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KING CRIMSON

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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King Crimson biography
" When you want to hear where music is going in the future, you put on a King Crimson album."
- Bill Bruford, 1995

For all its break-ups, periods of non-existence and fluctuating methodology, King Crimson remains one of the interminably compelling bands playing within the domain of rock music to this day. Widely acknowledged as being the harbingers of the art-rock genre with their monumental 1969 album "In The Court Of The Crimson King", they paved the way for innovative art-rock/progressive rock bands such as Yes, ELP etc etc. in the early '70s as well as providing a stimulus for more recent neo-progressive bands like Tool and The Mars Volta through their post-progressive work in the early '80s and '90s. More of a frame of mind than a style, the music of King Crimson has constantly sought out sustenance through amalgamations of existing forms of music, veering away from any contemporary mould, nullifying any notions that it is necessary to adhere to proven formulas in order to create commercially feasible music.

From its formative years in Bournemouth, England in the late '60s, King Crimson's unwavering guiding light has constantly emanated from the abstruse intellect of guitarist Robert Fripp (b. May 16, 1946). Although he maintains that he is not the band's leader per se, he attributes the band's enduring viability to the collective brilliance of its individual members even though it seems to disband and reform at the wave of his magic wand. Fripp began playing guitar at the age of eleven with 'Trad. Jazz' perfomer Acker Bilk providing him with early inspiration. By the age of 18, he was playing with a hotel band in his hometown of Bournemouth performing at bar-mitzvahs and weddings while developing his distinctive guitar style which incorporated many classical techniques. While other early influences included such diverse sources as Bartok, Debussy and Django Reinhardt, he was particularly drawn to the 1967 Beatles song "A Day In The Life" which, he claimed, affected him in similar ways as classical composers and it was around this time his designs for King Crimson began to take form. In early '67, after playing with other local pop outfits, he joined two brothers, Michael and Peter Giles on drums and bass/vocals respectively. By October 1967, having changed their name to Giles, Giles & Fripp, they found themselves in London where they recor...
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In the Court of the Crimson KingIn the Court of the Crimson King
Remastered
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$8.20
$6.94 (used)
Red 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredRed 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$8.68
$7.98 (used)
DisciplineDiscipline
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$8.20
$12.91 (used)
Larks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredLarks Tongues in Aspic - 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$8.20
$9.79 (used)
Three of a Perfect PairThree of a Perfect Pair
Extra tracks
Discipline Us 2006
Audio CD$8.20
$9.93 (used)
USA (40th Anniversary Edition) CD + DVDUSA (40th Anniversary Edition) CD + DVD
Discipline Us 2013
Audio CD$15.34
$24.07 (used)
Lizard: 30th Anniversary EditionLizard: 30th Anniversary Edition
Discipline Us 2004
Audio CD$8.20
$8.20 (used)
Starless and Bible Black - 30th Anniversary Edition RemasteredStarless and Bible Black - 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered
Remastered
Discipline Us 2006
Audio CD$7.92
$5.98 (used)
ThrakThrak
Discipline Us 2006
Audio CD$8.20
$6.99 (used)
BeatBeat
Remastered
Discipline Us 2006
Audio CD$8.22
$6.99 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
ASIA S/T 1st issue 1982 Japan LP w/ OBI & Insert NM! King Crimson, Yes US $19.95 [0 bids]
34m 4s
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FRIPP & ENO No Pussyfooting 1986 Editions EG issue NM to M King Crimson Roxy US $19.95 [0 bids]
55m 56s
KING CRIMSON In The Wake Of Poseidon 1976 Japan LP w/ OBI & Insert NM! US $49.95 [0 bids]
57m 35s
King Crimson: In the Wake of Poseidon LP (1970) Gatefold SD 8266 US $12.95 [0 bids]
1h
