I’m working on a King Crimson related post for another blog, and it reminded me that, in King Crimson terms, Jon Anderson is the other guy. Crimson is a band that, if anything, is consistent in its inconsistency— its history is filled with constant turnover in personnel and styles, with Robert Fripp as the only member who has been in every incarnation of the band. Most histories of King Crimson seem to refer to musicians leaving because they didn’t like or understand the music, which raises the question of why they joined in the first place. Wikipedia reports that there are over fifteen-hundred releases on which members and former members of King Crimson appear.
The band’s third album, Lizard, was a departure from the first two, with greater jazz influences, and Greg Lake’s powerful vocals being replaced by Gordon Haskell’s more ethereal style. But the song “Prince Rupert Awakes,” was too high for Haskell, so Jon Anderson, of Yes, was enlisted to sing, his only contribution to the Crimson oeuvre.
On the other hand, when it comes to Yes, in my mind, Anderson is the guy, despite the fact that Yes has had membership turnover that rivals King Crimson. But despite the fact that Anderson was replaced as lead vocalist by "other guys" Trevor Horn, Benoit David and Jon Davison (the latter two having been vocalists in Yes tribute bands before moving up to the major leagues) who attempt to mimic the original, there can be no question that for that band, Anderson is affirmatively the guy.
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