As well as attempting to release every note King Crimson have played, Robert Fripp has the annoying habit of repeatedly reissuing material ad infinitum. In a few cases, this can benefit the music buying public, as these re-releases are generally cheaper than the sum of its component parts. As the material has already been issued (as an original or as a retrospective), I will simply record its existance and the releases it is composed of. If a compilation includes any number of new, unreleased tracks, then that track will be highlighted. I am only considering material that has been issued world-wide, as a considerable number of compilations (already released elsewhere) were released specifically for the Japanese market. These have NOT been included.
THE YOUNG PERSON’S GUIDE TO KING CRIMSON – released April 23rd 1976
Contains some of their ‘Greatest Hits’ (though, significantly, does NOT contain “21st Century Schizoid Man”), along with…
1) a version of “I Talk to the Wind”, recorded at Brondesbury Road during the Giles, Giles and Fripp period – has Judy Dyble on vocals,
2) the original studio version of “Groon”. This first appeared on the b-side of the “Catfood” single, and both also appear on the 40th Anniversary issue of “In the Wake of Poseidon”.
THE COMPACT KING CRIMSON – released in 1986 (in the U.K. only???)
Originally a 2 x vinyl LP. Sides 1 & 2 are from the 1980-4 era, sides 3 & 4 from 1969-74. The CD version omits the last 2 tracks of side 4, namely “Red” and “Catfood”.
THE ESSENTIAL KING CRIMSON – FRAME BY FRAME – released 22nd October 1991
A 4-CD box set containing music from 1969 – 1984. Contains nothing new.
THE ABBREVIATED KING CRIMSON – HEARTBEAT – released 29th October 1991
A CD containing 7 abbreviated and re-edited tracks, from 1969-84
SLEEPLESS – THE CONCISE KING CRIMSON – released October 1993
A CD containing 14 tracks from the 1969-84 era.
CIRKUS – A YOUNG PERSON’S GUIDE TO KING CRIMSON – LIVE – released March 1999
A 2 CD set of various live tracks. Apart from the 1980-and-beyond material, the remaining tracks are, WITH 1 EXCEPTION, available on some of the retrospective albums. The one track that is new is “Improv: Besancon”, recorded on the 25th March 1974 at the Palais des Sports, Besancon, France.
BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO THE KING CRIMSON COLLECTORS CLUB – released 2000
Contains one track from each of the first 11 CLUB releases.
LADIES OF THE ROAD – released November 2002
A 2-CD set, CD1 has 9 live tracks from the Mk2 version of King Crimson, culled from various gigs. CD2 has 11 separate solos from various renditions of “21st Century Schizoid Man”.
THE 21ST CENTURY GUIDE TO KING CRIMSON – released November 2004
A 4-CD set, composed of a mixture of studio and live tracks, all previously available elsewhere, and some tracks are abridged.
THE COLLECTABLE KING CRIMSON – VOLUME ONE – released Sept 2006
A 2-CD set, comprising “Live in Mainz” (CLUB15) and “Live in Asbury Park, 1974”.
THE CONDENSED 21ST CENTURY GUIDE TO KING CRIMSON – released October 2006
A 2-CD set of abridged tracks from 1969 to 2003.