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.
Having released two albums in a nine month period between October 1981 and July 1982, “Three of a Perfect Pair” is the final part of the recorded trilogy begun with “Discipline” and “Beat”. Originally released in April 1984, from the pointillist minimalism of the title track through to the urgent rush of ‘Sleepless’ and the album’s closer ‘Larks’ Tongues in Aspic III’ - the only reference to the 1970s incarnations of the band – Crimson’s distinctive mixture of rock, electronica, funk and pure pop songs, ensured the group’s status as one of the most interesting and innovative bands of the decade.
Deluxe box set containing 21 CDs, four Blu-rays and two DVDs - all audio. Three CDs feature Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp stereo mixes of In The Wake Of Poseidon (1970), Lizard (1970) & Islands (1971) + additional tracks. Six CDs feature the Islands line-ups early concerts from Germany (new to CD) and the UK (1971). Nine CDs feature live recordings (several new to CD and/or previously unreleased in any format) from the 1972 US tour, including a new stereo mix of Summit Studios and an expanded Earthbound…
“Beat” was released in June 1982 just eight months after the 80s Crimson lineup debut album “Discipline”. It marked the first occasion where a King Crimson line-up had remained intact for a two album stretch and was also the first album by the band to employ a separate producer – Rhett Davies. The juxtaposition of lyrics heavily influenced by 50s beat luminaries Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. The complex polyrhythmic musical textures of the ‘80s Crimson, the strength of the songs and the cohesion of the studio performances, all helped the album chart upon release in the US and the UK…
Another one of those mega King Crimson box sets is due in November. Sailors’ Tales brings together the ‘complete’ 1970-72 King Crimson across 27 discs. This set includes 21 CDs, four blu-ray discs and a pair of audio-only DVDs.
King Crimson evolves, changes, morphs as relentlessly as the Soundscapes which open each concert. Since the 2016 tour of Europe, the band has become a double quartet line-up with Bill Rieflin’s return from sabbatical as keyboard player & Jeremy Stacey’s confirmation as a permanent member/third drummer. This allows for the inclusion of an ever more complex & compelling array of material, far more than can be contained in a single concert. With options for up to three keyboard players in the current line-up – Fripp & Stacey both have setups alongside their respective guitar/drum rigs - the majority of Lizard is performed live for the first time ever, likewise Fallen Angel from Red is making its first ever concert appearance/live recording, Cirkus envelops the listener in sound, the beautiful title track from Islands closes the first set, while staples from the 1980s line-up Indiscipline and Neurotica appear in very different arrangements.