There wasn't. But then there was..."

Date Submitted: 8-Apr-96
By: Dave Lumenta (yohipup at ibm dot net)

"Starless is probably the best track to demonstrate Bruford's ability to use space and to build it up until it becomes the ultimate wallpaper shredder. This track to me really shows(probably) how far Jamie Muir loosened up Bruford's approach to drumming (just compare how traditional Bruford's approach drumming still was on Close To The Edge !). Providence showed where Crimson really became the masters at in a live situation, comparable to Mahavishnu Orchestra, to be great improvisers. Sadly, improvisations like this are nowadays labeled as 'indulgent'. MTV became the agent to demonstrate that quantity indicates 'quality' (what a great world ! The discourse of music is being 'culturally imperialised' , thanks to MTV)."

Date Submitted: 25-Apr-96
By: Ryan Atkinson (rcatkins at uoknor dot edu)

"Red is the ultimate King Crimson power trip. For once, the group makes an album that is completely stainless, smooth, ominous. Listen to Fripp's guitar trills over the resolution of the "Red" riff. He plays like a man unleashed, but the rest of the band follows through. Because Red is not as technologically or orchestrally oriented as other Crimson releases, it retains a human quality that gives these themes of nightmares and anger real power."

Date Submitted: 12-Jul-96
By: Barry Rice (Nzo at prodigy dot com)

"This album became a catharsis. I want to thank Robert, Bill and John for creating a timeless music that reflected what we all needed to hear. Thank you."

Date Submitted: 8-Aug-96
By: Bill Nicholas (newguy at buttercup dot cybernex dot net)

"One of the most frustrating things about Crimso is that whenever a particular line-up really started to peak, they broke up. RED is a perfect example.

"Fripp, on RED, managed to synthesize every style he'd been working with since '69 into an extremely dynamic mix. The track Red is basically a blues, but what the band does with it is amazing. Fallen Angel mixes the Jazz ambitions of "I TALK TO THE WIND" with a blistery metal feel that still holds up today. The power-trio format that Crimson had been paired down to here made the music more powerful and lean then ever before. On top of that, this band was a road monster, compared to Beefhearts Magic band. (They also could improvise as well as the first Mothers of Invention, and that is a complement I pay practically NOBODY.) But, as in '69, the band broke up before it really got a chance to mature, to play out the whole scenario. These guys would have only gotten better as time went on, as you could say about any line-up, except for the ISLANDS band which really never had the right raw material to begin with. Fripp had all the makings here, though, a band that was so good, Bruford left YES to join as they were about to Journey to the center of the bank vault. YES, ELP, ELO; in terms of integrity, taste, balls and vision, Crimso towered over them all.

"Chrimson, in almost any incarnation, was (and is) a truly great band that always had a good shot at true, pure, visionary brilliance. It is a shame that no Crimso ever stayed around long to do what the Beatles or Zappa did: Create a COHESIVE massive body of essential work. One could always argue that the different groups comprise this body of work, but just once, it would have been amazing to watch Fripp lead a band into true maturity. Red is just the most frustrating example of this problem. As far as the album itself, well, of course, its brilliant, *****"

Date Submitted: 26-Nov-96
By: Nima Daryamadj (nima.daryamadj at svf dot fhsk dot se)

"I heard this record for the first time when I was 18 and had newly discovered KC. What amazed me was the freshness of it all. I mean, all the earlier KC records are great, but still you can tell that it is music from the 60´s or 70´s. The songs on Red aren't like that. The guitar-riffs and drums reminded me of some contemporary progressive metal bands. The same could be said about the odd time-changes. My point is that the same ideas that are used now, by bands in the 90´s (starting in the 80´s) were all done already in 1974 by Fripp and co. THAT is amazing and admirable. They were truly ahead of their time. (Listen to Larks tongues in aspics, the last song on the record with the same name from 1973: the guitar-riff towards the ending of the song is the best "Heavy metal" riff I've ever heard!!)"

Date Submitted: 28-May-97
By: George Selinsky (selinsky at worldnet dot att dot net)

"This is perhaps the most powerful version of King Crimson. It's funny how the actual "band" is only Fripp, Wetton, and Bruford - basically a good percentage of KC alumni participated in this project (like Ian McDonald). In essence, this album is King Crimson at it's heaviest, incorporating the progress of years past into a truly progressive album. Distorted guitar, crazy riffing, hysterical bass, forceful vocals, and fierce drumming are combined with a tremendous presence of melody and harmony, producing a masterpiece work. Regrettably, the album suffers from being a bit undercooked, since KC split up before the album was even released. One could almost sense a thematic presence of the first three songs (Red, Fallen Angel, and One More Red Nightmare), then a total disruption of continuity with the live piece "Providence", which is probably the most disjointed and unsatisfying improv in Crimson history. The ending song, "Starless", is a most superb swansong for any rock group and more than ever integrates the entire Crimson experience as a whole piece."

