Frame By Frame The Essential King Crimson Rar
The first CD of four has their 1969-1971 material on it, and their legendary first recording has been transferred here quite nicely, having all of its material except the ten minutes sound wall of the "Moonchild" track. The next albums are presented quite shortly, and sadly there's much of material I personally found interesting missing.Disc two presents in my opinion their most interesting line-up with John Wetton and David Cross. The sound of re-mastered music is beautiful, and there's a good selection of songs here, but sadly "Larks' Tongues in Aspic part one", "Fracture" and "Starless" have been "abridged", which means they have been edited to shorter versions. This is truly a shame, I think it would have been better solution to select fewer tracks than giving several torsos for the display.Third disc has material from their Tony Levin and Adrian Belew era albums from the early 1980's, and this CD works most dynamically from all of these four CDs. The essential tracks are present unedited, and there's a nice "barber shop" song as a bonus feature at the end of the disc.The fourth CD has the live material on it. "Get Thy Bearings" is a nice cover song from Donovan, and their version of Holst's "Mars" is interesting and legendary act, but maybe bit boring. "The Talking Drum" is a bit weird selection, as it is usually used as a lead to "Larks' Tongues in Aspic part two" which is not there, but there's a version of "21st Century Schizoid Man" behind it. I'm not very satisfied with Robert's trend of altering his past works, but this opinion of course seen from a vantage point of his music's adorer. The conversation about artist's rights on own work versus audiences demand continues on some forums without resolution. Luckily there's "Asbury Park", which should interest the fans of the 1972-1974 line-up, as it is their full-improvised jam from the stage. The 1980's song choices are also fine, especially the version of "Indiscipline" here is awesome. There's also a small but funny misspelling in the album track times considering this disc, as "The Talking Drum" is marked to last nearly thirty minutes.There's also a very neat booklet included in the box, which has old paper articles about the band, an essay by Fripp, their gig lists and neat pictures which are animated when you flip the papers. If you are not familiar with the material of King Crimson 1969-1984 albums, this could be a decent introduction to them if you can lend this or get it with a moderate price. Maybe this isn't as "essential" in quality as its title suggests, but a better one in the family of the compilations of this band. social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Friday, December 16, 2005 Review this album Report (Review #60487)
frame by frame the essential king crimson rar
I simply adore anthologies, and when this one came out in the early nineties, it seemed like a godsend. No need to buy all those separate KC albums that you remembered from the 70s and 80s! All the essential stuff in a beautifully designed box! I still think FRAME BY FRAME is the most enjoyable Crimso compilation that ever appeared. Some people might complain that it has now been superseded by the so-called 21ST CENTURY GUIDES, but those are either too mammoth-like (TWO four-disc sets!) or too small in scope (the "condensed" version). No folks, if you want the best of classic Crimson on four solid CDs, FRAME BY FRAME is the setto go for. The only drawback is that it doesn't take you beyond 1984.Just look at the track listing. Virtually all of their legendary debut album, and of the equally legendary 1981 rebirth, is included. The second half of the first CD then provides a great selection from the early seventies ("Catfood" and "Groon" are there, as well as the utterly beautiful "Bolero" and the best seven minutes of "The Sailor's Tale"). The second disc offers you an ideal 70-minute selection from LARKS' TONGUES, STARLESS AND BIBLE BLACK and RED. The six best tunes from BEAT and THREE OF A PERFECT can be found on CD 3. It's true that a few of the longer tunes have been slightly abbreviated, but in my view this only makes them stronger.Now for the perversities. "Cadence and Cascade" has been remixed, with a new vocal by Adrian Belew - but before you start shouting "Fire!", please note that it sounds virtually identical to the original. The final disc is entirely devoted to live recordings, but whereas the tracks by the 1973-1974 and the 1980s bands are superb, I see no redeeming features in the tunes from 1969 ("Get thy Bearings", "Travel Weary Capricorn" and "Mars") which sound utterly boring to me. Also, "The Talking Drum" just does not segue into "Larks Tongues pt. 2", as it ought to. I must admit I hardly ever play this live disc, especially since I also bought two of Crimso's greatest REAL live albums, USA and ABSENT LOVERS. But don't let this put you off. FRAME BY FRAME is worth it for the studio material alone.FRAME BY FRAME dates from the good old days when four CDs were nicely packaged next to each other (not on top of each other) in an LP-size box. The FRAME BY FRAME box actually won a well-deserved prize for its design. The 64-page booklet (also LP-sized) is ravishing. Not only does it include a wide range of photos (many of them large-size), it also provides you with an extensive selection of the press reviews KC received through the years, both good and bad. As with the earlier YOUNG PERSON'S GUIDE TO KING CRIMSON, Robert Fripp has done his utmost to represent his band's legacy (as it stood in 1991) in the best possible way. social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Saturday, July 28, 2007 Review this album Report (Review #130515)
