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King Crimson

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King Crimson Hyde Park, London, 1969  album cover
3.70 | 37 ratings | 5 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2002

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. 21st Century Schizoid Man
2. In the Court of the Crimson King
3. Get Thy Bearings
4. Epitaph
5. Mantra
6. Travel Weary Capricorn
7. Mars
- Bonus tracks:
8. Band reunion meeting (Epitaph Playback, London March 15, 1997)
9. 21st Century Schizoid Man: instrumental version (Morgan Studios June 12, 1969)

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Ian McDonald / flute, saxophone, Mellotron, vocals
- Greg Lake / bass, lead vocals
- Michael Giles / drums, percussion, vocals
- Peter Sinfield / words & illumination

Releases information

From the legendary free concert headlined by the Rolling Stones, in Hyde Park, London, 1969

Thanks to gboland for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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KING CRIMSON Hyde Park, London, 1969 ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(41%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

KING CRIMSON Hyde Park, London, 1969 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Since the Epitaph collection has been released, there is actually very little here that has not been heard before in other performances, save for some short improvised bits. All of the songs have been released (from other performances). That does not matter a whole lot, given the rarity of live performance recordings from this lineup.

Really, the only revelation here is a very quick rendition of a famous ragtime tune (I recognized the melody, but don't know the name) at the end of Travel Weary Capricorn.

The sound quality is just fair. And I'm not one of those who thinks the best of this lineup are the live recordings. I prefer the control of the studio renditions. perhaps you had to be there.

The interview is amusing, but not necessary, as is the instrumental 21st Century Schizoid Man

Review by Guillermo
4 stars KING CRIMSON was acting in that Hyde Park concert (5-July-69) as one of the opening bands for the ROLLING STONES, which were playing their first concert with their new guitarist Mick Taylor, who replaced the recently late Brian Jones (who left the band, or was fired, in June 1969). Jones died in 3-July-69, so unexpectedly, this Hyde Park concert finally was done as a tribute to him. In the late seventies I watched on TV to the ROLLING STONES`s part of the concert because it was broadcasted once on a TV channel in my city, and their performance was not very good, due more to the guitars being somewhat out of tune. Anyway, that concert was played before an audience of a half a million people, and it was a very good opportunity for KING CRIMSON particularly because then they had a reputation of being a very good band despite still not having recorded their first album ("In the Court of the Crimson King"), which was going to be recorded in late July and in August of 1969, and to be released in October 1969.

KING CRIMSON`s concert was a brief part in that day, lasting about 40 minutes. Anyway, the band played with a lot of energy, showing why they deserved that very good reputation. The recording is not very good, but it sounds somewhat "balanced". All the members of the band played very well, with the occasional out of tune vocals or with some mistakes done by them. But I can listen to Michael Giles`s very impressive drums playing, and to Ian McDonald`s talent playing flute, sax and mellotron, plus the sometimes very heavy bass guitar playing from Greg Lake and from Robert Fripp`s guitar playing. As a whole the band sounds very heavy and playing with a lot of energy. This line-up of the band really had very talented musicians, and it really is a shame that they only played together for one year (1969).

The band played three songs which they were going to record for their first album ("21st Century Schizoid Man", "In The Court Of The Crimson King", and a brief version of "Epitaph").. There is a lot of improvisation and interplay between the musicians. This can be listened in all the songs, but more particularly in "Get Thy Bearings " ( a song composed by Donovan), "Mantra", "Travel Weary Capricorn ", and "Mars" (this last one is a brief fragment from Gustav Holst`s "The Planets" suite). The audience sounds like they really enjoyed a lot their songs and playing. Maybe the set list was shortened to give the chance to the other bands to play.

A very interesting historical document which shows the importance of this band in the development of Prog Rock music. A very influential band, and the original line-up was maybe the best they had. One really wishes that their performances in concert could have been recorded better. And also one really wishes that one day the original line-up could do a reunion concert , or even to record a new album together...

In youtube recently I saw a brief video (of approximately one and a half minutes in lenght) of the band playing "21st Century Schizoid Man" in this Hyde Park concert. I don`t know if their part of the concert was also filmed in its entirety. It could be interesting to see their whole concert in video.

Review by Warthur
4 stars The Rolling Stones were playing Hyde Park in July 1969 and wanted to get a good set of support bands together and make a proper mini-festival out of it; word of mouth had reached them that this King Crimson lot who hadn't even put out an album yet were pretty good, and so Robert Fripp, Greg Lake, Ian McDonald, and Michael Giles stepped onto the stage and into the limelight - and that momentous event in the band's history is captured here.

The sound quality is, on an objective basis, only fair - but for a tape of a live band on a makeshift stage in an outdoor festival from 1969, it's pretty good, and provides more or less the earliest glimpse we have of their primal stages. Though much material will be familiar from the debut album (and the Mars section of In the Wake of Poseidon rounds out the show), other material here shows a somewhat more overtly psychedelic side to the band which was already fading away; that said, the concluding blast of Mars and the opening thunder of 21st Century Schizoid Man reveal that a band of rare power was already out here.

This was recently reissued on the Complete 1969 Recordings boxed set with about as much audio tidying-up as can viably be expected; if sound quality is a factor and you have deep pockets, and you are extremely interested in this period of the band, I'd recommend that set. The lone CD, if you can get it at a good price, may be more the speed for folk who don't need multiple live releases from the 1969 lineup of the band, but do want to have a listen to how they sounded before In the Court of the Crimson King came out and are interested in this specific performance due to the Stones connection.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Mick Jaggers introduction of King Crimson on this gig was prophetic, you have to say...... This was the free gig Rolling Stones did in Hyde Park. It was first meant as just a free gig. But the death of Brian Jones some days beforehand gave the whole gig a new meaning. Mick Jagger unleashed some ... (read more)

Report this review (#585676) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Saturday, December 10, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars On this disc we can hear the famous Hyde Park concert, where King Crimson played in front of some 500,000 people as opening act for the Rolling Stones. It all happened on July 5, 1969. They played very well. The concert opens with two tracks from their debut album, which at the time of this co ... (read more)

Report this review (#114700) | Posted by Agemo | Friday, March 9, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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