Back in 1990, I was first exposed to King Crimson via their Red album. At the time I was into anything heavy and Red satisfied that need very well. This was my musical epiphany that changed my listening habits forever from that point forward. So I have a soft spot in my heart for Red. Fast forward to 2009 and we have the first wave of the 40th Anniversary editions of In The Court Of The Crimson King, Lizard & Red, done expertly I might add by Porcupine Tree’s own Steven Wilson.
The 40th Anniversary edition of Red includes the original album plus some extras like a blazing “trio version” of “Red.” Next up, “Fallen Angel” which is also done in a trio format done instrumentally. Rounding out the bonus audio tracks is a full version of “Providence” as presented to those that had witnessed live in Providence, RI. These alone are top selling points that will make this album want to acquire it (again for those that have the previous editions).
The DVD portion of this package contains the original album and selected bonus tracks in four audio formats (regular stereo, high-resolution 24/96 stereo, lossless 5.1 Surround and DTS 5.1 Surround). I won’t pretend to know what all these means. All I can say it shows different versions of the Red album. One of the bonus tracks on the CD is a live track “A Voyage to the Center of the Cosmos” (which was originally released on the Great Deceiver box set). The video portion contains performances of “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic II“, “The Night Watch”, “Lament” and “Starless”. All of which are officially available for the first time . It truly amazed me to watch these videos from this (my favorite) era of King Crimson.
For the uninitiated, this edition of Red is where you need to start, as I did 20 years ago and as long as you’re open-minded then you won’t regret diving into the world of King Crimson. For long time fans the bonus features alone make (re)purchasing Red a top priority, To my ears these are the “Definitive” Editions and without any doubt, a highly recommended release!
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on May 19th, 2010