King Crimson ‎– 1972 - 1974

Label:
Discipline Global Mobile ‎– KCLPBX503
Format:
Box Set, Compilation, Limited Edition
Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, 200gram
Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, 200gram
Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, 200gram, Gatefold
Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Reissue, Remastered, 200gram
2 × Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue, Remastered, 200gram, Gatefold
Country:
Released:
Genre:
Style:

Tracklist

Larks' Tongues In Aspic
1-A1 Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part One
1-A2 Book Of Saturday
1-A3 Exiles
1-B1 Easy Money
1-B2 The Talking Drum
1-B3 Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part Two
Red
2-A1 Red
2-A2 Fallen Angel
2-A3 One More Red Nightmare
2-B1 Providence
2-B2 Starless
Starless And Bible Black
3-A1 The Great Deceiver
3-A2 Lament
3-A3 We'll Let You Know
3-A4 The Night Watch
3-A5 Trio
3-A6 The Mincer
3-B1 Starless And Bible Black
3-B2 Fracture
Larks' Tongues In Aspic (Alt. Mixes Album)
4-A1 Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part One (Alt. Mix)
4-A2 Book Of Saturday (Alt. Take)
4-A3 Exiles (Alt. Mix)
4-B1 Easy Money (Alt. Take)
4-B2 The Talking Drum (Alt. Mix)
4-B3 Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part Two (Alt. Mix)
USA (2013 Mix)
5-A1 Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II
5-A2 Lament
5-A3 Exiles
5-B1 Asbury Park
5-B2 Easy Money
5-B3 Improv
6-C1 Fracture
6-C2 21st Century Schizoid Man
6-D Starless

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode: 633367790118

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leonthepro

leonthepro

December 1, 2019
edited 15 days ago

Coming from the recent 50th Anniversary remix of ITCOTCK I immediately purchased this box of the 40th Anniversary remixes to see if they could compete with my 2010-2015 reissues of the 1972 - 1974 albums with original mixes like the 50th did.
Im mostly glad for doing so I have to say.
The packaging isnt too exciting as some have proclaimed, but the simple black box is good enough for me and the poster and booklet are nice enough. My only gripe would be the uninspired label designs, either just showing a part of the cover for the respective album again or some other dull image of the band. A couple side notifiers would have been useful, but I digress.
Whats of real importance here is the sound and pressing quality. So to start off I would like to mention a point of contention for the readers confidence in this review.
These remixes are cut very quiet, more so than the 2010 reissues which already were, making these some of the quietest records I own. Few altercations arise from this.
Firstly, the volume needs to be cranked considerably, about 50% louder than the average record. This isnt a problem in and off itself but you can imagine what might follow.
As, secondly, my ability to fairly compare these is hampered by a potentially bias from playing one slightly louder than the other and finding an unwarranted preference in it.
Lastly, the importance of a good quality pressing increases dramatically. To touch on that immediately Ive heard some complain about just that, however my copy has performed excellently in this regard. A few singular pops occur on Starless and Bible Blacks Side 2 but thats about it.
With all this in mind, lets get on with the comparison.
To be brief, its simply just improvements across the board. Mostly smaller changes, some having me indifferent towards them and few I greatly appreciated.
Steven Wilsons focused changes which seemingly apply throughout, are the uses of the Stereo imaging and separation in instruments and frequencies.
Every album as far as I cared to compare had performances that were easier to pinpoint and follow in the soundstage. The original mixes on the 2010s tended to be more cluttered and center focused a lot of the time.
Some sounds have even been selectively moved out of position with, as mentioned, better or neutral effect for the listener.
Doing things chronologically, Larks might be the album that gains most from this as its a very clinical yet surreal recording which needs the stereo soundscape utilized well. Better still, there seems to be an effort to bring out the bass not just for clarity, but also power wise. From slightly to decently so, it thumps more while remaining tight even while trying to match the volumes as best I could.
Drums is an instrument which I adore, and Im happy to report to fellow drum lovers that they were not left out. Far from it in fact, as I not only hear them more clearly and separated, but with more lush cymbals and delicate air. That is the stuff of audiophile dreams right there.
Starless again receiving similar treatment but perhaps less noticeable due to the recording or music style. Here we also notice the one and only possible drawback that I could see from certain listeners perspective. Vocal performances might be a tad recessed at times compared to the 2010 issues.
Again, its hard to tell exactly how much, or if at all, with the volume imbalance but it seems to apply more so to these rock n roll tunes.
One aspect I loved about the 50th remix debut album was that vocals were very present and more realized, creating depth. Here they seem more so just slightly cleaned up and recessed with not much gain from it, that I can hear.
On the other hand there are times when attacking dynamics have been brought up a notch and it really adds effect.
For my favorite album, Red, its again very similarly improved, Providence being the track most benefiting, because of its abstract nature as previously speculated. But quite majorly so in fact, with strings being much more brought out and life like.
Bass too is again boosted, even giving drums more low end impact which is nice.
Sadly, I felt this was the one which gained least from the changes overall though. The original mix just suits this type of music quite well to begin with.
If only the vocals were brought out a bit more and the short guitar solo towards the end of Fallen Angel was kept more present I would have no complaints.
As it stands this is the album I might keep 2 copies of. In hindsight these observations make some sense in regards to when the remixes were made. Red was actually one of the first Wilson worked on and Larks and Starless a few years later, which may be why I see those as more solely positive.
Same for Lizard in the first box which is the one Ill keep both mixes of in that one. It was also one of his 3 first year projects so perhaps with more experience he could do more faultless work.
It is great that USA is now on 2 discs with the full concert I believe, but judging the studio albums sound is enough for most Im sure so lets end comparisons there.
All in all, you should choose this if youre picking up all the KC albums on vinyl. For those who already have the 2010 reissues it might be a harder sell as those are mostly quite good already, and the changes here range mostly in the minor to decent improvement section, but I would still do so if this is one of your favorite bands.
One I can surely recommend no matter what version you own is the 50th Anniversary debut remix which really hands it to the 2010 original mix. Ill be excited to try out the 1969 - 1972 box as well and report my findings on it as soon as possible.

Equipment Used:
Rega RP1 with Paratrace tipped Nagaoka MP-200
Cyrus 2 Amplifier
System Fidelity SF-3050 Tower Speakers
Custom made HQ Speaker Cables