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Friday, 17 October 2014

40 Years Ago: King Crimson Implode With ‘Red”s Arrival Read More: 40 Years Ago: King Crimson Implode With 'Red''s Arrival

At the time, King Crimson‘s ‘Red’ was decidedly disappointing, an album without a band that spent just a single week on the British chart, stopping at No. 45. Every previous Crimson offering had gotten into the Top 30. This one, conversely, appeared on store shelves weeks after Robert Fripp unceremoniously announced their demise.

In truth, King Crimson were breaking up even as they convened in July 1974 for the album’s sessions. David Cross departed at the end of the group’s summer tour, leaving a pared-down principal trio of Fripp, John Wetton and Bill Bruford to go forward with a few assists from ex-bandmates Mel Collins and Ian McDonald. ‘Red’ came out on Oct. 6, 1974, heralded by Fripp’s rather depressing comment that Crimson were “over for ever and ever” in the New Music Express.

“It was a quite superb band,” Fripp surmised in a separate interview with Melody Maker that published one day before ‘Red’ arrived, “but, nevertheless, what we were doing wasn’t really for me.”

In no small way, Fripp seemed to be simply burned out, half a decade into leading the band. “To give you an idea of the work we’ve done this year: From January to February we made an album, then went to Europe for a tour, then immediately off to America, back to Britain for rehearsals and straight back to America for another tour,” he told Melody Marker. “After that, I had one full day off in the country before we started recording ‘Red.’ With that kind of life, there’s a lot of things I’d like to do, but can’t.”

With Fripp’s announcement of a split, Crimson would lay dormant until the beginning of a new decade — and this aggressively complex project might have been, it seemed, best left forgotten. Except the critical estimation of ‘Red’ has continued to rise over the past four decades.

Read on...

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