Recorded in Italy prior to their studio work, The First Day, the following year, Kings is a good collection of live demo runs and experimental work. Some remain identical to the later studio versions ("Jean the Birdman"), but others are completely different or scaled-down edits of lengthier pieces. "Bringing Down the Light" is nothing like the Fripp soundscape that concludes The First Day and "Tallow Moon" is a great deal more listenable than the eerie version that accompanies the "Jean the Birdman" CD single. "Firepower," itself greatly edited, puts paid to the soaring soundscape that opens the set. "Chromatic Fantasy" would be a worthy backdrop to a Tom and Jerry cartoon, with its scurrying guitar work at times punctuated with a slower, menacing guitar riff. Kings is good value if you can find it, as it also includes some of Fripp's own work: "Blockhead" and a gorgeous twilight "Asturias."
AllMusic Review by Kelvin Hayes