Cincinnati Babyhead

Speaks his mind on music & movies!

Album : King Crimson – Red

After being exposed to King Crimson by way of ‘Larks Tounge In Aspic’ (It was just released at the time) I went back into their library and discovered all their previous recordings. I became a fan of Fripp and his various KC bands. It opened up a whole big world of music for me. I could do takes on most of the albums. I like their music that much.

Red is the second album after ‘Larks’ (I will get to ‘Starless’ at a later date) and continues with the lineup of Robert Fripp, John Wetton and Bill Bruford with a few other KC alumni helping out. The album wastes no time getting down to business with the hard jazz rock title cut. This lineup really did it for me. Wetton and Bruford make a great pair on bass and drums with Fripp filling in with his fantastic licks. It’s a hard edged sound and I love the groove. Brufords drumming is so good. I could listen to a jam of this for as long as they stayed in it.

The second cut tones it down a bit. I love Wetton’s vocals. KC always had really good singers and John kept that streak going. You get the feeling that these guy were on the edge of busting out and they do that on this cut. Mel Collins and Ian McDonald are along on saxes. So is Marc Charig on cornet. Man do these guys make beautiful noise together. This song takes you for a ride. Take it down and build and release. Love it. It’s not light listening. I could never categorize this music. So much going on.

It feels like Wetton is going to pull the bass strings off and Bruford is going to pound his drums into ruins. They do that on the third cut. Did I mention how much I like these two together. Fripp fills in with his ideas and the saxes help again. This music has it going on for me.

David Cross on violin makes an appearance on the opening cut of side two, ‘Providence’. This sounds more like the previous two albums. The band warming up then taking us on a trip. A little quiet before the storm. About 5 minutes in they start to cook. Those two bad boys on bass and drums couldn’t behave. Robert adding his unique sound along with Cross. Sorry folks I love this stuff. They jam out. On a previous post, Zappa’s ‘Apostrophe’ I talked about Zappa, Bruce and Gordon rocking out hard, well it’s the same feel here. The last cut ‘Starless’ feels like a throwback to ‘Crimson King’ then the band comes back to the present about half way through and they get in their groove again and take us to the end. They take you on a musical ride, a monster ride. It’s heavy, nothing soft about it. What a great record.

I spent a lot of time with this record and it still sounds really good to me today. Robert Fripp has always been one of my favorite musicians and he cements that even more with this record. The guy can play the guitar. One of my favorites. Plus he gets the perfect guys to play with him. Jazz rock, heavy rock, noise ??? I dont know but I do know that I dig it.

(One of my favorite people I follow, Bruce at Vinyl Connection, always does fantastic takes on Crimson. Check them out. He speaks prettier than CB)

(2loud2oldmusic just did a really cool take on KC’s first album. He’d never heard it and did a cold take. Very interesting and great idea. Really good read https://2loud2oldmusic.com/2021/04/12/you-picked-it-king-crimson-in-the-court-of-the-crimson-king-1969-album-review/ )

55 comments on “Album : King Crimson – Red

  1. Aphoristical
    April 18, 2021

    I think this is their best lineup and best record. Starless is such a powerful piece of music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 18, 2021

      This was such a fantastic lineup Aph. After this when Belew and Levin came on board it was top notch also. But this lineup had a certain sound that totally grabbed me. ‘Starless is exactly what you say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aphoristical
        April 19, 2021

        I think the 1970s Wetton vibe works for the better than the 1980s Belew, even though I like a lot of Belew’s stuff outside of Crimson.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 19, 2021

        This is the line up I listen to the most. So many spin offs from KC. I’m still catching up. I kept up with Belew for a while.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. 2loud2oldmusic
    April 18, 2021

    Thanks for the shoutout. That is cool that Aphoristical thinks this is the best line-up and album. I might have to spin this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 18, 2021

      This is a lot different from ‘Court’ but still has the Fripp vibe. Heavier sound. But if if grabs you I think you’ll dig it
      No problem on the “shoutout” I really enjoyed your fresh “wet cement” look or hear i should say.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim S.
    April 18, 2021

    I got into King Crimson with their first few albums then never really followed through. Maybe because my interest in prog-rock waxed and waned. This album has come up before and I would have sworn I gave it a listen. I will do that today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 18, 2021

      If you hang in for some of the extended jams I’m pretty sure you are going to dig it. Like I said the last couple cuts really cook in that hard style fusion I think you’ll like.

