Stegzy's Music Project

A commentary on Stegzy's album collection

In the Court of the Crimson King – King Crimson [#627]

In_the_Court_of_the_Crimson_King_-_40th_Anniversary_Box_Set_-_Front_coverI first learned about King Crimson following the amusing Bill Bailey fronted Channel 4 docu-countdown-show Top Ten Prog which was broadcast at the height of the prog revival of the late nineties/early noughties.

Crimson King was the band’s first album, King Crimson then comprising of Robert Fripp  Michael Giles, Greg Lake, Ian McDonald and Peter Sinfield. Over the years Crimson’s line up would change more often than I change my socks with other notable musicians such as Yes’ Bill Bruford and session musician Tony Levin turning up over the years. As a result of this frequent fluctuation of line up, it is difficult to find a sound that one can pin on their output as 100% identifiable King Crimson. Indeed, their heavy jazz influence makes most of their output inaccessible to me as after a while, for me, it starts to grate.

Even so, the variety of the sound and the diverse use of instruments make In the Court of the Crimson King is an album I enjoy listening to, however, the album is, sadly, not available on Apple Music. Licencing again eh?

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Fear of a Blank Planet – Porcupine Tree [#464]

Fear_of_a_blank_planetPorcupine Tree are another band that surprise me by hiding their albums of consistently good music in my collection. A prog band with more facets than a box of jigsaw pieces. Blank Planet is their ninth studio album with guests Robert Fripp (King Crimson) and Alex Lifeson (Rush).

In the last days of my degree, I was a mature student so this was quite recently, my television production lecturer and I bonded over our similar music tastes. I guess it was refreshing for him to have a student that understood prog and one who appreciated him getting Bill Bruford in to give us a lecture about media and drumming. So after an obscure prog band swap, he told me about Porcupine Tree. He told me I “should” like them. Now, long term readers of this project will recall how me “should liking” a band usually ends with “no I don’t”, but this is one of those rare occasions were they’re actually growing on me. I have now listened to this album for a grand total of 5 times and yes, it is growing on me.

In true prog tradition, Fear of a Blank Planet is a concept album based on the book Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis but with the twist being sung from the viewpoint of the child of the books protagonist. It’s suitably dark in tone with an apocryphal tale to tell about the growing reliance on technology amongst the youth.

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Album #95 – Asia – Asia

Screen Shot 2014-07-20 at 14.15.38Asia by Asia

It was, so John Wetton (ex-King Crimson), Steve Howe (Yes), Geoff Downes (also Yes and Buggles) and Carl Palmer (ex-Emerson, Lake, Palmer) sing, the heat of the moment.

Indeed it was, the heat of the moment when I got this album thinking “Hey! It must be ok if two fifths of Yes play in it“. It was a moment that quickly entered an ice age where all life ceased to exist. Because, this album, is actually an accurate description of the word bollocks.

And so, I leave this album review with a warning. Buying side project work can be harmful to your musical credibility.


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