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KING CRIMSON

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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King Crimson picture
King Crimson biography
Formed in London in 1968 - Several hiatus & reformations (1981,1994,2007 & 2013) - Still active as of 2017


" 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. 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...
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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)

4.63 | 4188 ratings
In The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.83 | 2075 ratings
In The Wake Of Poseidon
1970
4.12 | 2130 ratings
Lizard
1970
3.83 | 1844 ratings
Islands
1971
4.42 | 2855 ratings
Larks' Tongues In Aspic
1973
3.93 | 1799 ratings
Starless And Bible Black
1974
4.55 | 3320 ratings
Red
1974
4.12 | 1900 ratings
Discipline
1981
3.06 | 1161 ratings
Beat
1982
3.28 | 1133 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
3.67 | 1071 ratings
THRAK
1995
3.07 | 253 ratings
ProjeKct Two: Space Groove
1998
3.14 | 788 ratings
The ConstruKction Of Light
2000
3.36 | 218 ratings
ProjeKct X: Heaven And Earth
2000
3.97 | 1184 ratings
The Power To Believe
2003
3.59 | 534 ratings
Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins: A Scarcity Of Miracles
2011

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

2.46 | 403 ratings
Earthbound
1972
4.04 | 496 ratings
USA
1975
2.88 | 33 ratings
Strange Tales of the Sailors
1991
4.56 | 378 ratings
The Great Deceiver: Live 1973 - 1974
1992
3.69 | 173 ratings
B'Boom (Official Bootleg - Live In Argentina)
1995
2.75 | 210 ratings
THRaKaTTaK
1996
3.79 | 185 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes One & Two
1997
4.45 | 298 ratings
The Night Watch
1997
3.74 | 143 ratings
Epitaph, Volumes Three & Four
1997
4.43 | 302 ratings
Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984
1998
3.84 | 37 ratings
Live At The Jazz Café (ProjeKct One)
1998
3.87 | 38 ratings
Masque (ProjeKct Three)
1999
3.61 | 31 ratings
Live Groove (Projekct Two)
1999
3.42 | 19 ratings
West Coast Live (ProjeKct Four)
1999
3.65 | 124 ratings
Heavy ConstruKction
2000
4.03 | 126 ratings
VROOOM VROOOM
2001
3.75 | 107 ratings
Level Five
2001
3.98 | 150 ratings
Ladies of the Road
2002
3.75 | 87 ratings
EleKtriK
2003
4.59 | 102 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 1 (Live in Mainz, 1974 + Live in Asbury Park, 1974)
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at 7th Note
2006
2.88 | 43 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 2 (Live in Bath, 1981 + Live in Philadelphia, 1982)
2007
3.82 | 43 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 3 (Live at the Sheperds Bush Empire,London,1996)
2008
3.50 | 39 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 4 (Live in Warsaw,2000)
2009
3.84 | 37 ratings
The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 5 (Live in Japan,1995)
2010
2.31 | 10 ratings
The Crimson Projekct - Offical Bootleg Live 2012
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Crimson ProjeKct - Official Bootleg Vol.1
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Crimson ProjeKct - Official Bootleg Vol.2
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Crimson ProjeKct - Official Bootleg Vol.3
2013
3.54 | 40 ratings
Live In Japan (The Crimson Projekct)
2014
3.03 | 106 ratings
Live At The Orpheum
2015
4.68 | 96 ratings
Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind
2016
4.55 | 40 ratings
Live in Vienna + Live in Tokyo 2015
2017
4.77 | 53 ratings
Live In Chicago
2017
4.40 | 33 ratings
Meltdown: Live in Mexico
2018
4.50 | 6 ratings
Uncertain Times
2018

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

4.04 | 42 ratings
The Noise: Frejus
1984
4.61 | 23 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair - Live In Japan
1984
4.45 | 149 ratings
Deja Vrooom
1999
3.78 | 138 ratings
Eyes Wide Open
2003
3.92 | 77 ratings
Neal and Jack and Me
2004
3.92 | 18 ratings
Inside King Crimson 1972-1975 An Independent Critical Review With David Cross
2005
3.31 | 52 ratings
Live In Japan 1995
2007
4.31 | 48 ratings
Live In Argentina 1994
2012
4.64 | 110 ratings
Radical Action To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind
2016

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

3.86 | 108 ratings
The Young Persons Guide To King Crimson
1976
2.23 | 67 ratings
The Compact King Crimson
1986
3.00 | 1 ratings
1989
1989
3.66 | 58 ratings
The Essential King Crimson: Frame by Frame
1991
3.20 | 48 ratings
Sleepless: The Concise King Crimson
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
The First Three
1993
2.92 | 27 ratings
Schizoid Man
1996
3.35 | 46 ratings
Deception of the Thrush: A Beginners Guide to ProjeKcts
1999
3.84 | 92 ratings
Cirkus - The Young Persons' Guide To King Crimson Live
1999
3.58 | 77 ratings
The ProjeKcts
1999
4.57 | 51 ratings
21st Century Guide: Volume One (1969-1974)
2004
3.53 | 40 ratings
The 21st Century Guide To King Crimson Volume Two: 1981-2003 (4CD Box Set)
2005
3.98 | 28 ratings
The Condensed 21st Century Guide 1969 - 2003
2006
3.44 | 18 ratings
King Crimson - 40th Anniversary Tour Box
2008
4.79 | 116 ratings
In the Court of the Crimson King, 40th Anniversary Edition (5CD's + DVD)
2009
3.82 | 54 ratings
Lark's Tongue In Aspic (the complete recordings)
2012
4.03 | 58 ratings
The Road to Red
2013
3.86 | 40 ratings
The Elements (2014 Tour Box)
2014
4.54 | 31 ratings
Starless
2014
3.31 | 14 ratings
THRAK BOX
2015
3.81 | 16 ratings
The Elements (2015 Tour Box)
2015
3.70 | 10 ratings
The Elements (2016 Tour Box)
2016
3.11 | 8 ratings
On (And Off) The Road (1981-1984)
2016
3.70 | 15 ratings
Sailors' Tales
2017
3.71 | 7 ratings
The Elements (2017 Tour Box)
2017
4.92 | 12 ratings
Audio Diary 2014-2017
2018
3.40 | 5 ratings
The Elements (2018 Tour Box)
2018
4.86 | 5 ratings
1969-1972
2018
4.60 | 5 ratings
1972 - 1974
2019
4.00 | 6 ratings
A Mojo Anthology (Rare, Classic, Unusual and Live 1969-2019)
2019
2.59 | 8 ratings
Heaven & Earth
2019
3.00 | 2 ratings
The Elements (2019 Tour Box)
2019
0.00 | 0 ratings
The ReconstruKction of Light (2x LP version)
2019
0.00 | 0 ratings
Mister Stormy's Monday Selection, Vol. 4
2020

