The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Monday, January 26, 2009

King Crimson


1-26-09 King Crimson


We only just talked about the mighty K.C. at the end of last year, but I was just taking a look at what I still own…I still say to go in chronological order, if at all possible. The new / recent versions of the CD’s sound pretty good. I have original UK vinyl when possible, or Japanese vinyl.


And I have purchased some of the latter-day issues of vintage material, notably “The Collectable King Crimson Vol. 1 (Live ’74)”, “Epitaph – Vols. 1 – 4 (Live ’69)”, “The Great Deceiver Part 1 (Live, ‘73-’74)” and “The Night Watch (Live ’73)”. I am aware that there is likely some over-lap on the ’73-’74 live material, but…these volumes were inexpensive. I used to work in an office that had a bootleg CD of some of the material on the “Night Watch (Live ’73)” set – so I knew the performances were good, and Fripp’s legit issue CD’s of this material sound pretty good (for live material).


And I don’t have a CD of “Young Person’s Guide to K.C.”, which means I do not have the Judy Dyble version of “I Talk To The Wind” on CD. And I don’t think I have the studio version of “Groon” on CD either (the B-side of “Cat Food”). One day (when they are inexpensive) I must check what else had been issued, as regards the earlier days of the band.


And when the European paper sleeve versions rolled along (2000?), I noticed that only “USA” got bonus tracks (more of that mid-70’s live material). Still, really good sound!


I guess everything will be re-issued yet again – as the Japanese take off into their newest CD variant venture: SHM-CD ( = Super High Materials ). The Japanese ’03 kami sleeve CD’s are truly wonderful, really excellent attention to detail. I have the first four albums as Japanese kami sleeve CD’s. What would they have to do to get me to buy these titles yet again? I doubt they can promise even better sound, at least for the late 60’s / early 70’s recordings.


I love having K.C. 45’s, too. Talk about obscure at the time! I had to go to Europe to find ‘em! Well, the non-US 45’s, anyway. The U.S. 45’s weren’t much of a problem – they were all inexpensive (some under $1). The sleeve of the “Cat Food” single is awesome. And 5 x different versions of “21st Century Schizoid Man” as a CD single?


CD5 21st CENTURY SCHIZOID MAN VIRGIN UK VSCDG 1597

1996 5 TRK CD EP CD5 5 diff. versions

7" 21st CENTURY SCHIZOID MAN / EPITAPH ISLAND UK WIP 6274

1976 2 TRKS no pic sleeve (60's recording) re-issue at the time of “Young Person’s Guide…”

7" CAT FOOD / GROON STATESIDE DE 1C 006-91380

1970 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, German pressing

CDx2 COLLECTABLE KING CRIMSON, Vol. 1 (2CD) DGM US DGM 5001

2006 19 TRKS ('74 recordings) Live

LP EARTHBOUND ISLAND UK HELP 6

1972 5 TRKS 5th; Live

CD EARTHBOUND VIRGIN UK CDVKCX 11

1972 5 TRKS 5th; Live ('02 issue) kami sleeve

CDx5 EPITAPH - Vols. 1 - 4 (5CD boxed set) WHD JPN IECP-20025-8

1997 40 TRKS Live '69, BBC sessions etc.; kami sleeve, includes a bonus sampler disc

7" GREAT DECEIVER, THE / NIGHT WATCH, THE ATLANTIC US 45-3016

1974 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7" GREAT DECEIVER, THE / NIGHT WATCH, THE ISLAND DE 13 261 AT

1974 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CDx2 GREAT DECEIVER, THE: Part 1 (2CD) DGM US DGM 5004

2007 24 TRKS ('73-'74 recordings) Live

LP IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING ATLANTIC JPN P-10115A

1969 5 TRKS ('71 issue) insert

7" IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING (Short) / (Long) ATLANTIC US 45-2703

1969 2 TRKS no pic sleeve, promo

7" IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING / (Part 2) ISLAND FR 6138 014

1969 2 TRKS with pic sleeve, re-issue

CD IN THE COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING WHD JPN IECP-10003