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KING CRIMSON IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON EXCEPTIONAL ORIGINAL 1970 ATLANTIC LP US $9.76 [0 bids]
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KING CRIMSON-DISCIPLINE 40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION-JAPAN DVD A HQCD G88 US $34.99 Buy It Now 2h 9m
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KING CRIMSON ~ RED ~ UK ISLAND 5-TRACK STEREO LP 1974 ~ PINK RIM 3U/5U 1ST PRESS US $383.45 Buy It Now 2h 29m
KING CRIMSON Larks' Tongues In Aspic '73 LP GREAT prog.rock ORIGINAL US press US $19.99 Buy It Now 2h 39m
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1975 King Crimson ?- USA LP Atlantic ?SD 18136 EX/GD+ Psychedelic Rock Prog US $15.25 Buy It Now 7h 49m
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KING CRIMSON USA CD + DVD Audio 40th Anniversary Edition 2013 NEW US $27.18 Buy It Now 7h 56m
King Crimson - Live At The Pier, New York, August 2nd 1982 (NEW CD) US $15.75 Buy It Now 8h 28m
King Crimson - Live In Philadelphia, Pa, August 26th 1996 (NEW 2 x CD) US $20.01 Buy It Now 8h 29m
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KING CRIMSON Red CD Mini LP US $17.99 Buy It Now 8h 31m
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King CD US $26.19 Buy It Now 8h 37m
King Crimson In The Court Of The Crimson King LIKE NEW 30th Anniv Edn Rmstrd CD US $13.69 Buy It Now 9h 18m
King Crimson Red LIKE NEW 30th Anniversary Edition Remastered HDCD CD 2000 US $15.58 Buy It Now 9h 28m
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CD: Crimson Jazz Trio: Vol. 2-King Crimson Songb - Crimson Jazz Trio - Sealed US $25.78 Buy It Now 9h 56m
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KING CRIMSON Larks Tongues In Aspic 200G Vinyl LP NEW+ SEALED US $32.29 Buy It Now 10h 30m
CD In The Court Of The Crimson King: 30th Anniversary Edition King Crimson Origi US $10.00 Buy It Now 11h 8m
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KING CRIMSON RED LP HALF SPEED MASTER COLLECTORS' EDITION NEW SEALED US $119.00 Buy It Now 11h 34m
In the Court of the Crimson King by King Crimson (CD, Sep-1999, Editions E.G.... US $8.50 [2 bids]
11h 44m
Larks' Tongues in Aspic [Remaster] by King Crimson (CD, Oct-1989, Editions... US $7.99 [0 bids]
11h 46m
Starless and Bible Black [Remaster] by King Crimson (CD, Oct-1989, Editions... US $7.99 [0 bids]
11h 48m
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12h 53m
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King Crimson Beat JAPAN MINI LP CD SEALED US $14.99 [1 bids]
12h 59m
King Crimson Thrak 30th Anniversary Edition JAPAN MINI LP CD SEALED US $14.99 [1 bids]
13h
King Crimson-Promo 12" Heartbeat/Sartori/Neal and Jack Promo Only Cover NM US $13.98 [0 bids]
13h 2m
King Crimson-Lizard UK Import LP Near Mint Glossy Cover US $24.98 [0 bids]
13h 2m
King Crimson-In The Court MFSL Audiophile 1/2 Speed Near Mint w/insert US $149.98 [0 bids]
13h 6m
KING CRIMSON "STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK" JAPANESE MINI LP. NEW! IECP-10009 US $22.99 Buy It Now 13h 13m
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King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic (CD New) US $16.84 Buy It Now 13h 33m
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13h 50m
King Crimson · Level Five JAPAN MINI LP CD NEW SEALED US $7.99 [1 bids]
13h 59m
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14h 10m
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14h 13m
KING CRIMSON In The Wake Of Poseidon JAPAN MINI LP CD NEW SEALED US $11.49 [3 bids]
14h 13m
King Crimson Red EGCD 15 mastered by Robert Fripp himself 1989 USA US $4.90 [0 bids]
14h 14m
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14h 16m
King Crimson Islands JAPAN MINI LP CD NEW SEALED US $19.99 [1 bids]
14h 16m
KING CRIMSON-LOT OF 3; COURT OF; LARK'S TONGUE; STARLESS & BIBLE BLACK US $24.99 [1 bids]
15h 18m
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King Crimson - Starless & Bible Black - Island Label - Stunning Condition! US $25.55 [0 bids]
15h 39m
KING CRIMSON, TRAFFIC, etc... Nice Enough To Eat, 1971 UK LP......NICE DISC US $3.39 [0 bids]
16h 12m
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THE BEARS debut 1st s/t PROMO LP MINT adrian belew tour bio booklet king crimson US $19.99 [0 bids]
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King Crimson - Red US $25.00 [0 bids]
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16h 15m

