Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #750 - King Crimson - RED Implosion and Court of the Crimson King

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #750 - King Crimson's Implosion - RED

Hi Mom, Still in sharing mode.

I can't face the world, so here's some show and tell. Prog Rock always makes me feel better.

From - http://ultimateclassicrock.com/king-crimson-red/

The Story of King Crimson’s Implosion on ‘Red’

At the time, King Crimson‘s Red was decidedly disappointing, an album without a band that spent just a single week on the British chart, stopping at No. 45. Every previous Crimson offering had gotten into the Top 30. This one, conversely, appeared on store shelves weeks after Robert Fripp unceremoniously announced their demise.

In truth, King Crimson were breaking up even as they convened in July 1974 for the album’s sessions. David Cross departed at the end of the group’s summer tour, leaving a pared-down principal trio of Fripp, John Wetton and Bill Bruford to go forward with a few assists from ex-bandmates Mel Collins and Ian McDonald. Red came out on Oct. 6, 1974, heralded by Fripp’s rather depressing comment that Crimson were “over for ever and ever” in the New Music Express.
“It was a quite superb band,” Fripp surmised in a separate interview with Melody Maker that published one day before Red arrived, “but, nevertheless, what we were doing wasn’t really for me.”

Fripp seemed to be simply burned out, half a decade into leading the band. “To give you an idea of the work we’ve done this year: From January to February we made an album, then went to Europe for a tour, then immediately off to America, back to Britain for rehearsals and straight back to America for another tour,” he told Melody Marker. “After that, I had one full day off in the country before we started recording Red. With that kind of life, there’s a lot of things I’d like to do, but can’t.”

With Fripp’s announcement of a split, Crimson would lay dormant until the beginning of a new decade — and this aggressively complex project might have been, it seemed, best left forgotten. Except the critical estimation of Red has continued to rise over the past four decades.

Kurt Cobain, for instance, would count Red as a landmark in his brief, but influential career. The album landed on many best-of lists over the years. And McDonald, who’d earlier worked on King Crimson’s genre-defining 1969 prog classic Court of the Crimson King, counts this album among the group’s most important. “I think Red is the best of the next wave of Crimson,” he said in Will Romano’s Mountains Come Out of the Sky. “Robert defined the band and found his voice, as far as I’m concerned, guitar-wise.”

So why was Fripp himself so unhappy? “I decided it was time to stop,” he said in a January 1979 interview with Best. “I was becoming more and more frustrated. Crimson had stopped evolving both in a commercial and musical sense. This reflected a lack of strength in the music. If our music had been incredibly good, we would undoubtedly have had a huge success. Such was not the case.”

There was no denying, of course, that the Wetton-era Crimson, as they moved from 1973’s Larks’ Tongue in Aspic to 1974’s Starless and Bible Black and then Red, had lost sales momentum — in particular in the U.S., where those albums slid further and further down the the Billboard chart. USA, a live document, arrived in 1975 — but by then Wetton was already headed toward a stint with a new band, UK.

Yet, he remains a proselytizer for his final studio effort with King Crimson, charts be damned. “At the time we were recording, Robert Fripp said he wanted to take a backseat, because we wasn’t sure where this was going,” Wetton said in Mountains Come Out of the Sky. “Bill Bruford and myself knew exactly where it was going. We took the front seat on it, and pushed for that very up-front … in-your-face guitar [sound[. Yeah, definitely. We did that. You can hear it from the first track. This band is not f—ing about.”

Listen to King Crimson Perform ‘Red’
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As such, an understandable sense of missed opportunity will always surround Red. “I think John Wetton felt the group was poised for — I have to use the words ‘big time,'” McDonald said in Romano’s book. “He felt the group was, for the first time, on the verge of being widely known.” But the iconoclastic Fripp, in that talk with Best, admitted that he’d wasn’t envisioning any such thing. “I never let King Crimson fall into the success trap,” he said. “Several times, we went very close to having a gigantic commercial success. I have always instinctively tried to avoid this success.”

‘Red’ would have to gain its modicum of fame through shared listening sessions, anniversary re-evaluations and the odd retrospective radio program. And in time, it did, based solely on some of the toughest, yet most intelligently layered music King Crimson had constructed up to that point.

After the thrillingly aggressive title track — something as grandiose as it is brilliantly grating — finished unleashing its torrent of time-signature changes, Red moved into the acoustic-tinged “Fallen Angel.” Then there’s the heavier-still “One More Red Nightmare,” one of the crunchiest moments in Crimson history. “Providence,” a live, utterly on-the-edge improvisation, set the stage for the 12-minute album-closing exploration “Starless” — this seminal effort for Wetton as a composer, and a second standout moment for McDonald, after “One More Red Nightmare.” “Starless,” which was actually a holdover from Bible Black, had been radically reworked by the time it appeared on Red — and ultimately featured a memorable personnel twist, when Bruford came up with its demonic bass riff.

“It was balls-to-the wall progressive rock,” Wetton concluded in Mountains Come Out of the Sky. “It was s–t-hard rock ‘n’ roll. It was heavy metal, really.”

