Search - Gordon Haskell :: It Is & It Isn't

It Is & It Isn't
Gordon Haskell
It Is & It Isn't
Genres: Pop, Rock
Gordon Haskell is best known for his connection with King Crimson, singing on their 2nd & 3rd albums. In 1974 he recorded one of his rare solo albums, It Is And It Isn't. It features another King Crimson alumni, John Wetton.


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CD Details

All Artists: Gordon Haskell
Title: It Is & It Isn't
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Wounded Bird Records
Original Release Date: 1/1/2008
Re-Release Date: 4/8/2008
Genres: Pop, Rock
Styles: Easy Listening, Folk Rock, Progressive, Progressive Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 664140337824


Album Description
Gordon Haskell is best known for his connection with King Crimson, singing on their 2nd & 3rd albums. In 1974 he recorded one of his rare solo albums, It Is And It Isn't. It features another King Crimson alumni, John Wetton.

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CD Reviews

Pleasant Little Record From Ex- King Crimson Vocalist
JOHN SPOKUS | BALTIMORE, MARYLAND United States | 11/27/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Gordon Haskell is probably one of the most forgotten former King Crimson members. He provided vocals on the tune "Cadence And Cascade" from the In The Wake Of Poseidon LP,as well as bass guitar and vocals on the Lizard album. This version of Crimson, though awesomely creative in the studio didn't hang together long enough to tour. A year after this sadly overlooked release Haskell recorded this,his first solo record. His trademark vocals are wonderful and his lyrics poetic and introspective. This is much more mainstream in sound than the densely experimental work Crimson did in this period, though still progressive.Haskell opts for acoustic guitar as his instument of choice, while future Crimsman John Wetton provides the bass, along with backing vocals and organ. Very nice arrangements. "Sitting By The Fire", "Worms", and "Benny" are standout tracks; but it's hard to pick favorites on this all around fine release. A must for Crimson fans and lovers of early seventies progressive rock in general."
One for the kids and bedtime listening
Pete Heininger, Heininger Marketing | Thirroul, NSW Australia | 11/18/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's been years since I first heard this album, and I'm glad to see it on your lists. My understanding is that Haskell wrote all the tracks on this album for his kids -- as songs for bedtime.While there are no duds, I'd have to say Benny is my fave.If you like quieter albums, with childlike, innocent themes, you can't go past this classic! Thanks Amazon for stocking it!"
It's not as bad as I remember it
artneuro | Australia | 08/18/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Who's on it:
Looking through the credits, the only name I recognise apart from Gordon is John Wetton; Wetton handles the bass work in good style. It's good enough for a close listen. As usual he's adept, interesting and serviceable. You have moments that hark back to some Prog Rock feels, but generally the whole album is a good deal more laid back than any Prog Rock album. It comes across as more of a thoughtful, Blues Rock/Folk Rock kind of work with small bursts of Prog stylings.
David Kaffinetti of Rare Bird handled keyboards. Apparently, he went on to become 'David Kaff' who played Viv Savage, the Keyboard player for Spinal Tap... So to speak.
If you thought that was obscure, a Bill Atkinson was on drums - I can't find ANYTHING on him.
An Alan Barry provided the Lead guitar; another person who I can't find any info on.

What's Good About it:
Surprisingly, the songs are good. They are not polished, but then that would be the point of an album that is filled with ambivalence. As we can tell from the album title and song titles, Haskell's album is a catalogue of ambivalent scenes, emotions, observations and a whimsical non-participation in the Rock-posturing common in 1971. He's opting out here. Haskell sings, but also plays acoustic guitar; he's a much better player than I remember him to be. There are plenty of nicely rendered acoustic passages; some sound a bit like Pete Townshend's acoustic guitar work on Rough Mix. Even the voice reminds me of Townshend's 'Street in the City'. However that's only in parts.

The overall vibe is mellow, relaxed and mature. This is a very mature kind of sonic experience; something I had not really given thought to as a teenager hanging out for a bit of excitement. You don't expect testosterone charged youths to stop and consider the ambivalent feelings in life. Yet, it's an album that asks you to relax and take it in gently. Not, grab you by the throat and throw you around the room like, say, 'Red' by King Crimson. And that is perhaps why Gordon was asked to leave; he wasn't really intense like the other guys in 'Crimso'.

What's Wrong With It:
Haskell's vocals aren't very strong; he doesn't give his melody the best they could get. The mix is bad; it's a murky, un-inspired mix. The arrangement is often unimaginative or inappropriate. The best bits are sometimes just Gordon singing simply with his guitar strumming. Unfortunately the producer felt things had to be shoved in it to make it more 'exciting'; and yet it never gets exciting. Alan Barry's lead breaks are pedestrian. If there's anything to single out as a dislike on this album, it's the unimaginative blues-rock guitar figurations of this one Alan Barry. It's like third rate Eric Clapton on valium. Clearly the album deserved a more inventive approach, but it is Barry's playing that drags it back to the ordinary. It could've been good; he ruined it!

What got me as a teen, years ago was how there wasn't any intensity. The whole album is just so laid back. As an adult I can appreciate that it's meant to be an entirely different offering to Prog Rock, but the answer wasn't to denude Prog Rock of all intensity. It is as naff as I remember it; but oddly enough I don't mind the naff-ness of it. If I want intensity, I can go put on 'Larks' Tongues In Aspic'. This is a deliberately different venture and I should give it the credit it deserves.
It might be a really good album to chill out to at the end of a long night's conversation about way-out things. Or on a Sunday afternoon, something to listen to instead of watching the Arts shows on TV give you the politically correct review of films.

The mellowness of this album is soothing, and that's got to be good. - It's also got Viv Savage on it!