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


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.56 | 50 ratings

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4 stars Definitive collection for King Crimson's first string of incarnations The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson was issued as a follow-up to 1991's 4-disc compilation Frame by Frame. The Guide consists of two 4-disc "volumes", each containing two discs of studio material, two discs of live material, and a comprehensive booklet on the band.

The tracks - handpicked by Mr Fripp himself - are not only representative of the band, they effectively replace the need for the individual albums. In the Court is presented in its entirety (except for the latter part of Moonchild, which has been edited away) as is Red. The remainder albums have their best tracks represented, if not the studio version then live. The only major casualty is that Starless has been (shockingly) abridged, so track down the original to have a truly complete collection.

The real clincher for this set is the selection of live tracks. Fripp has chosen the best cuts from Crimson's many, many live albums (including Epitaph, Earthbound, USA, The Great Deceiver, and The Night Watch) and put them all into one place.

For absolute KC-heads, there are two unreleased tracks here. The first is the studio version of Groon (which was the B-Side of Cat Food) and the second is the short "Improv: Augsburg".

Great collection, that, grouped with Volume II, covers the entirety of KC's career. An adequate replacement for the individual albums for all but the most die-hard fans.

Evan | 4/5 |


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