A sign of Wetton’s enduring passion for the disc: “Starless” has remained a key element of his live shows, though he typically plays the shorter, original version. Wetton even used a discarded portion of the song for a subsequent UK track called “Caesar’s Palace Blues.” But he never returned to Crimson, later co-founding Asia as Fripp belatedly reconstructed the old band with an ’80s-era lineup that included Bruford, along with Adrian Belew and Tony Levin.

The time away, it seemed at first, had done Fripp a world of good. “It is hard to isolate yourself when you are part of the structure of the rock ‘n’ roll industry,” he told Best. “There is always a reinforcement of your own ego, this vampiric relation between the audience and the artist and the personal disillusions, not to mention media, record companies, management and so on. My experience put me out of phase. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to isolate myself and start a new life.”

In reality, the cycle of rebirth and demise established with Red would continue, as the restless Fripp sought to keep King Crimson from ossifying into any kind of comfort zone. The early-’80s quartet recorded only three albums before likewise disbanding.

“King Crimson is, as always, more a way of doing things,” Fripp later said. “When there is nothing to be done, nothing is done: Crimson disappears. When there is music to be played, Crimson reappears. If all of life were this simple.”

See King Crimson and Other Rockers in the Top 100 Albums of the ’80s

Read More: The Story of King Crimson's Implosion on 'Red' | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/king-crimson-red/?trackback=tsmclip

from - http://ultimateclassicrock.com/king-crimson-crimson-king/

How King Crimson Set a New Standard With Their Debut Album

Read More: How King Crimson Set a New Standard With Their Debut Album | 

King Crimson‘s daring debut remains prog’s standard bearer, the best example of a then-emerging movement that sought to combine European musical concepts with rock ‘n’ roll.

In the Court of the Crimson King, released on Oct. 10, 1969, was also a template for how King Crimson would operate, as their lineup almost immediately flew apart. The core pair of Robert Fripp and Greg Lake was all that remained by the time King Crimson set about recording a follow up. By then, In the Court of the Crimson King had already soared to No. 5 on the British charts, the Top 30 in the U.S. and into lore as a pioneering achievement in rock.

“At that time, nearly all the British bands were using the blues or soul music – American music – as their influence,” Lake once told Gibson. “Since that well had been visited so many times, we decided we would try to use European music as our base influence, in order to be different. Robert and I – and [multi-instrumentalist] Ian McDonald, for that matter – had all been schooled in European music. We understood it. We played Django Reinhardt, and we did Paganini violin exercises and so forth. Even though I loved American music, and had played it throughout my youth, it was very easy for me to adapt to using European music as the basis for new creations.”

Underneath, as on songs like “I Talk to the Wind,” there remained a steady foundation of folk or rock. But King Crimson had added a conceptual expansiveness more associated with classical. “To me, progressive music, the reason that came about was introducing different influences into basic rock music – the rock format of guitar-bass-drums, bringing in different influences, which is what King Crimson was, really,” McDonald later told Big Bang. “That’s what’s underneath, incorporated into what’s basically a rock ‘n’ roll band.”

Robert Fripp says this unique mixture came to him in pieces – he’d worked at a hotel, for instance, where the sounds of a dance orchestra echoed through the halls – and then, almost all at once, when he by chance heard the colossal ending the Beatles‘ “A Day in the Life” on Radio Luxembourg. “It was terrifying; I had no idea what it was,” Fripp told Perfect Sound Forever. “Then it kept going. Then, there was this enormous whine note of strings. Then there was this a colossal piano chord. I discovered later that I’d come in half-way through Sgt. Pepper … My life was never the same again.” Fripp started making connections between things like Jimi Hendrix and Bartok string quartets. “My experience was of the same musicians speaking to me in different dialects – one musician speaking in different voices,” he added.

And with drummer Michael Giles, McDonald, lyricist Peter Sinfield and – in particular, it seemed – Greg Lake, Fripp had found a group of collaborators who were hearing it, too. The result, Fripp said, was simply magical. “As I heard it expressed later and even now, it was as if the music took over and took the musicians into its confidence,” Robert Fripp told Perfect Sound Forever. “That is by no means the last time I felt in that position somewhere between heaven and earth – but that was the first time.”

Greg Lake and Robert Fripp had grown up together, and had even gone to the same guitar teacher. They spoke a common musical language, even if they were speaking in a way that the wider world hadn’t yet come to understand. “By the time King Crimson was formed, we were like two peas in a pod – like mirrors,” Lake told Gibson. “He knew exactly what I knew, and I knew exactly what he knew. That was one very strange component of King Crimson. The other was that Ian McDonald had never been in a rock band before. He came from the military, from a military brass band. That was a bit peculiar. King Crimson was not an everyday sort of band.”

