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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on December 13, 2012
This is what we've been waiting for. The 5.1 surround mix of this awesome album. Steven Wilson says in the liner notes that he was not as constricted in remixing this title as previous titles in the King Crimson catalogue. Regarding the former titles he felt that he had to remain faithful to the original sound of the album but with LTIA he was able to approximate the live sound of the band. The soundstage screams power-power chords, power mellotron, power bass and power drums. I've listened to this title hundreds of times since it's original release in 1973 and I am hearing things I never knew were there. The texture of Fripp's acoustic guitar work, the electric finger picking, the sound of David Cross' violin and flute(!), the incredible percussion work of Jamie Muir has never sounded this good. Bruford's drumming has never sounded this precise. A listen to the textures brought out in "The Talking Drum" will have you shaking your head in amazement. Believe me, you've never heard that drum "talk" like this before. Incredible.
Another vast sonic improvement is the presence of John Wetton's backing vocal work-now brought out fully in this mix. Wilson has some fun with the surround mix moving instruments around the soundstage which will have your ears immersed in sonic candy. Additionally, there is a full album of alternate takes and mixes in Lossless Stereo. If you wondered why this one was held back and not released in chronological order, it is because this is the pinnacle. No matter whether you originally preferred this title or Starless or Red I will bet sonically that you will find this the most improved of the recent releases.
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on October 8, 2014
For a reasonable price you get a lot of different perspectives on this classic album. The inclusion of the original mix in 24/48 (on the DVD) is key, since you always have that as faithful high-resolution representation of the original album to fall back on if you have any misgivings about the new stereo or 5.1 mixes. Make sure your system includes a DTS decoder, or can handle MLP, as there is no Dolby Digital alternative for the 5.1 mix. This album has always had a very densely layered sound, and the 5.1 mix gives all of those parts the broader stage they need to be heard well. The best part about the new mixes is they have pretty much zero tape hiss, even if you crank up the super quiet parts (any hiss you hear is most likely your amplifier). This reveals a lot of previously hidden detail, especially in Jamie Muir's parts.
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on October 9, 2013
The DVD-Audio recording here is unlike any CD you will hear. It has incredible dynamic range, captured perfectly in 24 bit resolution.. The soft parts are very soft, perhaps even 20 dB lower than the loud parts, which jump up and startle just as they were intended to. Due to aggressive production and lower-than-optimal resolution, CD's are never recorded this way (and forget about MP3's). This is more like the original vinyl LP, just as I remember it from the 1970's, except even better, now that the soft parts are noiseless as well as quiet. And of course this is one of the most essential rock recordings, the epitome of progressive rock, a mixture of melodious and powerful. I am extremely happy that King Crimson has kept with their 40th anniversary project and continued releasing editions on DVD-Audio. Court of the Crimson King is their other essential 40th anniversary edition, and that recording never sounded as good before, not even on LP, not even close. Meanwhile I can drive people out of the house playing the DVD-Audio of Red, which is an acquired taste in any format.
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on March 28, 2013
Like the other Crimson reissues, this hits the mark perfectly. There really isn't more you could ask for. You get a remixed album, bonus tracks, original mix, DVD-Audio, audio DVD-Video and video. Again, the content on the DVD seems to go on forever and I still haven't finished exploring. Having both formats is good because almost no-one has DVD-Audio, although it's obviously great if you do - I don't, sadly. Steve Wilson does a great job with this project, an album often upheld as the band's finest hour. I like many of the early albums but I also get why it's so esteemed. First impressions of the 5.1 mix are that it's fantastic, although I know that this is a matter of opinion in most cases. Crimson fans need it, casual listeners should get a single disc version.
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This review is for the 2012 release:
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This latest and arguably most anticipated remix of the early King Crimson albums is an exercise in wondrous excess. Remixed for 5.1 Surround Sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), this CD contains a completely new stereo album mix by Robert Fripp & Steven Wilson, as well as three extra, previously unreleased, alternate takes/mixes. This includes a 5.1 mix, a High Resolution mix and with Blu-Ray players, an additional 5.1 Advanced Resolution (Lossless Audio) mix. The DVD A also features over 30 minutes of rare, previously unseen footage of the band - a rare gift for Crimson fans. This set is similar to previous in that it is a 2-digipak format in a slipcase with extensive new sleeve notes by King Crimson biographer Sid Smith. Of course, there are those great rare photos and archive materials.