Date Submitted: 28-May-97
By: Laurent Pailhes (laurent.pailhes at renater dot montpellier dot men dot fr)

"Au delà de la puissance d'écriture et de la fabuleuse interprétation de l'album "Red", King Crimson et Fripp annoncent la couleur à toute une génération de guitaristes. On peut créer un son saturé mais mélodique. Le disque fait date dans l'innovation sonore pour l'instrument, et influencera Cure puis toute la scène rock dite "grunge" des années 90."

Date Submitted: 17-Feb-98
By: Nate Olmos (royalscam at hotmail dot com)

"If Crimson was going to go for the time being, it went out with its head held high! This album was a dramatic finale for the second incarnation of Crimson. Understandably, Robert Fripp was dissatisfied with the direction rock music was heading towards in the 1970s (all style but little substance), and he apparently didn't want Crimson to be engulfed in that situation (smart move!). That is why Crimson remains unique and influential in rock to this day.

"This album features a stripped-down version of Crimson (although the group does get some assistance from two former Crimson members, Ian McDonald and Mel Collins on, respectively, alto and soprano saxophones). David Cross had just left the band (although he plays great on "Providence"), which reduced it to a power trio of Fripp, John Wetton and Bill Bruford. The interplay among the three is intense and empathetic. Just listen to the way "Red" and "One More Red Nightmare" strike fear into the listener, with some menacing riffing and eardrum-battering percussion. "Starless" pretty much sums up the Crimson of the 1970s: a moody setting with the mellotron hovering in the background, followed by a gradual building of suspense and tension, exploding with some fierce jazz-rock improvisation, and finally concluding with a grand restatement of the main theme.

"In short, "Red" is a must for any King Crimson fan. GET IT!!"

Date Submitted: 9-Apr-98
By: A. De Wailly (ad051 at students dot stir dot ac dot uk)

"AAAAAAAAAH,AAAAAAAAH,AAAAAAAAAAAAH.Excuse me but I have difficulties to behave myself when it comes to this album. First of all the recordings of this line-up of King Crimson have always made me think of the works of Stevenson (Robert Louis) and Lovecraft,I don't know why.Secondly,why I like it so much is still a mystery to me.Drums are brilliant,but not extremely loud. Guitars are distorted,but only to a certain extent.In terms of power,it cannot compete with the 72 live version of "Schizoid Man",for example.

"The answer is probably: it's because it's so subtle.In fact, this version of KC can be summarized in three words: Distortion- Subtlety-Boldness.

"The first riff of "One More Red Nightmare" is a good example of that.Full of electricity,but still sober.

"Instrumentalists are at their best on every track.The bass sounds more like a normal guitar than like a bass for much of the time.Bruford's strange rythms remain in the listener's head after the CD has been stopped.Violins,saxophones and the rest are used efficiently.As for Fripp,he's rather great (including Morse code solos).

""Starless is the highlight of the album (of their career ?). A song about an end.Only the Smiths' "I Know It's Over" can come close to it.The solo is the longest,slowest,easiest ever recorded by Fripp.One of the most effective too.A good point: in the very end,they could have ruined everything trying to make a lot of noise,but fortunately,they stop directly after a few clashes of cymbals."

Date Submitted: 9-Aug-98
By: Strzyz (janusz at silesia dot top dot pl)

"Powerful combination of ITCOTCK's monumentalism, LTIA II guitar riffs and SABB's "SDR" ("Search, Destroy, Rebuild"). Absolutely timeless album. This album is somehow a copy of ITCOTCK. Red's heavy guitar resolutions are a little like heavy sounds of 21CSM - earthquake for the start. Fallen Angel is I Talk To The Wind played with metallic electricity, with delicate guitar interlude and frenzy horns. The only difference between Red and ITCOTCK is One More Red Nightmare. Providence seems to be a sequel to Moonchild, a long, a little dreamy improvisation. Starless joins together Epitaph, In The Court (the song) and the SDR (see above) of SABB. The greatest album since ITCOTCK. ****** / ******."

Date Submitted: 20-Mar-99
By: John Cooney (jcooney at prodigy dot net)

"Over the past year I have been focusing on the '80's and '90's versions of KC and their respective releases. I had forgotten just how awe-inspiring and powerful the mid-70's line-up truly were!