      Like

  4. hotfox63
    April 18, 2021

    Maybe the best King Crimson album except “In The Court Of The Crimson King”. I think “Red” justifies all of the group’s ambitious efforts to produce a flawless piece of music.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 18, 2021

      yes I think this album has grown since it’s release. For me it was just a continuation of the previous two then this lineup was no more. We still have the music from this group and Im glad for that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hotfox63
        April 19, 2021

        What else could King Crimson have produced after “Red” that wouldn’t have been inevitably weaker? With “Red” is the needle in the red area, more is not possible.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 19, 2021

        Cant argue with that Fox. When the needle is in the “Red” that’s as good as it gets. Good one.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, Another Blogger
    April 18, 2021

    I should give KC another chance. I’m not a fan, but maybe my opinion would change.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 18, 2021

      Thinking about your comment and knowing a little about your tastes Neil, the albums with Belew and Levin right after this might grab ya. They are pretty good in my books.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. the press music reviews
    April 18, 2021

    Red is one of their best records. Thanks for the reminder CB

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 18, 2021

      Im hearing Bruford doing his thing after reading your comment. Something about that guys drumming gets me especially on this record.

      Like

  7. 1dancequeendq
    April 18, 2021

    Jazz/Rock-fusion?? I knew the name King Crimson but not the music. Listened to Starless too.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Francisco Bravo Cabrera
    April 18, 2021

    Got to sit and quietly listen to this one CB, as I had not heard it. I always liked King Crimson and recently featured “In the Court of the Crimson King” but that was as far as I got with that band. Now there’s a whole new way to go. Thanks! All the best,
    FBC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 18, 2021

      This has some hard jazz leanings (I know you like your jazz). Like I was saying to Yeah Another Blogger, knowing your tastes Francisco I would suggest the three albums after this one for you. Just have a feeling they might appeal to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. 1537
    April 18, 2021

    Nice one CB. One of Kurt Cobain’s favourite LPs too.

    I love how intense and different this LP is from anything else they did (that I’ve heard at least).

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 18, 2021

      I didnt know Kurt liked this one. Cool.
      “Intense” is the word. The whole trio of this line up is tops with me, ‘Larks’ ‘Starless Bible Black’ and this one. They have those jams, hard jams i know you like. Nice to have you drop by fella.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. J.
    April 19, 2021

    Y’know, I have this one kicking around here but I honestly don’t think I’ve ever really listened to it. What’s that about? Anyhoo, you’ve convinced me to dig it out and get it spun.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. keepsmealive
    April 19, 2021

    Fan-freaking-tastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 19, 2021

      It is “fantastic”. In my books*.
      (Sort of like Holtby last night. Had to say it Books)
      *Notice the two uses of books.

      Like

      • keepsmealive
        April 20, 2021

        I, for one, commend your repeated use of books.

        Yeah Holtby played well (and with horseshoes in his trunks). I watched the highlights of the Boston/Washington matinee game from yesterday and thought “you know, both of these teams would eat Toronto alive, the way they’re playing right now.”

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 20, 2021

        Thanks Books
        One word on the game last night. Holtby. Yeah the north is in tough with the top teams down south. It will still be interesting. Look what the goaltending did last night. On both sides.

        Like

      • keepsmealive
        April 20, 2021

        Yeah I know. I’ve really njoyed this North division this year, but it’ll be a wake up call come playoffs and rolling into town is Tampa or Colorado or Florida or…

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 20, 2021

        It will be interesting how it shakes out.

