King Crimson

Band members                             Related acts

  line up xx (1970)

- Mel Collins -- sax, flutes 

- Robert Fripp -- guitar, mellotron, devices

- Peter Giles -- bass

- Gordon Haskell -- vocals, bass 

- Greg Lake -- vocals 

- Peter Sinfield -- lyrics

- Keith Tippett -- keyboards


  line up xx (1970)

- Mel Collins -- sax, flutes 

- Robert Fripp -- guitar, mellotron, devices

- Peter Giles -- bass

- Gordon Haskell -- vocals, bass 

NEW - Andy McCulloch -- drums, percussion

- Peter Sinfield -- lyrics

- Keith Tippett -- keyboards



- Bill Bruford -- drums, percussion

- Boz Burrell -- vocals (replaced Gordon Haskell) (1970-)

- Mel Collins -- sax, flutes (1970-)

- David Cross -- violin, viola, keyboards

- Robert Fripp -- guitar, mellotron, devices

- Michael Giles -- drums (1969)

- Peter Giles -- bass (1969-)

- Gordon Haskell -- vocals, bass (1970)

- Greg Lake -- vocals (1969-70)

- Andy McCullough -- drums (replaced Michael Giles)


- Ian McDonald -- keyboards (1969)

- Peter Sinfield -- lyrics

- Keith Tippett -- keyboards

- Ian Wallace -- drums (replaced Andy McCullough) (1970)

- John Wetton -- vocals, bass



- Asia (John Wetton)

- Bad Company (Boz Burrell)

- Brain (Michael Giles, Peter Giles and Robert Fripp)

- Boz People (Boz Burrell)

- Bill Bruford (solo efforts)

- Circus (Mel Collins)

- Cupid's Inspiration (Gordon Haskell)

- Emerson, Lake and Palmer (Greg Lake)

- Family (John Wetton)

- Fleur de Les (Gordon Haskell)

- The Flowerpot Men (Gordon Haskell)

- Foreigner (Ian McDonald)

- Robert Fripp (solo efforts)

- Giles, Giles and Fripp

- Greg Lake (solo efforts)

- Gordon Haskell (solo efforts)

- McDonald and Giles

- Ian McDonald (solo efforts)

- Shy Lambs (Andy McCullooch)

- U.K. (Bill Bruford and John Wetton)

- John Wetton (solo efforts)

- John Wetton and Phil Manzanera

- World (Ian Wallace)

- Yes (Bill Bruford)





Genre: progressive

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  In the Wake of Poseidon

Company: Atlantic

Catalog: SD-8286

Year: 1970

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 3166

Price: $20.00



In the wake of the band's 1969 American tour drummer Michael Giles and  keyboardist Ian MacDonald handed in their resignations.  They were followed out the door by singer/guitarist Greg Lake.   Robert Fripp convinced Lake to temporarily return to the fold for the next album (the band reportedly paid Lake by giving him their touring PA system).  With the addition of ex-Circus sax player Mel Collins and keyboardist Keith Tippet the band went back into the studios.


Personnel changes continued during the recording sessions for 1970's "In the Wake of Poseidon".  Though Lake had agreed to complete the album and handled most of the vocals, ex-Fleur de Les singer/bassist Gordon Haskell was brought in as insurance and ended up handling vocals on the pretty ballad 'Cadence and Cascade'.  Ex-World drummer Ian Wallace was also added to the lineup.  In the midst of the turmoil, guitarist Robert Fripp and lyricist Peter Sinfield were left as the band's creative center. The pair may have borrowed liberally from their earlier catalog and outside sources ('The Devil's Triangle' was a blatant rip of Gustav Holst's 'Mars: Bringer of War' - Holst's estate apparently refused them permission to record the work), but the fact they managed to record anything was impressive.  Even if the results sounded  much like a continuation of "Court of the Crimson King", or as some critics complained, a complete remake of the debut, the album was worth hearing.  Sure there was lots to remind one of the debut.  Adapted from a live piece the band use to perform, 'Pictures of a City' in turn borrowed more than a little from the earlier '21st Century Schizoid Man', while the title track recalled the debut's 'Epitaph'.  Similarly Sinfield's hippy/dippy fantasy lyrics ('check out the title track') recalled much of the debut.  Still there were a couple of strengths included the pretty mellotron-powered ballad 'Cadence and Cascade' (apparently inspired by a pair of band groupies) and the earlier jazzy single 'Catfood'.  Moreover, given there was little marketing support for the album and the band didn't tour, it sold well, hitting # 31 in the States and going top-5 in the UK.  I always liked the Tammo De Jongh cover art; entitled "The 12 Faces of Mankind".


"In the Wake of Poseidon" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Peace - A Beginning   (Robert Fripp - Peter Sinfield) -  0:49    rating: **** stars

Hearing Greg Lake a cappella was breathtaking .... shame 'Peace - A Beginning' was just a song fragment, rather than a full fledged tune.

