Islands, the only studio album from the second performing lineup of King Crimson was always more akin to a snapshot of the band than a fully realised image. The CD/DVD-A package assembled as the fifth in the series of 40th anniversary releases provides that much bigger picture. The CD presents a complete stereo remix by Steven Wilson & Robert Fripp alongside a group of additional tracks representing a near complete “alternate album” of studio takes, run-throughs and mixes.
The DVD-A presents a complete 5.1 surround sound mix by Steven Wilson, a hi-res stereo version of the 2010 mix, a hi-res stereo version of the original album mix taken from the 30th anniversary master source and almost 90 minutes of additional material – the vast majority of it previously unreleased – including many studio takes mixed from the original recording sessions specifically for this release. The material
covers everything from early rehearsals of ‘Pictures of a City’ (one of the final new songs performed by the 1969 lineup) to the previously unheard ‘A Peacemaking Stint Unrolls’ (showcasing early ideas & elements that would appear in fully realised form on later KC albums), a fragment of Fripp playing the tune of ‘Islands’ on a mellotron, a blistering live ‘Sailor’s Tale’ from the Zoom Club & much more, making this an essential release for King Crimson fans.
Islands occupies a unique place in the King Crimson discography. Unlike the previous albums “In the Wake of Poseidon” & “Lizard” which were studio creations, never taken on the road by a performing band, most of the Islands material was performed live. Yet the album manages to offer the continuity of the earlier albums, showcasing Fripp’s growth as a composer & arranger in pieces such as the title track & ‘Prelude: Song of the Gulls’, while simultaneously providing the classic Crimson sonic assault of ‘Sailor’s Tale’, a piece ideally suited to being performed live & one that would stretch & alter with each new performance.
This release fully vindicates the claim that this lineup – short lived though it may have been – had as much to offer musically as any of the more well-known King Crimson incarnations
Bass guitar, Lead vocals, and Choreography
Flute, Bass Flute, Saxes, and Vocals
Guitar, Mellotron, Peter's Pedal Harmonium, and Sundry Implements
Words, Sounds, and Visions
Drums, Percussion, and Vocals
© 2009-2013 Robert Fripp