jueves, 2 de junio de 2011

King Crimson

When we talk about progressive rock we tend to place all groups in the same boat, when in reality there are many glaring differences between Pink Floyd or Genesis. And although it is a type of music that owes its greatest popularity to the group made by Waters and Gilmour, it is also true that, in my opinion, the progressive rock group that has remained more current and  has shown throughout his career a constant renewal that sets it apart from its other contemporaries is King Crimson.

King Crimson is a musical entity created in England in 1969 by Robert Fripp and Michael Giles. It has been recognized for its variety of shapes and styles, recreating itself whenever the music needs to be played, always following the guidelines of Fripp. It is one of the most important precursors of progressive rock movement and it is considered by many that the first album of progressive rock is In
​​The Court Of The Crimson King from 1969.

The style of "Krimson" varies from the most stylish symphonic rock of the first days until free structures inspired by the free-jazz albums that mark the most recent, based always on the mathematical perfection Fripp demand to each of the musicians that accompany him.

King Crimson is undoubtedly one of the most influential bands in music history. The band's history has been shaped by constant changes of personnel. Robert Fripp is the only common factor of all disks and all alignments of the group, although he does not consider himself as leader. For him, King Crimson is "a way of doing things" and the constant changes of its members only reflect that view. We should add that King Crimson has had to date, 17 members since its founding in 1968.
However, his music has been relegated to a cult with few listeners. Perhaps due to the fact that they don´t have  pleasant and dreamy melodic lines like those we can find in Pink Floyd. In fact, listening to King Crimson often annoys and hurts the ears. And it is not about guitars. It's about taking positions and melodic structures always uncomfortable or unconventional. But if one makes the effort to find you a real beast of rock. "Metallica?" Nirvana? "Iron maiden? ... No, this is really dense and beautifully catastrophical.

Discipline is one of the best progressive albums ever, a sign that the band has nothing to envy to the rest of progressive rock like Floyd or Rush, for example. I've always considered RED as his greatest album, but discipline is not going behind and it is also a beautiful album. Madia has a schizoid thing that reminds me of some tunes from Talking Heads.

Some live performances:

Walking on air - Live at Japan

Red - Live at Japan

Last line-up:
Tony Levin — bass guitars, Chapman Stick, upright bass, synthesiser, backing vocals (1981–1999; 2003–2009-present?)
Gavin Harrison — drums (2007–2009-present?)
Adrian Belew — lead vocals, guitars, guitar synthesiser/MIDI guitar, electronic percussion (1981–2009-present?)
Pat Mastelotto — acoustic and electronic drums and percussion (1994–2009-present?)

Former members:
Greg Lake — bass guitar, vocals and tambourine (1968–1970)
Michael Giles — drums, vocals (1969–1970)
Ian McDonald — saxophone, clarinet, flute, mellotron, vibes, vocals (1969; 1974)
Peter Sinfield — lyrics, synthesiser (1969–1971)
Gordon Haskell — bass guitar, vocals (1970)
Andy McCulloch — drums (1970)
Boz Burrell — bass guitar, vocals (1971–1972)
Ian Wallace — drums, percussion, vocals (1971–1972)
John Wetton — bass guitar, vocals, occasional electric guitar and piano (1972–1974)
Jamie Muir — percussion, allsorts (1972–1973)
Bill Bruford — acoustic and electronic drums and percussion (1972–1998)
David Cross — violin, viola, flute, mellotron, electric piano, keyboards (1972–1974)
Richard Palmer-James — lyrics on Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Starless And Bible Black and Red
Trey Gunn — Warr guitar, Chapman Stick, baritone guitar, Ashbory silicone-string bass, "talker" (1994–2003)

Study Albums:
In The Court Of The Crimson King
In the Wake of Poseidon
Larks' Tongues in Aspic
Starless and Bible Black
Three of a Perfect Pair
The ConstruKction of Light
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
The Power to Believe

Live Albums:
The Night Watch
Ladies of the Road
Absent Lovers
Live in Park West, Chicago
The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson - Volume One
The ProjeKcts
The Great Deceiver

Wikipedia says:
King Crimson are a rock band founded in London, England in 1969. Often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band have incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during their history (including jazz and folk music, classical and experimental music, psychedelic rock, hard rock and heavy metal, new wave, gamelan, electronica and drum and bass). The band have been influential on many contemporary musical artists, and have gained a large cult following despite garnering little radio or music video airplay.

Though originating in England, the band have had a mixture of English and American personnel since 1981. The band's lineup (centred on guitarist Robert Fripp) has persistently altered throughout their existence, with eighteen musicians and two lyricists passing through the ranks; though a greater degree of stability was achieved later in their history, with Adrian Belew having been a consistent member since 1981 (excluding ProjeKcts).

The debut lineup of the band was influential, but short-lived, lasting for just over one year. Between 1970 and 1971, King Crimson were an unstable band, with many personnel changes and disjunctions between studio and live sound as the band explored elements of jazz, funk and classical chamber music. By 1972 the band had a more stable lineup and developed an improvisational sound mingling hard rock, contemporary classical music, free jazz and jazz fusion before breaking up in 1974. The band re-formed with a new line-up in 1981 for three years (this time influenced by new wave and gamelan music) before breaking up again for around a decade. Since reforming for the second time (in 1994), King Crimson have blended aspects of their 1980s and 1970s sound with influences from more recent musical genres such as industrial rock and grunge. The band’s efforts to blend additional elements into their music have continued into the 21st century, with more recent developments including drum and bass-styled rhythm loops and extensive use of MIDI and guitar synthesis.

King Crimson's existence has been characterised by regular periods of hiatus initiated by Robert Fripp. The current status of the band is ambiguous. Despite online diary posts from Fripp suggesting that he is not interested in working within the King Crimson context, "Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins" has been identified as a King Crimson ProjeKct.

11 comentarios:

  1. I had never heard of them before finding this post, and I'm glad you included some of their music because to be honest they look a little goofy :) good stuff though.

  2. nice band dude!! let me check them out..

  3. Oh boy, they are still active! Interesting article, thanks a lot!

  4. sounds nice this band !

  5. I liked the first video, the rest where meh

  6. Never heard of them before! Thanks for the post!

  7. Very nice sound! Following for more reviews!

  8. I love live performances! It brings out the best in musicians, because they do not have all that fancy stuff as they would in recording studios. Live performances weed out the weak musicians from the best!

  9. Quite possibly the best band ever. Simple as that!