King Crimson
The Elements of King Crimson - 2014 Tour Box


2.5
average

Review

by JJKeys USER (22 Reviews)
March 4th, 2015 | 5 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A discarded box of assorted treats from King Crimson's discography – too bad someone's already taken most of the good ones

King Crimson's discography is like a box of chocolates; from the bitter, dark chocolates of 'THRAK' to the fruity, white truffles of 'Beat' and everything in between – and of course, everything is packed with nutty flavours. Unfortunately, the assortment that comes with 'The Elements of King Crimson - 2014 Tour Box' seems to have already been opened, leaving little substance left and hungry appetites unsatisfied.

The box set is roughly ordered in chronology, starting from the iconic 'In The Court of the Crimson King' and running all the way through to Jakszyk, Fripp and Collins' 'A Scarcity of Miracles', with new material dotted throughout. However, to say that this is supposed to be a 2-disc set supporting the band's 2014 US tour, there is a whopping 5 minutes and 47 seconds of material actually coming from 2014, which is extremely disappointing. The majority of the box set is composed of excavated live recordings, remasters and extracts of songs, all of which were previously unreleased – but calling half the box set 'songs' is generous. Most of these alternative takes and extracts are under 3 minutes long without vocals, which leaves little debate as to whether you'd listen to these incomplete versions of 'Starless' or 'Neal and Jack and Me' rather than their original studio counterpart – you wouldn't. The existence of remasters from progressive cult leader Steven Wilson is equally as dubious – his contributions in production to the instrumental 'Fallen Angel' and 'Sleepless' are noticeable, but his efforts are largely futile as they don't create enough impression to justify their appearance on this compilation of 'new' material.

In this release's defense, there are some great unreleased live songs and early edits which appear on it, albeit less frequently than necessary. These songs as so varied from their LP counterparts that they become genuinely engaging to listen to, most notably 'Heaven & Earth', 'The Deception of the Thrush', 'A Scarcity of Miracles' and the previously unreleased 'Separation' (taken from the 'Scarcity of Miracles' sessions). The concentration of this material is particularly high at the end of the second disc, making the closure of the box set an enjoyable listen - yet is still raises questions as to why substantial material was so sporadic in the first disc.

Of all the full tracks that appear in 'The Elements of King Crimson - 2014 Tour Box', none are disappointing. However, there is so much unnecessary filler in this box set and the infrequency of originality which appears throughout leaves you wondering why this box set was ever made. It's essentially recycled and reused material that's been stitched together to make a quick buck to go along with the 2014 US Tour. It's not a bad compilation of King Crimson's work by any means, but aside from pleasing die-hard fans by tossing them some morsels of unreleased material, there really isn't much point to this unsubstantial release.



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user ratings (8)
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Tunaboy45
March 4th 2015


16815 Comments


Great review mate, massive pos!

JJKeys
March 4th 2015


1093 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Cheers - this review is probably the most spontaneous one I've done, so I was worried it might feel a little rushed, glad you liked it!

Tunaboy45
March 4th 2015


16815 Comments


Reads fine

menawati
March 4th 2015


16587 Comments


" there is a whooping 5 minutes and 47 seconds of material "
whopping

unless there actually are 'whooping' noises.

Great review though, pos.
I guess this is the orrible marzipan chocolate left in the box (using your choccy analogy)

JJKeys
March 4th 2015


1093 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Whopps, fixed



And you've pretty much hit the nail on the head there - although there is a quite nice live version of '21st Century Schizoid Man' that you'd expect to love, but like Kraft taking over Cadbury, it's just not quite the same



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