|KING CRIMSON SLEEPLESS (THE CONCISE KING CRIMSON)||
21st Century Schizoid Man (7:20)|
02. Epitaph (7:21)
03. In The Court Of The Crimson King (7:21) (abridged)
04. Cat Food (2:45) (edit)
05. Ladies Of The Road (5:31)
06. Starless (4:38) (abridged)
07. Red (6:17)
08. Fallen Angel (5:59)
09. Elephant Talk (4:42)
10. Frame By Frame (5:08)
11. Matte Kudesai (3:48)
12. Heartbeat (3:54)
13. Three Of A Perfect Pair (4:11)
14. Sleepless (5:22) (restored mix)
Total playing time: 75:40
All tracks are Definitive Edition re-masters  by Robert Fripp & Tony Arnold or Definitive Edition Enhanced  by RF & TA with David Singleton, engineer at The Courthouse, Cranborne, Dorset
Design & art direction: © 1993 Bill Smith Studio, London
Photography: The Douglas Brothers
Horse sculpture: Clive Howard
All tracks published by EG Music Ltd., adm. by BMG Music Pub., Inc.
A personal note
'The Concise KC' is a pocket edition of the 4-volume novel released late in 1991 as 'The Essential KC.' 'The Concise' serves as an introduction to, & overview of, our studio work between 1969 & 1974.
An earnest Crimhead will dispute & argue the choice of tracks, professional critics will cavil & criticise professionally, & I recommend that anyone able gets the 4-volume novel & the Scrapbook which accompanies it. But meanwhile, for a one-sitting introduction to the recorded work, this is good enough for me.
If a studio album is a love letter, & live performance a hot date, good Crimheads know that this group - in all its formations - was better in the clinches. So, we've begun cataloguing unreleased live material from 1968-84 in my personal archives to serve as companion sets to 'Frame By Frame.'
The first of these - 'The Great Deceiver' (4CDs & a Scrapbook) - was released in December 1991. As prodigal, wilful & quietly terrifying an incarnation as any of the Crimsons, this is over 4 hours of the 1973/4 KC in full flight. While acknowledging my bias, I suggest 'The Great Deceiver' casts a very different light upon opinion of the time, facile histories of 'progressive rock' & KC's perceived place within it.
But life is hard, money is short, & not everyone is either sufficiently Crimsoid or flush to reach into tight pockets & pull out the necessary. For now, this is pretty good. (RF, Pembridge Court Hotel, 20/04/93)
This volume was designed to fall within the time limit of 76 minutes. Running time available on CDs has grown.
Digital technology is still in its infancy, & therefore not yet a reliable or fully satisfactory medium. The following notes are excerpted from the Scrapbook accompanying 'The Essential KC':
'As of current technology, given time & budget, this is the best we can do right now. We have used both digital & high-quality analog equipment.
In the re-mastering of the KC catalogue begun in 1989 - The Definitive Edition - we owe a particular debt to Tony Arnold at The Courthouse in Cranborne, Dorset. His rare, if not unique, combination of vintage analog equipment, mastery of maintenance & equipment skills, familiarity with current trends & developments, superb ears & belly-knowing of music have made this re-mastering possible.
Our inheritance of tapes were not, even in their pristine condition, pristine. The original 2-track master of 'In The Court Of The Crimson King' had a fault on the right channel which we only discovered while mastering in New York in 1969. Probably this originated with a head on the 2-track recorder at Wessex used a dynamic system of eq correction.
Anyone familiar with Command Studios in Piccadilly ('Larks Tongues In Aspic') will know that to bring anything out of Command was an achievement in itself. The history of Command has been written up in Studio Sound for April 1975: 'Command Studios RIP' by John Dwyer. The tube trains rolling underneath added a dimension of around 5 cycles, & this was the least of our concerns. However, as a former BBC studio there were a number of the old BBC brass fire buckets throughout Command. The distinctive vocal halo around Boz Burrell's vocal on 'Ladies On The Road' is produced by Bob singing into one of these brass buckets. Another advantage to Command was availability at short notice, not shared with many London studios.
The early Crimson use of dynamics, with sound emerging from silence, was recorded in the knowledge that the noise of vinyl would obscure most recording hiss. On the latter Crimson records (as on 'Three Of A Perfect Pair') sound emerges from digital silence. So the concern on the 1969-74 mixes with hiss (or the sound-to-noise ration) was not as critical as 10 years later.
Levels of distortion, odd eruptions & explosions, & intriguing errors become more apparent on CD. Our battery of contributions in this department sometimes reflects the carelessness or ignorance of young men with relatively little recording experience. Our inexperience came from 2 policy decisions:
1. The choice to produce ourselves, & present ourselves without the interpretation, censoring, translation & commercial pressure of a record producer. The mistakes would be our own.
2. The concern was firstly the spirit of the performance, & secondly the quality of recording.
Digital is impressive, analogue with Dolby SR is better. At home we don't have Dolby SR. Although vinyl has its own inalienable character, this re-mastering for CD is an alternative which I can accept for myself & now present to you.'
This album is part of the ongoing cataloguing of the Collectors' Editions of KC archive material, both official & unofficial, released & unreleased. We're currently sorting & cleaning a pile of tapes, some professionally recorded, some less adequately so but each with its own particular charm. These will become available in time.
(P) © 1993 Virgin EG Records Ltd
Manufactured, marketed & distributed by Caroline Records Inc., NY