        Like

      • keepsmealive
        April 20, 2021

        I just love the game, it’s in my blood.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 20, 2021

        It’s still running in my blood also.

        Like

      • keepsmealive
        April 20, 2021

        Doubt it’ll ever go away. Greatest game on earth. Currently being (somewhat) ruined by too many apologists for referees running game management bullshit, but that’s the league’s choice that can be changed for the better whenever they wake the hell up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 20, 2021

        They’re trying Books but there is still lots I get from it if people just stop trying to kill it with improvements. I was talking to Fripp and he agrees but he’s more of a soccer or should I say football guy but a traditionalist.

        Like

      • keepsmealive
        April 20, 2021

        I just dislike that there are two worlds. One is the rule book, with clear infractions. The other is this made up world where it depends on which referees you get that night and how they’re feeling that day and how they think a game between these two particular teams ought to go. Maybe it isn’t them, maybe it comes from above and the fix is in.

        Like last night in the Edmonton/Montreal game. McDavid’s first goal got called back because Chiasson did indeed interfere with Carey Price in the blue paint. Fair enough. But then the Habs’ first goal clearly should also have been called back and wasn’t. This stuff happens too often for it to be coincidence. Not that I am biased to either team. And they can’t say they missed it in the moment, they have video replay now. I dunno, I don’t like outside forces determing outcoes. Let the game get played within the rules. Call things outside of them. Seems simple.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 20, 2021

        You have inspired me to do a take. I stick with film/music for the most part but time to shake it up
        Yeah it’s hard to watch sometimes with the invisible penalties, invisible crease contact, forever to drop the puck, you know where Im going. They have taken the game away from the feel and they still get it wrong on the replay. Bores the shit out of me. Im reaching for the changer. Im all for the safety and getting rid of the blatant dirty stuff but let them play. Its still a physical game but Like I said the college thing is influencing it. I watched a Calgary game a while a go and a certain player got hit clean a few times and he staring at the ref like “Did you see that ref, he hit me”. Brutal.
        Im going to do that take right away.

        Like

      • keepsmealive
        April 20, 2021

        Right on. No hold barred… er, wait…

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        April 20, 2021

        Oh yeah, have to throw some pro wrestling in for sure.

        Like

      • keepsmealive
        April 21, 2021

        Hahaha that’s the Bruins

        Liked by 1 person

  12. greenpete58
    April 30, 2021

    A great record, CB. Back in my jazz deejay days I spoke with Fripp over the phone. Very interesting man.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      April 30, 2021

      I think I remember you telling me that about Fripp. I like his musical ideas and his playing.
      (I tried sending you an email of a little hike I did today. I’ll try later when Faldas over. She good at that stuff)

      Liked by 1 person

  13. badfinger20 (Max)
    May 3, 2021

    I’m not an expert on them by any means but I like this a lot. They are a prog band that has soul…it’s tied to earth. I like this one a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cincinnatibabyhead
      May 3, 2021

      Im not a guitarist but I love Fripps playing. This lineup is a fave with me in all genres. Bruford does it for me. I think I mention that a lot.

      Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        May 3, 2021

        I’ve had a few of my guitar friends influenced by Robert Fripp and that is where I heard a lot of their music…I love the bursts he does on guitar.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 3, 2021

        Plus he’s pretty diverse. All over my music collection. You’re friends must love his solo on Eno’s ‘Baby’s on Fire’. Just one of many but it’s a good one for me also.

        Liked by 1 person

      • badfinger20 (Max)
        May 3, 2021

        Yes I have heard that before…I just listened to it again…it’s those bursts again…I haven’t heard anyone play like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cincinnatibabyhead
        May 3, 2021

        Except for jazz guys he was the first I seen play sitting down. Such a stoic bookish guy making all that noise.

        Liked by 1 person

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