In The Court Of The Crimson King

KC's debut album introduced to the world a group that threw various '60s genres into a blender and set the results afire with a blowtorch. One of the pioneers of the progressive rock movement that began in the late '60s and flourished in the early '70s, King Crimson was arguably the most consistently creative band in the genre.

On IN THE COURT they blend wispy, Donovan-ish folk-rock with Wagnerian grandeur, mind-bending heavy rock, and even a free- jazz sensibility. Greg Lake's vocals are effectively theatrical but more restrained than in his later ELP work. Robert Fripp was just learning howto make mincemeat of a chord progression, but he's alternately lyrical and frenetic as the moment requires


The extended jams on cuts like "Moonchild" are light-footed and inventive, never ponderous, thanks largely to the crisp, jazzy drumming of Michael Giles. "20th Century Schizoid Man"'s bone-crushing ensemble riffs and crazed solos were of a heft unprecedented in rock & roll.

Most importantly, the trademark Crimson would stick to throughout their career is shown here--dynamic variations between soft/lyrical and raucous/experimental. This was seen not just between songs but in the drastic dynamic shifts between sections in a single composition.