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

4.42 | 65 ratings
The Court Of The Crimson King
1969
3.40 | 55 ratings
Cat Food
1970
3.95 | 29 ratings
The Night Watch
1974
3.73 | 48 ratings
Epitaph
1976
3.88 | 23 ratings
Discipline 12'' Sampler
1981
3.18 | 24 ratings
Matte Kudasai
1981
3.43 | 7 ratings
Elephant Talk
1981
3.58 | 12 ratings
Thela Hun Ginjeet
1981
3.34 | 31 ratings
Heartbeat
1982
3.20 | 22 ratings
Sleepless
1984
3.67 | 6 ratings
Three Of A Perfect Pair
1984
2.22 | 21 ratings
The Abbreviated King Crimson: Heartbeat
1991
3.61 | 144 ratings
Vrooom
1994
3.25 | 7 ratings
Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
1995
3.62 | 25 ratings
Dinosaur
1995
3.00 | 2 ratings
AAA Sampler
1995
4.00 | 2 ratings
THRAK (4 Track Sampler)
1995
3.21 | 26 ratings
Live at Jacksonville 1972
1998
3.20 | 27 ratings
Live at The Marquee 1969
1998
3.23 | 11 ratings
King Crimson - A Beginners' Guide To The King Crimson Collectors' Club
1999
3.88 | 29 ratings
The Beat Club, Bremen, 1972
1999
3.35 | 18 ratings
Live in San Francisco - The Roar of P4 (ProjeKct Four)
1999
4.43 | 27 ratings
On Broadway - Live in NYC 1995
1999
4.00 | 29 ratings
Live at Cap D'Agde 1982
1999
3.34 | 27 ratings
Live in Central Park, NYC, 1974
2000
2.72 | 20 ratings
Nashville Rehearsals, 1997
2000
2.39 | 20 ratings
Live at Moles Club, Bath, 1981
2000
4.15 | 34 ratings
Live at Summit Studios 1972
2000
3.20 | 26 ratings
The VROOOM Sessions 1994
2000
3.88 | 24 ratings
Live in Detroit, MI
2001
3.53 | 32 ratings
Live At Plymouth, May 1971
2001
4.08 | 32 ratings
Live in Mainz, Gemany 1974
2001
3.15 | 17 ratings
Live in Northampton, MA (ProjeKct Two)
2001
4.18 | 8 ratings
The Guide to Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Parts 1-4)
2001
3.44 | 26 ratings
Live at The Zoom Club
2002
3.40 | 94 ratings
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
2002
3.48 | 18 ratings
The Champaign-Urbana Sessions, 1983
2002
3.62 | 28 ratings
Hyde Park, London, 1969
2002
4.12 | 17 ratings
Live in Nashville, TN, 2001
2002
3.51 | 21 ratings
Live in Berkeley, CA 1982
2002
3.30 | 19 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct One - Jazz Cafe Suite, December 1 - 4, 1997
2003
3.86 | 27 ratings
Live in Guildford, 1972
2003
3.33 | 18 ratings
Live in Orlando, FL, 1972
2003
2.88 | 17 ratings
The Power To Believe Tour Box
2003
3.11 | 19 ratings
Live at Fillmore East, November 21 & 22, 1969
2003
4.04 | 15 ratings
King Crimson - CC - ProjeKct Three Live in Austin, TX , March 25, 1999
2004
4.03 | 20 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA , July 30, 1982
2004
2.79 | 15 ratings
Live in Brighton, October 16, 1971
2005
4.09 | 21 ratings
Live in Heidelberg, 1974
2005
3.78 | 19 ratings
Live in Warsaw, June 11, 2000
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Two - Live at I.C. Light Music Tent 1998
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKt One - London Jazz Café
2005
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at Fox Theatre
2005
4.50 | 2 ratings
ProjeKct Three - Live at Cactus Cafe
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
ProjeKct Six ‎- East Coast Live
2006
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at Crystal Ballroom 1998
2006
3.35 | 8 ratings
ProjeKct Six - East Coast Live
2006
3.90 | 10 ratings
Projekct Two - CC- Live in Chicago, IL
2006
4.27 | 15 ratings
Live at the Wiltern 1st July 1995
2006
4.25 | 12 ratings
Live in Munich
2006
2.74 | 16 ratings
Live in Denver, CO, March 13, 1972
2007
4.00 | 9 ratings
Projekct Three - CC - Live in Alexandria, VA, March 3, 2003
2007
3.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Two - Old Lantern, Charlotte 1998
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct One - London Jazz Café
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct One - London Jazz Café
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct One - London Jazz Café
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Three - Live at Poor David's
2007
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Four - Live at Richard's On Richards
2008
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Two - Park West, Chicago
2008
4.25 | 16 ratings
Live in Kassel, April 1, 1974
2008
4.31 | 13 ratings
Live at the Pier, NYC - August 2 , 1982
2008
4.17 | 12 ratings
Live in Philadelphia, PA, August 26, 1996
2008
4.17 | 14 ratings
Park West, Chicago, Illinois (August 7, 2008)
2008
3.77 | 13 ratings
Live in Boston, MA, March 27, 1972
2009
4.19 | 18 ratings
Live in Zurich, November 15, 1973
2009
4.17 | 14 ratings
Live In Milan June 20, 2003
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKct Three - Live at Electric Lounge
2009
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live in Chicago (November 29, 1995)
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Jazz Club 1969
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
ProjeKt Two - Irving Plaza
2010
4.19 | 16 ratings
Live in Toronto, June 24, 1974
2011
4.04 | 4 ratings
Live in New Haven (November 16, 2003)
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
The Crimson ProjeKct (Premium Bass)
2014
4.00 | 1 ratings
The Crimson Projekct ‎(Official Bootleg Live - Extended Edition)
2014
3.50 | 2 ratings
Plumpton Festival
2015
4.05 | 3 ratings
Live at the Marquee (August 10, 1971)
2015
3.60 | 5 ratings
Recorded Live On The 2014 US Tour
2015
4.57 | 66 ratings
Live In Toronto
2016
3.86 | 9 ratings
Rehearsals & Blows (May-November 1983)
2016
3.40 | 24 ratings
Heroes
2017
4.60 | 6 ratings
Cadence and Cascade
2019
3.85 | 4 ratings
The Mincer / Law of Maximum Distress
2019
3.40 | 5 ratings
The Terrifying Tale of Thela Hun Ginjeet
2019
3.33 | 6 ratings
21st Century Schizoid Man
2019
3.67 | 3 ratings
Live in Newcastle (December 8, 1972)
2019
4.69 | 4 ratings
Inner Garden
2019
3.33 | 3 ratings
Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part 1
2019
3.67 | 3 ratings
Ladies of the Road
2019
3.25 | 4 ratings
Space Groove II
2019
3.00 | 4 ratings
Eyes Wide Open
2019
4.00 | 5 ratings
Prince Rupert Awakes
2019
3.50 | 2 ratings
Requiem (Extended Version)
2019
3.50 | 2 ratings
Starless/Red (Edit)
2019
2.00 | 2 ratings
Yoli Yoli
2019
4.00 | 3 ratings
Frakctured
2019

