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King Crimson Help

Old 10-20-07, 04:24 PM
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King Crimson Help

I recently picked up the first two King Crimson albums: 'In the Court of the Crimson King' and 'In the Wake of Poseidon'.

Where (if anywhere) should I go from here? I'm trying to figure out what in the rest of their catalog is essential and what should be avoided. Their discography is huge and I am just completely overwhelmed.

Any help from KC fans would be appreciated.
Old 10-20-07, 04:46 PM
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Just proceed in chronological order. KC evolved quite a bit over the years, and that would probably be the easiest way to keep up with them.
Old 10-20-07, 05:03 PM
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The trilogy of Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red is probably their most essential work after In the Court of the Crimson King. Since they work so well as a coherent entity, I recommend picking up all three at once. If that's not an option, I'd give a tiny nod to Larks' Tongues over the other three, followed closely by Red and then Starless.

Moving beyond that, THRAK and The Power to Believe are also very good albums in their own right, but they can be a little sonically jarring if you're moving straight from their first couple of albums. I'm not a big fan of their 80s work (IMO it hasn't aged very well). That leaves Lizard and Islands -- which I haven't listened to yet, but I'm told are a little disappointing -- and The ConstruKction of Light -- which is widely viewed as their worst album and is apparently out-of-print anyway.
Old 10-20-07, 09:10 PM
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I have to disagree about their 80's stuff. Discipline, Beat, and Three of a Perfect Pair are extremely interesting albums. I still find different things to hear and enjoy every time I listen to them, even after all these years.
Old 10-22-07, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by GHackmann
The trilogy of Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red is probably their most essential work after In the Court of the Crimson King. Since they work so well as a coherent entity, I recommend picking up all three at once. If that's not an option, I'd give a tiny nod to Larks' Tongues over the other three, followed closely by Red and then Starless.
Agreed. Though personally, I'd take Red, then LTiA, then Starless.

You might try looking for a copy of the "Frame by Frame" box set, or the newer "21st century guide" box for some pretty decent samples of all the eras of Crimso. There are probably as many compilations and live CDs as there are studio albums, so there's a lot to pick from.

-jason
Old 10-22-07, 07:26 PM
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Can't argue with the 70's trilogy recommendation. LTiA is my personal favorite, then Starless, then Red. But they're all amazing, excellent albums.

I think Discipline is also right up there with LTiA and In The Court of the Crimson King, as well. Beat has some good songs, but is a step down, and I actually find about half of Three of a Perfect Pair to be fairly unlistenable. Thrak was a nice return to form, and The Power To Believe blew me away. ConstruKction of Light was pretty abysmal, but there's an excellent three disc live set from that tour with a ton of improvs.

Lizard is a rather underrated album. Islands is for the hardcore only.
Old 10-23-07, 02:26 PM
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I stopped after Three of a Perfect Pair, but I also haven't heard any of the newer stuff since that trilogy so I can't say for sure how good it is. Red, and the other two albums in that trilogy, is absolutely essential. Starless is one of the best songs I've ever heard in my life. I agree Lizard is an underrated album. It's a truly unique listening experience, as are all of KC's records. I recommend you continue on, in chronological order, and happily celebrate their entire catalog.
Old 10-23-07, 04:44 PM
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Chronological order...

Get Lizard next since it's the natural progression from Poseidon and it's a better album.

Skip Islands, it stinks. Seriously.

Get Larks' Tongues, Starless and Bible Black, Red, and then the live album USA (do not skip this one). This is my favorite period of Crimson. Red is one of my absolute favorite albums of all time.

Get Discipline and Three of a Perfect Pair. Skip Beat unless you totally dig those two albums, it is the weakest of the three. This is the beginning of the Belew years and is quite different from the classic prog of Crimson King, Posiedon and Lizard. You may or may not totally dig it... It draws on the heaviness of the 72-74 lineup but it also draws on Roberts' and Adrian's time with Bowie and The Talking Heads.

Get THRAK... This is the double lineup Crimson and it is quite heavy and very awesome.

Get The Power to Believe and skip The Construkction of Light unless you really dig The Power To Believe.

The only other live album that I would consider as mandatory would be Heavy ConstruKction... However, if you REALLY love the 72-74 lineup then The Great Deceiver box set is worth tracking down as it contains 4 live discs from that time period.

The rest are worth owning if your a Crimson nut like I am (only Frank Zappa has more releases in my collection) but I wouldn't consider them essential Crimson.

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