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4.8 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • LP Record (Dec 1 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: eOne Music
  • ASIN: B0042EJD5I
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  LP Record  |  DVD
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 159 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #15,588 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Product Description

Recorded over a period of 10 days in August 1969 & released on October 10th of the same year In The Court Of The Crimson King stands as one of the defining albums of British rock music & one of the finest debut albums of all time. Described at the time as an uncanny masterpiece by Pete Townshend, the album has achieved legendary status over the years. It is the only studio document of an extraordinary year in the life of King Crimson; a year that began with the group's first rehearsals on January 13th, included a residency at the Marquee Club, a concert in Hyde Park with The Rolling Stones, the recording and release of the album and ended with the dissolution of the lineup at the close of Crimson's 1st American tour in December. This edition will be pressed on 200 gram super-heavyweight vinyl. It was newly cut from master tapes approved by Robert Fripp. It also includes a download card for mp3 files of the album.

When King Crimson released In the Court of the Crimson King in 1969, a year after the band formed in London, the world discovered a music that has never gone away. At times, it is a rush of raw energy that mutates into an impossible balance of light and shade. This was the stuff of musicians who had no fear of stepping boldly into the unknown. Led by crafty guitarist Robert Fripp, who later added his own magic to Bowie's Heroes, King Crimson got big fast with this release. --Paul Clark --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been listening to "In the Court of the Crimson King" for over forty years. Every time I hear this album, I am taken back to the first time that I heard it, and still find the music to be fresh and vibrant. Over the years, I have worn out two vinyl copies (a Canadian pressing on cheap vinyl and a UK pressing on much better vinyl) and, with this box set, I am now on my third CD version (representing each of the CD masters that have been released since 1985). I was, however, extremely reluctant to spend the money for this box set.

At first, I thought that I would not bother as I was fairly happy with the 30th anniversary re-master, but, my interest was piqued by the fact that Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree was responsible for the new re-master of both a stereo and a MLP Loseless 5.1 surround mix. I could have been happy with just these as they have been released (along with four other King Crimson albums) in a double disc format as part of the 40th Anniversary series. I decided to take the plunge for this box set. My review below is not for the music in the original album as I consider it to be one of the all-time classic Rock albums. I decided to review the box set itself.

This box set includes the two discs from that version of the album but also includes four other discs. The DVD aside, there are four different masters of the original album: the latest 2009 re-master by Steven Wilson; the Master Edition 2004 re-master; a version from original stereo vinyl; and a version taken from the original mono vinyl. In addition there are a number of out-takes from the original sessions and live tracks from concerts circa 1969. The DVD is comprised of the MLP Lossless 5.
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Format: LP Record
As vinyl has been progressively been (re)gaining popularity, more and more classic albums are getting reissued - to varying degrees of success. Some stellar, some far from it. The source of the remaster seems to be one of the keys - digital (less desirable) or analog (most desirable). It isn't always easy to tell from the packaging either. Sometimes, it's a gamble.

In the case of ITCOTCK, the seminal first album by Prog pioneers King Crimson, there is no gamble with this version. Analog masters, very good quality pressing, top notch sound. You can buy this one with confidence and enjoy the beautiful, organic sound of pristine vinyl of a very well recorded album. It has never sounded better to my ears, and I had the original album.

I won't get into the vinyl vs. digital debate. Suffice to say that the consumer has two top notch choices between this vinyl version and the 40th Anniversary set remastered by the brilliant Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree. Pick which you prefer, you can't go wrong. Or have you cake and eat it too by having them both. The 40th Anniversary double disc set has a 5.1 Surround Mix and bonus tracks to boot.

But the original 5 songs are what this album is about and why it has continued to grow in stature with time. The only weak spot in my view was "Moonchild" but now, it just sounds like a quaint period piece and in many ways, foreshadows the later 'found sounds' used much more effectively in KC's "Larks Tongues in Aspic" album from 1973. Can't wait to hear what Steven Wilson will do with that one!

21st Century Schizoid Man is often considered the ultimate blueprint for the best of what Prog could be. And the title track is as powerful and dramatic a Prog melody as any band would create.
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Format: Audio CD
Time and time again we are confronted with artists who put out a great debut album and never climb that high ever again. When it comes to talking about the paradigmatic example of such a phenomenon my choice would be King Crimson and their debut album "In the Court of the Crimson King." Released in 1969 with its distinctive cover art, this was the album that set the standard for progressive/psychedelic rock for the next decade. Except for the title track the songs are ensemble efforts by guitarist Robert Fripp, drummer Michael Giles, bass player and lead vocalist Greg Lake, keyboard player Ian McDonald, and lyricist Peter Sinfield.
The best track on the album is the first, "21st Century Schizoid Man," with its big main riff and jazz-rock middle section ("Mirrors"). The music is somewhat distorted at times, but that does not stop the group's musical virtuosity from coming through. As you would expect from the title, the song paints a picture of dystopian future that embodies the worst tendencies of the late 1960s, and remains the standard by which other progressive rock epics are judged. In terms of political sensibilities nothing comes close. The song also stands out because the following track, "I Talk to the Wind," is more folk-rock and constitutes a sort of cleansing of the palate before proceeding to the rest of the album (it is actually a song members of the group had played on earlier efforts).
The title track is not the best King Crimson song, but it is probably their best known one (and the one song that was written just by McDonald and Sinfeld). The conceit is of a medieval court afflicted by a black queen, fire witch, and other equally dark images heading for total destruction.
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