"It seems so ironic that by July of '74 when Red was recorded this version of the band had gelled into as powerful and productive a unit as any KC version of the past. Of the 3 studio releases between '72 and '74 Red is clearly their crowning achievement. The band is at it's alltime chaos vs.organization, power, anger vs. joy pinnacle of dynamic conflict and riffing like nobody before or since!!.. I only wish RF would throw in more occasional nods to this KC version than just the song "Red" itself in his current KC concerts. Reworkings of an absolute masterpiece like "Starless" or entertaining pieces like "Fallen Angel" or "One More Red Nightmare" would be great additions to the current repertoire, particularly in light of the fact that, with the exception of "Red" and "Starless" we've heard none of these pieces live that I know of over the past 25 years ( are you listening Robert?) The other thing I find most intersting on a badly overdue Red relisten is how absolutely wrong the critics now seem to have been in citing KC as "reduced to a power-trio" by the time of the recording of this album. This is absolute hogwash!!!! David Cross' gorgeous string work is everywhere apparent throughout this album (Cross actually wrote the music for "Starless"). As well there are tremendous contributions from both Ian Mcdonald and Mel Collins on pieces like "Starless" and "One More Red Nightmare" that actually make you feel at times as if you're listening to the first few versions of the band!!!

"Whether intentional or not Red truly represents not only a creative pinnacle for artistic expression and technical execution for the band but, as well, a pleasing tribute and monument to the road taken by the band over the previous 5-6 years since its inception.

"Can't wait for the reported 10/99 KC reunion (ie. 'defractionalization!)!!!!!"

Date Submitted: 29-Mar-99
By: Antonio Recuenco (Ottia at gmx dot net)

"Some "elephant-talkers" are really going to hate me, but... exactly as it happens with "In the Court of the Crimson King", this record doesn't (despite being also very "well-done") completely connect with my ears -in this case the reason is that I'm not precisely fond of "black leather". And these "elephant-talkers" are going to hate me even more now -the pieces that above all don't satisfy me are the classics -"Red", "Fallen Angel" and "Starless". The first one has (the metallic riff besides) a wonderful middle section, with an almost dramatic melody in the bass over the guitar chords -this excerpt could be easily arranged for orchestra. The second is a little too epic to please me, and "Starless"... well, the one-note solo convinces, and the change into the sax solo is brilliant, but the amount of noise is a little excessive afterwards (far from the sparkling "Lark's Tongues in Aspic", rather exhausting), and the main melody is quite near "Epitaph" -it's a shame that I'm not fatalist enough to taste this music. On the other side -"One More Red Nightmare" could make me live if I was a stone: the mixture of the minimal start riff and the solid and to a certain point odd middle section is exhilarating, vigorous, refreshing -Bruford does an excellent job. The first time I heard "Providence" it hurt, but now I take it for the best piece in the album -a slow building jam with magnificent guitar work (particularly the background sounds at the beginning), funky bass, irregular drum patterns and a beautiful violin introduction... in this case I prefer hearing the CD to the vynil -it doesn't sound so rough."

Date Submitted: 18-Apr-99
By: Kevin Patrick MacNutt (kevin.macnutt at england dot com)

"The third Crimso album I bought and was quite pleased with the purchase. The first format being the Editions EG reissue on cassette, then the Half-Speed master on vinyl and am convinced that this is the superior form for this one. I love this album, though words cannot speak, just let the needle in the red on the covers posterior be your guide!!!!!"

Date Submitted: 22-Apr-99
By: Krisztian Horvath (crimhead at hotmail dot com)

"I would like to share a couple of thoughts on "Red". It was the first KC record I ever heard, and this set me off to try and find all the other records, which was not that easy in 1989 in Hungary. Anyway, this is my favourite Crimson record ever since. Although other records, such as ITCOTCK and Islands also make me shiver with joy, none is so intense and raw, bursting with power as Red. The back cover, with the RPM meter in red clearly gives you an indication about how this record should be listened to: riding a bike or driving a sportscar at 120 mph... This album is especially dear to me since our high school band performed regularly three songs from it. Let me tell you, there is only one better thing other than listening to KC (in the world of music), and that is playing KC. As far as the live versions of the song "Red" are concerned, I am pretty amazed that no recording emerged from the Fripp-Wetton-Bruford era. I have only one possible explanation, this song has got to be played on two guitars at least, and that only came with the Fripp-Belew-Levin-Bruford incarnation of KC. Actually, I found the version on "Absent Lovers" a bit dull, lacking that overwhelming impulse and power we can hear on the studio version. For that reason I think the double trio version on "B'Boom" gets closer to the 1974 original. Unfortunately, I have so far not listened to any other live Red performances. At the same time I am pretty sure that the mighty Crimso could even surpass the studio version some time in their career, I am just eager to have a chance to listen to that one!"

Date Submitted: 25-May-99
By: Stephen De Prospero (StephenfromNY at webtv dot net)

"Truely no words can describe the power and chaois going on in this masterwork. The interplay of Bill Bruford, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, David Cross against and also in unison with Mel Collins, Ian Mcdonald, Robin Miller, and Marc Charig is truely awe inspireing to say the least. My personal favorite from the '72-74 era.

"I would have to agree that this particular release is as good as anything that KC peers were accomplishing, and there definitely the best band in progressive rock today. They define the very meaning progressive in a way that no other band even comes close."

