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King Crimson - The Condensed 21st Century Guide 1969 - 2003 CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.02 | 33 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
4 stars The definitive box set for any Krimsonites collection is undoubtedly "The 21 Century Guide to King Crimson: Volumes One and Two"; 8 CDs of solid classic King Crimson including rarities and a ton of live material. This alternative compilation "The Condensed 21st Century Guide 1969 - 2003" is way cheaper and has no live material but most of the treasures that are terrific for any newcomers to the band wanting to taste and see why the Krims are such an incredible force in the Prog universe.

If you are new to the band here is an excellent starting point featuring some of the indelible classics from the unbelievably influential debut ITCOTKC such as indispensable 21st Century Schizoid Man (7:23), Epitaph (8:55) and Court of the Crimson King (Abridged) (7:16). Early gems are here Cat Food (Single Version) (2:47), Cadence and Cascade (4:37), Ladies on the Road (5:30) and Sailor's Tale (Abridged) (7:02).

From LTIA and Red are of course Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 1 (Abridged) (6:41), Book of Saturdays (2:49), Fracture (Abridged) (10:05), Starless (Abridged) (4:37), Red (6:15) and Fallen Angel (5:55). The second CD is condensed treasures from "Discipline" Elephant Talk (4:44), Frame by Frame (5:08), Matte Kudasai (3:46), Discipline (5:02) and there are some fantastic cuts from the next albums in the catalogue, Heartbeat (3:54), Waiting Man (4:26), Neurotica (4:50), Three of a Perfect Pair (4:10), and bass slapping brilliance on Sleepless (Abridged) (4:36).

The weird Krim period follows with the deliriously progalicious Vrooom (4:37), Coda: Marine 475 (Abridged) (2:05), and then some singles including Dinosaur (Single Version) (5:18), Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream (4:48). I love the "Power to Believe" album and it is well represented here with Power to Believe I: A Cappella (0:43), Level Five (7:17), Eyes Wide Open (4:09), Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With (3:44), Power to Believe III (4:10) and Power to Believe IV: Coda (2:21).

It is very condensed with edits and abridged versions throughout but there is so much on this 2 CD set to love and it is all packaged neatly with info and book on the band. This is an excellent addition to any prog collection, though not the masterpiece material of volumes 1 and 2 of course. If you want to know why King Crimson are kings of prog, treat yourself to these compilations.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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