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King Crimson - The Essential King Crimson: Frame by Frame  CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.67 | 60 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars First off, KING CRIMSON is truly a band deserving a large box set. There are numerous smaller compilations too, that can't be anything but mere scratching of the surface. The studio album material of the years 1969-1984 are spread over three discs while the fourth (which I consider to be quite fan-oriented; I'm not one) contains live stuff from the same timeline. The problem concerns the way those three discs are compiled.

Yet another KC release to include In The Court of the Crimson King almost in its entirety. Only the tiresome instrumental extension of 'Moonchild' is missing. But then, every album between that and Lark's Tongues in Aspic are given *very* little space here. For example the excellent Lizard (1970): only a remix of 'Bolero'. Albums featuring John Wetton are handled better, but editing the awesome 'Starless' under five minutes is cruel. I don't mind other editings that exist here, unlike fans probably do.

These unbalanced decisions can't be explained with the lack of space: 1) each CD runs under 70 minutes, 2) the Disc Three is completely dedicated to the three albums of 1981-84, which means they are for the most part included. Good grief! So, that era is considered to be more important than the years 1970-1972?? As far as I'm asked, those albums sound very much the same. Two tracks from each would have been fair enough. I understand the symmetry in separating that era into another disc than the earlier generation with ever-changing line-ups, but was it really a good idea in practice? NO!

I was making a KC compilation to myself when borrowing this annoyingly big box, but I had to borrow some studio albums too to make it the way I wanted. Not very well done from a four- disc set... I don't know the price of it, but I'm sure you'd get several albums with the same amount of money. Me, I'd hate to see such big glumsy box on my own shelf, especially if the contents are so unbalanced. This low rating of course deals more with the nature of the compilation, not the music itself. I'm definitely not saying this wouldn't include some of the most essential prog rock ever done.

Matti | 2/5 |


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