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King Crimson - The Compact King Crimson CD (album) cover


King Crimson

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3 stars What a strange compilation this is. The first half is from the 1980-84 period, the second half is all from the first album released in 1969. There is a great difference between the two parts because, apart from Robert Fripp there are two different bands. That is not to say that the music isn't good because it is. If you know nothing of King Crimson you could try this but there is so much good music from them that this only gives a flavour of what they are about.
Report this review (#15413)
Posted Wednesday, May 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars I would agree with that guy. This is a very weird mix to have because of the first tracks being from the 80's eraand the last few songs being from In the Court of the Crimson King era. I am only giving this album a 4 because of their horrible song choice but that has nothing to do with King Crimson. I'm thinking they put most ly 80's on their because it was not on the first album that they did like this (The young persons guide to King Crimson...something like that) and that was because it was released before the 80's King Crimson era. All the songs on here are great though so I'll still give it a 4. If it were just a random compilation of just the 80's not "the compact king crimson" I would have given it a 5 but since this doesn't really represent them well I give it a 4.
Report this review (#15414)
Posted Friday, June 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars An imperfect pairing

In the absence at the time of "In the Court of the Crimson king", which had yet to be released on CD, I bought this album because it contains no less than four of the five tracks on that album. The only one missing is "Moonchild" , which to me was no great loss.

The excellence of these four tracks ("Schizoid man", "In the Court..", "Epitaph" and "I talk to the Wind",) made the purchase entirely worthwhile, which was just as well, as the remaining tracks which were included are considerably less inspired. A couple of tracks ("Red" and "Cat food") which were included on the double LP version were dropped through the desire to work within a single compact disc.

The other tracks are taken from three albums released in the early 1980's, which at the time of the release of this compilation, were King Crimson's latest albums. "Discipline" supplies the bulk of the tracks, five in total, while "Three of a perfect pair" and "Beat" supply a mere three between them. These (at the time) recent tracks sit uneasily with the four classics mentioned above, bearing little musical relationship with them. While the "ITCOTCK" tracks are classic prog rock, with tight playing, strong melodies, and classic prog structures, the remaining tracks lean much more towards jazz and/or fusion.

Fortunately, the compilers chose to locate the ITCOTCK tracks together, although a chronological track listing placing them at the start would have been preferable. In view of the fact that King Crimsons magnificent first album is now available in all it's glory on CD, this compilation is somewhat superfluous.

Report this review (#15415)
Posted Tuesday, October 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
1 stars More like "The Compact Short Term Memory King Crimson." I mean, who compiled this album, Lionel Richie? The only tracks that are really given some light are almost all the tracks from In The Court of the Crimson King paired beside tracks from the Adrian Belew era. The two eras sound nothing like and even have different production values. Can you imagine a compilation album that just has tracks from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars next to ones from Let's Dance?

I'm a huge King Crimson fan, but you'll never find this album in my collection (part of the reason I donned this album zero stars).

Report this review (#15417)
Posted Monday, March 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars I agree with pretty much all the reviews here. This disc came out when Fripp was just starting to authorize the official releases after holding them back for 3-4 years. So, his decision was "ok, let's start with our most popular early release and then go to our most popular "come-back" release!" Not even realizing he left out all the great in betweens in the seventies. Give me a break!
Report this review (#15420)
Posted Friday, April 8, 2005 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This compilation is a disaster. I have heard only the CD version of it, which didn't even have the two 70's tracks on it, so there's only their bit overrated 1st album on this one, along with the most accessible hits from their 80's albums. What was the biggest shock to me was the statement in the CD inlay card, which informed that the tracks were selected by Mr. Fripp himself! The covers are neat, but it's quite difficult for me to make up anything else positive about this product.
Report this review (#50427)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is a strange album, or better said a strange compilation, the songs here are maybe the most popular of them, and i said strange because it stars with songs of Discipline era and finishes wiht the songs of the first album, normally is viceversa and it have been a better choice, but well thats not the point.

I think this is not a good compilation, im not a huge fan of compilations and "The Best" albums, but there are so many good compillations, i dont wand to be hard with this, but i think its horrible, if you want a greatest hits , then you can make one compilllation per era, not combine all King Crimson´s eras and lineups to one album, and i really dont like that the first part was 80´s and last part almost the entire In the Court of the Crimson King, you better buy that album if you dont have it yet, and if you like 80´s era , maybe this compillation could be good for you, (Heartbeat is a horrible song), i just wanted to say that. After all: 2 stars... only for fans and collectors... i wont give it 1 star because of ITCOTKC´s songs are great and are here.

I have nothing more to say about it, so if you want, listen to it and then tell us your experience. Bad!

Report this review (#75871)
Posted Saturday, April 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
1 stars "It's a dangerous place, it's a dangerous place..."

This collection was comprised mainly of Crimson's 80s material. Not that I dislike their 80s work, but I don't think that their 80s albums showed what Crimson were about, their original sound that compelled so many, the creativity and experimental nature that they vibed with their first few releases. If one were to begin an interest in Crimson (such as I, when I borrowed this from a friend), and this was the first music of Crimso's they'd heard, they would most likely not continue their interest. Luckily, I discovered this site which enlightened me before I lost all interest in the band. It does have most of the original Crimson album, "In the Court...", which is a cornerstone and arguably the first 100% prog album ever produced, but it lacks the process of King Crimson's evolution musically to where the bulk of this compilation stands. It doesn't make for a very comprehensive, or a very diverse compilation.If you are a Crimson nut, but wouldn't like to buy all of Crimson's 80s albums, yet you want a taste of what that era was like (there must be few of you...), this compilation may interest you. If that is not your case (likely), then there is no reason for you to buy this pitiful collection.

