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King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD) CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.78 | 110 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I never really knew, did I, what to expect when I first bought this album in the early 90's. How could I have? Up til that point in time I was heavily into jazz-rock, hard rock and folk but never knew, really, what progressive music was all about. This was all due for a mindblowing change.

This album has been reviewed and re-examined over and over again and what remains to be said? Really not all that much. Everything about this album screams the birth of progressive rock and never before, I would like to loudly proclaim, has there been a muscial product of such immense power and might as this one. It remains still the cornerstone of the progressive rock movement and rightly so.

Every aspect of this masterpiece signals prog and acts as the blueprint of an entire genre and it's sub-genres. From the very artwork, which has never been rivalled, to the name of the group and the title of the album and it's songs. Just being named King Crimson is as far as prog goes just as brilliant and unsurpassed as Black Sabbath in the metal world. The cover says it all. Dreamy and thought provoking, just like the music within.

So, having put forth nothing that hasn't already been said about the album itself, what is there to say about this box set? Quite alot. I have been living with this album for so long and it has been a very intense love affair, so I feel this box has so much to offer.

First, there is quite a number of mixes of the original album. There's the mix from 2004, 2009 and even a 5:1 one. That is all very grand and wonderful in itself but the true delight is in the bonus tracks. Listening to the BBC sessions on disc 2 is mindblowing and I find it so amazing to hear these quite different versions.

Secondly, the main reason for getting this box is the live recordings from 1969 (Hyde Park and Fillmore East). Not only do I get the chance to hear the material in a live setting, the year of the album's release but also some tracks rarely heard. "Get thy bearings" is amazing, as is "Travel weary capricorn". The songs "Mars" and "Mantra" is such a delight to listen to aswell. "A man and a city" is amazing to listen to, bearing in mind that it appears on the follow-up the next year. The song hadn't been released yet. That is mindboggling listening experiences all of them.

While a lot of the material in the box are remixes of the original album, along with a de-clicked vinyl transfer (made from one in Robert Fripp's own archive, if that isn't enough to make a grown man cry I do not know), the best pieces are the ones I have previously mentioned. While it may not be truly necessary to listen through all the mixes one have to bow in awe to the brilliance and contents of this box. The brilliance, the unsurpassed brilliance at that, is all too evident and I cannot but hail this as a box as being essential. True, if you are not familiar with this music I suggest you get one of those single CD:s out there. But if you like me adore this piece of progressive history you truly need to acquire this box. It gives this album all the exposure it deserves. Amazing.

Apart from the music there is also a lot of pictures and a very nice booklet to go through. The adding of pins, a couple of photos on high quality paper and a thoughtful design makes it all the more enjoyable.

Easily one of the finest and most essential boxes around.

GruvanDahlman | 5/5 |


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