|The Road To Red - Q & A
|:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Jun 22, 2013
This just in from those lovely people at Panegyric.
The Road To Red Q & A
The Road to Red
What is it?
It’s a multi CD/DVD-A/Blu-Ray set drawn from King Crimson’s final US/Canadian tours from April - July 1974 & the studio recordings at Olympic studios in London in July 1974 presented in a 12" box similar to last year’s Larks’ Tongues in Aspic set.
I was at one of those shows. I still treasure the ticket stub/handbill/poster I grabbed from outside the venue after the show.
Lucky person. Please feel free to email DGM a decent scan of any/all of the above. If it’s something we don’t have in the archive & we use it, you’ll get your name included in the ’thank you’ section in the booklet, so long as you tell us your name.
When will it be released?
We’re aiming for October.
What’s in it?
The exact contents are still being finalised but it’s looking like about 20CDs, 1 DVD-A & 2 Blu-Rays.
That’s a lot. But what Music - not what number of discs?
Oh, yes, well on CD:
One concert from audio restored bootleg - Central Park - July 1st 1974 - previously only available as a KC mail order Collectors’ Club release.
A number of concerts drawn from the band’s own stereo soundboard cassettes.
Four of these are unreleased in any format: June 5th & 8th from Texas, June 16th from Colorado, June 23rd from Michigan.
A further group of concerts are issued on CD for the first time - having been available from DGMLive as downloads only.
The complete concerts from this tour previously issued on CD only in edited form on The Great Deceiver and/or as downloads from DGM live are also included:
Pittsburgh, Toronto, Penn. State University & Providence, as is the Chris Murphy mix of the Asbury Park concert - These CDs were all mixed from multitracks & appear as they did on the CDs as released.
Finally, on CD, there is also a new stereo mix of the Red album by Robert Fripp & Steven Wilson.
Some fans already own Great Deceiver and/or Asbury Park
We allow for this fact when we’re setting the price of the set. Many other boxed sets in the market offer far less music for a similar or higher equivalent price.
Is that everything you have at DGM?
From this period, no, there are some bootlegs from the tour - but it would have made the box too expensive to include them. We could issue them separately at a later date if there’s demand. The final concert in the box (from bootleg) is included as it’s a great performance & the last of its kind. The DGM archive covers all eras of the band that may form the basis of future releases, but it made most sense to focus this set on the April/July 1974 tours
OK, sticking with this one for the moment, what about the DVD-A & the two Blu-Ray discs? What footage is there?
No footage (unless someone decides to send us the footage they shot of [insert gig name here] & forgot about for the last 39 years), this is an audio only set.
The DVD-A will feature the new stereo mix of Red & the stereo mixes of USA in high-resolution stereo.
The two Blu-Rays will feature the stereo mixes from the DVD-A above &
the (previously released) 5.1 mixes of Red.
You need two Blu-Rays for that?
I hadn’t quite finished. The Blu-Rays also feature those complete concerts, Ontario, Penn. State University et al, that were professionally recorded & mixed from multi track recordings, newly transferred from the original Dolby SR half inch stereo master tapes in high resolution stereo.
Wow, what does that sound like?
The boxed set allows a listener to take a ’virtual tour’ with King Crimson in 1974. For most of the concerts - drawn from soundboard cassettes - the sound is broadly similar to the perspective of the guys behind the desk on any given day, perfectly reasonable & better than many live recordings from the period.
The stereo CDs from the shows that were multi-tracked sound even better, as anyone familiar with The Great Deceiver knows.
The new transfers on the Blu-Rays are in a different league when it comes to audio quality.
Effectively, the listener is placed front & centre a few rows from the virtual stage while King Crimson play some of the best concerts of their career on a final tour schedule immediately prior to the recording of the classic Red album.
All of the previously download only gigs have been comprehensively remastered also.
This is a key era for the band & one of the most requested from fans of the band when it comes to archive releases.
When can I order it?