2.) Pictures of a City   (Robert Fripp - Peter Sinfield) -  8:03    rating: **** stars

The instrumental opening section sounded like something out of a '60s spy flick with the combination of Collins' sax and Fripp's edgy guitar giving the song a slightly ominous feeling.  It had a distinctively jazzy vibe, but at the same time 'Pictures of a City' had a massively big groove.  Under the alternate title 'A Man, A City', the tune was apparently an early staple in the band's live repertoire.

3.) Cadence and Cascade   (Robert Fripp - Peter Sinfield) - 4:27   rating: **** stars

'Cadence and Cascade' found Gordon Haskell handling lead vocals.  While his voice wasn't nearly as dramatic as Lake's, I'll have to admit he sounded quite good on this sweet ballad.

4.) In the Wake of Poseidon (including Libra's Theme)   (Robert Fripp - Peter Sinfield) -  7:56  rating: **** stars

Even if you weren't a big progressive genre fan, the title track served as one of the band's sweetest ballads.  The combination of a pastoral melody, Lake's instantly recognizable voice; Robert Fripp's tasteful Mellotron, and Michael Giles' drums was wonderful.  Listening to 'In the Wake of Poseidon'  I can always feel my blood pressure drop a couple of points.  


(side 2)
1.) Peace - A Theme (instrumental)   (Robert Fripp) -  1:15  rating: *** stars

'Peace - A Theme' showcased Fripp's acoustic guitar on an instrumental continuation of the opening number.  Pretty, but too brief.

2.) Cat Food   (Robert Fripp - Peter Sinfield - Ian McDonald) - 4:54

Built on a killer Michael and Peter Giles groove and Tippett's dysfunctional keyboards, 'Cat Food' was easily the album's most mainstream and commercial offering.   YouTube has a nice clip of the band lip synching the song for a a March 1970 Top of the Pops episode:   Easy to see why an edited version was tapped as a single:

- 1970's 'Cat Food' b/w 'Groon' (Island catalog number WIP 6080)

3.) The Devil's Triangle   (Robert Fripp - Ian McDonald) - 11:39   rating: ** stars

As mentioned earlier, the three part 'The Devil's Triangle' featured the band at their most experimental and not exactly their most accessible.  Parts of the suite came off as a  blatant rip of Gustav Holst's 'Mars: Bringer of War' 

     Merday Morn (instrumental)

     Hand of Sceiron (instrumental)

     Garden of Wurm (instrumental)

4.) Peace  - An End  (Robert Fripp - Peter SInfield) - 1:53   rating: **** stars

The first half of the song snippet featured a cappella Lake ...  The second half brought in some pretty acoustic guitar and has always reminded me of something Eric Stewart might have written for a 10cc album.



Perhaps not a major surprise, completion of the album was followed by another round of personnel changes; Haskell was replaced by Boz People vocalist Boz Burrell and McCullough replaced by ex-World drummer Ian Wallace.

Genre: progressive

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Starless and Bible Black

Company: Atlantic

Catalog: SD-298

Year: 1974

Country/State: UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5183

Price: $12.00



Hailed as being one of the best King Crimson albums, over the years I've struggled to get it ...  I've played "Starless and Bible Black" countless times and it still doesn't do much for me.


Self-produced, the album offered up a challenging mix of studio material and live concert performances (with audience applause edited out).  Clocking in at 41 minutes, the collection was minimally accessible with nothing here in danger of garnering the band radio exposure.  I'll readily admit that most of the themes were lost on me - modern society's myriad of ills?  A song about a Rembrandt painting ('The Watcher')?  Beats me.  The opener 'The Great Deceiver', 'Lament' and part of the title track were studio pieces, while tracks like 'We'll Let You Know', 'Trio' and 'The Mincer' were apparently in-concert improvisations with substantial post-production work.  Most folks will probably be appalled by this comment, but my choice for standout track is the previously mentioned instrumental 'Trio'.  In contrast to most of the album the largely acoustic number featured a fairly mainstream structure and a pretty melody.   In contrast the title track and 'Fracture' showcased two extended jazz-rock fusion instrumentals.  Critics seemed enthralled by the performances and technically they were quite impressive, but in a practical sense they simply didn't do much for my ears. Backed by a brief American tour the collection managed to hit # 64.  Following the conclusion of the tour Cross tendered his resignation.  (For trivia fans, co-writer Richard Palmer-James was better known as Supertramp guitarist Richard Palmer.)


"Starless and Bible Black" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) The Great Deceiver   (John Wetton - Robert Fripp - Richard Palmer-James) - 4:02

2.) Lament   (Robert Fripp - John Wetton - Richard Palmer-James) - 4:00

3.) We'll Let You Know   (David Cross - Robert Fripp - John Wetton - Bill Bruford) - 5:46

4.) The Night Watch   (Robert Fripp - John Wetton - Richard Palmer-James) - 4:37

5.) Trio (instrumental) (David Cross - Robert Fripp - John Wetton - Bill Bruford) - 5:41

6.) The Mincer   (David Cross - Robert Fripp - John Wetton - Bill Bruford - Richard Palmer-James) - 4:10

(side 2)
1.) Starless and Bible Black   (David Cross - Robert Fripp - John Wetton - Bill Bruford) - 9:11

2.) Fracture   (Robert Fripp) - 11:14