Yesterday started with a stack of eight CDs I intended to play while working (all live jazz recorded at Birdland or the Cafe Bohemia) however for some unknown reason the realization that I hadn’t listened to much King Crimson in a long time (other than ‘In The Court Of The Crimson King’) suddenly hit me. (‘In The Court…’ is one of my favorite albums/CDs and it gets played regularly. To see other favorite albums click here) I have most of King Crimson’s early work and pulled ‘In The Wake Of Poseidon'(1970), ‘Islands'(1971), ‘Larks’ Tongues in Aspic'(1973) and ‘Starless and Bible Black'(1974) off the shelf. Giving each one a good cleaning, I cycled them on and off the turntable. I find myself doing the same thing again today as the jazz CDs wait patiently to be played.
King Crimson produced music that has been labeled the first and best example of “art rock”. Capable of producing both delicate and thundering music with lyrics to fit either, King Crimson has been referred to as the thinking person’s Pink Floyd.
Tastes often change and music is just as apt to go in and out of favor as anything else. So why hadn’t King Crimson, other than ‘Court’, made an impression before now? Had I read too many group histories and bios getting lost in the constant turmoil and upheaval which seemed to plague them from their beginning? Did I think this somehow translated into some inability to make consistent music? Yes, as the reviews pointed out ‘Poseidon’ is a reworking of ‘Court’ but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable. I found the other albums a worthwhile listening experience and am glad I got around to appreciating them.