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King Crimson - The Road to Red CD (album) cover

THE ROAD TO RED

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.04 | 61 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars When it comes to the monster King Crimson boxed sets I've covered so far, I'd put The Road to Red on a tier above Sailors' Tales and the Larks' Tongues box, but below that of Starless.

In terms of sound quality, whilst it's a bit less consistent than the Starless box, it's nonetheless streets ahead of most of the material on Sailors' Tales and Larks' Tongues. In terms of the live sets presented on the box, there's obviously a lot of fantastic performances here, but I'd say that by and large the performances on the Starless box have the edge on them, with some exceptions.

In addition, there's a more nuanced reason why I think Starless is a five-star set whilst The Road to Red is more four- and-a-half stars. On the European tours covered in Starless, King Crimson were typically the headliners, with set lengths giving them space to sprawl. Conversely, in many of the US dates chronicled here, their improvisations where greatly curtailed due to the fact that they were working as a support act. Consistently, the better gigs here are the longer concerts where they were headlining and had the space to really get into it.

It's still a fantastic collection for anyone who loves mid-1970s King Crimson (and the new mix of Red is great), but I just don't think it hits five stars.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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