KING CRIMSON Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Red by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.55 | 3320 ratings

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Red
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

5 stars Wow... there are only a very few times I'm willing to admit I was too quick to judge... and I'll admit it now. I was too quick to judge... this album is brilliant. Next time, I promise to actually give albums an honest shot many times over before judging it because it's a band I'm not a huge fan of.

So... of the series, it worked up for me way different than I anticipated. I wasn't the biggest fan of Larks', for me it was a bit messy and the ideas they were trying weren't working for me much on it. Then I took a listen to Starless and enjoyed it a bunch, the quirky behavior of The Great Deceiver, Lament, etc.

However... something about this was just ... a large improvement.

Red was the powerhouse opener, how this song didn't click on the first listen is beyond me. Listening to this album over and over really has lit a spark for this album. It honestly has the best experimentation I've heard in an album. The instrumentation is unbelievably well done here, even though I was never a huge fan of Fripp, I always thought his style was very interesting. The work he did on the song is actually very interesting, and he did some work that actually worked for me. I might have been very biased about King Crimson, since the... THRAK incident. This is honestly way better than THRAK, I can actually appreciate the experimentation this album brings.

Fallen Angel was the continuation I wanted from the opener, only more... John Wetton's brilliant vocals. His harmonies on this track are brilliant... again... why I didn't give this more listens. (now I know there are going to be people who will now criticize the fact I'm calling this a masterpiece now... so please just appreciate I gave this another listen and changed my mind. Alright?)

One More Red Nightmare... the experiment continues... the little funky bits in the 2 minute section. I don't enjoy this song as much as the rest of the album but still this is pretty good.

Providence has the extremely slow and yet amazing build to the faster climax, I really can get into this experimenting. This worked for me a bunch more than the previous two.

Starless... my favourite piece on the album. John Wetton's vocals, the slow and melodic build, then to a more experimental jam at about the 6 minute mark, and well... the climax of the album...

Alright, I admit it. I was totally wrong about this album... I'm sorry. I don't think I'll ever make it up to the people I offended, but hopefully this is a start... but to be clear... I didn't do it for them... I wanted to give this one more listen. Then when I wanted to listen to this again... then again... and then again.... yeah alright... I was really wrong about this album.

 Starless And Bible Black by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.93 | 1799 ratings

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Starless And Bible Black
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

4 stars Probably my favourite King Crimson album after In The Wake Of Poseidon. This is experimental, but it has more a well realized and much more polished look than this predecessor 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic'. I actually much enjoy this, and I know this will upset King Crimson fans a bunch but this is unbelievably better than Larks. The first half of this album sold me and the more fluid and slightly less jam feel on this album just made me fall for this. Alright... my truth... and my final conclusion... this blows Larks into the water. I'd much rather listen to this than that unbelievably noisy and overly experimental dribble we know as the very highly rated 'Larks' Tongues in Aspic'.
 Larks' Tongues In Aspic by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.42 | 2855 ratings

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Larks' Tongues In Aspic
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Zoltanxvamos

3 stars Alright, since I'm being bashed for my review, I'll go ahead and elaborate. Since I'm not a huge King Crimson fan, I decided to see if this album would change my mind. Unfortunately, I was mistaken and believe me I tried. I think that this would better suit someone who likes things with a bunch more of a avant-garde, extreme experimental piece, but since I'm not that kind of person, I wasn't a fan. The opening piece "Larks' Part 1" didn't show anything that made me think "Wow this is great", it wasn't something I'd put on for any situation. I found that the scattered musicianship was very different and was able to appreciate what they were doing, but I wasn't compelled. Music for everyone can be a different experience, for me, when I'm listening to an album, I want something to hit me with emotion, the chord progressions, the quirks that Genesis was able to pull off and so many bands. I want an album to hit me with emotion, and every reviewer will have a different reaction to something, you will love something I might not.

Alright, for those who think I am just hating on King Crimson, I'm not. I like some of their material a lot, I'm a huge fan of Starless and Bible Black, why? Because it hit me differently than this, and one more time... I gave it a large amount of honest listens and it didn't click. I might revisit this album, and it might hit differently. I wasn't a fan of the over the top experimentation on this album, it just wasn't for me. Red was the same, I thought it was overly complicated and mainly just overly experimental to the point where it sounded like ... noise. I'm sorry but that's how it was for me, I grew up in a house where Pink Floyd and Genesis and The Flower Kings and Camel, etc, etc, was the norm. And maybe there are Genesis fans, etc, etc, who love this stuff.. but it just wasn't for me. Hopefully this is better, and again, I apologize if I caused any hysteria.

