Rock royalty King Crimson celebrate their golden jubilee this year and yesterday, January 13 - exactly 50 years since their first rehearsals - the band announced a wealth of new projects and plans to celebrate the momentous feat. Along with an upcoming documentary and ongoing download series, fans can expect a new tour, vinyl reissues, box sets, and live releases from the vault. We'll have full details for each release as they're announced, but to whet your appetite, here's a look at what the mighty King Crimson has in store for 2019!
50 live shows in 2019: The current 8-piece lineup is set to perform 50 shows across three continents as part of the 2019 Celebration Tour. While the full list of shows is still being finalized, their upcoming dates at London's Royal Albert Hall from June 18-20 are currently on-sale, as is the September 21 gig at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
On the physical media front, the 6-disc, 200-gram vinyl box set1972-1974 is due for release on January 18. It's the follow up to another box set of albums and rarities, 1969-1972, and brings the newest mixes of each album to vinyl for the first time, plus an expanded version of U.S.A. Click here for more information on both box sets!
In May, King Crimson will shift the focus to their most recent studio works. Heaven and Earth is a multi-disc CD/DVD-A/Blu-Ray box set that will cover the band's work from the late '90s to 2008. It will include 5.1 surround mixes of the material, which means that come May, King Crimson's full catalogue will have been remixed for surround.
In October, King Crimson will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their debut with a new deluxe edition of In The Court of the Crimson King. The CD/DVD-A/Blu-ray box set is said to include "the complete 1969 recordings," with live material and expanded recording sessions culled from the multitracks, as well as a new 5.1 remix of the album. A vinyl box set of 1969 recordings is also planned before the year's end. An extensive coffee-table book documenting the album's creation will also be part of the October festivities. Leading up to that, though, will be the June release of Sid Smith's expanded and revised King Crimson biography, In The Court of King Crimson.
King Crimson will also continue on with their Collectors Club series with the release of CLUB48, CLUB49, and CLUB50, which will boast rarities from the vault. CLUB48 has been confirmed as a recently discovered soundboard recording from Newcastle on December 8, 1972, featuring the complete Larks Tongues in Aspic line-up, recorded prior to Jamie Muir's departure.
Also planned are new editions of Beat and Three of a Perfect Pair on 200-gram vinyl, as well as a new 2-CD 2019 tour box set, continuing the band's ongoing series of contemporary live releases.
On the digital front, King Crimson has announced a new KC 50 download series. Once a week for 50 weeks, manager and producer David Singleton will introduce fans to new tracks, rarities, or alternative versions from the King Crimson catalog, which will then be released on all major digital download and streaming services. The first of the 50 tracks is a 1991 radio edit version of "21st Century Schizoid Man." It's available now to stream and download, and can be purchased in FLAC format and MP3 from DGM Live.
King Crimson has also been involved with a career- spanning documentary entitled Cosmic F*Kc. It's directed by Toby Aimes, who has brought together archival footage and new interviews with current and past members to tell the complete story of the band. The film is due out in late-2019.
Finally, the band has announced an array of 50th anniversary merchandise, including twelve 50th anniversary t-shirts, as well as limited-edition silk-screen prints of the famous "Screaming Face" cover of In the Court of the Crimson King, signed and numbered by Robert Fripp.
As the Year of King Crimson continues, we'll be sure to detail each of these special releases, so stay tuned! In the meantime, check out the details for the first KC 50 single, and stream it on Spotify below!
King Crimson, 21st Century Schizoid Man (KC 50, Vol. 1) (King Crimson, 2019)
- 21st Century Schizoid Man - Commentary (by David Singleton)
- 21st Century Schizoid Man (Radio Edit)
Track 2 originally released on The Abbreviated King Crimson: Heartbeat, EG Records KCCOL1, 1991.