King Crimson’s ‘In the Court…’ 50th Anniversary Editions Due

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One of the most groundbreaking albums of 1969, King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King, is being expanded and reissued. The 2-LP edition will go on sale Oct. 18, 2019, and the 3-CD and Blu-ray boxed set goes on sale the following week, Oct. 25.

The album was originally released on October 10, 1969.

LP1 features 2019 Steven Wilson stereo mixes (approved by Robert Fripp), while LP2 features alternate takes and recordings (five pieces mixed by Steven Wilson and two pieces mixed by David Singleton). The reissue was cut by Jason Mitchell at Loud Mastering from original 24/96 high-resolution source files with artwork derived from the original paintings, meticulously restored for the limited edition full sized, signed prints.

Watch King Crimson perform “21st Century Schizoid Man” in 1969

A press release regarding the packages begins with a quote from Pete Townshend, who called the album “…an uncanny masterpiece.”

The release continues: “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 13, 1969; by April they were regulars on stage at the likes of The Marquee and The Speakeasy clubs and performed with Tyrannosaurus Rex at The Lyceum, by May recorded the first of two BBC sessions, initial (abandoned) album recording sessions in June and then, in early July – the big breakthrough – played to 650,000 people in Hyde Park supporting The Rolling Stones, the album recorded in August, signed to Island Records (and Atlantic in the USA) Atlantic, missed the Isle of Wight festival due to illness/exhaustion, more gigs and a second BBC session in September, a Top 5 charting, unanimously lauded album in the UK, followed by a Top 30 debut in the USA weeks later, then toured the USA – with concert appearances at legendary venues such as the Boston Tea Party, Chicago’s Kinetic Playground, New York’s Fillmore East and another appearance on a bill with the Rolling Stones – this time at a Miami festival and 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.”

Continues the release: “King Crimson would return in many different line-ups over the years – each different from its predecessor and, with two concerts at The Palladium in late 2018 and three shows at The Royal Albert Hall in June, 2019, the current line-up has played to more people in in London, the city in which it began, than at any point since 1969 and 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.”

Related: King Crimson is one of many bands that haven’t been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Who else?

The 50th anniversary 3-CD/Blu-ray edition of King Crimson’s seminal debut is presented in 2 x gatefold sleeve containing the individual CDs plus booklet with sleeve-notes by Sid Smith (packed in a rigid slipcase).

CD1 – 2019 Steven Wilson stereo mix (approved by Robert Fripp) alonside 2019 instrumental mixes (with Moonchild edited to song length)
CD2 – An expanded edition of the alternate album from the Blu-Ray
CD3 – The original master edition of the 1969 mix plus additional tracks

Blu-ray Contents:

* 2019, 5.1 and stereo mixes by Steven Wilson in 24/96 resolution (for the first time)
* Original master edition of the 1969 album mix in 24/96 stereo.
* A complete alternate album comprising 2019 mixes by Steven Wilson including a much extended duo version of I Talk to The Wind, a June 19th version of ‘The Court of the Crimson King’ from the band’s final day at Morgan studios in June 1969, an isolated voice dominant version of ‘Epitaph’ & a version of ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’ which combines the Morgan studios instrumental with Greg Lake vocals from Wessex studios and August 2019 overdubs by Mel Collins & Jakko Jakszyk – the latter two mixed by David Singleton.
* A further album’s worth of additional material drawn from studio takes – much of it mixed by Steven Wilson & including extracts from the ‘wind session’ that produced the intro to 21CSM in stereo for the first time, the single a/b sides of the album title track drawn, for the first time since on disc, from the original master tapes & more are also included.
* The Blu-Ray is completed by a set of 2019 instrumental mixes and the surviving fragment of black & white footage from Hyde Park in 1969

All material on this set will also feature on the forthcoming Complete 1969 Sessions (the eighth boxed set in the series documenting King Crimson’s studio and live recordings from 1969 onwards).

For further details on the reissue packages and the original album, go here.

Listen to the original recording of “In the Court of the Crimson King”

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  1. Goodwolf
    #1 Goodwolf 11 October, 2019, 23:20

    Must admit i didn’t know much about the record except for the anazing cover.Then i heard 21st Century Schiczoid song i was hooked. Can’t wait

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