Alright, I know what people might say, I'm editing again to get people off my back, no... I forgot parts of the album. Exiles... how can I actually forget about Exiles. This song was the song that actually peaked my interest, the chord progression, the mood of the song, John Wetton's vocals, the structure of the song was great! I can't believe I forgot this. However... this is where it goes back down, Exiles and Larks Part 2 were the only songs I remember enjoying, and now ... I know I only enjoyed them. I gave the album 4 more strict listens, and frankly I do enjoy it a bit more but I still don't think this album works with me 100%. I understand and appreciate the experimental and avant-garde approach but it still doesn't work for me. I grew up with Selling England, Close To The Edge, Stardust We Are, Silent Knight, The Dark Side Of The Moon and of course Pat Metheny and many more. What I look for in an album is everything to be written and structured, a well constructed piece that has atmosphere, an album in where it sounds like everyone sat down and wrote every second to an absolute tee. Maybe now you will understand why I wasn't the biggest fan of this album. I'll give Red a few more listens and see how it treats me.

 1969-1972 by KING CRIMSON album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2018
4.86 | 5 ratings

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1969-1972
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by animal_laminate_2

5 stars The music will most likely be familiar to all: this review is about the packaging and the Steven Wilson remixes.

Packaging: Very nice indeed, with spine copy removed, and picture labels (again without copy). 'Poseidon' even has lovely texture, as with the original. Pressings are 200g and excellent - very quiet and actually I'm wondering where these were done. Pallas maybe? Another nice touch is the pressings are box only: matrix numbers run A through L across the 12 sides. Instead of 'Young Person's Guide' we get the same outer cover and booklet, but a different track listing including a complete and fascinating alternative ITCOCK, plus various other alt versions on the 3rd and 4th sides.

Steven Wilson remixes: it seems to be pretty much inevitable now that Steven 'I'm Remixing All Of Prog' Wilson will have done or be about to do a remaster of any given prog classic you care to mention - and with reason. He does a brilliant job! The records all sound superb with better bass, better separation and a better high end: almost as if the music had been allowed to relax and expand. I actually prefer these mixes to the originals. Which is saying a lot as I rarely if ever feel a remix is an improvement.

So Yes, if you get this box you are in a sense buying it all again - but it's been buffed up beautifully and newly presented in a highly satisfying way. Crimmos' first four represent a subtle body of work but it is uniformly excellent and surprisingly durable. This box is a very good way to re-investigate.

 Lizard by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1970
4.12 | 2130 ratings

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Lizard
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 329

King Crimson always was a band where members often changed and Robert Fripp has been the sole consistent member throughout the group's history and acts as their leader. In fact, Fripp is one of the most respected musicians and guitarists in the universe of the progressive rock music. Even young musicians like Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree, love King Crimson and admire him at the point of inviting the guitarist to participate in 'Fear Of A Blank Planet'.

'Lizard' is their third studio album and was released in 1970. Again we have changes on the line up. This would be the first and only album to feature the bassist and vocalist Gordon Haskell, apart from his appearance on the song 'Cadence And Cascade' from their previous album, and drummer Andy McCulloch as official members of the group. So, the line up on this album is Robert Fripp (guitar, Mellotron, electric keyboards and devices), Mel Collins (flute and saxophones), Gordon Haskell (vocals and bass guitar), Andy McCulloch (drums) and Peter Sinfield (words and pictures). Jon Anderson of Yes (vocals on 'Prince Rupert Awakes'), Mark Charing (cornet), Nick Evans (trombone), Robin Miller (oboe and cor anglais) and Keith Tippet (piano and electric piano) participated on the album as guests, too.

'Lizard' is an album with five tracks. All tracks were written by Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield. The first track 'Cirkus' (Including 'Entry Of The Chameleons)' is the perfect opener for this so peculiar album. Gordon Haskell, who is no way as good as Greg Lake, sings very well on this track. We have also here a nice acoustic guitar work and the sound of the Mellotron is absolutely superb. Despite this track shows some complex structure, still remains as one of the most accessible tracks on the album. This is my second favourite track on the album. The second track 'Indoor Games' is the most peculiar and weird song on the album. It's a very jazzy improvised and dissonant song with a funny and interesting musical introduction. This time Gordon Haskell sings in a very strange way and the song has also a nice acoustic guitar sound. In the beginning I didn't like this track, but now I have a great respect for it. The third track 'Happy Family' is the other weird song on the album. Once more Gordon Haskell sings this song in a very strange way. It's another jazzy and difficult dissonant song. Musically, this is a very good song but despite of that, it continues to be my less favourite song on the album. The fourth track 'Lady Of The Dancing Water' is a very mellow, soft and nice ballad, very classically inspired. This is the shortest song on the album but it's also one of the best. The sound of the flute of Mel Collins is absolutely beautiful and gives the perfect and magical atmosphere to the song. The fifth and last track 'Lizard' who gaves its name to the album is divided into four parts: The first part 'Prince Rupert Awakes', the second part 'Bolero - The Peacock's Tale', the third part 'The Battle Of Glass Tears' who is also divided in 'Dawn Song', 'Last Skirmish' and 'Prince Rupert's Lament' and the fourth part 'Big Top'. So, this is the lengthiest and the epic track on the album and represents a great closer for it. This track sounds not like one only piece of music but it sounds more like four different pieces. 'Prince Rupert Awakes' sounds, without any doub,t as the best music on the album. It's absolutely wonderful with the beautiful Jon Anderson's voice and where the sound of the Mellotron is also absolutely superb. 'Bolero' is another fantastic music, probably the second best on the album. 'The Battle Of The Glass Tears' is also a great music once more with the beautiful sound of the Mellotron, but, in my opinion, is less good than the two previous, and a bit too long. 'Big Top' is very short and is simply the reprise of the first track 'Cirkus'. Despite the track be composed by several pieces, this is a brilliant track, one of the best ever made by King Crimson. I continue thinking that despite the lack of a cohesive structure all over the track it remains, for me, an excellent track.

