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:: Posted by rmaiolo on April 04, 2014
Though Iím sure Iíve heard Schizoid Man and maybe one or two other KC songs, it was really the 80ís trilogy that I was first exposed to, and soaked it up totally. Earlier incarnations of the band remained enigmatic and it wasnít until later that I could really appreciate the beast in all its incarnations.
THRAK helped in that respect. I saw it in the shops with no warning...a King Crimson album I hadnít seen before? Oh, itís a new album!
I guess I was expecting more of what I had heard from the 80ís band..but this was not what I expected. It had the familiar complexity, playfulness and interlocking beauty but it was also harsh, aggressive, powerful. Iím pretty sure that this helped me understand KC in all its breadth and depth pre-80ís it remains probably the most special album to me for that reason.
:: Posted by emory0 on April 04, 2014
"their last great album before losing focus and diluting their energy with the Projekcts"
What? No way. In fact, as awesome as the Double Trio was, Iíd say that the Projekcts acted like a lens, focusing a wide variety of stuff into the Double Duo, which was VERY focused.
Doubt what I say? Get ahold of the live version of Level 5: Thatís post-Thrak Crimson in a nutshell and Iím am somewhat doubtful they can surpass that. In fact, the Double Duo live was perhaps the best live version of Crimson. This is only somewhat reflected in the studio recordings.
:: Posted by mascar on April 04, 2014
I started listening to KC as of 1991 and purchased the e.g. Crimson discs and I liked it. The Great Deceiver Box came out and that was it, Iím hooked! First you have VROOOM, then comes THRAK, and before it hit the stores here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Iím driving up north and on some weird radio station in Rhinelander, this song comes on and itís Dinosaur!
They didnít say who it was until the track was over. Still, great moment on radio. THRAK is a heavy album and donít forget when Crimso was in New York On Late Night With Conan OíBrien doing the edit of Dinosaur. That was and still is great Crimson times.
:: Posted by albemuth on April 03, 2014
This album has grown on me in the afterglow of two decades. At the time, I was pleased with it but not over the moon. As a bunch other others here have said, it had a nice balance between instrumentals and songs. It was nice to have VROOOM at the start, VROOOM VROOOM at the end and then Thrak to punctuate the middle. The connections made by the "Radios" and "Gardens" worked well.
Somehow the production holds things together also. I do not remember people saying that they particularly liked the production of this album but I find that it has a pleasing cosmic halo around it. It seems like King Crimson sometimes gets reverb wrong, but it sounds good on this album, doesnít it?
I think my main disappointment with Thrak was that it was too hard to bring the "double trio" idea to fruition. The version of Vrooom on the EP from 1994 still sounds more successful to me. I really like what KC tried to do with the LP version, but they did not develop it anywhere else and it did not quite gel on VROOOM either.
I guess this KC was hard to keep going with all the different personalities and the complicated logistics. But I remember that when Fripp was putting together some of the live releases of the double trio, he made some sort of remark that it was better than he had remembered it to be. Most of KC seems to improve with age, like good (red) wine.
THRAK at 20
:: Posted by DevlinC on April 03, 2014
Man, has it really been that long...
THRAK changed my life. I was 10 when my father brought it back from a business trip to Germany. I had been influenced by his music for many years but despite being a fan of both Brufordís Earthworks and ABWH, he had no idea about King Crimson until he discovered Beat shortly before THRAK came out, probably around 93-94. I donít know what moved him to have me listen to it, but listen I did and loved it so much he soon bought me my own copy. Dinosaur was an early favourite, and soon I was plundering the back catalogue, and the catalogues of the individual players which pretty much encapsulates all recorded music of the 60s to the present day s if you play degress of seperation long enough.
It wasnít easy being a Crim fanatic at 10 years old, when friends were fighting about whether Blur or Oasis were better, but it put me on the path to where I am today - running a recording studio on the south coast of England.
Over the years, Iíve had a couple of arguments with Robert Fripp in the pages of his diary (the folly of youth), hung out with Adrian Belew at a bar in Amsterdam, been photographed by Tony Levin for his diary and, most incredibly, worked several times with Bill Bruford in 2008, attempting to put together a modern home studio for him. Sadly his heart wasnít in it, or I wasnít the right person to inspire him (maybe a bit of both) and a few short months later he formally announced his retirement. Maybe makes me one of his last informal collaborators? I like to imagine so!
