Saturday, February 27, 2016

78. King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King

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No one may care about finding out the symmetry on this image but I did set my own rules in creating it, and followed it through to the end. It's
not so much for the logic,  though, and not so much  for the challenge or the thrill of creating it either.  I did get a bit schizoid while trying to
figure it out. This is no less than one of my favourite album covers.

"Cat's foot iron claw
Neuro-surgeons scream for more
At paranoia's poison door.
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Blood rack barbed wire
Politicians' funeral pyre
Innocents raped with napalm fire
Twenty first century schizoid man.

Death seed blind man's greed
Poets' starving children bleed
Nothing he's got he really needs
Twenty first century schizoid man."

"21st Century Schizoid Man" from LyricsFreak

Barry Godber (1946–1970), a computer programmer,  painted the album cover.  Godber died in  February 1970 from a heart attack, shortly
after the album's release. It was his only album cover and the original painting is now owned by Robert Fripp. Fripp had said about Godber:

Peter brought this painting in and the band  loved it. I recently recovered the original from E.G. Records' offices because they
kept it exposed to bright light, at the risk of ruining it, so I ended up removing it. The face on the outside is the Schizoid Man,
and on the inside it's the Crimson King. If you cover the smiling face, the eyes reveal an incredible sadness. What can one add?
It reflects the music. Wikipedia

Praise for the cover is often met by equally oppos­ing deri­sion. No less than two such back­handed com­pli­ments came
from The A.V. Club,  which placed  In the Court of the Crim­son King  on its lists of 18 Partic­u­larly  Ridicu­lous Prog-
Rock Album Cov­ers,  and Great Albums with Ter­ri­ble Art.  The lat­ter described  “that dis­torted,  scream­ing face in
nau­se­at­ing blues and pinks” as “headache-inducing”. The Dork Report

This is the original album cover art design.

No. 95, Rate Your Music, The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time; No. 193, The Virgin All-Time Album Top 1000.

No. 9, Music Radar, The 50 Greatest Album Covers of All Time; No. 62, Rolling Stone, The 100 Greatest Album Covers.

Album cover design from a painting by Barry Godber. Album produced by King Crimson. Island 1969.

The group's definitive album, and one of the most daring debut albums ever recorded by anybody.  At the time, it blew
all of the progressive/psychedelic  competition out of the running,  although it was almost too good for the band's own
good - it took King Crimson  nearly four years to come  up with a record as strong or concise.  Ian McDonald's Mellotron
is the  dominant  instrument,  along  with his  saxes and  (Robert) Fripp's  guitar,  making  this a somewhat  different-
sounding record  from everything  else they ever did.  And even though that Mellotron  sound is muted  and toned down
compared to their concert work of the era, it is still fierce and overpowering, on an album highlighted by strong songwriting
(most of it filled with dark and doom-laden visions), the strongest singing of Greg Lake's entire career,  and Fripp's guitar playing
that strangely mixed elegant classical, Hendrix-like rock explosions, and jazz noodling. Lineup changes commenced immediately upon
the album's release, and Fripp would ultimately be the only survivor on later King Crimson records. Bruce Eder for All Music

(A) 21st Century Schizoid Man: Mirrors/I Talk to the Wind/Epitaph: March for No Reason, Tomorrow and Tomorrow

(B) Moonchild: I. The Deam, II. The Illusion/The Court of the Crimson King: The Return of the Fire Witch, The Dance of the Puppets

"In The Court of the Crimson King" live from Taurus-Tiger on YouTube.


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