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King Crimson - Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson CD (album) cover


King Crimson

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4 stars For the new listener of KC, this is the perfect start, this record includes the "greates hits" of the band from the most important records to 1993, perhaps is not a wise desition to keep this album as a whole, this will give a very serious hint to the serious listener. A good record that plays with memories and fights back the similar record (the compact king crimson of '86) with better audio and better lines, as master Robert Fripp says in the booklet, "it is just a fresh introduction"
Report this review (#15434)
Posted Thursday, June 24, 2004 | Review Permalink
Eetu Pellonpaa
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I'm not very pleased with this compilation. Their 1974 masterpiece "Starless" is raped to a blasphemous torso, and the attempt to crunch KING CRIMSON's essential material (up to the year 1984) is doomed. If this CD has introduced anybody to the music of this great band, then there's some value in it, but I think "Young Persons guide" double LP and "Frame by Frame" 4CD box succeed in this task much better.
Report this review (#50434)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Take some of the best songs of King Crimson and make a compilation: you get "The Concise King Crimson". Nothing much to say here... I just regret the abridged versions of "Cat Food" and "Starless". A great album for any person not familiar with King Crimson or for someone that doesn't have all albums.

Rating: 89/100

Report this review (#70553)
Posted Sunday, February 26, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Time to listen to another compilation!

I have taken the easy way to make a review, its easier to review a compilation or "Best of" than an a complex studio album.

King Crimson being a monster of Progressive Rock, is neccessary to be tasted by every prog fan, if you like it or not, thats the less important, but you have at least to listen to them to haveyour persola criteria about the band, i think for deep prog fans like the most of the people in this site, is not important to own a compilation, at least its not that usual that i put my Bests Of in my CD player very often, sometimes is good because maybe you have the mood of listen to those classic songs (usually called hits) , but its obvious that we prefer much more the studio albums.

The fact is, that the opposite happens when you are a newbie, i mean, i have had the experience of people that are interested in new bands, the first thing that they do before buying the album , is download some songs, usually the most well known songs, and then they decide if dig the band or saty away, so my thoughts here is that a compilation or best of could be recommendable for people who is not familiar with the band or the songs, they probably dont know the names of the most beautiful albums, so the easy way is buying a compilation which supposes to contain the most representative songs (not always the best songs.

King Crimson had released some compilation albums, Sleepless is one of them, and maybe the one that i prefer.

A newcomer of King Crimson maybe wont know that they have had several line up changes, and musical changes, in this album i think the track selection is suitable for newbies and also for Crimson lovers (as i said above, a Crimson lover wont play a compilation that often, but sometimes its ood to have a nice time).

The order of the tracks is chronologically , which is a good point, because you will appreciate the different eras one by one, and not suddenly like in "The Compact King Crimson" which track list is not that different from this one, but the order makes it terrible to listen to. Also we wont find the original songs, some of them have been edited to give pass to other ones, its only like a proof of what King Crimson music is about.

I like it, for me its a nice compilation, and every lover should own it, my grade is 3 stars!

Report this review (#86677)
Posted Friday, August 11, 2006 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Having just released Frame by Frame compilation two years before, this compilation was actually released not at the right timing even though the songs featured were quite representative for the band. This might be considered as budget boxset for those who missed Frame by Frame. Newbie would see the change of music direction starting from track 9 Elephant Talk onwards. In terms of music style, this compilation starts from high drive 21st century schizoid man (7:20) with its heavy guitar riffs, dynamic combined work of bass guitar, drum, guitar and mellotron to Epitaph (8:45) with its dark mellow nuance. In the court of the Crimson King (7:19) continues the style of Epitaph and it provides a complete picture to newbie on how King Crimson sounded at the beginning of their career. Cat food (edit) (2:45) would provide another style of Crimson sound followed with Ladies of the road (5:30) in similar vein. Starless (abridged) (4:36) is a great introduction to another bluesy dark prog style of the band. The listeners will get surprised with the entry of Elephant talk (4:41) which sounds very differently with previous eight tracks. The only missing track that should be included here is The Sheltering Sky from Discipline album.

It's a good compilation, but I recommend Frame By Frame because it's much more comprehensive to give the picture of King Crimson music.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#185110)
Posted Thursday, October 9, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars Yes, yes......... I have their studio albums and King Crimson is not a new band to me.

But this album is a good introduction and a very nice appetizer for those who want to have a nibble at King Crimson. This album is guaranteed to give the band new fans. Well, unless the listener prefer easy listening pop music, that is. This is perhaps why this compilation album should be given away free with a magazine or made into a free download. It will guaranteed lead to the purchase of some more albums.......... full price albums, that is.

Yes, this compilation album is just a nibble and not a full meal. Only the studio albums gives you the full King Crimson experience; potatoes, vegetables, gravy and steak included. But my curiosity and my desire to listen to their full discography has been awaken and I am looking in my boxes to see if I can find the studio albums. I am still living out of boxes, even many years after moving to this flat. I will find the studio albums and I will play and hopefully; enjoy them. This due to finding this compilation album in a second hand shop for a couple of quid.

