King Crimson will celebrate their 50th anniversary with a year full of special releases and events, including a 50-date tour spanning three continents. The prog-rock band confirmed three U.S. shows for September: the 3rd in Los Angeles, California; the 10th in Chicago, Illinois; and the 21st in New York, New York.
The group will release Cosmic F*Kc, a new documentary and accompanying soundtrack, out late 2019. Director Toby Amies was granted “unique access” to the current “Double Quartet” line-up for the doc, which also includes archival footage and interviews with former members.
The massive list of releases also includes a limited-edition expanded box set of the band’s seminal debut LP, 1969’s In the Court of the Crimson King; a CD/DVD/Blu-Ray box set, Heaven and Earth, covering the period from the late Nineties to 2008; an expanded and revised reissue of Sid Smith’s long out-of-print biography In the Court of King Crimson; a vinyl box set spanning albums from 1972 to 1974; the final three installments of their “Collectors Club” series; silk screen prints and new merchandise.
Each week for 50 weeks, King Crimson will digitally issue a “new, rare or alternate take from across the KC catalog” featuring a spoken word introduction from band manager/producer David Singleton. The first track, a radio edit of 1969’s “21st Century Schizoid Man,” is available to stream now.
The band marked the anniversary on their website, writing about the first King Crimson rehearsal that occurred Monday, January 13th, 1969 in the basement of London’s Fulham Palace Road Cafe.
“After hauling their equipment down the stairs into their cramped rehearsal room Greg Lake, Ian McDonald, Michael Giles, Robert Fripp plugged in their instruments, and with Peter Sinfield operating lights and sound, played and worked on material for the next hour and a half,” they wrote. “By July of that year, the band was performing in Hyde Park on the same bill as The Rolling Stones to an audience of up to 500,000 people. By October, the debut album: In the Court of the Crimson King was in the Top 5 of the UK album charts, shortly followed by a top 30 position in the US album charts and a No 1 slot – replacing Abbey Road – in the Japanese international chart. By December, following a series of US concerts finishing at San Francisco’s Fillmore West, the band’s first line-up had imploded. But that was just the beginning…”
King Crimson issued their most recent studio album, The Power to Believe, in 2003. They’ve released several live albums in recent years, including 2018’s Meltdown: Live in Mexico City.