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King Crimson - The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.90 | 100 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars This superb compilation took its title from Benjamin Britten's 'Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra'. One of Robert Fripp's little jokes, I guess. As a two-LP overview of King Crimson's career until 1974 this set could hardly be bettered, but when it appeared the critics complained about the absence of "Schizoid Man", which many considered to be KC's signature tune. I don't think A YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE has ever appeared in the CD format. The packaging really only comes into its own when you are able to admire the original gatefold sleeve. The cover pictures are delightful; I like to think the little man on the mountaintop is actually playing a mellotron!

The extensive booklet showed for the first time how thoughtfully Fripp would handle King Crimson's heritage. Not only did he include a detailed family tree and a superb collection of black and white photographs, he also printed virtually all the reviews Crimson albums had received through the years (or at least the ones he got hold of), both positive AND negative. How many artists would dare to do that, in a compilation of their best work? Fripp's tactics certainly paid off: the reader can commiserate with critics bemoaning the low quality of albums such as EARTHBOUND, and snigger at idiots who, all of thirty-five years ago, failed to appreciate the splendour of LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC.

(Fripp would later extend the YOUNG PERSON'S booklet, as well as its selection of tracks, for the first King Crimson CD box set, FRAME BY FRAME, which appeared in 1991.)

fuxi | 4/5 |


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