Conclusion: 'Lizard' was, for me, one of the most difficult King Crimon's albums to rate until this moment. This is a very complex album, one of the most experimental, bizarre, strange, creative, original, and one of the most innovative albums ever. It's also a unique album of King Crimson. This is an album that clearly represents a break with their two previous works. 'Lizard' is a very jazzy oriented album, very progressive and with long pieces of music with extensive developmental sections, with more ornate lyrics and also with a more exotic subject matter. By the other hand, it's no secret for those who read my previous King Crimson's reviews, that this isn't, in any way, one of my favourite band's line up. As I wrote before, I prefer the line up on 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' and the line up on 'Red'. So, I must confess that after my first spins of the album I was very disappointed with it and my first impulse was to rate it with 3 stars and considered it one the worst King Crimson's studio albums of the 70's. However, with repeated listenings it grown up on me all over the years. Despite be a very weird album, 'Lizard' is a fundamental album in the discography of the band and it's an album with some of the best and most beautiful musical moments created by them.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Larks' Tongues In Aspic by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.42 | 2855 ratings

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Larks' Tongues In Aspic
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 321

"Larks' Tongues In Aspic" is the fifth studio album of King Crimson and was released in 1973. The previous King Crimson's line up had broke completely up after the release of their horrible live album "Earthbound", an album already reviewd by me on Progarchives, and Fripp was left completely on his own. He used some time to gather together a new line up that included Bill Bruford, John Wetton and David Cross. The first version of this line up has also included Jamie Muir on several percussions. The new King Crimson played progressive rock of a kind and in a way that no other band had done before them. Their new style was often based in very heavy and loud riffs built around raw and freaked out improvisations, and sounded very refreshing. So, this new incarnation of the band is also a key album in the band's evolution, drawing on Eastern European classical music and European free improvisation, as central influences.

The line up of this album is Robert Fripp (guitars, mellotron, electric piano and devices), John Wetton (lead vocals, bass and acoustic piano), Bill Bruford (drums), David Cross (violin, viola, mellotron, flute and electric piano), James Muir (percussion) and Richard Palmer-James (lyrics).

The album has six tracks. The first track "Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part One" written by David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford and Jamie Muir is the first part of a multi-part epic song released over the course of three studio albums of the group. The part one and the part two are on this fifth studio album, the part three is on their tenth studio album "Three Of A Perfect Pair" and the part fourth is on their thirteenth studio album "The Construkction Of Light". "Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part One" is the longest part of the song and is one of the most experimental of King Crimson's career up until that time. It begins with a long percussion introduction before entering a hard rock section introduced by a slowly violin that becoming more prominent until the end of the song, with a dramatic final. We may say this is really and totally an experimental eclectic track which is clearly influenced by jazz, classical, heavy and Eastern music. This is probably the best experimental song in their career and is absolutely brilliant. The second track "Book Of Saturday" written by Robert Fripp, John Wetton and Palmer-James is the shortest song on the album. It's the song where John Wetton makes his debut as a singer on the band. It's a very simple, calm and nice song with which we can relax, very well sung, but there is no longer anything remarkable on this song to talk about. The third track "Exiles" written by David Cross, Robert Fripp and Palmer-James is one of the highest points of this album. It has a very delicate and beautiful melody with the powerful use of the mellotron that reminds me strongly their second studio album "In The Wake Of Poseidon". This is a real must for those who like King Crimson's melodic side. The fourth track "Easy Money" written by Robert Fripp, John Wetton and Palmer- James, objectively speaking, isn't as good as "Larks' Tongues In Aspic" and "Exiles". Apparently the song turns up very strange but gradually it grows up and becomes on a very interesting, nice and curious piece. It's a very good song, but sincerely, it isn't at the same level of the other two songs mentioned by me before. The fifth track "The Talking Drum" written by David Cross, Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford and Jamie Muir is, in my humble opinion, better than the previous, but, nevertheless, I think it isn't also as good as "Larks' Tongues In Aspic" and "Exiles". It's, without any doubt, a very good King Crimson's instrumental song, but sincerely, it hasn't on me the same emotional effect as the other two songs previously mentioned by me have. The sixth and last track "Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part Two" written by Robert Fripp is the second part of the epic and is also the second shortest part and the most familiar of all. It segues perfectly out of the previous song "The Talking Drum" and was usually performed directly after it. This is another one highest point of this album. It has an absolutely amazing guitar performance of Robert Fripp and is also where all band's members work together making of this song a very cohesive effort. It's really hard to believe how incredible this song is and how it's so perfect, to close this great album.

Conclusion: Despite "Larks' Tongues In Aspic" is, in my opinion, one of the best King Crimson's studio albums, it isn't a true masterpiece as "In The Court Of The Crimson King" and "Red" are. Why? Because it has two songs, "The Talking Drum" and especially "Easy Money", with less quality, in relation to the rest of the album. Still, this is a great album with a fantastic line up of musicians, one of my favourites together with the line up of their debut studio album "In The Court Of The Crimson King", and it has also some of the best musical moments composed and performed by the group in their long career. Everything sounds great. Every instrument is being heard. It's not like some other artists around. The guitar must be the only thing you hear in the whole song. No, Fripp is more of a composer than a guitarist. Besides, despite some lower points, "Larks' Tongues In Aspic" is an album amazingly performed by these musicians.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Three Of A Perfect Pair by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.28 | 1133 ratings

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Three Of A Perfect Pair
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Review Nº 307

King Crimson is one of the most innovative and experimental prog bands that already ever existed. The band, in fact, incorporated diverse and many influences and instrumentation during their long history, including symphonic, jazz, classical, psychedelic, heavy metal, hard rock, folk, and electronic music. So, somehow, we can say that King Crimson is a truly eclectic progressive band, probably the most eclectic progressive rock band that already ever existed.

"Three Of A Perfect Pair" is the tenth studio album of King Crimson and was released in 1984. The album is a balance between the more experimental "Discipline" and the more commercial and accessible "Beat". It's divided into the left side and the right side, with a third side added in 2001 with six bonus tracks. The album and title song's concept is based on the idea of perfect opposites and three sides to every story with, his or hers, and with an objective truth.

The line up on the album is Robert Fripp (guitar), Adrian Belew (lead vocals, fretted guitar and fretless guitar), Tony Levin (backing vocals, bass guitar, Chapman stick and synthesizer) and Bill Bruford (acoustic and electronic drums).

