While the Moodies were more commercial and melodic – and which I liked very much, there is something more of an experimental nature to King Crimson – that progressively pushed the envelope with each successive album release. For many, “The Court of the Crimson King” is the only King Crimson album they own. While I’ve featured “I Talk to the Wind” in the past and posted today’s song as an example of the use of the Mellotron, I have never featured “Epitaph” in its own right.
This is my absolutely favorite song on the album and it closes out side one of the LP. It showcases the great vocals of Greg Lake and the multi-talented Ian McDonald on keyboards and bassoon and oboe. I often what King Crimson would have done had they not the ability to overdub all of those parts that Ian McDonald contributed to this recording. By the way, Robert Fripp ain’t too bad on guitar either.
This song has such an impact upon me that I even quoted it in my doctoral dissertation – see the opening of Chapter 9. I can’t name anyone else who has “Fripp, McDonald, Lake, Giles, Sinfield, 1969” as part of their bibliography. It’s a great tune for a Monday that reminds me of my late teenage years.