Some of what they created, like the crunchy, futuristic “21st Century Schizoid Man,” sounds eerily prescient – as relevant today as it was strange and wondrous back then. That song, in fact, has been one of the few constants for an ever-changing group. “‘Schizoid Man,’ for me, was intelligent heavy metal,” Fripp once told Reflex Magazine. “It was very very hard to play – in its time. Technical standards have come forward now, of course. It was so hard to play, and it was so terrifying.”
Listen to ‘The Cheerful Insanity Of Giles, Giles and Fripp’

Subscribe to Ultimate Classic Rock on 

The subsequent “Epitaph,” meanwhile, has a similarly dystopian theme, but with its sweeping use of Ian McDonald’s Mellotron, a completely different feel. That was, in fact, the hallmark of an album that worked with a endlessly fascinating musical palette – personified both in the otherworldly guitar of Robert Fripp (sometimes delicate, other times eruptive) and in McDonald’s dizzying arsenal of sounds. “I’m always biased towards the first album, I unashamedly have to say,” McDonald told the Artist Shop, “and I think the best song on that album is ‘Epitaph.’ It’s my favorite track and, to me, it’s Greg Lake’s best vocal anywhere.”

“Moonchild” shifted seamlessly from a bucolic tableau toward a striking moment of free-form improvisation – so free, in fact, that you can hear a reference to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Surrey With the Fringe on Top” within Fripp’s guitar excursion. Perhaps best known of all was the title track, one of just two U.S. charting singles for King Crimson – and a triumph of episodic conception.

Taken of a piece, In the Court of the Crimson King couldn’t have been much different from the preceding Giles, Giles and Fripp, this quaint, often unfocused group that featured Fripp and Michael Giles, with McDonald as an occasional collaborator. Their lone release, 1968’s The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp, finds three of King Crimson’s future players unable to find a similar balance a heady blend of folk, classical, pop, psych-rock and comedy. “I think we were just coming out and being ourselves, instead of operating within boundaries that other people had created,” Giles told Aymeric Leroy. “We decided to do away with those boundaries.”

King Crimson stood just as separately from the surrounding scene, too. “We weren’t involved in the hippie movement, or the flower power, or drugs, or ‘Swinging London,’ Giles added. “We were somehow outside that, just concentrating on the music. Of course, we played, and we had access to all sorts of situations that ‘Swinging London’ was doing – but we didn’t come from this environment.”

In time, King Crimson’s outsider brand of rock, as thoughtful as it was unlike anything else at the time, began to grow in popularity. In the Court of the Crimson King remains the group’s best-selling U.S. album and second-highest charting U.K. release. “There was a sort of underground cult following, which came from nowhere and grew and grew,” Giles told Aymeric Leroy. “It was quite surprising to us all, because all of us had spent probably the previous five to 10 years without it. So, it was quite overwhelming – overwhelming and humbling.”

Both Giles and McDonald left soon after, later releasing a co-led self-titled 1971 recording. Giles also appeared as a guest performer on King Crimson’s 1970 follow-up album In the Wake of Poseidon, but by then Lake’s membership was ending, too.

“We were only together, the original King Crimson, for one album and one tour,” Lake told Rolling Stone. “The tour went around England and it also went to the United States. When we reached the end of the tour in the U.S.A., Mike Giles and Ian McDonald, they decided they didn’t much enjoy life on the road. I think they particularly didn’t like flying, and they just didn’t like travel and the whole hectic life on the road.”

Listen to King Crimson Perform ‘Epitaph’

Subscribe to Ultimate Classic Rock on 

Fame, it seemed, had come too fast – or, for Ian McDonald at least, too soon. “Crimson went from total obscurity, living off seed money from a relative to worldwide fame in six months time,” he told Perfect Sound Forever. “I was young then, and it was too much for me. If I took some time to think about it and gather my thoughts, I would have done things differently.”
The first of what would become a series of cataclysmic shifts for King Crimson was underway. McDonald would stop in to lend a hand on 1974’s Red, even as a subsequent lineup dissolved. His initial departure, however, had hit Greg Lake hard.
“I just didn’t feel good about it because Ian, particularly, wrote a lot of the material,” Lake told Rolling Stone. “Also, Mike was a great drummer. They were so fundamental in the makeup and the chemistry of the band. I just didn’t feel it was honest to get two new people in and pretend that nothing had happened. I said to Robert, ‘If you want to form a new band, I’m happy to do that. But I just don’t feel comfortable carrying on with the name King Crimson.’ He said, ‘Well, do you mind if I do that?’ I said, ‘No, not at all. If you want to do it, that’s fine.’ So, that’s what Robert did.”

Read More: How King Crimson Set a New Standard With Their Debut Album | http://ultimateclassicrock.com/king-crimson-crimson-king/?trackback=tsmclip


Reflect and connect.

Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

I miss you so very much, Mom.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 752 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1707.26 - 10:10

NOTE on time: When I post late, I had been posting at 7:10 a.m. because Google is on Pacific Time, and so this is really 10:10 EDT. However, it still shows up on the blog in Pacific time. So, I am going to start posting at 10:10 a.m. Pacific time, intending this to be 10:10 Eastern time. I know this only matters to me, and to you, Mom. But I am not going back and changing all the 7:10 a.m. times. But I will run this note for a while. Mom, you know that I am posting at 10:10 a.m. often because this is the time of your death.
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