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King Crimson - In the Wake of Poseidon
Label: Caroline Records
Release: 1970

Tracklisting:
Peace - A Beginning
Pictures of A City (Including 42nd At Treadmill)
Cadence and Cascade
In the Wake of Poseidon (Including Libra's Theme)
Peace - A Theme
Cat Food
The Devil's Triangle (Including Merday Morn/Hand of Scieron/Garden of Worm)
Peace - An End
In the Wake of Poseidon - King Crimson
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This album is often cast aside as a lesser version of the classic 1969 debut. It is certainly
true that it's not as memorable, groundbreaking or as stunning as In the Court, but that
doesn't mean it isn't a solid album.

In fact, it improves on In the Court in a lot of ways - first of all, the sound is much
clearer, and the songs are played incredibly. "Pictures of a City" is like 21st Century
Schizoid Man on crack - a fierce, jazzy smasher. "Cadence and Cascade", the only song
not to feature Lake on vocals (Gordon Haskell took stage for this one) is a nice little
ballad, although it does lose out to In the Court's classic "I Talk To The Wind". But i'm
going to be controversial and say that the title track here is a lot better than either
"Epitaph" or In the Court's title track, both the songs it's accused of ripping off.

Not that those two songs aren't incredible - it's just that "In the Wake of Poseidon" is
even better - the song rides in on a massive mellotron, easily the best mellotron line that
Fripp put to record. Sure, Sinfield's lyrics are up to his usual standard, but it doesn't
matter when you've got Fripp playing wonderful acoustic guitar and mellotron lines, Lake
singing in that mournful, classic tone, and the two Giles's (Peter Giles played bass for this
album) hitting all the right notes in the rhythm section. Plus, there's an amazing finale, as
two mellotrons play this glorious line in harmony. A near-enough perfect song, and one (of two)
that truly make this album.

Bar one, the more original songs on the album are actually pretty unmemorable - The "Peace"
themes are basically throwaway, bar "A Theme" a nice, short Fripp piece. "Cat Food" has little
to offer bar the funny lyrics and Tippett's crazy piano lines. But "The Devil's Triangle" is
the second masterpiece on this album - a reworking of Gustav Holst's "Mars, the Bringer of War",
this one truly brings down the house under a gigantic amount of mellotron, constantly building
up before finally going into a frenzy on "Garden of Worm", the third part of the 13-minute
suite. A nice touch at the end as, while the song descends into utter chaos, they sample
The Court of the Crimson King's chorus. A fantastic piece.

Overall, a 7. A 7 mainly because some of the songs aren't really up to standard, and don't
match up to some of the lurching, grinding masterpieces on the first. Although "In the Wake
of Poseidon" and "The Devil's Triangle" help a lot, and make the album - if it wasn't for these
two songs, then bar "Pictures" and "Cascade", i'd probably be writing about a duffer of an album.
But as it is, these two songs are worth about one and a half points each.


Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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