The English progressive rock band King Crimson is a group I don’t know much about. There’s a lengthy article about them on Wikipedia, and I skimmed it looking for bits of info I’d maybe recognize about the band, which formed in London, England, in 1968.
The only members of the band I’m relatively familiar with are a couple of its founders, Greg Lake (1947-2016, who was also in Emerson, Lake and Palmer), and Robert Fripp (b. 1946). The longest-serving group member, Fripp has also been a frequent collaborator with numerous artists including Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie (also 1947-2016), Talking Heads, Midge Ure, and David Sylvian. American singer-songwriter, musician and producer Adrian Belew was also a member of the group at three different times in its history. (A look through the linked posts will show you just how interconnected many artists are, often having overlapping relationships with many other musicians. The connections map out a rich and eclectic community of creators.)
Surfing around YouTube and Apple Music today, I discovered a familiar track or two, like “Three of a Perfect Pair,” the opening track from the 1984 album of the same name. (It’s also a song that a friend put on a mixed tape for me in the 1980s and included other King Crimson tunes along with solo works by Fripp, Belew and others in the experimental/new wave genres). I also heard a few songs that illustrate the often mystical quality of progressive rock that influenced bands like Genesis and Yes, leading to the emergence of the “concept album” style that mixed fantasy with sprawling storytelling.
My previous post was an instrumental piece. In the same vein, today’s selection “I Talk to the Wind (Duo Version)” is an instrumental version of “I Talk to the Wind” from King Crimson’s debut, long-play record, In the Court of the Crimson King (1969). The band reissued the record in the 1980s and 1990s and remixed the original tapes several times from 2002 to 2019. The duo version appears as a bonus track on several reissues of the album.
Fans and critics consider In the Court of the Crimson King one of the most influential works from the early years of the progressive rock movement. It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2005).
In its fifth iteration which has been active since 2013, the King Crimson lineup features three drummers, a pretty rare sight (and sounds).
Now you know a little about why this is My Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here is the audio for “I Talk to the Wind (Duo Version)” King Crimson’s official YouTube channel:
Here is the song’s original arrangement, a longer track with vocals, which also appears on the expanded album. While I haven’t listened extensively to either rendition, I think I prefer the duo version’s calming and cheerful acoustic vibe and its relative simplicity.
Lyrics for the song can be retrieved from AZLyrics.com.