THRAK is the reason behind everything Iíve done in the decades since its release. Thank you so much guys. I wouldnít wish for any other path.
:: Posted by tim7777 on April 03, 2014
Liked to see a frippertronics box set.Getting the road to red this weekend.canít wait!!!
Number 11, number 11...
:: Posted by DannyX on April 03, 2014
Thrak was a perfect blend of the power of the 70ís band with the subtlety of the 80ís one, and the perfect balance of Belewís Beatlesque pop sensibilities with Frippís Bartokian aspirations, at once embracing the past but looking far forward...their last great album before losing focus and diluting their energy with the Projekcts (and the loss of one of the best rhythm sections ever).
:: Posted by rja1967 on April 03, 2014
THRAK arrived at a time in my life when I was somewhat out of touch with music. I no longer scoured the music papers for news of my favourite bands, and this was pre-internet, so there were no handy facebook updates. I had recently married and my wife and baby daughter were my priorities.
I had been thrilled by the chance discovery of VROOOM some months earlier, but I had no idea that THRAK was on its way until I wandered into the Edgware branch of Our Price one lunchtime. A gorgeous ballad was playing, the singer I recognised but couldnít immediately place, and the music itself was also nagging at me. It was only as "Walking On Air" gentled to a close that I had the sudden realisation that this was a new King Crimson song. For some unaccountable reason the shop was actually playing the whole album, so I was then treated to the swirling soundscapes and pounding drums of "BíBOOM" and the oddly enjoyable being-hit-over-the-head-by-several-dustbin-lids clatter of "THRAK" itself.
A swift walk to the counter - new CD purchased and snapped into my Sony Discman (remember those?) and the rest of my lunch hour (and many, many subsequent hours) was spent in the company of the Double Trio. And not long after I was a few rows from the front at the Royal Albert Hall for my first Crim Hot Date. Happy days indeed.
:: Posted by emory0 on April 03, 2014
Thrak was a lot to digest. With two additional players thereís a huge amount of sound, almost too much for the CD format to hold properly.
This was the first Crim album which I think sounded like Crim had sounded live in the 80s, and perhaps more so. As much as I enjoyed the 80s albums, you really donít get the sense of what Crimson was really about from them, but with THRAK you do.
And Belew singing less was great: I love Belewís singing, of course, but allowing him to just play guitar and wail with the band really brings out what he brought to the band.
Arguably, THRAK is Crimsonís most influential record. I think it not only consolidates its legacy as a very hard band (when it wanted to be), it also seems to have nudged the whole modern Progressive metal movement forward and out of the shadows. At least, in the nearly 20 years since, heavy bands making use of odd time signatures and structures is almost mainstream now, and the timing of THRAK is probably no coincidence.
:: Posted by davidly on April 03, 2014
Upon its release, this was the album I used to compare the difference between my monster JBL cabinets and their replacement, the new Bose subwoofer system. The Bose effectively highlighted the contrapuntal punch of Vrooom and Thrak, with the vast separation of their tiny satellites heard but not seen; the JBLs best conveyed the spectrum of color evident in the Radios and Codas (I really should have kept both sets of speakers but my flat was too small to do such a thing justice, so I never got the opportunity to try them out in tandem in a setting that might have honored it).
The album remained in permanent rotation for quite some time. As a potential hit, Dinosaur was a great metaphor for Belew to return with; like the best popular lyrics, you didnít have to know what he was singing about for it to resonate powerful meaning personal and/or universal; it gave me the feeling that the lyricist was--in a way not yet before--representing the bandís sole consistent member as spokesperson, as if he might have channeled the words from the ether by way of the Venal Oneís nightmares.
As a whole, the album struck me as a triumphant melding of the Red and Discipline eras. In retrospect, maybe it combined bits of every Crim that came before it. At any rate, it was a 90ís album that gave to the 90s just what the 90s needed but had yet to bear. As much as Grungers touted Red, it took Thrak to make good on their promise.
I must say that if Iím going to listen to it today, I have to set aside the entire hour strictly for that purpose. Whether that is a good or a bad thing is open to interpretation. Today-today, it is awfully good.
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