November 10

So as I pointed out back in this blog, one of the thrift store records I picked up in Honolulu was In The Court Of The Crimson King: An Observation By King Crimson, the debut studio album from King Crimson circa 1969:

My copy, scuffed and musty as it is, plays well for its condition.

This thing was one step away from the dumpster! For those of you who are unfamiliar… the Goodwill outlet store is where used things go to die!

I’m not sure if it’s overstock, or things that have been displayed and not sold over a period of time, or just excess of donated goods but the m.o. for the Goodwill outlet store is: 1) truckloads of goods come in 2) are distributed in huge rolling bins and 3) placed out on a concrete floor at various intervals where people, like vultures, swoop in and rip these carts (and each other) apart trying to get the best deals.

Goods are sold by the pound, so if you find a piece of electronic equipment or a pair of designer shoes or a record album, you basically pay around $0.50 a pound for whatever it is you found.

I can’t imagine a copy of In The Court Of The Crimson King, even one as toasty as mine, sat on a typical goodwill shelf unpicked and was there for relegated to the outlet racks. Even me, an avowed no nothing regarding progressive rock, know there is a significance to King Crimson.

To boot, this iconic album art by Barry Godber, is enough of an attention grabber to warrant attention from Luddites and aficionados alike.

The album starts with the classic rock standout 21st Century Schizoid Man, which, even King Crimson newbies like myself recognize.

The remainder of the album is beautiful and odd and has a connection in ways that I’m having trouble describing. My wife put it this way, “it’s like listening to a dramatic work or play”.

I have to agree. Now the only question is, do I give up this first US pressing scratches scruff and mold included, and try to find a new release from the original master tapes? Or, do I stay satisfied with my $0.25 purchase of this iconic album in the story held within?

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4 thoughts on “November 10

  1. My dad tells the story of passing a record shop in London the day before the LP came out and they’d filled the window with copies and copies of this LP – terrified him.

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  2. If you like it buy a better copy. I’ve kind of surrendered, Mark. My local Goodwill store hasn’t had anything in ages. The outlet is twenty miles away–and as a teacher with a pretty heavy courseload, I just haven’t been able to get there. I’ve found some interesting stuff there before, but more often than not, zilch. Pretty much just buying what I want for the best price I can get. I really appreciate that you’ve been able to stick to your guns and fought the good fight–turning up some pretty good stuff.

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