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King's X

King's X came roaring out of Houston, TX with a progressive metal sound that was a cross between Black Sabbath, Metallica, and Rush with Beatle-esque harmonies. The band is a critics favorite as well as a favorite of musicians, they had big label backing for years and even played the Woodstock '94, yet somehow they never seemed to break it big. I've been a fan since "Out of the Silent Planet." If you are into these guys you also need to check out fellow Houston art rockers Galactic Cowboys.

King's X-Out of the Silent Planet (Megaforce)

1. "In the New Age" (5:23)
2. "Goldilox" (4:41)
3. "Power of Love" (4:57)

4. "Wonder" (4:12)
5. "Sometimes" (3:40)
6. "King" (3:01)
7. "What is This?" (3:48)
8. "Far, Far Away" (4:14
9. "Shot of Love" (3:15)
10. "Visions" (5:11)

A great debut album by one of the most original and creative progressive bands ever. The lyrics are also intelligent and thought provoking, revealing slightly some of the members Christian beliefs. If I am not mistaken, the title is taken from a book by C.S. Lewis. "Out of the Silent Planet" is an astonishing record from start to finish.

Gretchen Goes to Nebraska King's X-Gretchen Goes to Nebraska (Megaforce)

1."Out of the Silent Planet" (5:44)
2."Over My Head" (4:47)
3."Summerland" (3:17)
4."Everybody Knows a Little Bit of Something" (3:57)
5."The Difference (In the Garden of St. Anne's-on-the-Hill)" (3:08)
6."I'll Never Be the Same" (4:57)
7."Mission" (5:00)
8."Fall on Me" (4:03)
9."Pleiades" (4:42)
10."Don't Believe It (It's Easier Said Than Done)" (3:06)
11."Send a Message" (4:02)
12."The Burning Down" (5:15)

A great follow up to a great debut. Even more catchy hooks, layered vocals and downtuned guitars. "Summerland" is a slow heavy dirge and one of my favorite King's X songs, "Over My Head" has one of those choruses that gets stuck in your head after hearing it one time. The whole album is just fabulous. The lyrics are intelligent, poetic, and have a distinct Christian slant to them.

King's X-Faith Hope Love (Atlantic)

1."We Are Finding Who We Are" (4:39)
2."It's Love" (4:34)
3."I'll Never Get Tired of You" (3:46)
4."Fine Art of Friendship" (4:21)
5."Mr. Wilson" (3:39)
6."Moanjam" (6:05)
7."Six Broken Soldiers" (3:32)
8."I Can't Help It" (3:53)
9."Talk to You" (4:36)
10."Everywhere I Go" (3:53)
11."We Were Born to Be Loved" (4:52)
12."Faith Hope Love" (9:23)
13."Legal Kill" (4:42)

Pure brilliance! This is by far my favorite King's X album. Filled with beautiful harmonic vocals sung on top of some of the heaviest guitar riffs ever assembled. A masterpiece in every sense of the word. The lyrics are excellent as well, based on Christianity yet more thought provoking than most "turn of burn" bands.

Kings X (Atlantic)

1."The World Around Me" (2:56)
2."Prisoner" (4:14)
3."The Big Picture" (5:03)
4."Lost in Germany" (4:52)
5."Chariot Song" (5:22)
6."Ooh Song" (4:01)
7."Not Just for the Dead" (4:47)
8."What I Know About Love" (5:38)
9."Black Flag" (4:01)
10."Dream in My Life" (4:57)
11."Silent Wind" (4:10)

Following in the footsteps of "Faith, Hope, & Love" this release is as fabulous as the last. OK, the attempt at commercialism in "Black Flag" is present, but even this song reeks of sheer musical excellence. Great cover art as well. I thought this one would break King's X, but alas, it did not. Argh!

King's X -Dogman (Atlantic)

1."Dogman" (4:01)
2."Shoes" (3:29)
3."Pretend" (4:36)
4."Flies and Blue Skies" (5:00)
5."Black the Sky" (4:32)
6."Fool You" (4:31)
7."Don't Care" (4:39)
8."Sunshine Rain" (4:35)
9."Complain" (3:19)
10."Human Behavior" (4:28)
11."Cigarettes" (5:52)
12."Go to Hell" (0:51)
13."Pillow" (4:24)
14."Manic Depression"-live (4:59)

A bit more simplistic than their first four discs, but still a great listen from beginning to end. The title track is marvelous-heavy and catchy. I can't even think of the name of the song without humming it in my head. Some experimenting on songs like "Cigarettes" and "Go To Hell" that keeps the album interesting. The Jimi Hendrix cover at the end is marvelous as well. The dog on the cover comes in a variety of different colors.

