Classic: King Crimson, Beat, 1982
Most people will have expected the first King Crimson album In The Court Of The Crimson King. And I fully understand everybody in that respect. That is an absolute cracker, with songs like for instance 21st Century Schizoid Man and the title track being timeless.
But to me, Beat is the one to discuss here. Besides it being the record that got me into King Crimson in the first place, I feel this album sounds as fresh today as it did back then.
The four piece consisting of Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin and Bill Bruford were creating some very powerful and imaginative music at the time, which has stood the test of time remarkably well.
Whether it´s the groove of Sartori in Tangier (where Tony Levin is beating his stick to everyone´s joy), or the instant addictiveness of Neal And Jack And Me or Heartbeat, or the absolute melting drama of Two Hands (just listen to the voice of Belew and his clean guitar, counter-parted by Fripp´s frippertronics), this album still grabs me by the throat every time I hear it. Needless to say that if music does that to you, it has got to be a classic.
For people unknown to the Crimson King, this album is a good way to start educating yourself. I am sure it will whet your appetite, leaving you wanting more.