Report this review (#89880)
Posted Sunday, September 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
2 stars Not a good compilation, but....

Originally this compilation was a two vinyl set. When they released it in CD, two tracks were missed. The CD includes four of the five tracks of King Crimson's first recording "In The Court of the Crimson King", and the rest of the tracks are from "Discipline", "Beat" and "Three of a Perfect Pair" . These recordings are from the eighties, and are very different from King Crimson's first eight records. Most of us think that "Red" was KC "last album", and don't like this "new" group of the eighties. That's the reason why is very difficult to understand why Robert Fripp made this "personal selection" (as the booklet says) that combines such different styles. Nevertheless, this compilation has one advantage: If you don't have "In The Court of the Crimson King", you want a copy but can't find it, this is a good substitute. Forget that "Moonchild" is missed, insert the CD in yor CD player, press "9" and listen to one of the greatest masterpieces of prog-rock.

Report this review (#105360)
Posted Wednesday, January 3, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars Their record company (or management, or both) strikes again !

After their first split, the first Crimson compilation saw the light and included already four songs of the legendary album "In The Court Of The Crimson King". Probably the mother of all progressive albums. While "Schizoid" was skipped from that compil, here it is "Moonchild" that has been deleted (which is not really important, I must say). We'll get as welll the full version of "Talk To The Wind" and not the emasculated (edited) version available on "The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson".

What I do not understand is why, this record skips all of their records to get to the last three ones and propose not less than five numbers from "Discipline".

Instead of a compilation, I would rather call this a shorten version of "ITCOTCK" and "Discipline". Both albums have nothing to do with each other and I wonder who could be interested in such a record. Well, maybe if you do not have their first album (but who on this site does not have it by now), it might be a way to get it for real cheap.

I have seen a used one available for 1,22 US $ (or less than one ?) + shipment (2,59) on a well-known Internet reseller (you know, the one which sounds like a tropical forest). At this price, you'll then be able to discover the second phase of their career, which is by no means the most interesting one.

The CD skips "Red" which was available on the original vinyl format. What a pity ! It is one of their best track ever.

Thanks to the brilliant numbers from their first album, I will rate this album with three stars.

Report this review (#119003)
Posted Thursday, April 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars I got this CD from a friend who was really disappointed with this compilation and I understood very well why. I have known him quite well in terms of musical taste and background which was deeply rooted in classic progressive rock style. On particular to King Crimson is that he is the kind that grew with Epitaph or I Talk To The Wind from King Crimson debut album. I know very well that people with such background are usually not interested with a music that is highly influenced by new wave like King Crimson since 1981 (Discipline album). You can imagine that when he spun this cd for the fist time and he found repeated chords and notes of the opening track "Discipline" (5:01), he would definitely throw out the CD.

The problem with this compilation is that: it's taking two extreme poles in unbalanced way, being more on later music of King Crimson (Psicipline onwards) while the remaining is just some tracks from the debut album. This is worsen by the liner note by Robert Fripp that this compilation is taken from In The Court of Crimson King, In The Wake of Poseidon, Red, Discipline, Beat, and Three of a Perfect Pair. In fact there is no such track from "In The Wake of Poseidon" and also nothing from "Red". It's a fatal mistake! There is a statement in the CD inlay that this is a "Personal Selection Compiled by Robert Fripp for EG Records" but how come Fripp made this fatal mistake???

Overall, this is a lousy compilation! Therefore, it MUST be AVOIDED! Keep on proggin' ..!!!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#185019)
Posted Wednesday, October 8, 2008 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars Why? Why would anyone create a King Crimson compilation like this? I do recall that at the time, I believe only Discipline had been released on CD, but still...

This collection has only songs from the simplistic (for King Crimson) 1980's band, and most of the songs from In The Court Of The Crimson King, minus Moonchild. The LP version also had Cat Food and Red, making it slightly better.

The eighties songs selections miss most of what I would consider the better songs from the albums. And if you want In The Court Of The Crimson King, buy In The Court Of The Crimson King.

The sound quality is very good. That's about all I can say about this one.

Report this review (#282808)
Posted Thursday, May 20, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Tracks 1-8: a superb compilation of their 81-84 albums (Discipline, Beat and Three of a Perfect Pair). The tracklist, although not chronological, flows well. Tracks 9-12: King Crimson's 1969 debut album is presented almost in its entirety, except for the improv "Moonchild". The Compact King Crimson is a pretty good compilation to introduce someone to two of the best formations of King Crimson. It isn't perfect because it doesn't contain a single track from their 1970-74 albums (by the way, I'm reviewing the CD version; the double-LP version contains "Cat Food" [70] and "Red" [74]). One must consider, however, that at the 80s Fripp still haven't come to terms with their 70s albums - and that it was released at a time when CDs couldn't have more than 74 minutes. Nevertheless, The Compact KC does very well what it sets out to do: to present the highlights of the 80s King Crimson - and of their first album.
Report this review (#2234303)
Posted Monday, July 1, 2019 | Review Permalink

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