Available from Discipline Global Mobile
2 CD Box Set or 4 CD Box Set
by internet order only

In 1969, the entire world was in turmoil and ecstasy. On the negative side, the Vietnam war and Cambodian conflicts raged on (although they were not officially wars). It had been two years or better since the fabled Summer of Love, and yet in 1969, Charles Manson and his merry band of psycho minstrels brought a new focus to just exactly what peace, love, and tolerance had become in a short two years. The Beatles played their swan song, "Abbey Road", to a generation of adoring fans who now needed Beatle music to get through every single day of their lives. The Rolling Stones were asking for "Shelter," telling you it was all right to "Let It Bleed," and working their way through their drowned founder, on the road to Altamont.

The same weekend Altamont occurred, this writer witnessed King Crimson in person at the Whiskey-a-Go-Go, and has quite frankly never been the same. Now let me explain. Since 1965 it had been my custom to regularly visit all the clubs on the Sunset Strip. But on that cold, early December eve, I remember taking my place in the non-drinking section to see what King Crimson was all about.

I had heard two cuts on a Long Beach radio station from their debut album, In The Court Of The Crimson King. These cuts predominantly featured the mellotron. (The mellotron is an English copy of an instrument developed in America called the Chamberlain. Both utilized pre-recorded tapes as their sound source.)

Bearing this in mind, I settled in to what I thought would be an evening of music for happy hippies. King Crimson elected to open up with "21st Century Schizoid Man," a cut so diametrically opposed from "In The Court of the Crimson King" and "Epitaph" in its jazz phrasings, and what former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett described as musical karate, my mind was absolutely in meltdown within three minutes.

This two or four CD set, depending upon the purchaser's choice, is a musical documentary of the first version of King Crimson live. If you're thinking this is mundane Death Rock, from a bunch of old dinosaurs, then you could be sadly mistaken. To call King Crimson ProgRock is an insult. As evidenced in this collection of live gigs, King Crimson could play a variety of styles.

While a lot of readers will be unfamiliar with the likes of Crimson, probably an equal number are well familiar with the Crimson catalogue. For any of the die-hard readers who are true Crim-Heads, this box set is required listening. For the adventurous buyer, this box set will either send you shrieking, or you will be resplendent in ecstasy. Either way, this is quality music, and goes so much further than that tired Progressive Rock label which was an arbitrary term when it was first used to describe any type of music.

Highly recommended for those who have the ears for it.

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