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Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations) - The Many Faces of King Crimson: A Journey Through the Inner World of King Crimson CD (album) cover


Various Artists (Concept albums & Themed compilations)


Various Genres

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is quite a peculiar 3-disc set. No, it doesn't contain music of King Crimson performed either by the band itself or by other artists. Nor is it a various artists compilation all the way. Each of the discs have completely different approaches. The first disc does contain various artists' tracks featuring past or present King Crimson members, mostly as guests only. The second disc is entirely dedicated to the late 60's pre-Crimso act GILES, GILES & FRIPP. And the third disc is, one to one, the sole album released in 2005 by a band called FISSION TRIP that consists of members from King Crimson and HANDS.

The various artists disc in itself feels patchy and confusing. Sadly the set doesn't have systematic release information (such as the years or source albums), and searching the information from the two-page text is difficult, since it doesn't even proceed in the running order. Some of the music is indeed unquestionably Crimsonesque. For example the avantish instrumental music of JAMIE MUIR, MICHAEL GILES & DAVID CUNNINGHAM has evident stylistic roots in the Larks Tongues era King Crimson. The two tracks are scattered on the disc the same foolish way as three tracks from PETER SINFIELD's album Still (1973) and two tracks by JOHNNY WARMAN featuring Tony Levin & Jerry Marotta. Another instrumental piece which easily could be mistaken to be King Crimson, albeit the newer stuff, is recorded by PAT MASTOLETTO & TREY GUNN.

The rest of the selection has 'Salmon Leap' by ANTHONY PHILLIPS (the KC connection is the drummer Ian McCulloch), a beautiful IONA song 'Divine Presence', a smooth 2000's song 'Wonderland' by GORDON HASKELL (the vocalist on the 1970 Lizard album) and a hair-raising song 'Still Moving in Fear' by SANDY DILLON & HECTOR ZAZOU, from 1995. The musical diversity on this disc is awesome, and the music is interestingly more or less Crimson-related in many various ways, but the representation leaves a lot to be desired.

I'm not going to deal with the GILES, GILES & FRIPP disc in deeper details. The 1968 home recording material has been published as The Brondesbury Tapes (not that it was mentioned in the liner notes), although this set has only twelve tracks, roughly 45 minutes of the 72 of the mentioned release. One may ask why their only proper album The Cheerful Insanity Of (1968) is not represented. As a side note, I once saw in a supermarket the GENESIS set of "The Many Faces of" series, and in it one disc was dedicated, in a similar manner, to the 60's pre-Trespass era. This Crimson set I borrowed from library; I don't think I would have bought this one either.

FISSION TRIP were suggested for ProgArchives several years ago, and sadly the addition process still hasn't started properly it seems. The liner notes in this set are pretty insufficient concerning this group; it's not even mentioned that most of the key members came from the prog band HANDS. The former KC drummer Ian Wallace is the main vocalist, co-writer and producer on their only album Volume One. Crimson-guitarist Adrian Belew is actually a guest musician only. I googled a nice description by the label's marketing: "a jarringly great amalgam of archival prog, witty pop, and buoyant fusion - as though Weather Report made toast from a loaf of Beatles bread and buttered it with Selling England by the Pound marmalade." Well said! The album sounds good and I'd be glad to review it here.

How on earth to rate such a schizoid and seedy release like this? Sure, with a more balanced structure and with proper release informations The Many Faces of King Crimson would function much better. However, for the interesting and diverse musical contents three stars are deserved.

Matti | 3/5 |


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