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KING CRIMSON shows & tickets


  • King Crimson at The Egg, Albany on 9 Sep 2014
  • King Crimson at The Egg, Albany on 10 Sep 2014
  • King Crimson at Kimmel Center, Philadelphia on 12 Sep 2014
  • King Crimson at Citi Performing Arts Center Emerson Colonial Theatre, Boston MA on 15 Sep 2014
  • King Crimson at Citi Performing Arts Center Emerson Colonial Theatre, Boston MA on 16 Sep 2014
  • King Crimson at Best Buy Theater, New York on 18 Sep 2014
  • King Crimson at Best Buy Theater, New York on 19 Sep 2014
  • King Crimson at Best Buy Theater, New York on 20 Sep 2014
  • King Crimson at Best Buy Theater, New York on 21 Sep 2014
  • King Crimson at Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles on 30 Sep 2014
  • King Crimson at Orpheum Theatre, Los Angeles on 1 Oct 2014
  • An Evening with King Crimson on 3 Oct 2014
  • An Evening with King Crimson on 4 Oct 2014
  • King Crimson at Moore Theatre, Seattle on 6 Oct 2014

KING CRIMSON discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

KING CRIMSON top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.59 | 2880 ratings
In The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.79 | 1397 ratings
In The Wake Of Poseidon
1970
4.09 | 1412 ratings
Lizard
1970
3.78 | 1221 ratings
Islands
1971
4.39 | 1848 ratings
Larks' Tongues In Aspic
1973
3.88 | 1176 ratings
Starless And Bible Black
1974
4.52 | 2206 ratings
Red
1974
4.10 | 1270 ratings
Discipline
1981
2.97 | 763 ratings
Beat
1982
3.23 | 756 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
3.62 | 717 ratings
THRAK
1995
3.17 | 162 ratings
Space Groove (ProjeKct Two)
1998
3.09 | 531 ratings
The ConstruKction of Light
2000
3.47 | 140 ratings
Heaven and Earth (ProjeKct X)
2000
3.97 | 821 ratings
The Power To Believe
2003
3.62 | 365 ratings
A Scarcity of Miracles (a King Crimson Projekct by Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins)
2011

KING CRIMSON Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.45 | 287 ratings
Earthbound
1972
4.01 | 335 ratings
USA
1975
2.79 | 21 ratings
Strange Tales of the Sailors
1991
4.50 | 261 ratings
The Great Deceiver: Live 1973 - 1974
1992
3.68 | 125 ratings
B'Boom. Official bootleg - Live in Argentina
1995
2.58 | 151 ratings
THRaKaTTaK
1996
3.76 | 128 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes One & Two
1997
4.36 | 207 ratings
The Night Watch
1997
3.66 | 94 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes Three & Four
1997
4.43 | 216 ratings
Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984
1998
3.53 | 85 ratings
Heavy ConstruKction
2000
3.94 | 89 ratings
VROOOM VROOOM
2001
3.53 | 75 ratings
Level Five
2001
4.04 | 110 ratings
Ladies of the Road
2002
3.57 | 60 ratings
EleKtriK
2003
4.55 | 62 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 1. Live in Mainz, 1974 - Live in Asbury Park, 1974
2006
2.85 | 31 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson Vol.2
2007
3.74 | 35 ratings
The collectable King Crimson volume three
2008
3.37 | 24 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson, Volume 4
2009
3.62 | 29 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson: Vol. 5: Live In Japan, 1995
2010
4.50 | 6 ratings
Live In Japan (The Crimson Projekct)
2014

KING CRIMSON Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.76 | 27 ratings
The Noise: Frejus
1984
4.42 | 117 ratings
Deja VROOM (DVD)
1999
3.66 | 101 ratings
Eyes Wide Open
2003
3.83 | 64 ratings
Neal and Jack and Me
2004
3.97 | 14 ratings
Inside King Crimson 1972-1975 An Independent Critical Review With David Cross
2005
3.02 | 37 ratings
Live In Japan 1995
2007
4.13 | 27 ratings
Live In Argentina 1994
2012

KING CRIMSON Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 75 ratings
The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson
1976
2.06 | 49 ratings
The Compact King Crimson
1986
3.62 | 41 ratings
The Essential King Crimson: Frame by Frame
1991
3.16 | 33 ratings
Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson
1993
2.89 | 18 ratings
Schizoid Man
1996
3.26 | 32 ratings
Deception of the Thrush: A Beginners Guide to ProjeKcts
1999
3.75 | 69 ratings
Cirkus - The Young Persons' Guide To King Crimson Live
1999
3.53 | 61 ratings
The ProjeKcts
1999
4.45 | 45 ratings
21st Century Guide: Volume One (1969-1974)
2004
3.47 | 30 ratings
The 21st Century Guide To King Crimson Volume Two: 1981-2003 (4CD Box Set)
2005
3.82 | 23 ratings
The Condensed 21st Century Guide 1969 - 2003
2006
3.17 | 12 ratings
King Crimson - 40th Anniversary Tour Box
2008
4.64 | 66 ratings
In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD)
2009
3.28 | 10 ratings
Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings)
2012
3.93 | 19 ratings
The Road to Red
2013

KING CRIMSON Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.32 | 45 ratings
The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
4.12 | 34 ratings
Cat Food
1970
3.68 | 19 ratings
The Night Watch
1974
3.54 | 32 ratings
Epitaph
1976
3.64 | 14 ratings
Discipline 12'' Sampler
1981
2.92 | 16 ratings
Matte Kudasai
1981
3.00 | 4 ratings
Thela Hun Ginjeet
1981
3.03 | 20 ratings
Heartbeat
1982
3.03 | 16 ratings
Sleepless
1984
2.00 | 14 ratings
The Abbreviated King Crimson: Heartbeat
1991
3.59 | 102 ratings
Vrooom
1994
3.63 | 16 ratings
Dinosaur
1995
2.95 | 19 ratings
Live at Jacksonville 1972
1998
3.17 | 16 ratings
Live at The Marquee 1969
1998
3.13 | 5 ratings
King Crimson - A Beginners' Guide To The King Crimson Collectors' Club
1999
3.77 | 20 ratings
The Beat Club, Bremen, 1972
1999
3.28 | 11 ratings
Live in San Francisco - The Roar of P4 (ProjeKct Four)
1999
4.54 | 16 ratings
On Broadway - Live in NYC 1995
1999
4.24 | 18 ratings
Live at Cap D'Agde 1982
1999
3.72 | 19 ratings
Live in Central Park, NYC, 1974
2000
2.57 | 14 ratings
Nashville Rehearsals, 1997
2000
2.47 | 12 ratings
Live at Moles Club, Bath, 1981
2000
4.14 | 25 ratings
Live at Summit Studios 1972
2000
3.16 | 20 ratings
The VROOOM Sessions 1994
2000
3.75 | 15 ratings
Live in Detroit, MI
2001
3.70 | 22 ratings
Live At Plymouth, May 1971
2001
3.97 | 23 ratings
Live in Mainz, Gemany 1974
2001
3.13 | 10 ratings
Live in Northampton, MA (ProjeKct Two)
2001
4.07 | 5 ratings
The Guide to Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Parts 1-4)
2001
3.18 | 17 ratings
Live at The Zoom Club
2002
3.38 | 67 ratings
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
2002
3.18 | 12 ratings
The Champaign-Urbana Sessions, 1983
2002
3.44 | 18 ratings
Hyde Park, London, 1969
2002
3.91 | 11 ratings
Live in Nashville, TN, 2001
2002
3.48 | 16 ratings
Live in Berkeley, CA 1982
2002
3.21 | 14 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct One - Jazz Cafe Suite, December 1 - 4, 1997
2003
3.71 | 17 ratings
Live in Guildford, 1972
2003
3.40 | 11 ratings
Live in Orlando, FL, 1972
2003
2.68 | 13 ratings
The Power To Believe Tour Box
2003
2.91 | 13 ratings
Live at Fillmore East, November 21 & 22, 1969
2003
3.95 | 11 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct Three Live in Austin, TX , March 25, 1999
2004
3.94 | 13 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA , July 30, 1982
2004
2.60 | 11 ratings
Live in Brighton, October 16, 1971
2005
3.94 | 16 ratings
Live in Heidelberg, 1974
2005
3.63 | 14 ratings
Live in Warsaw, June 11, 2000
2005
3.83 | 12 ratings
Live at the Wiltern 1st July 1995
2006
3.90 | 10 ratings
Live in Munich
2006
3.08 | 3 ratings
ProjeKct Six - East Coast Live
2006
4.00 | 5 ratings
Projekct Two - CC- Live in Chicago, IL
2006
4.00 | 4 ratings
Projekct Three - CC - Live in Alexandria, VA, March 3, 2003
2007
3.70 | 10 ratings
Live in Denver, CO, March 13, 1972
2007
3.70 | 10 ratings
Live in Kassel, April 1, 1974
2008
4.20 | 5 ratings
Live at the Pier, NYC - August 2 , 1982
2008
4.00 | 6 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA, August 26, 1996
2008
3.89 | 9 ratings
Park West, Chicago, Illinois (August 7, 2008)
2008
3.56 | 9 ratings
Live in Boston, MA, March 27, 1972
2009
4.17 | 12 ratings
Live Zurich, Nov. 15, 1973
2009
3.89 | 9 ratings
Live In Milan June 20, 2003
2009
3.57 | 7 ratings
Live in Toronto, June 24, 1974
2011

KING CRIMSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Islands by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.78 | 1221 ratings

BUY
Islands
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by KingCrInuYasha

4 stars Another year, another line-up, another album, another style for Robert Fripp and King Crimson to tinker with.

After the Lizard lineup fizzled with the departure of Gordon Haskell and Andy McCulloch, Boz Burrell and Ian Wallace were brought in to fill in on bass/vocals and drums respectively. Burrell and Wallace aren't terrible by any means, but they're underused for the most part. Wallace's drumming is kind of standard (though from I've heard, his drumming on the band's live performances have a bit more punch), though I don't think an aggressive style would have fit on most of these tracks. The same can be said with Burrell's bass playing - as for his singing, he's a step up above Haskell and could easily pull off the old and new material when the band finally went back on the road.

For this album, Fripp decides to dial back on the weirdness the permeated Lizard and go for a calmer, lounge jazz type of sound, with Keith Tippet and his crew returning to contribute to the opening and closing tracks of the album. Not surprisingly, this type of direction would rub the wrong way with some listeners and critics, not to mention the band members themselves. Like Lizard, it's not an album that's praised among the critics I like to visit, but given my fondness for the album, it leaves me scratching my head on how this is considered another dud. Oh well.

The opening "Formentera Lady" effectively sets the mood for the album. I like the intro to this one, it sounds like something from the original Star Trek (1) and the song portion is quite good, with Tippet and Fripp delivering some tasty piano and acoustic guitar lines. For the second half, Fripp appears to have taken some inspiration from his production of Centipede's Septober Energy, incorporating bells, violins, random acoustic guitar, saxophone and vocalizations. Some say it drags, but I've heard worse in that department (including the aforementioned Septober Energy); at least the above elements keep things interesting. Sinfield's lyrics about a stroll on the island of Formentera are decent and Burrell singing is pretty nice.

After the final wails and chimes, the song then segues into the more energetic "Sailor's Tale". It's not as aggressive as most other Crim rockers, but at least the band successfully builds an aura of tension around it, particularly Mel Collins' saxophone freak out in the start and Fripp's guitar in the middle, where it punctuates the eerily quiet portion of the piece, like a bolt of lightning briefly turning night into day. The ending has the band abruptly returning to the main theme from the start and the band builds and builds, with Wallace's drumming becoming slightly more agitated, the humming of a synth (mellotron? VCS3? I'm not too sure) rapidly growing louder, like an oncoming storm threatening to overtake a ship (probably why the song is called "Sailor's Tale"). Just as the cacophony is about to overtake the listener, it stops and Fripp's guitar sends the whole thing into a free fall, ending with a distant, haunting synth rumble.

"The Letters" was based on the Court-era song "Drop In", and has the band going into some of neat beatnik jazz, going from quiet guitar into stomping blues as the piece progresses. The music is good, but I can't say the same for the lyrics, sounding like something you would read in a third rate romance novel. I wish Fripp had kept his original "Drop In" lyrics for this one, which would have fit the music much better.

The slightly misogynistic groupie tribute "Ladies Of The Road" opens the second side. (2) Burrell's voice is at his most aggressive and Collins and Fripp deliver some delightfully raunchy solos. Blues was never King Crimson's specialty, but when they dove into the genre, they've shown to be quite capable and this song is no exception. They even manage to throw in a little twist with the slightly carnival-esque bridge that sounds a bit like Queen.

In yet another curve ball, the next song, "Prelude: Song Of The Gulls", doesn't feature the main band at all, but a string quartet and Robert Miller on oboe during a classical rearrangement of the second part of Fripp's Giles, Giles & Fripp era composition "Suite No. 1". It's kind of weird that the rest of the main band didn't participate, but with Fripp, stuff like this is to be expected. At least he manages to successfully give the tune a new arrangement and fully flesh out the piece. The results are quite beautiful.

The somber mood continues on with the title track. I agree with John McFerrin's (aka Tarkus1980) view that this is an excellent pre-bedtime ballad, but my impression of "Islands" is somewhat darker and more depressing; whenever I listen to this one, I sometimes look at the album cover full of stars and feel how isolated we are and, given the vast distances, man will never travel to those little islands of light, at least nowhere near our lifetimes (not to mention the whole thing with the Sun expanding and frying the Earth into a crisp several billion years from now). If you're not interested in philosophizing, at least the music is nice, going from piano to harmonium to mellotron, while Burrell delicately delivers Sinfield's lyrics (probably the best on the album) of island metaphors. Chraig's horn is a nice touch, especially the triumphant solo at the end. It's a very beautiful way to close the album. Oh and there's a clip of Fripp giving the "Gulls" orchestra some instructions about a minute after the album proper ends.

Judging by my rating, I admit I'm probably being a little too enthusiastic about this one, but I can't rate this one lower than Court, especially with the whole "Moonchild" thing. On the other hand, I can see where some might have a problem with this. It's certainly the most low-key of Crimson's output, but at least it's not boring, at least to me.

Final rating: 4/5

Personal favorites: "Formentera Lady", "Sailor's Tale", "Ladies Of The Road", "Prelude: Song Of The Gulls", "Islands"

Personal dislikes: none

Notes:

1. A bit of Trekkie trivia: The nebula shown on the album cover is the same one shown in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Alternative Factor" whenever Lazarus has one of his freak outs.

2. On a personal note, I find it amusing that a lot of critics would disapprove of this song's lyrics, yet have no problems when The Rolling Stones do similar stuff on a similar level with their lyrics. Granted, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were better at writing about this type of subject, but I still find it funny.

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 THRAK by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1995
3.62 | 717 ratings

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THRAK
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Blacksword
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I thought it about time I reviewed this album as I've been enjoying it a lot! This manifestation of King Crimson sounds very fresh and Thrak has barely aged since its release in 1995. This sounds like a young band, still progressing, learning, experimenting and trying something new. Thrak is a brash and heavy album. Fripps guitar sound is hard and grinding but not grungy and 'blurred' The album opens with VROOM a heavy instrumental , perhaps reminiscent of Red era KC in some ways, which slides perfectly into Coda Marine, which is mostly instrumental apart from some vaguely sinister hushed voices in the background competing with the wonderful Crimson chaos. Dinosaur is one of my favourite KC songs from any era. Another rocker with a fine vocal performance from Adrian Belew, where he muses on days gone by and mistakes he's made. Each chorus is 'screamed' with every increasing intensity "I'm a dinosaur, somebody is digging my bones!" The listener is given a short space to breath where the metal mayhem gives way to some softer sounds and mellotron strains before the final chorus. Other hi-lights for me include Walking on Air, a pleasant ballad presenting a well placed contrast to the albums overall general hard rock (but certainly progressive) feel. Bboom is a great and entertaining show off session for Mr Brufords talents, and People is very much a radio friendly offering with a catchy chorus, and some wonderful funky back beats and bass playing. Thrak is a fine collection of progressive rock songs, which worked at the time alongside all the mainstream music of the day and still works ? in some ways better ? today, and it certainly stands proud alongside the bands best KC albums from the 70's.

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 Heartbeat by KING CRIMSON album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1982
3.03 | 20 ratings

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Heartbeat
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I did not like the "Beat" album from King Crimson. In fact, I never was interested in listening again to this band after I bought that album. Some years later I watched on TV the video clip of a song (I even can`t remember the name of the song!) from their next album ("Three of a Perfect Pair") and I was finally convinced that this band with Adrian Belew did not sound as good as the very good old King Crimson from 1969-74. Adrian Belew`s King Crimson was a very different band, sounding more experimental and noisy, but not interesting for my taste.

Of all the songs from "Beat" I only liked two of them. One was "Heartbeat", a love song. More close to Pop Rock than to Prog Rock, with good lead vocals by Belew, and with "Two Hands" (the other song that I liked from that album) both are the most accessible songs from that album. Even if both songs were good, both songs did not sound for me as King Crimson`s songs, at least related to the old King Crimson. sound.

The "B" side, "Requiem", is maybe the song which I liked the less from that album. Noisy and "experimental" but not good for my taste.

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 In The Court Of The Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.59 | 2880 ratings

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In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by thwok

5 stars Thank you to those who sent me messages about my recent King Crimson reviews. For some unknown reason, my new laptop isn't posting the correct star ratings; the ratings in the review texts are accurate. Thank you for taking the time.

In the Court of the Crimson King is widely considered to be the beginning of progressive rock. Does the fact that our favorite website includes Miles Davis, Meshuggah, and Tangerine Dream invalidate the claim that any one album could shoulder that claim? In the Court for short is, without a doubt, one of the most important records in the history of rock music. It's not my favorite album by King Crimson, my favorite band, but it gets 4 and 1/2 stars from me. I would be willing to round it up in deference to the opinions of others.

There are so many upsides here that I would use up a lot of ink trying to list them all. Therefore, I will just summarize. I really enjoy Ian MacDonald's contributions, and it's a shame that he didn't remain with the group for very long. Greg Lake is an excellent singer, more skilled than John Wetton. Am I in the majority here? Comparing King Crimson singers might make an interesting forum, now that I think about it. David Sinfield's lyrics, although they may be too English Lit for some tastes, do make sense. The same can't be said for a lot of King Crimson's later output.

I'll pick "21st Century Schizoid Man" as my favorite track for the present. I love the fact that even in the beginning, when KC were closest to symphonic prog, they could come up with something that's this metal. Genesis has never come close to rocking this hard. The only nit that I'm going to pick is that "Moonchild" is too meandering for my tastes. That's one minor complaint for In the Court of The Crimson King, a brilliant release.

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 Starless And Bible Black by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.88 | 1176 ratings

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Starless And Bible Black
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by thwok

4 stars Starless and Bible Black usually gets less love than it's neighbors, Lark's Tongues and Red. Although they're all brilliant - it's King Crimson - I prefer Starless and Bible Black to Lark's Tongues. The latter is a little TOO free-jazz for me; it's too unstructured. Starless and Bible Black finds a great balance of elements.

One of the reasons I love Starless so much is the way the songs are arranged. Whatever reason the band had for grouping the short songs on side one and the two long ones on side two, it works for me. It emphasizes the variety of material on the album. The aggressiveness of later albums is here in "The Great Deceiver" and "We'll Let You Know".

The symphonic influence is here in "Starless" and " Trio". It's a real shame that David Cross' string playing didn't continue as part of the band's sound. "We'll Let You Know" is as funky as you could ask for. "Trio" could be the most beautiful song King Crimson ever produced. It's hard to find things to criticize here; this whole album is better than 95% of what you're going to hear on rock music radio. "Starless and Bible Black" gets 4 1/2 stars.

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 Red by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.52 | 2206 ratings

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Red
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Kevman28

5 stars I have to admit (but without trying to sound ashamed about it) that my 'progression through music' did not result in my love of Prog until about 5-6 years ago. I am 36 now, so I missed living through the glory years, but benefit from being able to discover a pre-written library of greatness that is going through an exciting revival. I discovered Prog after around 16 years of being into various genres of metal (Goth/Industrial at the fore) and feeling like I needed something 'extra' in my music. Prog delivers that.

King Crimson's 'Red' was my introduction to Prog and this great band. I can honestly say that I love all era's of KC equally, and can't wait for the new album.

Red is quite simply an absolute gem. The title track is probably the heaviest thing I have ever heard with it's intensity (Please don't quote me on the likes of SYL / Morbid Angel etc - I am talking about an album from the 70's and a sound that echoes through bands like Al Jourgenson's 'Ministry' years later!), and those drums....... 'Awesome' does not even begin to describe - although 'Bruford' is a good starting point. The whole album is riddled with greatness and enviable quality.

This is a true 5* offering

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 In The Court Of The Crimson King by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.59 | 2880 ratings

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In The Court Of The Crimson King
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by RambliOn

4 stars I remember when I first heard this album back in 1970, my sister had borrowed it from a friend and played it over and over but always skipping over Moonchild as "it was too quiet". Eventually I bought my own copy and my love of music (of many different genres) never looked back. This was my first introduction to prog rock and I have loved it ever since. For the last few years I have been a little out of touch with the music scene but since my interest was revived last year I have been both revisiting music I previously enjoyed and venturing into new bands.

