Rock  Progressive
King Crimson The Condensed 21st Century Guide to King Crimson (1969 – 2003) DGM0604 2 CD
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Format2 Audio CD
Ordering NumberDGM0604
Release date05/10/2006

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      When acclaimed director Alfonzo Cuaron was choosing music for his recent film Children of Men, one of the first pieces chosen was In the Court of the Crimson King – a 1969 piece, for a 2006 film, set in 2027. King Crimson’s line-up has changed frequently, the sound altered radically, but the commitment to music – as reflected in the title of the band’s latest studio album The Power to Believe - has been a constant from the time of Crimson’s first major concert with The Rolling Stones in Hyde Park to the band whose most recent major tour of the USA was as guests of Tool.

      “Shake my left hand, man, it’s nearer to my heart” – Jimi Hendrix to Robert Fripp after an early Crimson show in 1969. (Hendrix’ right arm was in a sling at the time)

      Few bands share King Crimson’s longevity; fewer still – as the quotes from a wide variety of musicians & time periods show – can claim the broad sphere of influence that has accompanied it. Almost none has produced, as Crimson has, an essential studio recording in every decade from the 1960s onwards - from the debut In the Court of the Crimson King (1969), to Red (1974), Discipline (1981), THRAK (1995) & The Power to Believe (2003).

      “an uncanny masterpiece” Pete Townshend talking about In The Court of the Crimson King at the time of release in 1969.

      Elements of King Crimson’s sound, from various different points in the band’s career, have become omni-present in modern rock music. Muse, Tool, Mars Volta, Dream Theater, Radiohead, Porcupine Tree – to name just a half dozen – all seem to owe an enormous sonic debt to King Crimson.

      “It’s impossible to quantify the effect that this band has had on contemporary musicians”. Steve Vai 2004 (talking about the mid 1970s line-up)

      The raw facts of this release speak for themselves: a 2CD compilation of 32 tracks, with each of the 2CDs running almost to the complete 80 minute format capacity, drawn from a catalogue spanning 13 studio albums (+ singles & mini albums), released between 1969 – 2003, featuring material performed by 20 musicians from 6 line-ups (+ a transitional line-up), material honed, expanded, altered, improvised upon & often recorded at 871 concerts given on 3 continents, by 1 of rock music’s longest running, most consistently innovative & enduringly influential bands.

      “Fripp’s probably closer to what we’re trying to do than anyone..” Joe Strummer 1981.

      No individual compilation could ever hope to fully represent every aspect of a band with a history as long & varied as King Crimson, (the band’s formidable live reputation is captured on several available recordings), so The Condensed Guide focuses exclusively on studio recordings.

      “When it seemed that poodle hair, baggy trousers combined with eyeliner and a post-punk attitude to song writing was about to inherit the earth, King Crimson was re-born with a freshness that shocked me with its clarity, intention, elegance and finely reduced song narratives.” Scanner 2006 (talking about the 80s line-up)

      The compilation functions on any number of levels – an introduction for those new to the band, an overview for those familiar with some of the music, a straightforward Best of... for those looking for a summary of the band’s career to the 2003 compilation end point. (The current band line-up 7 has yet to release a studio recording.)

      “There’s something that John Wetton says on a King Crimson album: ‘Well, here’s our next assault on culture’, and that’s what I hope we’re doing, not that we would dare compare ourselves to King Crimson.” Cedric Bixler-Zavala 2006

      So the compilation acts as a timely reminder of both the history & the continuing relevance of King Crimson & the band’s central role across decades of musical adventure.

      “Robert Fripp is still as daring and adventurous today as he was when he started King Crimson almost 40 years ago.” Mike Portnoy 2006

      The Condensed 21st Century Guide to King Crimson offers a taste of what has made this band so special for so many people.

      Tracklist hide

      hide CD 1
      • 1.21st Century Schizoid Man
      • 2.Epitaph
      • 3.The Court of the Crimson King (abridged)
      • 4.Cat Food (Single Version)
      • 5.Cadence and Cascade
      • 6.Ladies of the Road
      • 7.Sailor´s Tale (abridged)
      • 8.Larks´ Tongues in Aspic Part II (abridged)
      • 9.Book of Saturday
      • 10.Fracture (abridged)
      • 12.Starless (abridged)
      • 13.Red
      • 14.Fallen Angel
      more CD 2
      • 1.Elephant Talk
      • 2.Frame by Frame
      • 3.Matte Kudasai
      • 4.Discipline
      • 5.Heartbeat
      • 6.Waiting Man
      • 7.Neurotica
      • 8.Three of a Perfect Pair
      • 9.Sleepless (abridged)
      • 10.Vrooom
      • 11.Coda: Marine 475 (abridged)
      • 12.Dinosaur (single version)
      • 13.Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream
      • 14.The Power to Believe I
      • 15.Level Five
      • 16.Eyes Wide Open
      • 17.Happy with what you have - To be happy with (EP Version abridged)
      • 18.The Power to Believe III
      • 19.The Power to Believe IV