"Three Of A Perfect Pair" has nine tracks. All songs were written by all band's members. The left side has five tracks. The first track is the title track "Three Of A Perfect Pair". It opens the album with 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 that continues the King Crimson's sound of the previous two albums and it can be compared with some of those songs. The second track "Model Man" is a lovely and emotional ballad that sounds as an 80's new wave song. It isn't a great song, but once again Belew's singing it wonderfully, besides developing his musical taste. The guitar work is experimental and very good again and all the other instruments are also played very well. The third track "Sleepless" begins with a fast bass line that is soon joined by Bruford's bass drum beat and Fripp's altered guitar sound. This is probably the most 80's song on the album, but it still sounds very nice. However, this is probably my least favourite song on it. The fourth track "Man With An Open Heart" is a very solid rock ballad with some clever and interesting Japanese motifs, that reminds me of David Bowie and Talking Heads. This is probably the closest to 80's pop sound that they ever got and give us the opportunity to enjoy some cooler guitar lines and the smooth singing of Belew. The fifth track "Nuages (That Which Passes, Passes Like Clouds)" is a very soft track cool and moody, that might fit very well on an earlier 70's science fiction film. It has beautiful mellotron passages with that Fripp groovy guitar tone that he first experienced on "Epitaph", which sounds as a koto, picking high up on the string and leading a weird Asian accent to the piece of music. The right side has four tracks. The sixth track "Industry" is an instrumental track with its ominous drums and stick bass sounds very melodic with its delicate synthesizer work. It sounds positively very industrial and it probably represents the pinnacle of a new musical approach of the group, on this right side. This is an excellent track that musically explodes in all variety of directions and where all bands members show the full limits of their creativity. The seventh track "Dig Me" is one of the most King Crimson's experimental songs from the 80's. It's a very impressive track with an incredible musical execution that sounds very strange and with a disturbed vocal harmony that swings in all the chaos. The song switches between madness and stability, a song on the verge of falling apart completely. The eighth track "No Warning" is another instrumental and experimental track that sounds very dark like "Industry". It's another very enjoyable song with a slight psychedelic touch. Its instrumental and mood again are strange and experimental creating a final result with a very unique form very dark and effective. The ninth and last track "Larks' Tongues In Aspic (Part III)" has nothing to do with the previous two versions. It features familiar rhythms to the first two sections, but it's much different. The sound is far more electronic and is the shortest part of the trilogy. It sounds like a modernistic update version and it's not as bad as some detractors have claimed. It seems to me an appropriate end to this album.

Conclusion: "Three Of A Perfect Pair" is divided into three parts. We have the left side, the right side and a mysterious third side. So, as the name indicates, we have three of a perfect pair. Confused? I can see why. Even I'm not totally sure about it. But we may say there is a relative separation between the pop and the progressive parts. Still, this dichotomy isn't absolute. There are a number of interesting effects on the left side, especially on the title track, but there is also "Man With An Open Heart", which is one of the weakest King Crimson's songs. However, the majesty of the right side largely compensates the weaknesses of the left side. The style of the right side reminds me the masterpiece of Davis Bowie, "Low". So, "Discipline" is one of the essential King Crimson's albums and "Beat" is, somehow, a mixed bag and is clearly the weakest of the trilogy. "Three Of A Perfect Pair" is between the other two. So, it's strongly recommended.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Beat by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.06 | 1161 ratings

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Beat
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Review Nº 306

In my humble opinion, King Crimson, Gentle Giant and Van Der Graaf Generator are the three best eclectic progressive rock bands in the progressive rock history. The bigest differences between these bands is that King Crimson always has been a much respected band by a large number of fans of progressive rock world, while Gentle Giant and Van Der Graaf Generator have always been bands less checked. However, they always had a small but loyal cult of fans. But, above all, those three progressive rock bands belong to some of the best and most influential prog rock bands ever.

'Beat' is the ninth studio album of King Crimson and was released in 1982. The album does several references to the 'Beat Generation', what can perfectly have to do with its own name. It was focused on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the novel 'On The Road' by Jack Kerouac, a pioneer of the 'Beat Generation'. So, 'Beat' is almost a unique album in all King Crimson's discography because it's, in a certain way, a sole conceptual album that deals with various icons of the 'Beat Generation'. All its eight tracks are focused on some of the various icons of that generation.

The line up of the album is Robert Fripp (guitar, organ and Frippertronics), Adrian Belew (lead vocals, guitar and drums), Tony Levin (backing vocals, bass guitar and Chapman stick) and Bill Bruford (drums).

'Beat' has eight tracks. The lyrics are from Belew and the music is from Fripp, Belew, Levin and Bruford, except 'Two Hands' wich has lyrics by Belew and Margaret Belew. The first track 'Neal And Jack And Me' has a clear overt reference to the Beatnick write duo Neal Cassidy and Jack Kerouac. It's a song filled with a driving beat and opens the album with a series of guitar loops. Belew's is shouted, whispered and sung, distorted and clean, wrapped in interlocking guitars, which are the real highlight all over the track. The second track 'Heartbeat' is the song taken to be released as their single from this album. The song was also recorded by Belew for his 1990 solo album 'Young Lions'. 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 heard it on the radio from time to time, which is a real rarity with King Crimson. The third track 'Sartori In Tangier' is an instrumental track and represents the antithesis of a pop song. It opens with a pseudo classical intro that quickly moves through Hammond and guitar leads. This is an excellent track with all sorts and weird musical textures creating a very impressive musical image. The title is a clever twist of Kerouac's classic 'Satori In Paris'. The fourth track 'Waiting Man' is very similar to 'Discipline'. This song reflects King Crimson's fascination with the world music. It's a very nice song where Bruford uses his electronic percussion to create a real counterpoint to the bass line. The final result is a very intricate guitar rhythm section interplay, very interesting and good. The fifth track 'Neurotica' is a very freaky and bizarre song, even in King Crimson's style, with paranoid lyrics and full of demented imagery that describes perfectly well the complete insanity of a big city at night. All band's members make a very impressive musical performance providing all sorts of lunatic scrails, for a good final result and a great break on the album. The sixth track 'Two Hands' is no more than a simple pop song. The rhythm section and the guitar touches sound nice and evoke a kind of a certain decadent romanticism. However, it has nothing to do with the quality level of the rest of the album. It's the album's lower point and represents its Achilles' heel. The seventh track 'The Howler' is a clear reference to Allan Ginsberg's classic poem, 'Howl'. It's a pretty complex musical composition and it just screams out filler with every note. This is a faster paced piece of music that picks up where the madness of 'Neurotica' left off. It doesn't hold up nearly as well as 'Neurotica', but it still refreshingly very weird too. The eighth track 'Requiem' is the second instrumental on the album and it was chosen to be the B side of their album's single, 'Heartbeat'. This song has an incredible original display that begins with a very distinctive Fripp's guitar solo, Bruford's jazz drumming and Levin's subtle additions, making of it one of the darkest King Crimson's pieces of music.

