It’s the 50th Anniversary of King Crimsons debut album “In The Court Of The Crimson King”. 50 years is a long time in music, and there may be many people who haven’t heard this record. To put it quite simply if you’re a fan of music, and haven’t heard this album, you owe it to yourself to give this your attention and time.
One of, if not the first “prog rock” record. “In The Court Of The Crimson King” manages to hold my attention more than many of the works in the genre that preceded it for the next two decades.
The genre went on to become bombastically bloated in complex solos from incredibly talented musicians. But what it gained in technique it lost in emotion. On the other hand King Crimson’s first record manages to be compiled of fantastic tracks that happen to have amazing solos in them. They serve a purpose rather then being the purpose, an important distinction.
The album opens with probably their most known track “21st Century Schizoid Man”. A track that works as a calling card for the record. Very few recordings have ever demonstrated a band this talented or tight. The syncopated harmony’s between each musician is a feat of dexterity and timing that can only come from incredible musicians with a near telepathic connection. When i first heard this track it was literally breathtaking.
I sat there, slack jawed and shaking my head in disbelief. There have been a handful of times in bands where I’ve felt truly “locked in”. Where every musician is working together as a whole and for a few minutes it no longer feels like your reciting music from your memory but a group consciousness.
King Crimson take this feeling an place it on record with a musicianship that elevates to a new plane entirely. It’s a pure joy to listen to and is one of the many reasons “In The Court Of The Crimson King” is so highly regarded. I’ll let you find out the other reasons in your own time: