Friday, October 2, 2015

King Crimson - 1993 "The First Three"

The First Three: In the Court of the Crimson King / In the Wake of Poseidon / Lizard Box set, Limited Edition. Collectors' Edition. 3 Limited Edition Picture Discs in standard jewel CD cases housed in cardboard flip-top box. This compilation ℗ & © 1993 Virgin / EG Records.
First Three album for sale by King Crimson was released on the Caroline label. THE FIRST THREE box set includes the first three King Crimson releases: COURT OF THE CRIMSON KING (1969), WAKE OF POSEIDON (1970), and LIZARD (1971). First Three CD music is a 3-disc set with 18 songs.

Caroline combined King Crimson's first three albums -- In the Court of Crimson King, In the Wake of Poseidon, and Lizard -- in one slip-cased box set in 1994. First Three songs For any fan who had yet to replace their vinyl with CDs, this is an ideal purchase, but collectors who already own the discs may want to think about this set twice, since it contains no bonus tracks or new packaging. First Three albums.

1969 "In the Court of the Crimson King"

In The Court Of The Crimson King (subtitled An Observation by King Crimson) is the debut studio album by the British rock group King Crimson, released on 10 October 1969. The album reached number five on the British charts, and is certified gold in the United States, where it reached #28 on the Billboard 200.
The album is generally viewed as one of the first works to truly embody the progressive rock genre, where King Crimson largely departed from the blues influences that rock music had been founded upon and mixed together jazz and classical symphonic elements. In his 1997 book Rocking the Classics, critic and musicologist Edward Macan notes that In the Court of the Crimson King "may be the most influential progressive rock album ever released". The Who's Pete Townshend was quoted as calling the album "an uncanny masterpiece". In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came fourth in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums". The album was named as one of Classic Rock magazine's "50 Albums That Built Prog Rock".
The album was remastered and re-released on vinyl and CD several times during the 1980s and 1990s. All of these versions were based on tape copies that were several generations removed from the originals. The original first-generation stereo master tapes were thought to be lost, but were finally located in a storage vault in 2003. This led to a much improved remastered CD version (see below), released in 2004.
Once again, in time for the album's 40th anniversary, the album was re-released both on vinyl and CD with newly cut masters approved by Robert Fripp. The CD/DVD set includes a stereo and 5.1 mix done by Steven Wilson, as well as the original mix.

The group's definitive album, and one of the most daring debut albums ever recorded by anybody. At the time, it blew all of the progressive/psychedelic competition (the Moody Blues, the Nice, etc.) out of the running, although it was almost too good for the band's own good -- it took King Crimson nearly four years to come up with a record as strong or concise. Ian McDonald's Mellotron is the dominant instrument, along with his saxes and Fripp's guitar, making this a somewhat different-sounding record from everything else they ever did. And even though that Mellotron sound is muted and toned down compared to their concert work of the era (e.g., Epitaph), it is still fierce and overpowering, on an album highlighted by strong songwriting (most of it filled with dark and doom-laden visions), the strongest singing of Greg Lake's entire career, and Fripp's guitar playing that strangely mixed elegant classical, Hendrix-like rock explosions, and jazz noodling. Lineup changes commenced immediately upon the album's release, and Fripp would ultimately be the only survivor on later King Crimson records.

Tracks Listing

1. 21st Century Schizoid Man (7:20) including
- a. Mirrors
2. I Talk To The Wind (6:05)
3. Epitaph (8:47) including
- a. March For No Reason
- b. Tomorrow And Tomorrow
4. Moonchild (12:11) including
- a. The Dream
- b. The Illusion
5. The Court Of The Crimson King (9:22) including
- a. The Return Of The Fire Witch
- b. The Dance Of The Puppets

Total Time: 43:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Greg Lake / bass guitar, lead vocals
- Ian McDonald / reeds, woodwind, vibes, keyboards, mellotron, vocals
- Michael Giles / drums, percussion, vocals
- Peter Sinfield / words and illumination

1970 "In The Wake Of Poseidon"

In the Wake of Poseidon is the second studio album by the progressive rock group King Crimson. The album was recorded during instability in the band, with several personnel changes, but repeats the style of their first album, In the Court of the Crimson King. Also like their first album, the mood of this album often changes from serene to chaotic.