Conclusion: 'Beat' is very similar in style to 'Discipline', but it's significantly less good than its predecessor. The main difference is that the energy contained on 'Discipline' is pretty much gone, and the cohesivity that we can see all over 'Discipline' has gone too. The playing on the album isn't much worse than on 'Discipline', or anything like that, but the sense of controlled permanent insanity that cross 'Discipline' and its crazy creativity that made of it so good has been replaced by a kind of 'normality'. In general, I would say that 'Beat', although not uniformly good, has some very nice tracks on it too. There's some good material here and some of the tracks are pretty enjoyable. But, it doesn't have the depth of 'Discipline', which it otherwise only closely have some resemblances. Concluding, 'Beat' is a good album made in a terrible time to the progressive rock music. The highlights on the album are 'Neal And Jack And Me', 'Neurotica' and especially 'Sartori In Tangier'. However, 'Heartbeat' is also a very good song despite its pop style.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Discipline by KING CRIMSON album cover Studio Album, 1981
4.12 | 1900 ratings

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Discipline
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by VianaProghead
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Review Nº 305

Part of the story of King Crimson shows us that they had several musical changes that occurred inside the band all over the years, and Robert Fripp is the only element that never quit the band. He is undoubtedly one of the most respected musicians of the universe of progressive rock. However, Fripp always said that he never was the group's leader, but the consistency of the path followed by the band and the rotation of its members, has shown otherwise.

It was in that context that appeared "Discipline". "Discipline" is the eighth studio album of King Crimson and was released in 1981. It's King Crimson's first album following a seven years hiatus, after the release of their previous seventh studio album "Red". After the release of "Red", Fripp disbanded the group in 1974. At the time, he had no intention of reforming King Crimson. However, when he decided to return to the music, his first step was to contact Bill Bruford and ask him if he was interested to join with him on a new band called Discipline. Only latter, Fripp decided that "Discipline" would be the name of their new studio album to be released with the old traditional name of the band.

The line up on the album is Robert Fripp (electric guitar and devices), Adrian Belew (lead vocals and guitar), Tony Levin (backing vocals, bass guitar and Chapman stick) and Bill Bruford (drums and percussion). So, only their founder member Robert Fripp and the latter addition of Bill Bruford remained in the band from their various incarnations.

"Discipline" has seven tracks. All songs were written by all band's members. The first track "Elephant Talk" shows clearly that the 70's sound of the group has gone. 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 them both. This is a perfect opener to the album. The second track "Frame By Frame" was the single from "Discipline" and continues the story of the previous track and represents another great musical moment. It's a more subtle work with amazing band instrumental passages and tasteful guitar duets. Fripp's own performance of extremely fast and repetitious guitar work, is simply amazing, and Bruford's drum work which ranks among the best of his career. The third track "Matte Kudasai" is a totally different song, a very beautiful and nostalgic song. The instrumental backing here doesn't go off into virtuoso standards of the two previous songs, but contains itself a great mood to the song. This track also features the best vocals on the album and proves that Belew is a fine singer too. The fourth track "Indiscipline" takes things in a very different direction. It's the most progressive track on the album, with Fripp leading the band through incredible dark instrumental passages that reminds us the good old King Crimson's days. It's the most difficult track on the album where everyone gets a chance to shine, pushing even more for the quality of the band. The fifth track "Thela Hun Ginjeet" is an anagram for "Heat In The Jungle". It's a rather curious and strange song, to say, at the least, the most erratic song on the album but it doesn't disappoint. It's funky, spaced out and weirdly fun, but it still has a strict King Crimson's very own personality, and a true notable bass line and an incredible drum work. The sixth track "The Sheltering Sky" is probably the most subtle beautiful piece of music that King Crimson has ever made. Sometimes it's described, as the showcase piece on the album. It begins with a quiet percussive line that gradually developing through various subtle arrangements and finally returning to the percussive line on which it began. The seventh and last track is the title track "Discipline". It's a summation of all that has come before. It closes the album with a statement of controlled expressivity, using the skills of all group's members to create a successful whole. I particularly like the way how Fripp and Belew's guitars weave through each other, creating order out of controlled chaos. It proves the profound chemistry between two of the most thought provoking guitarists ever.

Conclusion: I know this album since it was released and it amazed me when I listen to it for the first time. It's hardly recognizable as a King Crimson's album because it practically has nothing in common to the usual sound of the band that we were used to. King Crimson made a vital progression with this album, instead of keeping with the same sound like so many of their progressive rock contemporaries. "Discipline" has many elements of the new wave movement combined with the progressive rock music. Fripp's guitar lines have never been so refreshing when combined perfectly with Bellew's futuristic guitar style. To complete the picture we have the bass/chapman stick by the wizard Levin, the Bruford's expansive drum solo and Belew's vocals sounding like David Byrne of Talking Heads. "Discipline" is one of the best King Crimson's albums, despite "In The Court Of The Crimson King" be their most influential and sentimental album and "Red" be a very special album because it represents an influential album for the prog metal style. Even though this isn't King Crimson's ultimate album, all people with an open mind will embrace this masterpiece of the 80's.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

 Heaven & Earth by KING CRIMSON album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2019
2.59 | 8 ratings

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Heaven & Earth
King Crimson Eclectic Prog