In short; this is an excellent introduction to King Crimson. It is a nibble of everything King Crimson has done. If you like this album; you can safely purchase the studio and live albums. That alone, and the superb quality of the stuff here is why I give it four stars. After all; King Crimson has made some truly wonderful music and some of it is included here. In my search for obscure albums to review for PA, I have ignored King Crimson. Not any longer. I want more steak, gravy and potatoes.

4 stars

Report this review (#278924)
Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010 | Review Permalink
2 stars Review N 389

"Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson" is a compilation of King Crimson and was released in 1993. It's a compilation album that comprises tracks from seven studio albums of King Crimson, "In The Court Of The Crimson King", "In The Wake Of Poseidon", "Islands", "Red", "Discipline", "Beat" and "Three Of A Perfect Pair". Despite it covers almost all their albums at the time, it miss to it tracks from "Lizard", "Larks' Tongues In Aspic" and "Starless And Bible Black".

"Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson" has fourteen tracks. The first track "21st Century Schizoid Man" including "Mirrors" is from "In The Court Of The Crimson King". It's a heavy song very close to the hard rock style. It has a great improvisation with some jazz influences. It's notable the distorted vocals by Lake. It became very influential to the future of the progressive metal style. The second track "Epitaph" including "March For No Reason" and "Tomorrow And Tomorrow" is from "In The Court Of The Crimson King". It's a notable and beautiful track, which would become one of the best and most beautiful symbols of the progressive rock music. It's one of my favourite progressive rock songs too. The third track "In The Court Of The Crimson King" including "The Return Of The Fire Witch" and "The Dance Of The Puppets" is from "In The Court Of The Crimson King". This track is with "Epitaph" one of the best and most beautiful symbols of the progressive rock music. It represents a hymn to the symphonic progressive rock music. The fourth track "Cat Food" is from "In The Wake Of Poseidon". It's composed as something between jazz and rock, making an interesting fusion. It's very strange but very curious too. It also features a neat vocal work from Lake and has also some tasty guitar work by Fripp. This is an edited version. The fifth track "Ladies Of The Road" is from "Islands". It's a theme with a lyrical tone and is a song playfully sexist. The vocal choir reminds me The Beatles. This is probably the nearest thing on that album capable to be a proverbial hit single. The sixth track "Starless" is from "Red". It's the lengthiest track on that album and it's a real masterpiece, one of my favourite King Crimson's songs. It's a great dark song with Wetton's melancholic voice. This is a classic song from them. This is an abridged version. The seventh track "Red" is from "Red". It's an instrumental track, very powerful and heavy. It features heavy guitars, an incredible bass line and a unique drumming style. It shows the band's ability to feature multiple time signatures in only one song. It sounds very futuristic, even now. The eighth track "Fallen Angel" is from "Red". It's a very beautiful ballad with great vocal performance by Wetton. It has beautiful musical arrangements that include reverse delays and Mellotron lines, which give to it a unique flavour. The ninth track "Elephant Talk" is from "Discipline". The four players twisted and turn their way through an unbelievably complicated and yet somehow almost danceable. Fripp and Belew guitar works are excellent, making a very powerful force, showing a great chemistry between both musicians. The tenth track "Frame By Frame" is from "Discipline". It represents another great musical moment. It's a more subtle work with amazing band instrumental passages and some tasteful guitar duets. Fripp's own performance of extremely fast and repetitious guitar work is simply amazing, and Bruford's drumming work which ranks among the best of his career. The eleventh track "Matte Kudasai" is from "Discipline". It's a very beautiful and nostalgic song. The instrumental backing contains itself a great mood to the song. This track also features the best vocals on that album and proves that Belew is a fine singer. The twefth track "Heartbeat" is from "Beat". It has beautiful guitar tones, a good bass line and nice lyrics and vocals. This is undeniably a cheesy and pop song, but this is still a great song. Probably, you may actually have heard it on the radio from time to time, which is a real rarity with King Crimson. The thirteenth track "Three Of A Perfect Pair" is from "Three Of A Perfect Pair". It has tight harmony vocals from Belew that soar over top of some intricate guitar work from Fripp and a great drum work of Bruford. This is a very solid track. The fourteenth track "Sleepless" is from "Three Of A perfect Pair". It begins with a fast bass line that is soon joined by Bruford's bass drum beat and Fripp's altered guitar sound. It sounds very nice. However, this is probably my least favourite song on that album. This is a remixed version.

Compilation: I'm not very pleased with this compilation album despite it have some really great tracks. For instance, their masterpiece "Starless", which is, in my humble opinion", one of the best prog tracks ever made is shorted to a blasphemous and incomprehensible small extract. Of course we can't forget that it has "21st Century Schizoid Man", "Epitaph", "In The Court If The Crimson King" and "Elephant Talk", for instance, which are some of the best things ever made by King Crimson. Still, I can't accept that masterpieces can be amputated to can be part of any compilation album. By the other hand, would seem to be natural that it should have tracks from the other three albums. But, King Crimson never was a band of singles and compilations. Anyway, I think "The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson" and "The Essential King Crimson: Frame By Frame" are better options. It's a compilation for collectors and fans only.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Report this review (#2477835)
Posted Friday, November 20, 2020 | Review Permalink

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