May 1970, Pt. 3 – King Crimson’s Followup

5/15/70: King Crimson – In the Wake of Poseidon

King Crimson released their second album on the 15th of May, seven months after their striking debut, In the Court of the Crimson King. Most of the band, including Greg Lake, had departed prior to recording the followup, but returned on a session basis for this album. The similarities to In the Court are clear: sometimes erratic jazz fusion, rock, intricate guitar playing, popping drums, and periods of intermittent ethereal instrumentals. And lots of that signature Mellotron. Unsurprisingly, as with many contemporary reviews of bands not called Beatles or Stones, critics were cool to this album. Also not a shock, retrospective reviews consider it a masterpiece.

The Story Behind The Album: In The Wake Of Poseidon, by King Crimson

This band has had so many incarnations and sounds, I’m hesitant to try to write about them as a casual fan/listener. Robert Fripp seems to me a musician’s musician, an audiophile’s audiophile, and quite an intense one at that. My first two King Crimson albums were In the Court and Discipline, and that was it for a few years. Poseidon was the next one I obtained, and my initial thought was that it was a lesser version of the debut. I’ve come around, however. Maybe it took exploring more of there later work to come closer to “getting” this one. I’m sure Robert Fripp would be relieved to know it.

King Crimson - In The Wake Of Poseidon (Vinyl) | Discogs

Interesting (to me) factoid: A still-relatively unknown Elton John, who had released his debut album Empty Sky in the U.K., was hired to perform the vocals on Poseidon before Greg Lake returned, but Fripp, perhaps wisely, changed his mind, deeming E.J. not quite the right fit.


Side A:

  1. Peace – A Beginning
  2. Pictures of a City
  3. Cadence and Cascade
  4. In the Wake of Poseidon

Side B:

  1. Peace – A Theme
  2. Cat Food
  3. The Devil’s Triangle: I. Merday Morn II. Hand of Sceiron III. Garden of Worm
  4. Peace – An End


4 thoughts on “May 1970, Pt. 3 – King Crimson’s Followup”

  1. To me this album is a perfect illustration why I never got into King Crimson or most other prog rock for that matter.😀

    While I acknowledge the top-notch craftsmanship, I just find the music really hard to access.

    I can deal with long instrumental parts, but I do need at least something I can hold onto, such as a catchy chorus or something that’s a bit easier on the ears. That’s why I generally can much better listen to Yes, Genesis or Pink Floyd.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you’re saying. I’m willing to force myself to listen to certain music because of it’s “importance” only to an extent. This one was a stretch for me, but I really have grown to enjoy it more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess it’s a good thing to step outside your comfort zone. Taste can definitely be acquired.

        In fact, as I like to remind myself, there once was a time when I wasn’t particularly fond of Led Zeppelin. From today’s perspective, it’s hard to believe, given they’re one of my favorite bands!

        So, who knows, perhaps I’ll warm to King Crimson eventually!😀

        Liked by 1 person

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