Date Submitted: 14-Jun-99
By: Ed Lucas (wel at gl1500-6 dot com)

""Red", one could say, is the most beautiful use of some of the most ugly intervals western music has to offer. Of course "ugly" is a subjective term, but i think we were all shocked the first time we heard the 1972-75 band. Its twisted stuff that can confuse and delight and enlighten you at once. I was born the year "Larks' Tongues" came out and didn't get into KC until "Thrak" was released. Someone told me then that if I liked that cd, that I should march myself off to get "Red." The two disks have remarkable compatibility in their overall sound-like they came from the same writing spell. So then, I went about thinking about what it meant that they sounded so much alike . "Red" is decidedly ahead of its time; and "Thrak" then supports Fripp's feeling that the existance of KC is based less on his own whims, and more on the those of the "larger being" of KC itself (which evidently felt that despite Fripp's own sense that it was all over in '74, wasn't.)

"I digress.

"One thing is for sure, I look forward to hearing "Red" in 20 years more than I look forward to seeing whats in my bathroom mirror... its already aging better than I am! As a young musician who basically was stunned into a compulsion to play guitar after hearing KC, I modestly hope that I could compose even a few seconds of music that affects anyone like "Red" and "One More Red Nightmare" affected me. I never thought I'd enjoy having such odd, ambiguous sounds surrounding me, but this music embodies so many emotions, it can function as a soundtrack to life on a good or bad day. It doesn't make great party music (unless maybe you and some of your bipolar friends are planning a group suicide :)), but it does engage the listener in ways that are unique to each listener. And that is good.

"Musically speaking, "Red" will give any musician enough to chew on for some time to come...isn't the same thing said about Bach? First off, throw away your "How to Play Rock Guitar" (volumes 1-4, they won't do you any good...) Second, put your fingers in places on the guitar that they have never visited before, and thirdly, well you get the idea. Oh yeah, smack a big tritone on beats 1,3,5,7,9,11, etc.

"Oh my, I fear I got distracted. Fact is, "Red" may be one of the baddest ass records you'll experience, and certainly among the KC discography. No matter what KC disc you really dig though, you're on the right track...

"Small notes: As I said, I am a ( mostly) a solo recording artist, in continual stages of development, with recorded output to prove it. Some of which I suspect might be of interest to Crimheads. I can't be reached at this email address, but I can be reached by phone at (619)986-0925 (my studio's voice mail.)"

Date Submitted: 2-Jul-99
By: Norman Bovenzi (nbovenz1 at rochester dot rr dot com)

""Red" is the one album I keep going back to time and time again. It's the one of the few times where Fripp actually let's his emotions come through his music. I got it when it came out and wore out two copies. The history and turmoil behind this record is awesome when you look back on it. It's the groundwork for which every other incarnation of Crimson pales in comparison. It's made to be played LOUD. The horns add an element of melancholy that was sadly missing from previous works since ISLANDS. I would have loved to have seen this group tour. The 72 - 74 era group never made it to our town. Oh they did and had a power failure and never played. Got a chance to see the "Absent Lovers" and the "Thrak" era groups as well as the League of Gentlemen. All brilliant and wonderful! But nothing compared to the power and majesty of the material that they were doing on "Red". Long live Crim!"

Date Submitted: 21-Apr-00
By: Darryl Weppler (zravkapt at yahoo dot ca)

"My third favourite KC album. In fact, this probably would be my fave if it wasn't for one song! This is as good a swansong for the '70's Crimson as 'ABBEY ROAD' was for the Beatles. "Red" is a superb instrumental. "Fallen Angel" is one of KC's most mainstream sounding. "One More Red Nightmare" is one of the '73-'74 line-up's best songs. "Providence" is the one song that should have never been; an inferior improv compared to the ones on "Starless...". "Starless" is classic KC; 12 minutes long and not a single note wasted. Overall, an excellent album. 4.5 out of 5."

Date Submitted: 7-Aug-00
By: Jean Balczesak (janbalk at club-internet dot fr)

"The very first time I heard the Red LP, I was only 15 or so. I knew Crimso from the beginning, having heard the ItCotCK music back in 69 at my brother's flat. But Red is for me, still to this day, the most accomplished of the KC albums. (Sorry, but the Levin/Bellew thing never appealed much to me...)

