The Crimson-Yes Axis

This post was inspired by those Pete Frame “Rock Family Trees” diagrams that I’ve always found so engrossing and which are a great way to waste an afternoon.

The idea for this particular one came from me listening to the first, eponymous album by the band UK, which featured Bill Bruford, John Wetton, Eddie Jobson and Alan Holdsworth, with Bruford and Wetton being the rhythm section that powered the great “Lark’s Tongues In Aspic”, “Starless And Bible Black” and “Red” incarnation of King Crimson. The presence of Eddie Jobson reminded me that he did some violin overdubs for the KC live album from this period, “USA”.

Then I wandered mentally from UK and USA to Asia, another band that featured John Wetton and which also had Steve Howe from Yes, the band where Bill Bruford started out. You can see where this leads, can’t you?

So, I thought I’d put together a playlist that had one rule; the music must feature at least one member of either Yes or King Crimson playing under a different banner.

The musicians I have used are Greg Lake (KC’s original bassist/ELP), Ian McDonald and Michael Giles(also from the original KC line-up/McDonald and Giles), Bill Bruford (Yes and KC/Bruford/AWBH), John Wetton (KC/Asia – also played live with Roxy Music), Robert Fripp (KC – obviously/David Bowie/Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins), Mel Collins (KC/Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins), Steve Howe, Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman (all Yes/AWBH), Vangelis (Yes/Aphrodite’s Child), Boz Burrell (KC/Bad Company and Eddie Jobson (KC in the studio/Roxy Music)

So, the track listing is;

Emerson, Lake and Palmer – The Barbarian
McDonald and Giles – Flight Of The Ibis
Asia – Only Time Will Tell
Aphrodite’s Child – The Four Horsemen
Roxy Music – Out Of The Blue
David Bowie – “Heroes”
Bill Bruford – Beelzebub
John Wetton – New Star Rising
Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins – The Other Man
Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe – Order Of The Universe
Bad Company – Bad Company

There are lots of other connections that you can find if you are an obsessive about such things. If you wanted to branch out, you could link Yes to UK to Soft Machine and to Gong via Bill Bruford and Alan Holdsworth (because Holdsworth played with UK, the Softs and Gong). You can also link King Crimson to Gong via Theo Travis, who has played live with Robert Fripp. There are also links via Geoff Downes and Trevor Horn, Tony Levin and Adrian Belew. You can even link King Crimson to Hall and Oates via Fripp and his work on Darryl Hall’s first solo album, “Sacred Songs”. It goes on and on. I am sure that people can find other links.

Incidentally, the only reason I don’t have a UK track here is that for some reason I don’t understand, my PC was unable to open the CD.

17 thoughts on “The Crimson-Yes Axis

  1. Great idea for a playlist, Carole. Loved those Pete Frame family trees. Think they were originally printed in Sounds. Those and those early Alan Moore cartoons were usually the best thing in that music paper.

    • Loved those Pete Frame family trees. Think they were originally printed in Sounds.

      So did I … they were indeed, Shoey, at exactly the time I was first besotted by rock.

      I wonder if it’s too late to ask DsMam for another Christmas present – Amazon says I an get pretty much any edition of PF’s Family Trees for under twenty quid.

  2. I think Pete Frame could do a book solely based on Rober Fripp/Kc connections. Along with Eno, Fripp is the artist that most serious musicians would like to work with.
    Here is Fripp in concert with David Sylvian (Japan) and a track called “God’s Monkey”. Can’t find any info on who else is in the band. Any ideas ?


    • David Sylvian (guitar, keyboards, tapes, vocals)
      Robert Fripp (guitar, Frippertronics)
      Trey Gunn (Grand and Tenor Sticks, vocals)
      David Bottrill (treatments, sampled percussion, computer programming)
      Jerry Marotta (drums, percussion)
      Marc Anderson (percussion)
      Ingrid Chavez (vocals)

      Were the players on The First Day album

      • Thanks for that TY. See thats what happens when you coppy stuff on a stick and don’t get all the info that a cd brings. Good to see the Trey Gunn connection as well.
        Great book for KC connections is In The Court of King Crimson written in 2001 by a KC fan called Sid Smith. Don’t know if it’s been updated, but gives some great reviews on the music and insights into the personel.

    • The Sylvian/Fripp albums are great. There was a studio one called “The First Day” and a live one called “Damage”. Both are essential as far as I am concerned.

      Fripp wanted David Sylvian to join a new version of Crimson in about 1991 but he declined. These albums were the result of their collaboration though.

      It would have been awesome, I think, if he had joined Crimson.

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