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Red: 30th Anniversary Editions Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.7 out of 5 stars 265 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, October 17, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

This CD is the original first issue on CD.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Red
  2. Fallen Angel
  3. One More Red Nightmare
  4. Providence
  5. Starless

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 17, 2000)
  • 30th Anniversary Edition edition
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: E.G. Records
  • ASIN: B000003S0P
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (265 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #252,419 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on November 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
"Red", in many ways, is the definitive King Crimson album and statement, the song itself as much as the album. The closing statement by the '70s Crimson, "Red", came after much struggle and turmoil within the band, and the recording sessions would be the straw that broke the camel's back-- the band, by this point consisting only of Robert Fripp (guitar, mellotron), John Wetton (bass, vocals), and Bill Bruford (percussion), further augmented by another melody player on most tracks, fell apart compeletely.

The album opens on a dark note-- the title track, an instrumental masterpiece composed by Fripp and generally regarded as one of the great statements of the band, lives up its reputation. Powerful, dark, and with a haunting bridge, it grabs hold and pulls the listener with it. Unlike previous Crimson albums, when the mood evolved, a state of darkness remains on this one-- "Fallen Angel", alternating between ballad form verses (featuring some totally stunning guitar work from Fripp) melts into a dark chorus (featuring a riff Fripp first tossed around in an improv when this band first came together) where several layers of guitars are added together with a positively haunting cornet solo by Mark Charig on top of all of it. The piece shows how far this band has come-- the musicians are pretty much psychic in their playing, and Wetton's vocal resonates a condidence he's never displayed.

Speaking of confident delivery, on "One More Red Nightmare", Wetton sings the piece, which runs at a breakneck pace, flawlessly. One of my complaints on the previous record was that his vocal sounded rushed, here again completely self-assured, there's no rushing. The piece also features jaw-dropping drumming from Bill Bruford and a monster sax solo courtesy of former band member Ian McDonald.
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By A Customer on June 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
So much could be said for this album in spite of these reviews and the many liner notes accompanying King Crimson box sets. Not only is this an excellent album that represents all that is Crimson, it might also be the last word that slammed the door shut on what was once the most maligned but certainly most intriguing genre of rock music in its storied history - progressive rock. Even though the term made Robert Fripp cringe, King Crimson was (from their lofty beginnings with "In the Court of the Crimson King" to their harsh excursions through "Larks ..." and "Starless ..." ) a progressive band, because hardly a single song followed the verse/chorus/verse/chorus/guitar solo/chorus/fade-out formula pervasive throughout what passes as popular music today. Each Crimson excursion explored beyond the boundaries most bands feared to cross. While some fared not as well ("Formentera Lady"), most succeeded (esp. "Larks Tongues in Aspic, Part II").
Red, once thought to be the end of the band after the top of Robert Fripp's head blew off (read said liner notes!), revealed a troubled mind (Fripp) in conflict with the music business, his own muses and his ambitious bandmates John Wetton and Bill Bruford. Wetton's vocals developed with such conviction and delivery - his bass fretwork fast and heavy (second to only Chris Squire at the time); and lest anyone might still have been questioning Bruford's startling decision to leave Yes at their peak, Bruford, with drumming agile, intricate and heavy, emerged with such force and abandon (to make up for the departed Jamie Muir) that John Bonham and Keith Moon must have returned to the drawing board.
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Format: Audio CD
This 1974 release would prove to be the last studio album from King Crimson until their radical transformation/rebirth in 1981. Robert Fripp was quoted as saying that King Crimson's dissolution in 1974 occurred at a time when all of the English bands in the (progressive rock) genre should have ceased to exist. While I do not necessarily agree with everything Mr. Fripp has said regarding progressive rock over the years, Red is indeed a mighty recording upon which to close a very exciting chapter in King Crimson's recorded history.

The KC lineup in 1974 is considered by many to be the finest progressive rock lineup to record and included Robert Fripp (electric and acoustic guitars; mellotron); John Wetton (bass and lead vocals); master drummer/percussionist Bill Bruford; along with David Cross (violin); Mel Collins (soprano saxophone); Ian McDonald (alto saxophone); Robin Miller (Oboe); and Marc Charig (cornet). I think it goes without saying that the guys in KC during the 1973-1974 timeframe were some of the finest musicians around. The ensemble work is simply out of this world, and Bill Bruford once again demonstrates how to properly use the drum kit. What is missing from this lineup are softer acoustic textures - this record seemed intent on blasting the VU needle all the way into the "Red". This is a good thing by the way.

The five pieces on Red range in length from 6'00" to 12'18". Musically, the pieces on Red present a thunderous wall of sound that is menacing and at times somewhat violent. Jagged and frantic guitar parts, heavily distorted bass parts, and wall shaking drumming dominate the album, with comparatively delicate woodwind parts scattered throughout. The ensemble work is unbelievable and the Bruford/Wetton rhythm section never ceases to amaze.
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