Thank you King Crimson for enlightening my musical taste buds all those years ago.

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 Beat by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1982
2.97 | 763 ratings

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Beat
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Blacksword
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'm very much warming to this era of King Crimson. It took me along time to appreciate the constantly changing and unpredictable approach of KC in all its different manifestations, but of course this is what makes KC the legenadary prog rock band they are. Although I've yet to explore the post 'Three of a perfect pair' era, I don't think they really put a foot badly wrong between 1969 and 1984.

These 1980's releases do seem to polarise opinion and I can understand why, but to my ears the 80's new wavey KC is quite appealing. In the case of Beat I'm going to stick my neck out and say I prefer it to 'TOAPP' and like it at least as much as 'Discipline' Although no track on Beat really matches the very best tracks on Discipline, for me it's a little more consistent throughout. Everything from 'Neal and Jack and me' right through to 'Two hands' is pushing 4 star material; consistent, melodic, well written and executed. If you're looking for long meandering passges of noodling and blinding virtuoisty then none of the 80's KC trilogy is likely to appeal. Beat has a pop edge that may completely turn off many prog rock fans, or KC 'purists' who maybe prefer the old sound. I find Belews voice irresistable. The Talking Heads edge comes through, but the Fripp guitar sound and style is still in evidence. A very polished and listenable album. Perhaps not that progressive or ground breaking, but purely as an album of its time it stands up and it entertains and pleases the ear. Possibly a good album to introduce your non prog loving friends to KC, before inflicting LTIA on them ;-)

I would also say that Beat and the albums that proceed and succeed it in this series are more true to the KC 'formula' than the 80's releases by Genesis are true to thiers. If that makes sense. The most commercial track on Beat is probably 'Heartbeat' (one of my favourite post 70's KC tracks) and despite being radio friendly and fairly formulaic in its structure, it's still not as poppy as the most poppy 80's Genesis.

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 Earthbound by KING CRIMSON album cover Live, 1972
2.45 | 287 ratings

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Earthbound
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Sheets of Blue

2 stars In all the time spent listening to music, and albums of the progressive rock sub-genre, there's been an infinite amount of recordings to go through. Many of them are pretty damn good, and are lasting proof of how innovative these groups could be. There have also been albums that show a far more pretentious side to the artists themselves. In order to get to the good stuff, you must stumble upon a dud. Every prog-head has had a dud, whether it is Love Beach or Tormato, there's always going to be an album that you'll try to like, but it never clicks.

One of these albums is Earthbound, which until the late 1990's, was the only live (official) document of the short-lived "Islands"-era line-up, featuring the late Boz Burrell and Ian Wallace, along with saxist Mel Collins. The album is infamous for its extremely-poor audio quality, a result of the album being hastily picked by Robert Fripp from the collection of tapes gathered over the group's final U.S. tour that winter.

On Earthbound, there are few things to be familiar with, as the only recognizable recordings include: 21st Schizoid Man, The Sailor's Tale, and Groon. Everything else, however, are what Fripp calls "jams", and not actual "improvs", for this particular incarnation of King Crimson were more accustomed to blues-based jams and not the meticulous improvisations that was somewhat present in the previous live incarnation and would be a big part of future incarnations of Crimson.

Kicking off the album, Schizoid Man, even in its poor quality, is able to sound pretty stellar. The group, grinding along intensely, with Burrell's growling vocals, gives an edge to the apocalyptic lyric; although it doesn't really show Burrell's vocal prowess as it did with other performances. The improv drives the song along even further, building up to an explosive finale, before being abruptly cut off.

One of the two new songs on Earthbound, Peoria is much more relaxed than the previous track, giving Mel Collins a chance to show his chops as a saxist. Burrell also uses this time to mumble around, weakening the track itself. Earthbound although, is about as good as indulging in cat food, with Burrell adding even more unnecessary scat vocals to the track, although it is pretty rousing and cheerful. Behind these two jams showed the internal issues of the band. Fripp losing control of his own band, was the victim of a mutiny of some sort. The other tracks, The Sailor's Tale and Groon, feature impressive playing by the band, the latter being one of the best renditions of the track, despite being cut off earlier than usual. Groon features the band working as a unit, before Wallace takes the helm for his VCS3-infused drum solo, channeling Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Only after the solo is finally over, does the band come back in before fading out, ending the album.

Earthbound, throughout the long forty-one years it has been out, has always been known for how jarring it was to the ear and how it went against everything Fripp had done quality-wise in the previous and coming years. It was and is notoriously weak, to the point where Fripp attempted to "delete" the album, rendering it hard to find, before customer demand forced him to release it several years later. It was bad to the point where Atlantic Records, the band's North American label, absolutely refused to release it, and was released on E.G.'s budget label due to its quality alone.