Building Blox King's X-Building Blox (Atlantic)

1. "The World Around Me" (2:56)
2. "Dogman" (4:20)
3. "Pillow" (4:41)
4. "Over My Head" (4:$7)
5. "King" (3:01)
6. "We Are Finding Who We Are" (4:39)
7. "Pretend" (4:56)
8. "It's Love" (4:43)
9. "Black Flag" (4:01)
10. "Power of Love" (4:57)
11. "Complain" (3:30)
12. "Goldilox" (4:41)
13. "Shot of Love" -acoustic version (3:20)
14. "Summerland" (3:17)
15. "Moanjam" (6:05)

A nice little promotional compilation cd that contains an unreleased acoustic version of "Shot of Love." Picked this one up at a used store for $6. This one was never released to the public.

King's X-Ear Candy (Atlantic)

1.   "Train" (3:08)
2.   "(Thinking and Wondering) What I'm Gonna Do" (3:41)
3.   "Sometime" (3:47)
4.   "Box" (4:39)
5.   "Looking for Love" (2:58)
6.   "Mississippi Moon" (3:11)
7.   "67" (4:41)
8.   "Lies in the Sand (The Ballad Of...)" (3:53)
9.   "Run" (3:27)
10.  "Fathers" (3:21)
11.  "American Cheese" (Jerry's Pianto) (2:54)
12.  "Picture" (5:34)
13.  "Life Going By" (4:04)

King's X desperate try at commercial success. It failed! Too bad 'cause "Ear Candy" is a pretty good album. No where near as progressive or even as epic as "Faith, Hope, and Love." "Ear Candy" simply lacked the art-rock tendencies of their past and placed too much emphasis on psychedelic rock/metal. Still a good listen with all the beefy riffs, layered vocals, and catchy lyrical hooks. Cool cover art as well. The Christian references have all but disappeared on this one.

Best of King's X King's X-Best of King's X (Atlantic)

1.   "King" (3:04)
2.   "Goldilox" (4:43)
3.   "Summerland" (3:18)
4.   "Pleiades" (4:41)
5.   "It's Love" (4:37)
6.   "Mr. Wilson" (3:39)
7.   "Black Flag" (4:01)
8.   "Lost in Germany" (4:52)
9.   "Dogman" (4:02)
10. "Cigarettes" (5:52)
11. "Train" (3:07)
12. "Looking for Love" (2:59)
13. "Life Going By" (4:05)
14. "Sally" (3:58)
15. "April Showers" (4:10)
16. "Lover" (2:25)
17. "Over My Head" -live at Woodstock II 1994 (10:04)

"Why King's X never became a hugely successful and well-known hard rock outfit will forever remain a mystery, especially after listening to the totally original and memorable compositions that comprise their 1997 Best of King's X compilation." This is a quote from the AMG Music guide and I couldn't agree more. King's X are one of the most original and outstanding bands of the 90's, yet somehow the populous managed to miss it. They will always have their Grateful Dead-like cult following, but I guess commercial success just was not meant to be. This "best of" package also includes three unreleased studio songs and an extended live version of "Over My Head" that was recorded at Woodstock II 1994. Wonder if they will ever release the whole show? Anyhow, held out for a long time for a used copy since I already own 80% of the music on this disc. Found this copy for $4.50.

King's X-Tape Head (Metal Blade)

1.   "Groove Machine" (3:42)
2.   "Fade" (3:24)
3.   "Over and Over" (3:23)
4.   "Ono" (3:55)
5.   "Cupid" (4:14)
6.   "Ocean" (3:08)
7.   "Little Bit of Soul" (4:13)
8.   "Hate You" (3:01)
9.   "Higher Than God" (3:00)
10.  "Happy" (5:38)
11.  "Mr. Evil" (3:45)
12.  "World" (3:36)
13.  "Walter Bela Farkas" (2:42)

This album caused a big up-roar because Doug Pinnick "came out" about his homosexuality. Well new label Metal Blade spent a lot of money marketing this album, along with Ty Tabor's solo album, in the Christian market and pressed thousands of copies with the Diamante label, which is the distributor that distributes Metal Blade's Christian bands to the Christian stores. Once Doug came out, Diamante refused to distribute them and Metal Blade were stuck with all these copies. Ah, but on to the music. well, "Tape Head" isn't a bad release but is no where near as memorable as the first four albums. Much better than "Ear Candy" however. Don't play this one much at all. I think the three King's X dudes were spending too much time working on their solo projects. Doug's Poundhound is actually a better King's X album than this one.

Mr. Bulbous King's X-Please Come Home...Mr. Bulbous (Metal Blade) 2000

1. "Fish Bowl Man" (4:28)
2. "Julia" (3:39)
3. "She's Gone Away" (4:37)
4. "Marsh Mellow Field" (5:30)
5. "When You're Scared" (4:26)
6. "Charlie Sheen" (3:51)
7. "Smudge" (3:52)
8. "Bitter Sweet" (2:13)
9. "Move Me" (4:58)
10. "Move Me, Pt. 2" (7:20)

"Mr. Bulbous" is heavier and slightly darker than past releases yet still retaining the classic King's X sound. This was one of the few King's X albums that I put off buying. For some reason I haven't been as impressed with their newer material than the first four cds or so. I'm not sure why though as the band has faithfully retained their sound and their vision. It must just be me. Still it's great to hear another album by these veterans.

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