Redby King Crimson
King Crimson fell apart once more, seemingly for the last time, as David Cross walked away during the making of this album. It became Robert Fripp's last thoughts on this version of the band, a bit noiser overall but with some surprising sounds featured, mostly out of the group's past -- Mel Collins' and Ian McDonald's saxes, Marc Charig's cornet, and Robin Miller's oboe, thus providing a glimpse of what the 1972-era King Crimson might've sounded like handling the later group's repertory (which nearly happened). Indeed, Charig's cornet gets just about the best showcase it ever had on a King Crimson album, and the truth is that few intact groups could have gotten an album as good as Red together. The fact that it was put together by a band in its death throes makes it all the more impressive an achievement. Indeed, Red does improve in some respects on certain aspects of the previous album -- including "Starless," a cousin to the prior album's title track -- and only the lower quality of the vocal compositions keeps this from being as strongly recommended as its two predecessors.
- Release Date:
- Discipline Us
Performance CreditsKing Crimson Primary Artist
Bill Bruford Percussion,Drums
John Wetton Bass,Vocals,Voices
Marc Charig Cornet
Obin Miller Oboe,Wind
Mel Collins Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone
David Cross Violin,Keyboards
Robert Fripp Guitar,Keyboards,Mellotron
Ian McDonald Flute,Keyboards,Alto Saxophone
Technical CreditsBill Bruford Composer
King Crimson Producer
George Chkiantz Engineer
Robert Fripp Composer
Richard Palmer-James Composer
Rod Thear Engineer
John Kosh Artwork,Cover Design
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This was the last King Crimson album of the 70's, and boy did they go out with a bang. The album opened with the heavy song Red, which you can never get tired of listening to. It has a very dark and eerie feel to it. Fallen Angel starts out soft and joyous, but the chorus switches and becomes dark. Great song. One More Red Nightmare is next. It's just as heavy as Red, only it has vocals that seem frantic and a nice sax solo in the middle of it. Providence is a great improv with an amazing finish. Finally is Starless, which is the highlight of the album. This 12 minute masterpiece opens with a slow and soft and peaceful melody. The magnificent vocals are added to it and it keeps building up until it becomes extremely soft with a steady guitar riff playing for the next 4 minutes. This riff builds up constantly with the bass backing it up. It breaks out into a short sax solo and finally comes the ending, the best part and one of my all-time favorite finishes to a song. This could very well be King Crimson's best work ever, along with Larks' Tongues in Aspic.
Like the Beatles 'Abbey Road', King Crimson at the time of making 'Red' knew it was the end of the line, and went out in style. 'Red' is arguably their best album (many still believe it's 'In the Court of the Crimson King' - others 'Discipline', all are contenders). With great tracks like the title instrumental (among the darkest and heaviest riffs ever, and they weren't even a metal band), "Fallen Angel" and "One More Red Nightmare", on LP it was a perfect side. Some of the noodling and wandering of "Providence" seems pointless, but then turns into a mind-melt jam, the like of which later was improved on "Asbury Park" (on the USA album). Then, sort of akin to the long medley from 'Abbey Road' we get "Starless" which just sounds like a perfect musical ending to an amazing band - lamenting, joyous, and a release to the tension.
Well this has to to one of my favourite albums of *all* times. Over 25 years old and doesn't sound dated. In interviews, Robert Fripp has said that the violin is not an instrument for a rock band, but I must say that the mellotron - guitar - violin combination is very deep. Every aspect in this recording is outstanding. Great!, A must have for any rock fan.
Writing a review for the CD red by King Crimson.