In celebration of their 50th anniversary, pioneering English prog-rockers King Crimson is releasing 50 rare or unusual tracks from the band’s archives.
Starting today, January 13th, the date the band was formed in the Fulham Palace Café in 1969, the band will release one track per week for the remaining 50 weeks of 2019. Commentary from King Crimson manager and producer David Singleton is included in every track’s introduction.
As the band’s website details:
On the evening of Monday January 13th, 1969, King Crimson formally began rehearsals in the basement of the Fulham Palace Road Cafe. After hauling their equipment down the stairs into their cramped rehearsal room Greg Lake, Ian McDonald, Michael Giles, Robert Fripp plugged in their instruments, and with Peter Sinfield operating lights and sound, played and worked on material for the next hour and a half.
By July of that year, the band was performing in Hyde Park on the same bill as The Rolling Stones to an audience of up to 500,000 people. By October, the debut album: “In the Court of the Crimson King” was in the Top 5 of the UK album charts, shortly followed by a top 30 position in the US album charts and a No 1 slot – replacing Abbey Road – in the Japanese international chart. By December, following a series of US concerts finishing at San Francisco’s Fillmore West, the band’s first line-up had imploded.
That was just the beginning…
For their first installment of KC 50, the band has shared “21st Century Schizoid Man” from their 1969 In The Court of the Crimson King. Listen to the commentary and track below and download it here.
KC 50 #1 : 21st Century Schizoid Man
[Audio: DGM Live – King Crimson]
In addition to the 50 weekly releases, King Crimson has detailed the rest of the planned releases for 2019, including digital releases, a new documentary about the band’s history, books, clothing, and new boxed sets.
In celebration of 50 years, King Crimson today announces:
Physical music releases include:
February: King Crimson 1972 – 74 – the second boxed set of 6LPs from Larks’ Tongues in Aspic to the expanded USA in 200 gram vinyl.
May: Heaven and Earth: Multi-disc CD/ DVD-a/Blu-Ray set covering the period from the late 1990s – 2008 – completing the availability of all King Crimson studio albums in 5.1 multi-channel audio.
October: Complete 1969 Recordings CD/DVD-a/Blu-Ray set – completing the availability of all King Crimson studio albums on Blu-Ray. A vinyl set of 1969 recordings is also being planned
Other planned music releases include: 200 gram vinyl editions of Beat and Three of a Perfect Pair, the 2CD 2019 King Crimson tour box – 6th in the series of releases issued to accompany each tour from 2014 onwards
50 Collectors’ Club Releases
2019 will see the release of CLUB48, CLUB49 and CLUB50 – the final three in the Collectors Club series, taking it 50 releases in the band’s 50th year. CLUB48 will be a recently discovered board recording of the concert in Newcastle on 8th December 1972 by the complete Larks Tongues in Aspic line-up before Jamie Muir left the band.
In The Court of the Crimson King Companion & Boxed Set
Oct: Released to coincide and celebrate the original release date of King Crimson’s debut album on 12th October 1969:
Limited edition expanded boxed set of “In The Court of the King Crimson” including all the live recordings, the expanded multitrack 1969 recording sessions, as well as a new 5.1 remix of the album.DGM Companion Vol 1, edited by Robert Fripp & David Singleton – Vinyl sized coffee table book covering the history of “In The Court of Crimson King”, with complete timeline, extensive photos, recollections and essays.
June: Sid Smith’s long out-of-print acclaimed biography, In the Court of King Crimson will be published in a revised, updated and expanded edition.
50 special Digital music releases, KC 50: 50 tracks, 1 per week featuring a new, rare or alternate take from across the KC catalogue and available via all major download and streaming services
Each track will be accompanied by a special spoken word introduction by King Crimson manager/producer David Singleton.
Documentary: Cosmic F*Kc: The King Crimson documentary, directed by Toby Amies, who has been given unique access to the current band as well as interviews with past members and archive footage. To be released in late 2019. An accompanying soundtrack will also be issued.
Limited edition Silk Screen prints of Barry Godber’s famous “Screaming Face” cover from “In The Court of the Crimson King”: 200 limited edition Silk Screen prints of the outer sleeve of In the Court of the Crimson King. 100 copies of the interior. Printed at actual size of the original art (46.5 inches x 27.5 inches including surround)
All prints will be signed and numbered by Robert Fripp. Early purchasers will be given the option to buy matching numbered sets
Clothing: 12 special 50th anniversary T-shirts, complementing the artwork for the KC50 digital download series.
Also in celebration of their 50th anniversary, King Crimson will perform 50 concerts on a worldwide Celebration Tour in 2019, including performances in the UK, France, Germany, Poland, Holland, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, Mexico, USA, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Chile.
As the band previously noted, King Crimson will not be announcing the world tour as a full list, citing “different promoters in different territories” and festival schedules as the main reasons for lacking cohesion. However, they will make certain that the initial announcements come from the band’s DGMLive website to give fans “at least a week in advance” to sell the Celebration Packages, which includes various levels of exclusive access, seating in the first five rows, “personal insights and answers from one of the eight band members”, and more. So far, they’ve confirmed dates in London, Italy, the United States, and more. Check out the full itinerary below.
The 2018-2019 iteration of King Crimson features guitarist Robert Fripp as the only original member in the band, along with saxophonist Mel Collins, bassist Tony Levin, drummer Pat Mastelotto, drummer Gavin Harrison, singer Jakko Jakszyk, drummer Bill Rieflin, and drummer Jeremy Stacey. For more information on upcoming tour dates, head to the band’s official website here.
King Crimson — 2019 Tour Dates
10 JUN 2019 HAUS AUENSEE Leipzig
12 JUN 2019 JAHRHUNDERTHALLE Frankfurt
13 JUN 2019 JAHRHUNDERTHALLE Frankfurt
15 JUN 2019 LIEDERHALLE Stuttgart
16 JUN 2019 LIEDERHALLE Stuttgart
18 JUN 2019 ROYAL ALBERT HALL London
19 JUN 2019 ROYAL ALBERT HALL London
20 JUN 2019 ROYAL ALBERT HALL London
29 JUN 2019 ZITADELLE Berlin
04 JUL 2019 ROMISCHES THEATER AUGUSTA RAURICA Basel
08 JUL 2019 ARENA DI VERONA Verona
10 STUPINIGI SONIC PARK Torino
18 ARENA SANTA GIULIANA Perugia
03 SEP 2019 GREEK THEATRE Los Angeles
10 SEP 2019 AUDITORIUM THEATRE OF ROOSEVELT UNIVERSITY Chicago
21 SEP 2019 RADIO CITY MUSIC HALL New York City
*More To Be Announced