King Crimson – Frame By Frame: The Essential King Crimson (1991)

Posted by Green on November 29, 2021as

320 | FLAC

With its varying short-lived phases, King Crimson is well suited to the box set treatment, and overall, Frame by Frame: The Essential King Crimson doesn’t disappoint. At four discs, it’s perhaps a little hefty to serve as a comprehensive introduction for newcomers, even though it could work very well in that context; in the end, the box is more of a close-to-definitive package for fans who fall somewhere in between the realms of casual and devoted. The first three discs do an excellent job of summarizing King Crimson’s extremely distinct prime-period lineups: the first disc concentrates on the often jazzy symphonic rock of 1969-1971 (including almost the entirety of In the Court of the Crimson King), the second covers the heavy, experimental soundscapes of 1973-1974, and the third features the off-kilter, new wave-influenced prog pop of 1981-1984. The fourth disc is a career-spanning sampler of live Crimson, and although the varying sound quality and musical styles make it a less cohesive listen than the other discs, it does give an excellent idea of the various lineups’ extraordinary performing range. Bandleader/compiler Robert Fripp’s selections are sometimes skewed toward particular albums, and devotees may cringe at the fact that some of the longer songs have been edited for time, but, in fact, all of this makes for a better, tighter listen; it’s difficult to argue with what is here, and the edits often chop out less interesting sections of the pieces. Additionally, the remastering job and the liner notes are both excellent. So, in spite of its minor flaws, Frame by Frame is really everything one could want from a basic King Crimson box set.

Track List CD1: 1969-71

01. 21st Century Schizoid Man [7:21]
02. I Talk To The Wind [6:06]
03. Epitaph [8:44]
04. Moonchild [2:28]
05. In The Court Of The Crimson King [9:26]
06. Peace – A Theme [1:15]
07. Cat Food [2:45]
08. Groon [3:32]
09. Cadence And Cascade (Remix) [4:10]
10. The Sailor’s Tale (Abridged) [7:27]
11. Ladies Of The Road [5:37]
12. Bolero (Remix) [8:52]

Track List CD2: 1972-74

01. Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Part 1 [10:48]
02. Book of Saturday [2:56]
03. Easy Money [8:01]
04. Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Part 2 [7:11]
05. The Night Watch [4:42]
06. The Great Deceiver [4:03]
07. Fracture (abridged) [7:06]
08. Starless (abridged) [4:37]
09. Red [6:17]
10. Fallen Angel [6:04]
11. One More Red Nightmare [7:10]

Track List CD3: 1981-84

01. Elephant Talk [4:44]
02. Frame by Frame [5:09]
03. Matte Kudesai [3:46]
04. Thela Hun Gingeet [6:27]
05. Heartbeat [3:55]
06. Waiting Man [4:22]
07. Neurotica [4:45]
08. Requiem [6:32]
09. Three of a Perfect Pair [4:12]
10. Sleepless [5:24]
11. Discipline [5:02]
12. The Sheltering Sky [8:31]
13. The King Crimson Barber Shop [1:32]

Track List CD4: Live 1969-84

01. Get Thy Bearings [9:33]
02. Travel Weary Capricorn [4:31]
03. Mars [8:42]
04. The Talking Drum [8:30]
05. 21st Century Schizoid Man [9:20]
06. Asbury Park [6:51]
07. Larks’ Tongues In Aspic: Part Three [2:42]
08. Satori In Tangiers [4:13]
09. Indiscipline [7:02]

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