Let's face it, King Crimson's Red is one of the most important albums in the history of progressive rock (hell, you can say that about many of this bands releases!), but you may be asking yourself, "how many times am I going to keep buying this album?". After all, Red has been reissued and remastered a few times over the years, so what makes this '40th Anniversary Series Edition' so special?
Well, for one, the CD is completely repackaged in a nice little 2 disc digibook, complete with a great booklet chock full of information and photos. Second, Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson worked with Robert Fripp to mix the complete album in 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters. Third, the CD portion of this contains 2 previously unreleased early recordings of "Red" and "Fallen Angel", plus a full version of "Providence". And, if that's not enough to reel you in, the DVD portion of the set contains some fantastic vintage live footage of the band performing on a French TV show way back in 1974.
We already know how good Red has sounded in recent years, so if you're not yet familiar with the title track, "Fallen Angel", "One More Red Nightmare", "Providence", and the dramatic "Starless", then you really need to get with the program and check this monster out. Metallic guitars, Mellotron, jazz-fusion drums, meaty bass, powerful vocals, and shrieking violin...lots of all of it. Robert Fripp, Bill Bruford, John Wetton, and David Cross were a force to be reckoned with, but sadly, this was the last album featuring this line-up. The bonus tracks are quite cool, as you get to hear trio versions of 'Red" and "Fallen Angel", the latter all instrumental without Wetton's vocals.
Over on the DVD side, you get a sparkling 5.1 Surround Sound mix to blast through your TV & speakers, which is sure to be a hit with those with superior systems. You can hear every instrument crystal clear, and the drums & bass especially shine through. The videos however, are what is going to make a lot of people very happy. These long sought after performances from a French TV show in 1974 are quite frankly incredible, performed before the release of Red and featuring older songs "Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part II", "Lament", "The Night Watch", and the soon to be released "Starless". Fripp's guitar is loud and fiery, whether it be his metallic riffs or dissonant, flashy solos, Bruford is at his nimble best, and Wetton's acrobatic bass work is thunderous. Throw in Cross' violin & haunting Mellotron, Fripp's Mellotron, and Wetton's powerful vocals, and you have some rampaging renditions of these songs. Considering how old the footage is, the audio and video is quite good.
In short, any King Crimson fan will probably want to add this to their collection, and pronto!
Disc: 1 (CD)
2. Fallen Angel
3. One More Red Nightmare
6. Red [Trio Version][#][*]
7. Fallen Angel [Trio Version][#][*][Instrumental]
8. Providence [Full Version][*]
Disc: 2 (DVD)
Album in DTS 5.1 Surround Sound, Lossless Surround Sound, and High Resolution
Bonus Videos-1974 French TV
1. Larks' Tongues in Aspic: Part II [Mono Version][Multimedia Track]
2. Night Watch [Mono Version][Multimedia Track]
3. Lament [Mono Version][Multimedia Track]
4. Starless [Mono Version][Multimedia Track]