1969 5 TRKS 2nd vers. ('06 issue) kami sleeve

LP IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON ATLANTIC JPN P-8104A

1971 10 TRKS insert

LP IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON ISLAND UK ILPS 9127

1970 10 TRKS UK original issue

CD IN THE WAKE OF POSEIDON UNIVERSAL JPN UICE-9052

1970 8 TRKS ('03 issue) kami sleeve

LP ISLANDS ISLAND UK ILPS 9175

1971 6 TRKS UK original issue, gatefold inner-sleeve

CD ISLANDS WHD JPN IECP-10006

1971 6 TRKS 4th ('06 issue) kami sleeve

LP LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC ISLAND UK ILPS 9230

1973 6 TRKS UK original issue

CD LARKS' TONGUES IN ASPIC kami VIRGIN UK CDVKCX 5

1973 6 TRKS ('02 issue) kami sleeve

LP LIZARD ISLAND UK ILPS 9141

1970 8 TRKS UK original issue

CD LIZARD UNIVERSAL JPN UICE-9053

1970 5 TRKS 3rd ('03 issue) kami sleeve

CDx2 NIGHT WATCH, THE (2CD) DISCIPLINE GM DGM 9707

1973 12 TRKS Live '73

7" NIGHT WATCH, THE (Mono) / (Stereo) promo ATLANTIC US 45-3016

1974 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

LP RED ISLAND UK ILPS 9308

1974 5 TRKS UK original issue

CD RED VIRGIN UK CDVKCX 7

1974 5 TRKS ('00 issue) kami sleeve

LP STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK ISLAND UK ILPS 9275

1974 8 TRKS UK original issue

CD STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK VIRGIN UK CDVKCX 6

1974 8 TRKS ('02 issue) kami sleeve

LP USA ISLAND DE 88 816 XOT

1975 6 TRKS Live

CD USA VIRGIN UK CDVKCX 12

1975 9 TRKS ('02 issue) (3 x bonus tracks) kami sleeve

LPx2 YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE TO KING CRIMSON, THE (2LP) ISLAND UK ISLD 7

1976 15 TRKS Collection, booklet; UK original issue


Kami sleeve CD = paper sleeve CD


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4 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Hmmm. Never saw the Catfood single. Good thing I have TYPGTKC on LP for the single version! Also a good thing that the sleeve's on discogs.com:

http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=386491

Yes - that is intriguing!

Yes, one of the first CDs I ever heard was of ITCOTKC. It was absolutely GHASTLY and infinitely worse than my vinyl. Probably a 10th generation dupe. As of 2004 Fripp swears that they finally found a 1st gen master, so I still need to buy a copy. Eventually. If only to bask in the exquisite horror of 21st Century Schizoid Man again.

12:12 PM  
Blogger chas_m said...

I had or have (in storage) copies of Lark's Tongue and Starless, probably left behind by Tom (inside joke).

I recall being fairly "bleah" about the KC 70s material; interesting, certainly. Accomplished, you bet. It just didn't rub me quite the right way, sort of similar to my feeling about Jethro Tull.

When the band was reinvented in the 80s, I sat up and took notice. Maybe having those Frippian Bowie albums pass through the meat grinder of my mind made Crimson more palatable, or maybe Fripp just happened to key on my musical DNA on that outing (I liked Fripp's two solo albums that came out before this as well).

Now I can take a lot of King Crimson from all eras in good stride, though they will always be more "interesting" than "mandatory" for me. Still, I'll probably buy ITCOTKC if they have a good quality version at a reasonable price.

5:05 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Good quality, possibly. Reasonable price - never.

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Charles:

Its never too lat to get good quality copies of KC at a reasonable price. I have bought all of my KC albums [some 30 year kami remasters, others 25 year jb remasters] used at no more than half full retail. Though Ron may be right on ITCOTCK. I have never seen a copy of the 2004 remaster [ignore ALL others!!!] at less than full retail. Hence its absence in my rather nice KC collection. I have CDs of all albums of studio canon except: ITCOTCK and Islands [had it - got rid of it - it sucks!] I have no live CDs except for the great "Nightwatch," which has the complete concert that was the source for much of "Starless & Bible Black," my 2nd favorite KC album. There's now so much live KC out there I really can't go there…in a Bill Nelson sort of way, with a kind of mocha swirl of ubiquity.

It's too bad the single version of "Catfood" is not on CD except for the Frame By Frame 4xCD boxed set… which I highly recommend to you. If you only want a great distillation of KC - this is it. Catfood is amazing jazzpunk that sticks out of 1970 like a sore thumb.

7:36 AM  

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