The group contains the mid-1970s trio of founding member Robert Fripp (guitars and mellotron), John Wetton (vocals and bass) and Bill Bruford (drums). Along for this wondrous ride are David Cross (violin and flute) and Jamie Muir (percussion and "devices"). This quintet only performed together for one tour and one album. Fans will debate the use of the "devices" or "sound effects", depending on how pure one considers ones taste, but in some sense, it's a new branch of experimentation that King Crimson (Fripp) had never done before. Note that this is the same year that "Dark Side Of The Moon" was released, so the invention of `quad' recordings and special effects were well in place. The mix by Steven Wilson allows these devices to come and go in a humorous and often mysterious fashion - flitting or flying from speaker to speaker in a true surround sense, he takes that `crazed laughter', the `increasing mumblings of a female neurotic', the `screeching' (a bridge in this case), `wind sweepings' and many others. I have to say that they could have released a `non-effects' version, but I truly enjoy the mix of Crimson and this new feature. It's nearly psychosis.

As a definitive `progressive rock' album, it contains healthy portions of hard rock, folk, classical and wild free form jazz. `Larks Tongues in Aspic, Part One' is one of the most delightfully deceiving and frantically fun songs on the album. From the long soft percussion intro that almost induces a hypnotizing effect to the sneaking, angst ridden violin, increasing to the blast of unexpected rock chords that shatter the senses - only to have the violin deftly return with a `Hitchcock-style' edge (think, "Psycho' shower scene), it is breath-taking. After that manic introduction, Crimson slides into some relatively gentle ballads, (`Book of Saturdays' and `Exiles'). Picking up again with some brilliantly interwoven pieces, (`Easy Money' - watch those sound effects, `The Talking Drum' and `Larks Tongues in Aspic, Part Two'), the band keeps each song distinct with a unique flair injected into each one. The final cut, 'Larks Tongues in Aspic, Part Two' pulls those heavy hard rock chords back again and finishes off one of the most satisfying albums to that date.

The `Improv: The Rich Tapestry of Life', `Exiles' and `Larks Tongues In Aspic, part One' on the second list are just as inventive and satisfying as the main album. These provide a welcome addition for any King Crimson fan.

This 5.1 surround version is a must have for any hard rock/progressive rock fan. The devices only add to the mixture, but for some reason, this album stands out to me as one of their better albums and that is a tough call to make. I hear the 15-disc set is amazing, but to be honest, this set is exactly what I wanted and needed.
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on July 11, 2017
Well we're do I began this is the first album from Crimson line up from 72-75 what a great album . With John Wetton's great bass playing and dynamic vocals plus Bill Bruford wild drumming and percussionist Jamie Muir this Crimson goes were the original line up left off. Robert Fripp guitarist is as good as any prog band of it's day! With David Cross on Violin and the Mellotron rounds out this line up. After the album was released and a short tour Jamie Muir left the band . By this time Crimson were well on there way
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on November 27, 2015
I like king crimson, yet find they are sometimes a little hit and miss. I have always liked the islands album and discipline but have found some of their pieces a little testing. I have all the 5.1 reissues now (I will have thrak coming in the next week or so and am looking forward to it a lot, as it seems to scream for a 5.1 mix. I suspect beat and three of a perfect pair will be out next year). Lark's tongue's in aspic was the last one I purchased, because to be honest I was a little unsure if i would like it based on the reviews of others suggesting it was just noise.
I have to say it may well be my favourite. The two lark's pieces, although dipping into the pool of dissonance, are so well put together and hold such brilliant soundscapes they are moving (and not in the opposite direction, to me at least lol).
Book of Saturday's, Exiles and Easy money are all great tracks and melody things up in the middle. Talking drum would be my least favourite on this album, but not too much so, and certainly not out of context with the rest of the album.
If you like adventurous music from the seventies, I highly recommend this. If, like me, you buy a lot of albums you might not normally because they are in 5.1, I recommend this to try (but only if you like adventurous music).
This isn't the kind of album you would put on every day. It may not be an album you would have on whilst doing the dishes or getting ready for work. This is the sort of album you sit and let it swim around you. The 5.1 does that very effectively and the music enjoys this room to breathe.
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on March 28, 2013
This latest version of Larks Tongues is so close to the 30th anniversary version in how it sounds that I almost have to say I don't hear a difference. I know, all of you Crimson folks out their are just a rabid as all of you Gentle Giant fans reading this. If it's a new version you MUST have it. NO Choice. Well I can say that I did notice a huge difference when I listened to the 5.1. That is where this release really shines. Get it for that and the videos. You have NO choice!
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on December 2, 2016
One of the greatest prog rock albums ever recorded and on this DVD audio disc is sounds better than I've ever heard it. The surround mix is just great! Plus there are some other video goodies on the companion disk.
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on August 11, 2017
This album is not available anywhere streaming. This is the only way to get this music that I have found.
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