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King Crimson - 21st Century Guide: Volume One (1969-1974) CD (album) cover

21ST CENTURY GUIDE: VOLUME ONE (1969-1974)

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.56 | 50 ratings

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AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Team
5 stars This box set was irresistible when I was first collecting King Crimson as it featured excellent live versions of their classics without having to buy heaps of separate live CDs. Anyone who owns the first few studio albums would not find this compilation useful apart from the live tracks. But I was pleasantly surprised at how great it is to hear all of these tracks in a different context. The exhaustive booklet is fascinating and laced with pictures and info on the Krims.

The live CDs are wonderful with fascinating versions of 21st Century..., and Lark's Tongue..., plus some gems such as Mars Bringer of War. The quality is patchy at times but this is the band in their raw form with undoubtedly the best lineup in their history. Some tracks are edited for length such as 'Moonchild', tho I am not complaining, however most are here in full versions.

The box set delivers on every level from the incredible musical virtuosity of the band to their chequered history. It features all that we love about King Crimson - complex musical genius and lyrics that transcend the norm, lots of jazz fusion and weird drum patterns, and strange instruments mixed with guitars and drums - the Krims in their early years were unbeatable for prog genius and innovation. Every track on this CD is an essential part of their history. Almost the entire ITCOTCK, Red and Larks Tongue is here and that's worth the price tag if you do not own these astounding important prog legends.

There is little else that needs to be said except this is one of the best box sets you can find. If you are new to the band here is an excellent starting point. Due to the content of the box set I have to label it a masterpiece as it contains all their best work in their best era.

As a wonderful supplement follow up it is worth getting hold of Volume 2 box set. Perhaps they are the only Cd packages necessary for those who want to dip into the world of KC without buying stacks of albums.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 5/5 |

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