Today, January 13, marks the 50th anniversary of the very first King Crimson rehearsal. For an hour and half Messrs Fripp, Lake, McDonald, Giles and Sinfield jammed on new music in the basement of the Fulham Palace Road Cafe (more recently a kebab shop). And today King Crimson have announced a raft of plans to celebrate the band's fiftieth year.
These include 50 live shows including three nights at London's Royal Albert Hall, a series of reissues, a new documentary on the band, a reprint of Prog writer Sid Smith's acclaimed biography of the band, 50 special digital releases, new merchandise and more.
The current eight musician line-up will perform 50 concerts across three continents as part of their 2019 Celebration tour. Dates already announced and on sale include a trio of concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall, June 18, 19, 20 and New York’s Radio City Music Hall on September 21.
In February the band release King Crimson 1972-74, a second boxed set of 6LPs from Larks’ Tongues In Aspic to the expanded USA in 200 gram vinyl. Heaven And Earth, a multi-disc CD/ DVD-a/Blu-Ray set covering the period from the late 1990s – 2008 – completing the availability of all King Crimson studio albums in 5.1 multi-channel audio, will be released in May. And in October we get Complete 1969 Recordings, a CD/DVD-a/Blu-Ray set – completing the availability of all King Crimson studio albums on Blu-Ray. A vinyl set of 1969 recordings is also being planned.
Other planned music releases include: 200 gram vinyl editions of Beat and Three Of A Perfect Pair, the 2CD 2019 King Crimson tour box – 6th in the series of releases issued to accompany each tour from 2014 onwards. And to coincide and celebrate the original release date of King Crimson's debut album on 12th October 19690, a limited edition expanded boxed set of In The Court Of The Crimson King including all the live recordings, the expanded multitrack 1969 recording sessions, as well as a new 5.1 remix of the album.
On the book front, Sid Smith's In the Court Of King Crimson will be published in a revised, updated and expanded edition. And DGM Companion Vol 1, edited by Robert Fripp & David Singleton – Vinyl sized coffee table book covering the history of In The Court Of The Crimson King, with complete timeline, extensive photos, recollections and essays will also be released.
On the download front, 50 tracks, 1 per week will be released featuring a new, rare or alternate take from across the KC catalogue and available via all major download and streaming services. Each track will be accompanied by a special spoken word introduction by King Crimson manager/producer David Singleton. You can download the first of these here.
The new documentary, Cosmic F*Kc: The King Crimson, directed by Toby Amies, who has been given unique access to the current band as well as interviews with past members and archive footage. To be released in late 2019. An accompanying soundtrack will also be issued.
And on the merchandise front, 200 limited edition Silk Screen prints of the outer sleeve of In the Court of the Crimson King and 100 copies of the interior are to be released. Printed at actual size of the original art (46.5 inches x 27.5 inches including surround). All prints will be signed and numbered by Robert Fripp. Early purchasers will be given the option to buy matching numbered sets. And 12 special 50th anniversary T-shirts, complementing the artwork for the KC50 digital download series.