Please post your thoughts and comments on this CD/DVD-A release from King Crimson!
Please post your thoughts and comments on this CD/DVD-A release from King Crimson!
Needs a few more listens but this is excellent and i am loving the album.
I am a first time listener to this album, so having it in surround makes it a pretty neat purchase
Gave it a 10 after 4 listens. This one and "Lizard" are my two favourites in the series so far but I haven't heard "Wake" in surround yet.
I always loved this disk. In surround it sounds great. The second disk in this batch (ITWOP) never was my favorite. Poseidon can be regarded as a poor copy of ITCOTCK and the promise of a new era (Lizard).
I think this album benefits from the exquisite surround mix in the same way Lizard did. One might also add how the superb dynamics highlight the music and the experimental spirit behind it. Highly enjoyable and a clear 10 for me.
Islands was one of my least favourite KC albums, but its probably more than any of the 5.1 releases so far a revelation in surround. The music really "opens up" and is way more dynamic (than my old 80's CD copy).
Interesting that Islands and ITWOP are done at 96MHz in 5.1... rather than 48MHz....anyone know the reason for the change now? I'll have a couple more listens before I vote, but I know it will be a 10.
Just finishing up my first spin of this one now, on the last of the bonus tracks.
Musically this was always one of my least fave KC albums along with Lizard, it always just seemed to me that Robert was trying to find his direction again after the first two and these line-ups did not have the magic of the first or later Krims. I;m not and have never been a fan of Boz Burrell. That said, the surround mix helps a lot, the fidelity is superb but it's still going to sit on the shelf more often than not when I reach for a KC disc to play.
sound/mix - 10
music - 6
I guess that means "8" overall for me.
Bring on Starless and Larks!
I haven't gotten my DVD-A yet but have heard the 2010 stereo mix. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Islands, the sound is great on this mix but they have RUINED it!!!!
At the beginning of Track 2 there used to be this cymbal part where it was ticking away and then it would like split and go stereo or out of phase or something. One of the great "get ready" moments in recorded history.
Now, it is gone. I have a pal who said it doesn't do what it used to do on the surround either. I guess I will get over it and love the release but something happened here.
This was a continuation of the cymbals at the end of 'Formentara Lady' which originally was in the right channel only and hard shifts completely to the left channel at the beginning of 'The Sailor's Tale'. The presence on the tape seems higher on 'Sailor's Tale'. This always sounded like a belated added (and amateurish but good for the time) cut in splice to me, to deliberately segue the two tracks into one, in the era of one side songs. On the original album there were no obvious track markings. This was the only point where you could guess one track finished and the other started. On the (I think) 1991 US CD pressing , 'Formentara Lady' finishes at 5:20 and 'Sailor's Tale' is shown as 12:21 long, so I wasn't the only one confused. The hard shift...Dramatic yes... but even after 38 years in still never sounded quite..??. I'm sure it has irritated the original team for just as long, though what is is correct on one of the most varied and inventive rock albums ever made is subjective.
The new mix smoothly pans the cymbals from right to left in the stereo mix although they seem lower in the overall mix in 'Fomentara Lady' in what is overall a crystal clear presentation of all elements. You can now hear everything clearly. I have only listened to the surround mix once but the cymbals appear equal in all speakers perhaps drifting from back to front achieving a dramatic but similar effect given the separation that follows. I was initially startled by the effect. I am still stunned how good the surround mix is after one listen despite the complaints from the neighbours. Will revisit over the weekend and comment later.
'Islands' arrived Tuesday and 'ITWOP' on Wednesday after being incorrectly delivered and signed for( and sitting there since last Thursday) by the same neighbours that are now complaining. They must have known.
The 30th anniversary mix is still here if you want to hear it the old way. I think I much prefer this version.
Tape splice? Interesting. I still haven't gotten my copy so perhaps shouldn't comment but I will.
when I think of Islands I think of that cymbal shift. I suppose I will get over it when I am totally stunned by the surround mix.
There's been some discussion of some of these issues over on the DGM guestbook and Steven Wilson took a few moments of his time to respond:
Regarding some of the concerns about the finer details of the remixes not matching the originals:
The tape for Islands had badly decomposed in some places and the original trumpet solo had tape drop outs - luckily switching to an alternate take for a few bars allowed us to retain the overall concept of the piece. We battled these kind of issues throughout the early album recordings, and I'm grateful that in the end this was an exception and we kept changes by necessity for technical reasons to an absolute minimum.
Which brings us to the changes that were made by choice:
About the missing count in at the start of Indoor Games, the removal of some of the mellotron parts from Prince Rupert Awakes, and any other revisions along those lines, Robert did take the opportunity to revise a few aspects that he'd not been happy about first time around. If I felt strongly against a suggested revision he would usually defer to me as the "fan", but in most of these cases I could appreciate his reasons (for example the mellotron parts rather swamped Jon Anderson's vocals on Prince Rupert). Of course I can't speak for Robert but I believe that these new mixes are far from missing the point, but in fact closer to how they might have been in the first place had he not be struggling with the technical limitations, internal band politics and time pressures of the day.