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On This Date 41 Years Ago...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Mar 29, 2015
Starless And Bible Black was released on this date 41 years ago.
The album received mixed reviews at the time. The Melody Maker, under the headline Crimso: Black is beautiful, declared “...the history of Crimson would appear to consist of a series of internal struggles, polarised between Fripp and various caucuses in the band and centering on Fripp’s assertion of the rightness of his own path, but little of of it resulting in real creative tension. Probably as consequence of greater personal stability, however, and possibly because of a more harmonious chemical balance within this particular set of musicians, this album strikes me as an extremely happy medium between emotion and technique; it’s neither as overweeningly grandiose and manic as the first two albums, nor as precious as Islands. In short, as Micawber would say, Mr. Fripp seems to have got his shit together.”
Record Mirror observed “They are an incredibly highly strung group, fierce when driving together and daring on solo flights. Side two’s title track and Fracture may be more than you can bear to listen to on first hearing; try it again and again and rock’s cobwebs start to dissolve.”
Sounds reckoned “King Crimson have made a record that equals in intensity and innovative musicianship the strength that can achieve on stage. LTIA palled very quickly as an album, especially when you’d seen them play a good gig, but this one - I suspect - will maintain its ability to hold you through a sequence of twists and turns much longer than its predecessor.”
And finally, NYC’s TV News had this advice for listeners: “As long as you take the next few weeks to become accustomed to Starless you’ll probably develop an intense passion for it. Suggestion: don’t listen to it if you’re depressed or contemplating life after death.”
New Crimson Titles Unveiled
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Mar 27, 2015
Robert Fripp has updated his online diary today and reveals the titles of three new tracks currently under construction at this week's King Crimson rehearsals. Robert also reveals that an album featuring a full set list taken from last year's American tour is in the pipleline though no release date has been set. You can read all about it here.
Gathering The Threads
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Mar 26, 2015
Judy Dyble has a new three disc career-spanning anthology out now called Gathering The Threads. The album features archive tracks featuring Judy's stint with Ian McDonald and Giles, Giles & Fripp. By way of a launch event she's appearing in London tomorrow...
Judy will also be playing a concert in April. Check out this site for more details.
Sign Of The Times
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Mar 25, 2015
We’ve seen this sign before here on the news page but here it is again - spotted in the vicinity of Tate Modern, and still managing to screw up the actual quote.
Music is the cup which holds the wine of silence
Sound is that cup, but empty
Noise is that cup, but broken
On This Date 30 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Mar 25, 2015
30 years ago today the very first Guitar Craft course was held at Claymont Court, West Virginia. According to the wikipedia entry for Guitar Craft, by 2011 three thousand students had attended the Guitar Craft courses whose aim was to offer participants an opportunity to develop "a relationship with the guitar, music and oneself".
Fall Tour Bundle Available
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Mar 23, 2015
There’s a 28 date tour bundle available for download from today. Taken from King Crimson’s ConstruKction Of Light Fall tour, 28 gigs will cost you just $120 FLAC and $92 MP3. The tour starts on 19th Oct 2000 in San Francisco and comes to a rousing conclusion in Toronto on 24th November. if you’ve purchased three of the shows that were previously available before the bundle then you’ll be eligible for a free download of your choice.
King Crimson - c'est magnifique
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Mar 23, 2015
Due to the demand for tickets an extra date at Paris Olympia has been added to King Crimson’s forthcoming European dates. The band will now be playing Sunday, September 20th in addition to the already publicised dates 21st and 22nd September.
Tickets go on sale Wednesday 25th March at 10.00 a.m. (French local time) from here.
In case you missed it, three more dates were added to the band's UK itinerary last week:
Saturday 12th Sept The Lowry, Salford
Tuesday 15th Sept Symphony Hall, Birmingham
Friday 18th Sept Usher Hall, Edinburgh
Tickets can be obtained here and at the venues.
It Was 42 Years Ago Today...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Mar 23, 2015
Larks’ Tongues In Aspic was released on this date 42 years ago.
