The authors have discussed putting together an accurate discography of King Crimson many times over the last four years. The reason is that none of the many existing King Crimson discographies, both on paper and in the electronic form, can give you precise information about what is recorded on a certain release. This leads to the situation when it is impossible to figure out what people who discuss KC works talk, write or argue about. For example, John Relph`s discography of King Crimson, one generally considered to be the most complete and accurate (Robert Fripp including the works of King Crimson, The League of Gentlemen, and The League of Crafty Guitarists, et al. Copyright © 1990-2003 by John Relph), sometimes mentions 15 or 20 LPs released in different countries for one album title, but only lists information for one of these releases – without specifying which one. Inaccurate and incomplete lists of performers, instruments used, track lists, play time etc. It is IMPOSSIBLE to figure out by looking at the dateline what the differences are, for example, between LPs released in the UK and the US. Technically, there is an abundance of information, but for a collector and/or a researcher it is useless for all practical purposes. This especially applies to the albums released in the early years of KC, 1969-1974. Moreover, Relph "corrected" any errors (incorrect track times, typos, spelling mistakes in performers` names etc.) that allow to accurately identify a specific release, without any indication that such correction has been made. So, what you have is technically "complete", but ABSOLUTELY INACCURATE discography.
As a result of the discussions, the authors decided that an ACCURATE, DETAILED DISCOGRAPHY NEEDS TO BE put together – one containing all details of a specific release and exhaustive commentary. Ideally, it should contain scans of cover art, album labels, inner sleeves, inserts, booklets etc., with detailed description. For various reasons, the authors decided to do it in a slightly different way.
CRITERIA USED TO SELECT MATERIALS FOR THE DISCOGRAPHY
It is physically impossible to describe all the releases, because there were so many of them, so for LPs we decided to use the UK releases as the basis. The reason for choosing UK is because that is where the group was founded. For US-published vinyls, we will list only the basic data – title of the album, releasing label, number, year of the publication and certain significant differences. We will do the same with other foreign releases, unless they contain some information that important for better understanding of the works of KC. We do not plan to include bootlegs, promos, colored vinyl etc.
PRINCIPLES OF DESCRIPTION
1. The main principle: all texts must be exact copies of the original texts, down to all typos and errors, which will be reproduced without any changes.
2. Every typo/error in the original text (incorrect track play time, typos in performers` names and names of the compositions) will be listed in the comments to the description of the original. Any differences in re-releases will also be listed. Basically, it means that the reader will have access to all text information of the original disc and its structure, which will give him a good idea of the formal (non-phonographic) content of the release. The only thing we are not planning to demonstrate is the actual cover and disc artwork and design of the album labels, boxes and booklets. Some of this information is available at www.elephant-talk.com or in the discography by John Relph.
We assume that our readers know how ISLAND, ATLANTIC etc. logos and album labels look and are familiar with their history.
And, last but not least – we have gathered the data necessary for the King Crimson Accurate Discography. The only thing left is to upload the results to the web site. We plan to do it in the following order:
1. Vinyls recorded before the end 1984.
2. CD re-releases of LPs indicated in item 1.
3. CD releases, 1994 and later.
AT + Sven L. (December 2003)
translated by Alexei Glushchenko
ISLAND album labels without descriptions