Yet another KC release to include In The Court of the Crimson King almost in its entirety. Only the tiresome instrumental extension of 'Moonchild' is missing. But then, every album between that and Lark's Tongues in Aspic are given *very* little space here. For example the excellent Lizard (1970): only a remix of 'Bolero'. Albums featuring John Wetton are handled better, but editing the awesome 'Starless' under five minutes is cruel. I don't mind other editings that exist here, unlike fans probably do. These unbalanced decisions can't be explained with the lack of space: 1) each CD runs under 70 minutes, 2) the Disc Three is completely dedicated to the three albums of 1981-84, which means they are for the most part included. Good grief! So, that era is considered to be more important than the years 1970-1972?? As far as I'm asked, those albums sound very much the same. Two tracks from each would have been fair enough. I understand the symmetry in separating that era into another disc than the earlier generation with ever-changing line-ups, but was it really a good idea in practice? NO! I was making a KC compilation to myself when borrowing this annoyingly big box, but I had to borrow some studio albums too to make it the way I wanted. Not very well done from a four-disc set... I don't know the price of it, but I'm sure you'd get several albums with the same amount of money. Me, I'd hate to see such big glumsy box on my own shelf, especially if the contents are so unbalanced. This low rating of course deals more with the nature of the compilation, not the music itself. I'm definitely not saying this wouldn't include some of the most essential prog rock ever done. social review comments Review PermalinkPosted Wednesday, March 14, 2012 Review this album Report (Review #658691)
Live in Central Park, NYC, 1974 is another matter, however. Having already released Mark 3's first gig through the Club, this is their last and is another stormer. Fripp describes it in his sleevenotes as "Angels descending from heaven on chariots of fire blowing trumpets of gold in your ear", so I think it's safe to assume he thought it was a good one too. The band are, er, 'blowing' after a lengthy US tour, especially the rhythm section, who were, by this point, rather drowning out David Cross: violin vs. Wetton/Bruford. Hmmm. Cross and Fripp were, by this point, using the white/black colour scheme (instruments and clothes) that rather pointed out their personality differences; Fripp couldn't have looked more satanic had he been sporting horns and a forked tail. While a great album, capturing this classic band on a great night, Central Park is slightly less essential from the Mellotronic point of view than most of the Club CDs, if only because most of the Mellotron tracks are available in similar versions elsewhere, chiefly on The Great Deceiver. The exception is the rocking improv Cerberus, with some ripping strings from Mr. Cross under Fripp's searing lead work (review cliché no. 14), shifting into some orchestrated flute work in the 'funkier' section (that is, Crimsoid funk, which has little in common with James Brown et al.). As a result, killer performance, but Mellotronically inessential.
Jahnhalle, Pforzheim, Germany, March 31, 1974, a.k.a. Starless, disc 16, is a solid set from the era, only in any way outstanding due to its two improvs, the second of which is one of the band's better efforts. Plenty of Mellotron, of course, with faint flutes and background strings on The Great Deceiver, Cross' string part under thundering bass and guitar on Improv I, more chordal flutes and cellos on Improv II, the expected cellos and dual strings on Exiles and the equally expected strings on The Night Watch, Lament, Starless and Easy Money. Fracture's only three minutes or so, as the tape cuts out, so no idea whether it was the 'Mellotron version' or the 'non-Mellotron version'. There are now three volumes entitled The Collectable King Crimson (we're not going to go there re. the no fewer than ten volumes of The Collectors' King Crimson), each of which doubles up two releases. No big deal, until you realise that Volume 1 pairs the already-available Mainz gig and the original version of Casino, Asbury Park, New Jersey, June 28, 1974, better known as the source gig for USA. Eddie Jobson's overdubs are nowhere to be heard, Cross is back in the frame and the whole thing's in the correct running order. Hurrah! This is, unsurprisingly, an absolute stormer; Fripp didn't choose it back in '75 for nothing... Given that it doesn't seem to be available on its own, if you don't already have the Mainz set, buy this double, especially as it's available at Amazon and other online retailers. Stacks of Mellotron too, of course. Essential.