Islands (King Crimson album)
|Studio album by|
|Released||3 December 1971|
|Studio||Command Studios, Piccadilly, London, England|
|Genre||Progressive rock, jazz fusion|
|King Crimson chronology|
Islands is the fourth studio album by English band King Crimson, released in December 1971 on the record label Island. Islands would be the last King Crimson studio album before the group's trilogy of Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black and Red. It is also the last album to feature the lyrics of founding member Peter Sinfield.
The album received a mixed response from critics.
The harmonic basis for the tune "The Letters" is derived from the Giles, Giles and Fripp song "Why Don't You Just Drop In", available on The Brondesbury Tapes compilation. The bridge section is also taken from the King Crimson version of the song, performed by the original line-up, titled simply "Drop In" and later released on the live-album Epitaph.
The original basis for the song "Prelude: Song of the Gulls" is derived from the Giles, Giles and Fripp song "Suite No. 1".
The first vinyl release of the album features a hidden track. At the end of side two there is a recording of studio chatter followed by Fripp saying, among other things, "...What we're going to do, umm... do it twice more, once with the oboe, once without it, and then... we finish." This was included on the initial CD release but was accidentally left off the first pressings of the 1989 Definitive Edition CD remaster. It was restored on all subsequent reissues, and has been used as "walk on" music for all shows starting in 2014.
The original United Kingdom and European cover depicts the Trifid Nebula in Sagittarius and displays neither the name of the band nor the title. The original United States and Canadian album cover (as released by Atlantic) was a Peter Sinfield painting of off-white with coloured "islands". This was used as an internal gatefold sleeve in the UK. When the King Crimson catalogue was re-issued by EG, they standardised on the "Trifid Nebula" cover worldwide.
The album was re-released in 2010 as the fifth release in King Crimson's 40th Anniversary series, featuring new stereo and 5.1 surround mixes (by Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp), Sid Smith sleeve notes and copious extra tracks and alternative versions. The CD presents a complete stereo remix by Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp alongside a group of additional tracks representing a near complete alternative album of studio takes, run-throughs and mixes. The DVD-A presents a complete 5.1 surround sound mix by Steven Wilson, a hi-res stereo version of the 2010 mix, a hi-res stereo version of the original album mix taken from the 30th anniversary master source and almost 90 minutes of additional material, the vast majority of it previously unreleased, including many studio takes mixed from the original recording sessions specifically for this release. The material covers everything from early rehearsals of "Pictures of a City" (one of the final new songs performed by the 1969 lineup) to the previously unheard "A Peacemaking Stint Unrolls" (showcasing early ideas and elements that would appear in fully realised form on later KC albums), a fragment of Fripp playing the tune of "Islands" on a mellotron, a live "Sailor's Tale" from the Zoom Club and much more.
In its contemporary review, AllMusic called it "the weakest Crimson studio album from their first era" that "is only a real disappointment in relation to the extraordinarily high quality of the group's earlier efforts."
All songs written by Robert Fripp, all lyrics written by Peter Sinfield.
|2.||"Sailor's Tale" (instrumental)||7:29|
|4.||"Ladies of the Road"||5:31|
|5.||"Prelude: Song of the Gulls" (instrumental)||4:14|
|7.||Untitled (hidden track, begins one minute after Islands ends)||1:36|
|2010 40th Anniversary Series re-issue bonus tracks|
|7.||"Islands" (studio run through with oboe prominent)||2:02|
|8.||"Formentera Lady" (Take 2)||2:23|
|9.||"Sailor's Tale" (Alternate mix/edit) (Fripp)||3:37|
|10.||"A Peace Making Stint Unrolls" (Previously unreleased) (Fripp)||3:55|
|11.||"The Letters" (Rehearsal/outtake)||2:43|
|12.||"Ladies of the Road" (Robert Fripp & David Singleton remix)|
|2010 40th Anniversary Series re-issue DVD-A bonus tracks ("Routes to Islands"/"Additional Tracks: Assorted Ladies")|
|13.||"Pictures of a City" (Islands Lineup Rehearsal)|
|14.||"Sailor's Tale" (Islands Lineup Rehearsal) (Fripp)|
|15.||"Islands" (Fragment: Robert Fripp Reference Cassette - Mellotron on Vibes Setting)|
|16.||"Formentera Lady" (Rough Mix)|
|17.||"Sailor's Tale" (Rough Mix) (Fripp)|
|18.||"Drop In" (Early Rehearsal by Islands Lineup) (Fripp, Michael Giles, Greg Lake, Ian McDonald)|
|19.||"The Letters" (Live at Plymouth)|
|20.||"Sailor's Tale" (Live at the Zoom Club) (Fripp)||14:43|
|21.||"Ladies of the Road" (Robert Fripp & David Singleton remix)|
|22.||"Ladies of the Road" (Take 5)|
|23.||"Formentera Lady" (Take 1)|
|24.||"Formentera Lady" (Take 3)|
|25.||"Formentera Lady" (Take 4)|
- King Crimson
- Robert Fripp – guitar, mellotron, harmonium (6), sundry implements, production
- Peter Sinfield – lyrics, sounds and visions, cover design and painting, production
- Mel Collins – saxophones, flute, bass flute (6), backing vocals, production
- Ian Wallace – drums, percussion, backing vocals, production
- Boz Burrell (credited as "Boz") – bass, lead vocals, choreography, production
- Additional personnel
- Paulina Lucas – soprano vocals (1)
- Keith Tippett – piano
- Robin Miller – oboe
- Mark Charig – cornet
- Harry Miller – double bass (1, 6)
- Uncredited musicians – strings (5, 6)
- Andy Hendrikson – recording, engineering
- Tony Arnold – mastering
- Vick & Mike – equipment
- Robert Ellis – photography
- 2009 40th Anniversary Series re-issue personnel
- Steven Wilson – mixing, production, compilation and coordination input and suggestions
- Simon Heyworth (Super Audio Mastering) – stereo file preparation, 5.1 mastering
- Claire Bidwell (Opus Productions) – DVD design and layout
- Neil Wilkes (Opus Productions) – DVD authoring and assembly
- Jon Urban, Bob Romano, Bob Squires, Patrick Cleasby, Tim McDonnell & Chris Gerhard – DVD QC testing
- Kevin Vanbergen (FX Copyroom) – multitrack tape restoration and transfers
- Alex R. Mundy – DGM tape archiving
- Hugh O'Donnell – package art and design
- Declan Colgan (DGM) – compilation, coordination
- Sid Smith – liner notes, compilation and coordination input and suggestions
- John Kimber – US vinyl record sleeve scan
- Eder, B. (2011). "Islands – King Crimson | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- "King Crimson | Full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 August 2016.
- "40th Anniversary Edition Information". Archived from the original on 2010-08-03. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
- "King Crimson – Islands". Archived from the original on 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
- Christgau, R. (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: king crimson". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 25 July 2011.
- Bangs, L. (2011). "King Crimson: Islands : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 28 October 2007. Retrieved 25 July 2011.