"The most accomplished album, even if it is not the "best one" (how could we choose between the mind-tingling TLTIA, the cold-as-hell/hot-as-heaven SaBB and this black-reddish opus?). Anyway, here the Wetton/Bruford/Fripp formula has reached its peak. Heavy metal chords, subtilities in colors and... even some sort of "commercial evidence." And if I have hated RF during many years for having bruttaly dropped this fabulous line-up, listening to Red today make things a lot clearer. It would have been impossible to IMPROVE what we hear on this record. Since then, Fripp has had the brilliant idea to release live recordings from the 73-74 era and my frustration is bearable now. Anyway, each time I listen to the opening track, I feel sweat running down my spine. Have you heard that breack, with that strange cello sound and that wavy guitar flying from one cabinet to the other? It makes me think of bats. Huge, bloodthirsty bats coming to drain my life essence. Fripp has always been somewhat mad. Not crazy, just mad. But the gods have given to him the power to share his "strange compulsions" with us. And we sometimes really need to be mad to get on with life. If you don't already know Red, buy it today. It will be your first step on the sanitarium road, but you'll enjoy the ride. Believe me. ;-)"

Date Submitted: 18-Aug-00
By: Eric Odijk (eric.odijk at grontmij dot nl)

"I got to know King Crimson through my brother, who let me listen to Absent Lovers. There was this Red song, which I really loved. He had the Red cd too, and that lead me to the Wetton/Bruford/Fripp/Cross period. After buying the live double cd Night Watch, I was sorry that it recorded a year to early. I wish they toured for this Red album, because there a just a few bad seconds on it: the time between the songs. This album continues to surprise me, first I thought the Red song was great, but then I discovered Starless (also on the Cirkus compilation live double cd) and boy, do I love this band. I really wished they would have toured for probably their best album ever, and then with Ian McDonald, but sadly enough they never did. Imagine John Wetton returning to KC alongside Fripp, Belew, Gunn and Mastelotto. Then they could really do more stuff from this album..."

Date Submitted: 21-Aug-00
By: Martin Lopez (Martin at eAcceleration dot com)

"I actually have been able to hear everything KC ever made available to the public, and mostly it was all good, if not highly entertaining, but nothing I would have on heavy rotation with the exception of RED. Belew changed KC into a more accessible KC and pre-RED (lizards etc.) albums (esp. Aspic) have their fact all albums have at least one or two interesting (good) tunes on them...this comes as heresy to those dedicated KC fans? Well, perhaps, but what I want to stress is how different, completely cohesive and A+ Red is as an album....this is their definitive work when considering the BEST album to buy, not necessarily the most (packed with hits etc...) it flows, it grows and is comparable to nothing for its sheer in your face POWER. This is just from a music lover that appreciates KC but never thought of them as having anything in the (music hall of fame) category besides truly is an awesome piece of work...what comes close?"

Date Submitted: 21-Oct-00
By: Eric (ericodijk at wanadoo dot nl)

"I just bought the three Wetton-period studio albums in nice album sleeves. Much brighter and much more intense. I used to like Red (the album) a lot, but now I get tears in my eyes while listening to Starless. Now if I might die (I hope I'll stick around though) I would like to let everyone at my funeral hear Starless and Epitaph, both remastered.

"But seriously, Red really benefits from the remastering, it sounds like recorded only yesterday. A shame that they broke up, with Ian McDonald already back in the band. Sigh..."

Date Submitted: 11-Dec-00
By: (t_fahmy at hotmail dot com)

"This is the first album I heard from Crimso, and it's definitely one of my favourites - if not the favourite. I just want to say that I adore this album, and if it's an introduction to them you want, then this is probably a great one. Fallen angel is a magical song. So is Starless. And so are the rest."

Date Submitted: 15-Dec-00
By: Tony Johnson (tony at johnsonnufc dot fsnet dot co dot uk)

"Timeless. Masterful. Intriguing. Need I say more!

"Put on the headphones, crank up the volume as shown on the RPM dial and enjoy. Listen to the masters who define the boundaries of music.

"Red is the defining title track. Direct and distinct. Electrifying.

"Fallen Angel and One More Red Nightmare are as close to verse-chorus as you'll ever get with the Crim. But they are as deviously unconventional as befits their other less structured work.

"Providence is a shock. Where has the noise gone? I hear every possible review from disjointed jamming to excellent improvisation. It is a language which at first you don't understand. Then gradually you become fluent, and you rejoice in your proficiency.

"Starless is the finale of finales. The song which takes you up to Heaven and then releases you to fall into the void - an emptiness which lay unfilled for seven years, and some would say never quite filled despite KCs prodigious output in recent years. Truly stunning.

"In summary, King Crimson are renowned for their "thinking person's" music. Red is the epitomy."

Date Submitted: 21-Feb-01
By: (sound_chaser at mindspring dot com)

"Red - 30th anniversary edition. Not that many records have the potential to affect you this deeply and even less can do it this quickly. There are no extracts from this disk as it's the perfect example that "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". Just be warned that you may not return from the trip in exactly the same place that you left from."

Date Submitted: 7-Mar-01
By: (Sixstringjustice at aol dot com)

"The first time I heard Red, it blew my hair back! Ironically, it was the Dicipline line-up that performed it at the C.N.E. bandshell in Toronto in1984. I thought they wrote it. How naive. Anyway the orchestration is brilliant. The arrangement is clever(namely the intro and outro being totally identacal with the fanfare ending on the latter). The bridge makes you forget what you are listining to in the first place and you,re hit in the face with a two by four with the re-entery of the main theme. Of course I'm not telling you all anything you don't already know,but it's fun to disect it."

