Robert Fripp: Guitar and Mellotron - John Wetton: Bass and Voice
William Bruford: Percussives
With: David Cross, Mel Collins, Ian McDonald, Robin Miller, Mark Charig
By the time King Crimson entered the studio in July 74, the band had spent the best part of two years on the road, recorded two albums along the way (‘Larks’ Tongues In Aspic’ & ‘Starless & Bible Black’), & shed two band members en route; percussionist Jamie Muir having quit early 1973, and violin/mellotron player David Cross at the end of the US tour just a week prior to the recording of Red.
Crimson had built a reputation as one of the tightest, most powerful bands on the rock circuit. Recording as a trio in Olympic studios in London, with one improvised piece drawn from that final US tour & with contributions from former members & friends on saxophones, violin, and oboe, the group produced the last Crimson studio album of the 70s & one of the decade’s masterpieces - Red.
Red emerged as a distillation of everything Crimson had been working towards live & in the studio between 72 and 74.
In the near forty years since its release it has built an enviable, enduring reputation among fans & professional musicians alike – with bands from each succeeding decade citing it as an important influence. As with so many key recordings of the era it is only in more recent times that the album’s real significance has become apparent.
Steven Wilson & Robert Fripp’s 5.1 remix of the album in 2009 drew further acclaim – with the CD/DVD-A featuring the surround mix becoming a best seller. However, it is also the only title in the 40th Anniversary series that did not contain a new stereo mix. Recently, Robert Fripp & Steven Wilson completed a new stereo mix of the album which features on the boxed set “The Road to Red”. This two CD edition makes that mix available in more affordable form for those whose tastes or budget don’t stretch to multi-disc sets.