Adding to the already dizzying array of King Crimson live material is this second volume of the Collectable King Crimson, which hosts two gigs from 1981 in a double-disc set. The two discs vary in sound quality, but in terms of performance they are both fiery, exuberant and frequently stunning. Disc 1 has been retrieved from a cassette bootleg recording and has been restored as well as possible. The back cover notes that the quality is "fair". Disc 2 is a different story in that its sound quality is absolutely excellent.
With two live shows from 1974, The Collectable King Crimson, Voi. 1 features arguably the most talked about and beloved incarnation of the group. Robert Fripp, Bill Bruford, John Wetton and David Cross certainly a formidable line-up, and Crimson's most ferocious, especially in a live environment. With album tracks as well as mind-blowing improvisations, the two shows here are packed with uncanny playing from the band, all showing their talents at creating progressive rock that borders on jazz-fusion as well as hard rock. The sound quality are great, the booklet features some nice commentary from Wetton and KC historian Sid Smith, giving some insight into the band at the time of these recordings.
Tour Box with a CD only available at King Crimson concerts during the 40th Anniversary Celebration Tour. Contains a mixture of interview clips, studio outtakes, and live performances.
'Larks' Tongues In Aspic', from 1973, is widely regarded as one of the truly great King Crimson albums. With its raw tone, inspired improvisations and hard hitting odd-metered rhythms, the album marked a radical departure for this most forward thinking of groups and was the first to include Bill Bruford and John Wetton as band members. This 40th Anniversary edition features new mixes by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree) and Robert Fripp.
"Pictures of a City" seems meant to pick up where "20th Century Schizoid Man" left off, with it's furious ensemble passages, knotty Fripp guitar leads and Greg Lake's authoritative vocal. "Cadence and Cascade" helps fill out the ballad quotient with a beautiful, wispy vocal from transitional singer Gordon Haskell. A valuable note of humor is interjected into the proceedings via the jokey, off-handedly jazzy "Cat Food." Keith Tippet's piano and Mel Collins' sax–both soon to play larger roles–were introduced on POSEIDON as well.
The 1994 return of King Crimson was timed perfectly, matching, in no particular order, one of the peak periods for CD sales, a time of great variety of radio formats in the USA, the growth of a number of bands who pointed eagerly to the influence of King Crimson - especially of the 1972-74 band - a more positive critical reception for the band, following the remasters of the catalogue, Frame by Frame and Great Deceiver boxed sets supervised by Robert Fripp. Such timing not only benefited from the release of the various musicians from their other musical commitments, but in Robert Fripp's case, the ultimately successful battle to regain control of King Crimson's catalogue.
Recorded over a period of 10 days in August 1969 & released on October 10th of the same year In The Court Of The Crimson King stands as one of the defining albums of British rock music & one of the finest debut albums of all time. Described at the time as "an uncanny masterpiece" by Pete Townshend, the album has achieved legendary status over the years. It is the only studio document of an extraordinary year in the life of King Crimson; a year that began with the group's first rehearsals on January 13th, included a residency at the Marquee Club, a concert in Hyde Park with The Rolling Stones, the recording and release of the album and ended with the dissolution of the lineup at the close of Crimson's 1st American tour in December.
The relationship between this EP and King Crimson's Power to Believe (2003) long-player mirrors that of the six-track Vrooom (1994) sampler and subsequent full-length release Thrak (1994). The music perfectly contrasts the primarily instrumental and live Level Five (2001) EP by honing in on the latest lyrical contributions from Adrian Belew (guitar/vocals). The disc begins with "Bude," the first in a series of short spoken verses incorporating an electronically manipulated and harmonized Belew. The result is similar to the voice box effect used by Peter Frampton on "Do You Feel Like We Do?."