Wednesday
Sep272006

« Still A Mindfuck After All These Years »

No, not me personally. I'm talking about the grab-you-by-the-throat-and-shake-you-till-you're-ragged effect of the 1972-1974 King Crimson band.

For as big a Crimson fan as I am, and for as much "damage" they have done to me over the years, believe it or not, but I do not even own or listen to all things Crimson. I had heard and seen the 80s band briefly a few years before that, enough to fuck me up, but I did not act on that impulse. I orbited Adrian Belew a bit, but never really did the full on KC thing. I came in through the Crimson door in 1995 when they reformed and put out Thrak and I bought it. Later that year, I sought out their older stuff from the first period of the band's history. But despite being on the Crimson bus for nearly 12 years, I still don't have a real knowledge of all their stuff. I don't have anything but a scattered track or two from the Poseidon/Lizard/Islands era. I don't know if I know any of those at all. But the "metal" era in 1972-4 is a favorite, and so is the Adrian Belew band from the 80s. I also dig the Thrak era stuff, but there are bits of repetition that I don't like, and the flood of ProjeKCts and rereleases and collector's club stuff put me off as just being overwhelming.

Not being sure of if I'd like the stuff back in 1995, I first borrowed Bob Tedde's CDs and copied them to tape. Then later on, I copied them to MiniDisk. Then later on, I got some other person to make me CD copies, which I probably still use now. I have a scattershot of the legal stuff and the copied stuff. Don't ask me why. And I have not even heard it all enough to know it backwards and forwards.

But on a day like today, I put in the 1974 swan song disk USA and have it blasting over the studio monitors, and it just fucks my shit up! There is just something magical about that band. Add to that the recording itself is just raw and edgy as hell it explodes out of the speakers. Sure, it sounds like mid 70s or even older. It does not have the spit and polish that the current band achieves on The Power To Believe. It just tears the head off. It is just as raw and nasty as anything. It's clear to see where so many bands get their sound from—Tool, Mars Volta, Primus, and countless others (and frankly me!) all have KC circa 1972-74 in their blood. It's not just a sound, it's an attitude. It's a fly by the seat of your pants edginess, like everything is going to spin out of control at any minute, and once in a while, does. It's just glorious.

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