compilation album by the band King Crimson, released in 1976. At the time the band had split. The track selection was by Robert Fripp.
Its name is most likely derived either from the famous orchestral work The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra from composer Benjamin Britten or the 1960s television series Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, created by conductor/composer Leonard Bernstein.
The gatefold-sleeve featured, as the front and back cover, artwork by Scottish artist Fergus Hall.
Included as part of the package was a booklet, replete with
photographs, and detailing gig history and notable events: this was
compiled by Robert Fripp from his own archive.
To date, its sole CD release has been in Japan,
in 1990. This 2-CD set, which faithfully duplicated the vinyl
running-order, included a reproduction of the booklet, scaled-down.
Playing times are approximately 40 minutes long for CD1, and 35 minutes
For almost two decades before King Crimson's catalog became a minefield of odd retrospectives, live oddities, and archival treasure troves, A Young Person's Guide to King Crimson
was the only worthwhile retrospective the band had ever had -- or
seemed likely to receive. Originally released in 1976 following the
band's apparently irrevocable split of the year before, this Robert Fripp-compiled
double album rounded up an excellent, if somewhat idiosyncratic, survey
of the group's seven years together, its contents ranging from the
unimpeachable classics to unimaginable rarities -- the pre-Crimson
demo of "I Talk to the Wind" was a collector's dream at the time, while
the presence of "Groon" took the heat off anyone who missed out on its
sole previous appearance, as the B-side of 1970's "Cat Food" single. Of
the other tracks, three-fifths of the debut album included the anthemic
poles of "21st Century Schizoid Man" and "Epitaph," and served to remind
just how powerful In the Court of the Crimson King was on release, while more recent highlights included both "Red" and "Starless" from the band's final album (Red), Starless and Bible Black's
eternally atmospheric "The Night Watch," and, as if to prove that the
band's sense of humor was never far from the surface, the ribald saga of
"Ladies of the Road." A vast booklet of facts and figures, again
compiled by Fripp and drawing from his own squirrel-like horde of King Crimson
memorabilia, rounded off the package. It's a sign of just how well
conceived this collection was that, no matter how many more so-called
"best-ofs" the band has endured, A Young Person's Guide remains the definitive study of the original King Crimson.
This is a great collection and contains most of the band's best music.
The material was recorded between 1969 and 1974. There are 15 tracks and
it lasts 74 minutes. In my opinion, the band recorded two classic
albums: "In the Court of Crimson King" (1969) and "Red" (1974). This
record also includes the best tracks from the band's five other studio
The original version of the band included Robert Fripp,
Ian McDonald, Greg Lake and Mike Giles. Jimi Hendrix saw them play at
the Marquee Club In London and declared them the best band in the
world. Their debut in 1969, In the Court of the Crimson King, was
probably the first progressive rock album. The band set a benchmark for
rock that has rarely been surpassed, combining high standards of
musicianship with an urge to experiment.
Ian McDonald wrote a lot
of the music on the band's first album including the songs "In the
Court of Crimson King" and "I Talk to the Wind." McDonald and Giles left
the band after the first US tour unable to deal with the pressures of
sudden fame. Greg Lake left in 1970 to join ELP because he thought the
band would not be the same without McDonald & Giles.
needed serious chops to play Crimson's music and Fripp became a
demanding bandleader. Fripp is one of rock's finest guitarists and not
many players can live up to his standards. After the break-up of the
first band, line-ups changed frequently. Fripp remains something of an
enigma. During the 1970s he seemed to fall-out with many of his former
band mates. McDonald was due to rejoin in 1974, but Fripp decided to
take a break from the music business in order to enter a spiritual
retreat in his native Dorset. This ended the band's first era of
existence. Crimson returned in 1981 with a new line-up. For me, the
later versions of Crimson were a disappointment. The musicians were
good, but the music was less interesting.
I have always loved the
version of "I Talk to the Wind" on this album, although it sounds like a
demo. It was recorded at a flat in 93A Brondesbury Road in London. It
features Judy Dyble on lead vocals. Dyble was a founder member of
Fairport Convention and Fripp's landlady in the early 1970s. The
musicians include Fripp, Mike Giles, Peter Giles and MacDonald. This is
my favourite version of the song.
brilliant. There are several great tracks which feature the violin
playing of David Cross. He added another dimension to the music, but he
only managed to stay for two and a half albums.
vinyl release came with a booklet which told the history of the band
through album reviews and interviews with former band members in the
music press. It is a fascinating read, mainly because it is so honest.
It documents the tensions within the band. It was edited by the then
"Bob" Fripp, who mysteriously chose to not reveal his side of the story.
1. Epitaph (8:52)
2. Cadence and cascade (3:36)
3. Ladies of the road (5:27)
4. I talk to the wind (3:15)
5. Red (6:18)
6. Starless (12:17)
1. The night watch (4:38)
2. Book of Saturday (2:52)
3. Peace - A theme (1:14)
4. Cat food (2:43)
5. Groon (3:30)
6. Coda from Larks' Tongues in aspic part one (2:09)
7. Moonchild (2:24)
8. Trio (5:38)
9. In the court of the Crimson King (9:21)
Total Time: 74:14
Line-up / Musicians
- Bill Bruford / drums, percussion (5, 6, 7, 12 & 14)
- Boz Burrell / bass, vocals (3)
- Mel Collins / saxes, flute (2, 3 & 6)
- David Cross / violin (7, 8 & 14) viola & voice (12)
- Judy Dyble / vocals (4)
- Robert Fripp / guitars, mellotron, devices (all)
- Michael Giles / drums, percussion, backing vocals (1, 2, 4, 10, 11, 13 & 15)
- Peter Giles / bass (4, 10 & 11)
- Gordon Haskell / vocals (2)
- Greg Lake / bass, vocals (1, 10, 13 & 15)
- Ian McDonald / woodwinds, reeds, keyboards, mellotron, vocals (1, 4, 6, 13 & 15)
- Robin Miller / oboe (6)
- Jamie Muir / percussion, voice (12)
- Peter Sinfield / words (1, 2 & 15)
- Keith Tippett / piano (2 & 10)
- Ian Wallace / drums (3)
- John Wetton / bass, vocals (5, 6, 7, 8, 12 & 14)