While it's possible that some nuances of the original mixes may have been lost, I hope that what has been gained far outweighs what has been lost. In the meantime for those for whom the original versions have become almost sacred in their familiarity, DGM/Panagyric have been generous enough to include both the old and new mixes alongside each other in high definition on the DVDAs, such that one does not replace the other. So if you do feel that the end of Islands has lost its magic from old to new mix (and needless to say I feel the opposite!) then at least you have both versions in the same package.
Finally, I can confirm that Bill Bruford's "Could I do one more immediately?" is restored to the end of Larks Tongues Part 2 on the new stereo and 5.1 mixes.
Wohoo!Finally, I can confirm that Bill Bruford's "Could I do one more immediately?" is restored to the end of Larks Tongues Part 2 on the new stereo and 5.1 mixes.
A little of what you fancy does you good. (Or so it should.)
Well, I don't want to complain too much. Islands is still awesome though I need to wait to hear the hi-rez surround mix. It's great that you get both version in hi-rez stereo. I wish more bands (i.e. more than one) would get hi-rez right. so lucky to get the King Crimson stuff this way (especially after the sort of botch job done with the Genesis releases)
this really is the trick for surround and perhaps limiting the number of releases since it must take a lot of effort and there will always be choices people don't agree with. It is a real hard thing to do, come up with a surround mix that still adheres to the sound of the original mix in your mind. Music certainly has some cultural memory associated with it and if those cues aren't there then it doesn't sound the same and you won't enjoy it as much as you could/should.
I think that the surround mix of "Hotel California", "the Captain and Me" and "rumours" do a very good job of sounding like the original but adding much more.
I am sure when you take tapes like Islands that are now 40 years old some things will need to be done to patch it back together.
Still waiting. And for me the true heart attack release is going to be Lark's Tongues in Aspic. Holey Moley! I can't wait for that one!
Islands was not the first King Crimson record I became acquainted with back in the day, but it was the first one I got upon its release. So it has held a special, but probably neglected space on my shelf over the years. A year or so back I played my uk issue LP for the first time in years and was pleasantly surprised. It is the gateway to what followed with Mssrs. Bruford, Wetton, Cross and Muir. And it is splendid. Reading the liner notes for the newly issued DVD-A brings to light the trials and tribulations of RF as he fielded yet another new line up. Information we were not privy to in 1971 and in retrospect provides a glimpse into the state of mind of the Creator as he put together this record in his spare time whilst ceaselessly touring his latest KC incarnation, perhaps the scrappiest band under the moniker King Crimson: Frip's inner Perfect Storm.
The newly released DVD-A is a marvel. RF and SW did a great job on this one and I was surprised at the layers of musical lines that are revealed , particularly in the multichannel mix. Things buried in the original mix now have their own space. The angst in the 3 inner tracks (Sailors Tale, The Letter, Ladies of the Road) is fully expressed. LofR in particualr was a revelation. This has always been a favorite but I was unprepared for the dissonance, the nightmarish if not grotesque lines that appear in the last third of the song. It takes us beyond Lizard.
And now the recording of the cymbal that introduces Sailors Tale: For years this has been, as Mr. Wagstaff so accurately observes, one of the great "Get ready, here we go" moments in rock music. Upon my first listening in mc, I was surprised, disappointed and picqued that they screwed up this incredible moment in recorded history. For years we have anticipated this perceptable change in the sound of the cymbal, it sounds like a phase shift, shortly before Sailors Tale gets underway. It is present in the 30th Ed. CD included in the package. I am unable to compare to my original LP because I temporarily lack a phono preamp.
However, after listening to this excerpt numerous times and to Islands in whole several times, I have come to the conclusion that Frip & Wilson are correct in making this choice: The cymbal is wonderfully recorded and beautifully played and I understand why the decison was made to place this front and center in the mc edition. Or perhaps the "phase shift" was a process effect during one of the bounce-downs and not usable here. Whatever. It does not diminish what they have accomplished. Note - in the stereo edit (hi-res) the cymbal starts hard right in the soundfield and is panned to center, perhaps slightly left of center. But no "phase shifting" or polarity change.
To sum up, this is the best release yet of the hi-res series. A challenging record of challenging times in the history of KC. Hats off to all involved in these releases. The bar keeps getting raised. And thank you for the 96/24 MC versions. It makes a difference.
Last edited by G E; 10-18-2010 at 12:15 AM.
My favorite KC songs are Easy Money and Elephant Talk.. neither of which are being re-released. :[
I didn't know that. That's awesome!!! Got any links?
Ah, well that's awesome I'll definitely pick them up. I actually just got into KC. I'm 24 and have always been a fan of 60's/70's classic/psychedelic rock. I can't believe I hadn't heard about KC til a friend played some amazing stuff from ItCoKC for me. Absolutely amazing...
Nice work - good sound and several extras/outtakes. Gave it a 10
Dynamic range is outstanding. This is a bonafide home run for all involved. Very impressive.
The sound quality and surround mix are excellent.
Probably it's me, but musically I find this to be the weakest Crimson in the 40th ann. series up to now.
With so little love for hi rez music thank goodness for Mr. Fripp and all those involved who really have made this a labor of love. I am guessing they are maybe making their investment back, but nobody is getting rich off of these releases but us.