Friday, April 11, 2008

On King Crimson

Eric asked and I oblige. A post about King Crimson.

I'm far from an expert on them and really only know two eras of theirs - their first album and their "return" in the mid 90s. First album is obviously pre-Belew and back then, yeah, they were one of the wankiest prog bands to ever wank. But they kind of rocked a bit too. Their first album is something of a guilty pleasure. In searching YouTube for a good video of the original band playing live, I found, uh, this. It's "In the Court of the Crimson King" (which was used spectacularly in Children of Men) set to a Tom & Jerry cartoon. This may be best viewed while hanging out with your favorite talking towel.

As for Belew's involvement - I actually have not heard that first album with him. By the time I pick them back up in the 90s they are firmly in the mode of "old guys showing off their virtuosity". Which I guess is what they always were, but at least when they were younger they had some ambition and gusto. Now they're just... well, judge for yourself. Here's "Elephant Talk" from, I don't know, some album with Belew. VROOM maybe?

1 comment:

drischord said...

I once liked "In The Court of the Crimson King" but eventually grew tired of it. "Lizard" is a solid King Crimson album, prog-y but not jammy. Don't have "Discipline."

I particularly like the ways King Crimson is related to other bands. Most notably, their original lead singer was Greg Lake, of Emerson Lake and Palmer, another semi-prog-y band that tends to fall more on the pop end of things.

I also like Robert Fripp's work on non-King Crimson albums. My favorite is his guitar playing on Brian Eno's rock records, particularly "Here Come the Warm Jets." Yeah, he can be a wanker, but if someone's going to solo nonstop, I'd rather it be him than Jerry Garcia or the guy in String Cheese Incident or Soulive or whatever. Prog beats jam... that's basically what I'm saying.