Buying the LPs sampled on Nice Enough to Eat.
Perhaps more than any other, “In the Court of the Crimson King”, the first King Crimson LP, epitomises the whole prog-rock genre. The front cover of the gatefold sleeve is, to say the least, uniquely striking, with the gaping mouth, accentuated tonsils, flaring nostrils, florid complexion, and right glancing staring frightened eyes. There has never been anything else quite like it, before or since.
Curiously, the first copy I ever had of this record was a fairly beaten up original pink label one, which I got second hand by exchange with a schoolchum. This chap was Phil Oakey, who went on to have some considerable success with the Human League (originally an avant gard electronic combo featuring another schoolchum, Mart Ware, who left before the Human League made the big time, but of course did very well with Heaven 17). I had bought the 1970 King Crimson single “Cat Food”, the B side of which was a thing called “Groon”, then only available on that single. Phil wanted “Groon”, and offered to give me his battered “In the Court of…” as a swap for the single. I was at that time most impecunious, and this was an offer I could not refuse. The deal was struck, and sure enough one morning Phil breezed into the classroom and literally threw the LP towards me, a distance of some 20 yards. I duly handed over the single, with much more care.
Sadly, I no longer have that one; as soon as I could afford to do so, I replaced it with a nice new copy, but of course that came with the palm tree label.