Date Submitted: 12-Apr-01
By: Guillermo Villegas Akena (neil_bruford at excite dot com)

"This was the first Crimson album I ever bougth about 3 years ago in the 98 I was 13 years old,now that Im 16 I cant get tired of listening to this album.Im a drummer,and thanks to Bruford every other drummer from my school gets frightened every time I play a Bruford style solo. Thanks to Bruford (and Neil Peart)Im the best drummer of my whole school.The hardest one on this album was One More Red Nightmare,Bruford has some strange offbeat rythms which I still cant really decode.This album really made me see what music is all about,now Im a true Crimson fan.My favorite is Starless,the offbeat percussion is insane in this song going along with the distorted guitar.This lineup shouldve never brake up.Red is also great,in here Bruford not only shows his musical skills,but his agressiveness while playing furiously his one of a kind snare drum.I also like the bass playing by Mr John Wetton,in starless I can even hear 2 bass guitars playing at the same time! This album has everything that made Crimson a prog rock leyend,melody,agressiveness,vistuosity,sweetness and speed thank you mr Fripp,mr Bruford,mr Wetton and mr Cross YOU ROCK"

Date Submitted: 4-Apr-02
By: (WeatheredWall at aol dot com)

"Lacking the symmetry of Larks' and the "orderly chaos" of Starless, Red fails only because the band has already shown of what caliber of invention they are capable.

"A truly forgettable album cover and a musical disappointment to any admirer fortunate enough to have seen this now-mythic group perform on stage."

Date Submitted: 14-Jan-04
By: Scott McFarland (mcfarland at ac-tech dot com)

"Overtly full of screaming guitar, banging drums, and whamming bass, though also with some effective reeds and mellotron strewn into the mix. The music nods towards structure and commercialism, but retains a spirit of adventure and some fine contributions from each member. The closer “Starless” is a real peak, a masterpiece that hasn’t been heard by most people but probably should be."


Date Submitted: 18-Mar-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"Instrumental. The hypermetallic main riff is relentless, pinned in the red like the back-cover art. Bruford invents new ways of hammering counter beats, dissecting and reassembling meters. The contrasting slow, "bowed" section is like a vision, recoiling from the inevitable return of the jackhammer riff. The final crescendo-acceleration undoes itself in a slowed-down version of the opening theme that stays suspended, unresolved. A classic."

Date Submitted: 2-Feb-99
By: Art Flooney (ArtFlooney at aol dot com)

"Red is without doubt one the best openers of any crimson record. It's one of those you have to listen to loud, like fracture, pictures of a city, etc. it has all the elements of a crazy kc instrumental. Insane heavy riffs, open sounding chords, TWISTED rhythms. It's a tour to the depths of insanity. And one of the best guitar tones ive ever heard from fripp. This song sets the pace for the record and then some."

Fallen Angel

Date Submitted: 18-Mar-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"Ballad? Starts like one. Wetton shows impressive range singing the nice up-and-down melody. Fripp's clean guitar intervention is evocative in its simplicity (Peace..?). Bruford's crisp drumming is admirable. Then, RF's saturated arpeggios chime in the "fallen angel" chorus. Mark Charig's cornet joins in and all instruments start a feverish call-and-answer build-up. Just before the last chorus, Bruford explodes in a terrifying drum roll that's guaranteed to give you shivers. Fade out, saturated fiesta of doom. Complex and moving."

Date Submitted: 4-Feb-99
By: Jon Thomas (jonthomas at uswest dot net)

"this is possibly my fave song by the crim.After 24 yrs i still get chills. thanks fellows"

One More Red Nightmare

Date Submitted: 18-Mar-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"This time, the title pretty much says it all. Mid-tempo, complex riffing introduces the verse, with Wetton slightly hysterical and a guitar sound akin to brimstone. Then, it's the descent into...uncharted territory, step by step, level by level, deeper and deeper. On the last reprise of that "descent", I always get that image of huge clocks with fast revolving needles, some going forwards and some backwards...The tape apparently going off the reel makes the sound break down like it's melting."


Date Submitted: 8-Nov-97
By: Hadert von Dicke (5107.inf.tsu at adm dot tsu dot tomsk dot su)

"A piece that seems to be from another album, not Red. The contrast is so great, that for the first time the listener just can't tune on the needed wave. Well, this song is really from another time - the époque of David Cross. I couldn't get into this, too, until I found the key. I listened to Bartok's string quartets - and there it was! Of course it was another music of another time, but something unexplainable was the same! I grabbed Red, and started to listen... - beautiful! And when I got a CD of Red, Providence started to sound even more marvelous, because there was no noise anymore and it began right after One More Red Nightmare's sudden death! Thanks to the band, that showed me, for what I got ears!"