Review by Man With Hat
Collaborator Jazz-Rock/Fusion/Canterbury Team

2 stars Travel Bleary Capricorn: The Condensed King Crimson, Double Duo Edition

The parade of megabox sets for King Crimson continues (and potentially concludes) with the largest time period yet. Collecting various incarnations and permutations of King Crimson, Heaven & Earth covers eleven years of King Crimson history. Starting with the 2000 band that produced The ConstruKction Of Light (and conducted an outstanding tour to accompany the album release), to the 2003 band that created The Power To Believe (although the lineup stayed the same the ethos was a bit different), and finally to the very short lived double drummer 2008 band, which played 12 shows in select cities in the United States. It also includes the period before the 2000 band was concocted; the interlude of self-identified fraKctalization of the band after the double trio had dissolved, to become known as the ProjeKcts. Originally there were four identified projeKcts, most of which existed very briefly, and a ProjeKct X (which was the main King Crimson band improvising in the studio). Later a ProjeKct Six was formed; this brief reprise is also documented here. Most of the music for the ProjeKcts was recorded, combined with a completely documented tour for The ConstruKction of Light and a heavily documented tour for The Power To Believe (and a smaller 2001 tour in between), makes the cache of material for this box truly massive and gave the potential for this to be the best megabox produced yet to celebrate this awe-inspiring band.

Unfortunately, the scope of this new projeKct was just too large. As a result, every single aspect of the box is underrepresented. Part of me feels like the good folks at DGM have become burnt out by this string of huge boxsets that undoubtedly take mindboggling amounts of work to put together. This should have been at least three separate releases. One boxset strictly focusing on the ProjeKcts, another boxset focusing on the 2000-2003 period, and a King Crimson Collectors Club entry for the 2008 show. Given the amount of material available for both the 2000 and 2003 tours, it is conceivable that two boxsets could have been produced, one for each tour. (Although, it must be said, the 2003 band was slightly less interesting in terms of a night by night perspective, as the improv factor was nearly non existent.) There are several other concerns for me that really adds to the sting. Firstly, is that this period of King Crimson's history was heavily documented and properly documented. Many of the previous boxsets had moments where tapes would just run out or were recorded in conditions that produced poor sound quality. Everything here is recorded superbly. Secondly, the 2000 tour is horrendously under represented in official releases. This was one of the most interesting periods in King Crimson's life, as the improv was flowing and all the electronic percussion and guitar patches could create some otherworldly soundscapes and sonic explorations. (The 2003 tour is better documented, but does lose this particular flair, although it does make up for it in intensity.) The third additional nettle to the eye is that of The ConstruKction Of Light itself. Apparently, the original tapes of the drum tracks were lost somewhere between 2000 and when they started to curate this boxset. As a result, Pat Mastelotto went back and re- recorded the drums but unlike the purely electronic drums of the original album, he uses his current kit, which is a mix of acoustic and electronic drums, heavily skewed towards the former. Given the circumstances around the lost tapes, I can understand the re-recording. The issue is over the original The ConstruKction Of Light not being included somewhere in this box. (It also appears that version of the album is gone forever, as they've released The ReconstruKction Of Light as the 40th Anniversary Edition of this album.) I'm not a fan of when bands erase and rewrite history. I'm not sure why they couldn't include the original mix of the album as a bonus or even just as part of the BluRay portion of the collection, but alas, they did not. All of these hitches make Heaven & Earth feel like a missed opportunity.

What was included feels more like a summary than an exploration of this time period of Crimson's history. There are 18 CDs and 4 Blu-Rays, only one of which is video. First up are four projeKcts discs, of which only ProjeKct Two is a complete show (although ProjeKct Four is essentially a completely show, as only the encore of Vroom is omitted). Then there is a three disc set called Live ConstruKction that is the only representative from the 2000 tour. This takes as a base the full show from London and adds nine improvs from the 2000 tour spread throughout the program (one previously released). These are the best bits in the box. Several collections of this type (a complete show with extra improvs added) would have been appreciated, especially if full shows were never a real option to be included. Following this are two shows from 2001 and then two previously released shows from 2003, Live In New Haven and EleKtriK - Live In Tokyo. Yet, for some reason, this Tokyo show is incomplete. Why not expand this to a two disk affair and add the missing pieces from the Tokyo show? An additional disk wouldn't be out of a place in a 24 disc set and would add a shard of positivity to the boxset. The final CDs are a two CD set complied from the four shows in New York City from the 2008 tour. While it is nice to have some physical evidence this tour existed, there is no reason this needed to be included here. This has no relation to the main focus of the box and, as stated above, would have made much more sense to be included as part of the King Crimson Collectors Club as a separate release. This also would have opened up a bit of space for more live excursions. Needless to say the music contained here is excellent, that much is expected from the force that is King Crimson. (It is only fair to add, that all the ProjeKcts material is here on Blu- ray, however there two issues here. One, this is an inefficient way to listen to music. CDs are portable, easy to listen to, and easy to transfer to a computer or similar electronic device. Two, perhaps in DGM's zest to finish these boxsets, the ProjeKct X disc, the previously released ProjeKcts material, and all of ProjeKct One's shows were improperly transferred to the Blu-ray disc and thus have higher pitch and run faster than intended. This is certainly one of the bigger gut punches of the box, as the ProjeKcts were a fertile and fun experiment, and since they've breezed past them in terms of CDs, this is the only way the vast majority is presented in this boxset.)

All in all, Heave & Earth is a monstrous and monstrously disappointing megabox set by King Crimson. The double duo was a ferocious beast, but what is presented here is not. It's like a bad translation of a book into a movie. Tremendous amounts are lost and the results are superficial at best. Maybe this isn't Fripp's favorite period in King Crimson's history, maybe they are indeed tired of spending so much time and energy on these uber large boxsets, or maybe the powers that be feel the double duo doesn't deserve the treatment that the 70s quintet/quartet received. It's amazing to believe this process started with a double-digit disc set for one singular album, and at (or near) its end, over a decade of activity is condensed together in one box with various configurations basically passed over. Supposedly, there will be a boxset dedicated to the 1969 era of the band. (Of course, it was originally teased for a release at the end of 2019, which is now, and there is no scuttlebutt about it, so perhaps this was just a pipedream.) I hope there is so that these megabox sets have a proper swan song. Either way, this is certainly one just for fans and one I can't really recommend that highly. 1.5 stars, rounded up to 2 for progarchives sake. Long live the Crimson King.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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