Thinking about, this album could've been much better, and definitely much worse. From what was released twenty years later on the "King Crimson Collector's Club", Fripp had far much more shows to choose from, but for one reason or another, chose the worst possible recordings, surprising for someone who is known for high quality recordings. In general, there was so much wasted potential, both on this album, and for this particular incarnation of King Crimson. I really wanted to like it and all, but with the exception of Schizoid Man and Peoria, there's simply nothing here to enjoy in this mess of bogged-down sound that is called a "live album". To put this review in four words: "It's not worth it." Nothing here is worth your time, and while there are some enjoyable aspects to Earthbound, the effort put forth here is just downright shameful.

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 Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings) by KING CRIMSON album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2012
3.28 | 10 ratings

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Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings)
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Difficult to give a fair rating for such an artefact, because it's of a very limited interest for most anyone, but of a maximal value for a very few. Indeed this monster boxset about a single studio album must be a record of some kind. The boxset includes up to 15 disc of different mediums, such as DVD (1) , Blue Ray (1) and CD (the 13 left), but very sadly not the vinyl, which is kind of shame given the shape of the boxset and the amount of space left inside the box: its thickness could've easily allowed it. In such a package, most of the little bonuses are totally useless, such as a domestic tour programme reproduction, the studio album release annoucement flyer, an envelope containing five separate individual photos of the protagonist and a cardboard page representing the front and rear cover. Wowie Zowie!! There is load of powder thrown into your eyes. Of greater interest is the solid booklet featuring an especially-made for this boxset David Singleton interview, an excellent Sid Smith essay and a very interesting piece (courtesy of Declan Colgan) about the state of mind of the industry and the way Crimson managed to salvage its legacy in a much better fashion than 99% of the recording artistes of the last 50 years. The hole booklet featuring plenty of archives pictures and a reprint of the famous Crimso diaries (first appeared in the Young Person's guide to KC compilation) for an almost two years period (Jan-72 until Sept 73).

Ok, enough about the package, let's move on to the contents. To be honest, most of the discs' contents are of little interest for most anyone, but the most unconditional Crimson fans. The others might just be well advised to find (or keep) their 30th anniv remastered version, or 'settle' for the two-discs 40th anniv digipak package, which includes 95% of the essential stuff that's included in this boxset. While not being the most practical packaging (the booklet slips out too easily and fingerprints are a pain), the 40th anniv might just be what might be the best solution, with the DVD containing the visuals and 5.1 mix. In this monster boxset, we get the exact duplicate of the DVD and the Blueray.

The 15 discs are stored in triple-folded cardboard sleeves by sets of three, each featuring the five heroes' individual faces. The first one bearing Wetton's, the second with Fripp's and the third with Cross' are featuring restored live bootleg tapes (some already available in the KCCC series), all of them predating the album's studio recording sessions. But don't hold your breath: most of the results are still in such disputable sonic state, that one wonders how Fripp might actually let these out, since he's usually so uptight about the quality of products bearing the KC name. To be honest, only the improvs of those six discs are of any interest (and there is at least one of them over a disc), but one has to suffer ear-wise to ingest them. You might be surprised to find out that Fallen Angel (on the Red album) already existed this early in the band's history. Honestly a lot of these early improvs are really not all that good, and certainly not matching those found on the previous Nightwatch and Great Deceiver boxsets or even the Asbury ark of the USA live album. Indeed, a good deal of it is rather messy 'n'importe quoi', but I supposed it is 'de rigueur' to hold them in high esteem and laud their greatness despite disputable sonic and artistic qualities. Some fans might be advised to compile these improvs on one CD-r and get rid of the monster box. So, there was only so much Mr Wilson could've done with such poor quality sources. The real question is whether this was worth the work and is the result honestly marketable?

Onto the last two 'Studio' cardboard sleeves containing the last six discs, of which two of them feature the DVD and BR contents. The Bruford-adorned triple cardboard sleeve is probably the least interesting one, especially if you chose to own the two-disc 40th version. And even the disc 10 featuring the very dispensable 'keep that one, Nick' studio drops or cut-out montages. The Muir- faced cardboard triple sleeve is of little more interest, since only disc 13 featuring a different mix proposed and restored by Steven Wilson of the studio album tracks is of interest (but a real one, because: there are a few pleasant surprises on it) to those that opted for the two-disc version, the rest is being included.

So what to make of this very un-essential boxset? Outside the useless bonuses and the absence of the vinyl, the booklet is very interesting, most of the live material is of inferior sonic quality and the improvs are not yet showing what the band would do afterwards, and from the 'studio' stuff, you'll find the most essential stuff on the little brother two-discs version. Personally, I could cram everything I found interesting from this 15-disc boxset into two CD-r discs, and find a way to include these inside the two-disc 40th anniv digipak version. There would still remain the problem of an equitable ProgArchives rating: 'For Fans Only' is surely the comment that applies best to it, but it merits a tad bit more stars, given the thoroughness of the job delivered by Steven Wilson. But to 90% of Crimson fans or 95% of the progheads, the two-disc digipak affair is all they will need.

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