Date Submitted: 18-Mar-96
By: Antoine W. Caron (caron at biotech dot lan dot nrc dot ca)

"The grandiose, yet sober opening of the song salutes past Crimson mellotron masterpieces like Epitaph and In the Wake. Beautiful melody, strong Wetton vocals. The second part, instrumental, is a long build-up from a single hypnotic repeated note (RF) on guitar. A slow riff evolves from the bass and drums, increasing in intensity as the guitar gets more and more dissonant. At the climax, a fast section starts and the brass instruments join in (Macdonald, Collins and Charig). Some of the most furious KC studio playing ever. A return to the opening theme closes this one with tremendous intensity. This is music for the end of times."

Date Submitted: 10-Oct-96
By: Ken Rutsky (longhair at albany dot net)

"This song is, for me, a story of sorts, but one told in terms of pure emotion. The dirge-like vocal section (Wetton's voice is particularly apt for this) seems to be a reflection on some inner turmoil; the lyrics for the last verse seem full of resignation. But... Deep within there is a spark of anger, which slowly builds in intensity. The sense of frustration here is so strong it can be felt in the air, your chest tightens. It is like a spring being coiled and coiled; when resolution seems imminent, it doesn't come. Frustration builds and builds...there are howls of pain and anger. Then comes the massive, cathartic release. It is directed both outward and inward; nothing is spared. By the time the opening theme is restated in all its grandeur, the rage is spent. Has anything been solved? One gets the impression that, perhaps, no, nothing has been solved, but growth has been achieved. Turmoil affects all of us, and now we are looking outward, seeing this, maybe for the first time. Life is full of problems, life is full of loss; now, at last, we are strong enough to confront it, never to give in. We must fight to delay, for as long as possible, the inevitable defeat, for only in this way can we say we truly have lived."

Date Submitted: 12-Aug-97
By: Zub (zubaz at tsai dot es)

"The two saxophonists of KC's history joined in the same song, supporting the mellotron, Wetton's basses and of course...Fripp. What else can we order? (just Greg Lake's voice but ii would be too much!!)"

Date Submitted: 30-Dec-97
By: Frank Palumbo (Frank_Palumbo at tvratings dot com)

"Starless to me represents the King Crimson at the climax, at a time when we all thought the band was dead for good.

"Wetton's voice is very 'epitaph' in nature. The haunting Mellotron is omnipresent in the first half of the song, then retreats into the train-like noises as Bruford and Wetton exchange musical blows between bass and percussion.

"This is undoubtedly Bruford's best effort on percussion form the old era, and part of his banging might be attributed towards the frustration of the break-up, the announcement of Robert Fripp calling it quits, while Yes soared onward to serious financial heights."

Date Submitted: 25-Jan-98
By: Elessar Tetramariner (elessar at concentric dot net)

"'Starless' began as a word in a phrase by Dylan Thomas, 'Starless and Bible Black'. While the musicians Fripp, Bruford, Wetton & Cross were working with musical instruments, Richard W. Palmer-James was pulling the 'Starless' geshtalt out of himself.

"In 1974, I was confused by Crimso releasing an lp called "Starless and Bible Black" with an instrumental bearing that title, then shortly after releasing "Red", which had an entirely different track called "Starless" (abbreviated title, right?) but which held the vocal phrase "Starless and Bible Black". My feeling is that after his dissatisfying relationship with Pete Sinfield (which Pete described to me from his side in late 1974), Robert discarded the idea of paying more than lip service to the input and value of lyricists and the lyricists' output device, singers. Singers and lyricis [that he hasn't written himself] are well and good when they don't interfere, but the music is the Thing that drives Fripp's work.

""Starless", as noted by other reviewers on Elephant Talk, is a penultimate King Crimson work. I have recordings of at least 3 different vocal deliveries by Wetton--different words, different order. I also have them for "In The Court Of The Crimson King" and "Easy Money". So, I postulate that lyrics, words are only a convenience for Fripp to be better heard. He plays guitar--what need for words? He doesn't sing them, he shuns lights, microphones and all the typical rock presentation.

"So, as much as I like the final stamp of "Starless" lyrically, it was not a once-written poem, any more than most of Crimso's music. Just because we've heard it this way, the next or the time after's performance has been Radically different, because Fripp insists it should evolve or be discarded.

"I was very touched, for years uncounted, that what we thought after "Red" wasn't followed up that 'Starless' was offered as the last blow. Most of the elements of previous Crimson works and musician configurations walked in the door and were acknowledged as this started the opening measure. Ian & Mel were recalled from the Discarded land to walk strong again when King Crimson most needed their help. I thought Fripp had a heart, and recalled what had best helped them/him in the past OR Fripp shrugged and said, "You the guys, c'mere and do it" or, "How elegantly completed". Wjatever, "Starless" is The Song Of Ending. Period x2. I used to thrash around my room to this. Very few other works have EVER electrocuted me like this did a few dozen times.