Can you recall the day you first encountered this album? Please leave your comments on the guestbook. You can read my take on that over on the blog.
In the meantime here's what Ian McDonald, writing in the New Musical Express in March 1973 had to say about the album...
"A NICE RECORD of pleasant, middle-of-the-road music which should prove a great favourite with everybody’s mum and dad this Easter. Bill Bruford’s whistling has improved out of all recognition and Robert Fripp’s Gregorian Chant rendition of ’I Did It My Way’ cuts Joaquin Des Prez’s original stone dead.
Sharks’ Lungs In Lemsip is, in fact, a record (in every sense) of King Crimson’s current cosmic stage-act, leaving out only the long improvisation called ’Vista Under Arc-Lights’ which comes in the middle.
The fact that the group have taken enormous trouble over the mixing of this album is not, in itself, remarkable in this age of quad, flash, and total theatre; what is remarkable, however, is their choice of mixes for.
At almost every point they have avoided the easy drama or conventional felicities most bands would be content with in favour of a sound-balance faithful to what’s actually been played – including the odd bomb here and there. And it’s in no way a literal proposition either.
This album embodies a creative reinterpretation of what a conventional rock-group should sound like in the studios, a tour-de-force of timbre and rhythm that, in the days of synthesizers and electronics, single-handedly reinstates credibility to the natural sound.
Bands lacking the technical know-how or simple inclination to set off in the direction Faust have indicated should bend an attentive ear to King Crimson. There’s a lot to be learned.
Whether you see the album as the group do – a sequence of vivid contrasts of design and sound-quality – or, like me, hear a still slightly uneasy meeting of two extremes, there’s no denying the force of the transition from the harsh intensity of Fripp City (’Easy Money’) to the windy African grassland on the outskirts of Muirsville (’The Talking Drum’).
In terms of personality, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic is throughout a respectful tension between Fripp The Composer and Muir The Performer, though to limit either to one function would be to miss the point.
Particularly outstanding from Fripp in his role as group architect are the two parts of the title track which open and close the album, the latter with its elaborately-engineered crescendoes and decrescendoes, the former with its complex and almost classical concept of organisation – echoing, dare I say it, the feel of a symphonic opening movement.
Fripp’s guitar is in the foreground to fine effect on ’Easy Money’ and runs ingeniously backwards during a brief passage on ’Book Of Saturdays’, but impresses most in the textural role, either snarling atmospherically around in the distance or chipping in as a third percussion voice.
Muir features brilliantly in his own right on a couple of tracks, but his introductions to ’Larks’ Tongues Part One’, ’The Talking Drum’, and ’Exiles’ are superb extempore compositions in themselves – particularly the last of these, performed on glass tubing.
David Cross’s violin is far more effective on record than it is, at present, onstage; both sections of ’Larks’ Tongues’ contain excellent solos from him, the quiet ’Interlude’ from the first part really standing out.
As for Bruford and Wetton, the unity and solidarity of these six performances is entirely in their hands and they don’t put a foot wrong, even throwing in some tricksy Yes-type unison work on the already complex verse of ’Easy Money’.
If there are drawbacks to this record they lie (at least for me) in the two ballads which close side one. The group obviously see them as valid contrast, apart from liking them as songs; my view is that they come over as anomalous throw-backs to an earlier, and entirely different, band.
I’m prepared to admit that this criticism merely reveals a personal blind-spot, and certainly fans of the previous versions of King Crimson will find ’Exiles’ and ’Book Of Saturdays’ the most immediately accessible of the new numbers – but the mix on the former is a little weedy anyway, and the violin sounds slightly out of tune. Nor am I overfond of the lyrics, but there aren’t that many of them so I won’t complain.
Larks’ Tongues In Aspic is a challenging record, but it’s rewards are very substantial, even if you’d have to be an odd mixture of a person to like it all without reservation. Final verdict: a classic of its kind and worth every penny of the asking price.
You know, I think old Crimso’s onto a winner here."
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