Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The good Judge Robert presiding... (pt. 4 of 5)

1980's: Discipline era.

What was it about the 80's that made everyone suck? Now, to imply that The Mighty King Crimson was ever less than stellar could earn you a black eye (or at least a scathing e-mail) in the nerdy circles I run with. However, if Discipline, Beat, and Three of a Perfect Pair were the entire recorded output of the King I don't think I would count myself as a Crim Head. The great irony here is the one line liner note in the first album which reads "Discipline is never an end in itself, only a means to an end." Listening to the studio albums, all I hear is the discipline. "Gosh, that sure sounds hard to play." It wasn't until about halfway through Three of a Perfect Pair that I realized what was missing. There was no danger, no edge. Particularly in contrast with the Larks' Tongue era. That band always seemed as if it was about to crush the listener by shear force of sound. And then I got to the live set Absent Lovers. It's almost as if before the show Fripp said to the guys "Ok, I want you to go out there and play this show like King Crimson!" The power and the beauty is there in these songs, but it only seemed to come out live. Perhpas there was something in the water in recording studios during the 80's that rotted the brains of great artists.

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