King Crimson opened 1970 scarcely in existence as a band, having lost two key members (Ian McDonald and Michael Giles), with a third (Greg Lake) about to leave. Their second album -- largely composed of Robert Fripp's songwriting and material salvaged from their stage repertory ("Pictures of a City" and "The Devil's Triangle") -- is actually better produced and better sounding than their first. Surprisingly, Fripp's guitar is not the dominant instrument here: The Mellotron, taken over by Fripp after McDonald's departure -- and played even better than before -- still remains the band's signature. The record doesn't tread enough new ground to precisely rival In the Court of the Crimson King. Fripp, however, has made an impressive show of transmuting material that worked on stage ("Mars" aka "The Devil's Triangle") into viable studio creations, and "Cadence and Cascade" may be the prettiest song the group ever cut. "The Devil's Triangle," which is essentially an unauthorized adaptation of "Mars, Bringer of War" from Gustav Holst's The Planets, was later used in an eerie Bermuda Triangle documentary of the same name. [In March of 2000, Caroline and Virgin released a 24-bit digitally remastered job that puts the two Mellotrons, Michael Giles' drums, Peter Giles' bass, and even Fripp's acoustic guitar and Keith Tippett's acoustic piano practically in the lap of the listener.]

Tracks Listing

1. Peace - A Beginning (0:49)
2. Pictures Of A City(including 42nd At Treadmill) (8:03)
3. Cadence And Cascade (4:27)
4. In The Wake Of Poseidon (incl. Libra's Theme) (7:56)
5. Peace - A Theme (1:15)
6. Cat Food (4:54)
7. The Devil's Triangle (11:39)
- a. Merday Morn
- b. Hand Of Sceiron
- c. Garden Of Worm
8. Peace - An End (1:53)

Total Time: 40:56

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitar, mellotron, devices
- Greg Lake / vocals
- Michael Giles / drums
- Peter Giles / bass
- Keith Tippett / piano
- Mel Collins / saxes, flute
- Gordon Haskell / vocals on 'Cadence And Cascade'
- Peter Sinfield / words

1970 "Lizard"

Lizard is the third studio album by the British band King Crimson. It was the second recorded by a transitional line-up of the group that never had the opportunity to perform live, following In the Wake of Poseidon. This is the only album by the band to feature bassist and vocalist Gordon Haskell, apart from his appearance on the song "Cadence and Cascade" from the previous album, and drummer Andy McCulloch as official members of the band.

Lizard is very consciously jazz-oriented -- the influence of Miles Davis (particularly Sketches of Spain) being especially prominent -- and very progressive, even compared with the two preceding albums. The pieces are longer and have extensive developmental sections, reminiscent of classical music, and the lyrics are more ornate, while the subject matter is more exotic and rarified -- epic, Ragnarok-like battles between good and evil that run cyclically. The doom-laden mood of the first two albums is just as strong, except that the music is prettier; the only thing missing is a sense of humor. Jon Anderson of Yes guests on one key number, "Prince Rupert Awakes" (which vocalist/bassist Gordon Haskell never completed), and the album is stronger for his presence. At the time of its release, some critics praised Lizard for finally breaking with the formula and structure that shaped the two preceding albums, but overall it's an acquired taste.

Tracks Listing

1. Cirkus(including Entry Of The Chameleons) (6:28)
2. Indoor Games (5:41)
3. Happy Family (4:16)
4. Lady Of The Dancing Water (2:44)
5. Lizard:
- a. Prince Rupert Awakes (4:36)
- b. Bolero - The Peacock's Tale (6:39)
- c. The Battle Of The Glass Tears (10:58)
- i) Dawn Song
- ii) Last Skirmish
- iii) Prince Rupert's Lament
- d. Big Top (1:13)

Total Time: 42:35

Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitar, mellotron, electric keyboards & devices
- Mel Collins / flute & saxes
- Gordon Haskell / bass guitar & vocals
- Andy McCulloch / drums
- Peter Sinfield / words & pictures

- Robin Miller / oboe & cor anglais
- Mark Charig / cornet
- Nick Evans / trombone
- Keith Tippet / piano & electric piano
- Jon Anderson of YES / vocals on "Prince Rupert Awakes"


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