- Ultimate Boxed Set Edition of one of rock music’s seminal debut albums.
Blu-Ray 4 features all-new, 2020, Dolby Atmos mix by Steven Wilson.
Complete, fully mixed stereo recording sessions feature on Blu-Ray, DVD & across 6 CDs
Blu-Rays also feature the original master edition of the 1969 album mix in 24/96 stereo, the 2019 stereo & 5.1 mixes, the 2009 stereo & 5.1 mixes, a complete alternate album comprising 2019 mixes & more.
"Let's Make a Hit Waxing" - single CD 'in the studio with the band' mixed & compiled by David Singleton - also features in 24/48 on DVD & 24/96 hi-res on Blu-Ray.
13 further CDs present all known live recordings of the band, BBC sessions, a CD compilation of Giles, Giles & Fripp material (1968) & all studio recordings & alt takes of the main album.
Presented in an album sized box with outer slipcase, containing a 12" booklet featuring an intro from Robert Fripp, notes about the source tapes by David Singleton, sleeve-notes by King Crimson biographer Sid Smith & previously unseen photos from the recording sessions plus memorabilia.
Artwork derived from 2019 scans of the original paintings, meticulously restored.
The eighth boxed set in the series documenting King Crimson’s studio & live recordings from 1969 onwards.
“…Let’s make a hit waxing…” – studio chatter on recording sessions, 1969
The complete audio history of one of the most important debut albums of all time is presented across 26 discs in this boxed set. Featuring a new Dolby Atmos mix by Steven Wilson, 6 CDs' worth of session material on CD & Blu-Ray for the first time (fully mixed by David Singleton), a further disc of newly compiled studio material, the box also includes the original studio album, every alternate take known to exist, every mix known to exist, all live recordings known to exist & a selection of pre/Crimson 1968 recordings.
The set - as with the previous boxed seven sets in the series - is housed in a vinyl sized box complete with a booklet featuring an introduction by Robert Fripp, notes about the source tapes from David Singleton, sleeve-notes by King Crimson biographer Sid Smith, previously unseen photos from the recordings sessions, additional memorabilia & a protective outer sleeve.
“…an uncanny masterpiece” – Pete Townshend, 1969
It’s a quote that’s forever associated with the album. It was used in advertising at the time of release. Unlike many claims made in advertising it has, like the album it heralded, stood the test of time. It’s easy to forget how quickly things moved for the first incarnation of King Crimson: Formed January 13th 1969; by late Spring they were regulars on stage at the likes of The Marquee and The Speakeasy clubs & performed with Tyrannosaurus Rex at The Lyceum, during May recorded the first of two BBC sessions, initial album recording sessions in June & then, in early July – the big breakthrough – played to 650,000 people in Hyde Park supporting The Rolling Stones, the album recorded in July/August, signed to Island Records (& Atlantic in the USA), missed the Isle of Wight festival due to illness/exhaustion, more gigs & a second BBC session in August, broadcast in September, a Top 5 charting, unanimously lauded album in the UK, followed by a Top 30 debut in the USA weeks later, toured the USA – with concert appearances at legendary venues such as the Boston Tea Party, Chicago’s Kinetic Playground, New York’s Fillmore East & another appearance on a bill with The Rolling Stones – this time at a Miami festival & then, following a series of December appearances at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, it was over, as quickly as it had begun – the arc for the band from formation to dissolution had taken barely more than 11 months, leaving behind an iconic – both musically and in terms of cover art - self-produced debut album, a fearsome live reputation & the sense of a band that, in its brief period of existence, set its own agenda. This boxed set collects every existing note that the band played - from the live gigs to the complete studio sessions, the album itself, plus every alternative take & all mixes of the album including the original mix, the 40th and 50th anniversary mixes in stereo & surround sound & a brand new Dolby Atmos mix - the ultimate edition of the quintessential debut album.
Familiar sources, fresh sounds...
Having done 5.1 Surround Sound mixes for both the 40th & 50th anniversary editions of the album, Steven Wilson was able to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by Atmos mixing, allowing for far greater movement within the mix itself. As he put it: "I've definitely had a bit more fun with the Atmos mix, watch out for solos and mellotrons circling overhead!" While the improv section of 'Moonchild' is a particular beneficiary of this approach, the mix is very active, with plenty of ear-catching moments to offer to listeners.
Likewise, significant work on the multi-track tapes was undertaken by David Singleton - who mixed all of the existing multi-track sessions recordings to stereo as well as running the single track CD length 'Let's Make a Hit Waxing' - from those same tapes. "Listening to the original recording sessions was astonishing.
Time collapses and you are suddenly there in the studio with a young band, just starting out, as they experiment with recording their first album. It is not so much listening to a slick product, more witnessing a process. You are present at the birth."
King Crimson has returned many times since that birth and in many different line-ups – each different from its predecessor and, with two concerts at The Palladium in late 2018 & three shows at The Royal Albert Hall in June, 2019, the current band has played to more people in London, the city in which it began, than at any point since 1969 & in the process, played more of the material from 1969 than any line-up since the original. The current line-up has, on more than one occasion, been described as “the best live band in the world” – something that also used to be said of the original band.