After three and a half years of a windowless office next to the bathrooms, I finally got moved to a new office today with not only an exterior window, but an interior glass wall as well for two whole walls of window. The picture above is from outside the office looking in and through to the outdoors.
So if you know me at all, you'll understand that my first dilemma was what song to play on my computer after I moved in - what should be the inaugural song for my new office? After a few minutes of consideration (if you think about these things too long, you'll never come up with an answer), I decided to ring in the new with something old and familiar, and chose King Crimson's 1969 21st Century Schizoid Man. Old tunes for a new space, and something to rattle my new neighbors with.
But what kind of music is this, anyway? Metal? Prog rock? Jazz Fusion? All of the above? The album In The Court of The Crimson King came out before any of those genres had yet been named, and in many ways it foresaw them all. After some brief opening ambiance, the songs kicks in with some bruising metal, before building up (literally) to a metal-meets-psych-rock instrumental with jazz-fusion drumming and bass lines beneath. The jazz fusion gets even more pronounced when the guitar leads are replaced by saxophones and then, as if the song hadn't yet traversed enough future genres, it breaks down to a stop-and-go sequence that presaged math rock before eventually returning to its proto-metal theme.
This song blew my young mind in 1969, and if I let it, it still can. There was literally nothing even remotely sounding like this in 1969, or for that matter, there was nothing remotely sounding like this elsewhere on In The Court of The Crimson King, which followed this hard rock album opener with the pastoral flutes-and-vocals ballad I Talk With the Wind before wandering off to other unidentifiable genres.
There weren't any other record covers that looked like this, either. I made my poor parents buy In The Court of The Crimson King for me for Christmas (birthdays and Christmas being my major means of acquiring music back then, along with ripping off the Columbia Record Club), and I can just imagine the confusion the ordeal of adding that cover must have caused to their Nixon-era Christmas shopping ("Let's see now. Barbie for Donna? Check. Swimming goggles for Jackie? Check. Baseball bat for David? Check. Screaming alien nose-porn for Steve? Um, check."). If it's any consolation, Mom, it was worth it, because I still treasure that recording this 48 years later. That's more than can be said about that Barbie.
But my point here is I got a new office.