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


King Crimson

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5 stars I actually really enjoyed this compilation. It includes an "overview" of sorts on their years from '69-'74, including the best of their studio works and some very nice live material. Sure there are a few "edited" versions of songs, but when it comes to "moonchild" sometimes that's not a bad thing. The live compilations are the best reason to buy the actual compilation. I also enjoyed the studio material, but being that I'd already heard it all, it wasn't amazing. I would highly recommend this as an essential beginng to newer fans of Crimson. It is essential to those looking to find out what exactly they like about Crimson, and from there on deciding which albums to buy. It was reasonably priced at $50 where i bought it, considering it includes almost all of In the Court, Red, and a lot of very nice live material for those who (like me) don't want to delve into the numerous Crimson Live albums out there without some sort of prelude. I would even recommend this to older fans and completionists due to the fact that is has a nice timeline-related history of the band from '69-'74 included in color with nice pictures/article clippings also attached. It is an overall very nice collection that belongs in every new Crimson fan's library, and is a nice buy for those looking to have well-mixed compilations of the best of Crimson from this era. In my words: highly recommended to all.
Report this review (#61889)
Posted Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#224281)
Posted Thursday, July 2, 2009 | Review Permalink
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.

Report this review (#232301)
Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009 | Review Permalink

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