"This is the best drumming Bruford-learned-from Muir (watch them together in '73 to learn who did what and you'll understand.

"Fripp's beat-maintenance riff should be shortened by about 14 measures, or he should have added a mellotron-ghost mellotron restatement of the 'Starless' melody right before the "BIG BLOW OUT".

"I have no other complaints about this track, save subtle sampling of voices mixed in in places might summate King Crimson 1968-1975 more effectively.

"I'll write more, but right now I think I'll just go Play it.

"I don't know that I can imagine them any better than right here. Someday, a video should be made of all the people who played, in "old war hero--deceased" portraits, in the band, fading up from starless to starbright than back to bible black. Neh?"

Date Submitted: 5-Apr-98
By: Anthony Testani (dartprod at concentric dot net)

"Starless still has to be the best King Crimson song to date. Its a difficult decision to really make, but if i had to pick, this would be the one. Everyone (Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, and Cross) is right on key at every moment! No mistakes makes for a perfect song. God I love it! Aside from that, Providence is fantastic. Is has no beat, but there is a battle going on. Cross starting out on the violin and Wetton trying to find the key, but Cross keeps changing. Finally Wetton gets annoyd and breaks out in his familiar demonic bass sound. Supported by Bruford and Fripp, they join in with Wetton and take over the middle of the piece. Then to end a lullaby from Cross. Masterful improv! Of course One More Red Nightmare is great, especially the intro on your stereo as loud as it could go. Scare the crap out of anyone that never heard it before. Fallen Angel is a nice pleasing Crimson song (ironically it is madness in the pop world). And my least favorite is Red. A little too repetitious for my taste. But thats just me."

Date Submitted: 2-Aug-98
By: Robert Gazerro (digitaloptics at ixpres dot com)

"As a scientist who spends most of his time within the clearly, or at least, seemingly, mundane pursuits of industry, bill-paying, and dog-feeding, I have been become more convinced over the 20-some years I have been an unquestioned, but unexplained, Fripp/Crimson fan, that the song "Starless" embodies dramatically and richly some of the most important, potent, and mysterious psyhoenergetic dimensional eigenvectors of man/mind and his relationship to the apparent world around him.

"For me, listening to that song brings to the surface so many seemingly contradictory feelings of love, loneliness, resignation, and optimisim, and thankfulness, that it distracts me from my work for days with thoughts of trying to do basic science as opposed to the work I have at hand."

Date Submitted: 9-Aug-98
By: Strzyz (janusz at silesia dot top dot pl)

"The sad, soft ballad at the beginning is a calm before the storm. Then, the real showdown starts: Wetton talks with Fripp on his monstrous bass guitar, Bruford joins in, slowly building the atmosphere. Fripp's guitar becomes more and more powerful, music becomes more and more frenzy, at fast section Robert plays 10000 noises per second on his guitar. Can there be something more?... Yes. Fripp leaves his guitar for the mellotron, Robin Miller joins in and the real blitzkrieg begins. Bass guitar drifts on the heavy mellotron sea (back to The Sailor's Tale final parts), Bruford's drums are irresistable (the short solo passage), and finally - Fripp, Miller, Wetton, Bruford altogether play the greatest coda of all KC albums. If it is a improvisation (it a little seems to be), it shows the real Crimson beast. The only thing: I think the better title would be "Apocalypse Now"..."

Date Submitted: 14-Mar-99
By: Kristobal Moraga (titi at entelchile dot net)

"Sorry my english is not the best but I think, starless is probably one of the most beautiful creations in the music history.

"Listen it I go to the deepests places of my soul. I want to say Thanks KC for give me not only this song, for give me your music"

Date Submitted: 25-Sep-00
By: Chris (Chrisjbaum at aol dot com)

"I don't mean to denigrate Jamie Muir's playing or his positive influence on Bill Bruford, but I feel obliged to challenge the suggestion that the wonderful temple block figure in the middle of "Starless" would never have come about if it weren't for Jamie. Not so! Bill used the same kind of trick in another tune a few years earlier. In "Starless" he maintains an four-beat pattern against Wetton's thirteen-beat bass line; in "Long Distance Runaround" from Yes's FRAGILE, he plays a five-beat pattern against the four-beat phrases of the rest of the band. These are classic Bruford-style polyrhythms, and owe nothing to Jamie Muir.

"Also, in response to a reader who expressed confusion over the repeated use of the phrase "starless and bible black": the phrase actually comes from Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood." I'm guessing that it really struck a chord with Robert Fripp (he seems also to have a fondness for the word "fracture," doesn't he?)."

Date Submitted: 28-Mar-01
By: Fred (bradmajors79 at hotmail dot com)

"'Starless' is simply a song for the eternity, very very beautiful song... If you have the spleen, listen to this music, It's very the best song of Crimson King... King crimson is very a Great great great group... Thank you Robert for this moment..."