Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ian Wallace, RIP

I just found today that former King Crimson drummer Ian Wallace died of cancer on Thursday. He had only been diagnosed with esophogeal cancer in August of last year. Wallace joined King Crimson in 1971 and appeared on the album Islands. In the '60s he'd been drummer for the British group the Warriors, whose vocalist Johhny Anderson would become internationally known as Yes vocalist Jon Anderson. Wallace's post Crimson career was varied, with Bob Dylan, Don Henley, and David Lindley just three of his employers. Wallace is the second member of King Crimson to die, fellow Islands lineup member Boz Burrell having died last year of a heart attack.

In tribute I decided to give Islands a spin. The album has long been seen as one of the lesser entries in the Crimson catalogue. There is a certain fussiness to much of what's on the album, especially Peter Sinfield's lyrics. On the other hand there's the heavily processed "electronic banjo" sounding guitar solo on "Sailor's Tale," and its not hard to hear "Ladies of the Road" as another tip of the hat to the Beatles a la "Happy Family" from KC's album Lizard, and a superior one at that.

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