Thursday, 24 November 2016

"In The Wake Of Poseidon: 40th Anniversary Series" by KING CRIMSON (2010 Panegyric CD and DVD-Audio Reissue - Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...

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"...Cadence And Cascade...Sliding Mystified..."

Always in the shadow of its illustrious and shockingly original predecessor "In The Court Of The Crimson King" (their debut from October 1969) - KING CRIMSON's second platter "In The Wake Of Poseidon" arrived mid May 1970 in Blighty on Island ILPS 9127 to howls of genius and bollocks in equal measure.

The last Remaster stab at this album came in 1999 for a 30th Anniversary Edition (Simon Heyworth and Robert Fripp did the honours) - but this '40th Anniversary Series' Edition has had the magic and nimble fingers of STEVE WILSON around it's smiling throat - and once again the Porcupine Tree boy wonder has brought forth nuances that I for one hadn't heard before (the DVD-A includes the 1999 Remaster and Flat Transfer versions too). Here are the Cadences and Cascades...

UK released October 2010 - "In The Wake Of Poseidon: 40th Anniversary Series" by KING CRIMSON on Panegyric KCSP2 (Barcode 633367400222) is a CD and DVD-Audio Reissue and New Remaster that plays out as follows:

Disc 1 - CD (51:53 minutes):
Original Album - 2010 Mix
1. Peace-A Beginning 
2. Pictures Of A City (Including 42nd At Treadmill)
3. Cadence And Cascade
4. In The Wake Of Poseidon (Including Libra's Theme)
5. Peace-A Theme
6. Cat Food 
7. The Devil's Triangle (Part 1) Merday Morn
8. The Devil's Triangle (Part 2) Hand Of Sceiron
9. The Devil's Triangle (Part 3) Garden Of Worm
10. Peace-An End
Tracks 1 to 10 are their second studio album "In The Wake Of Poseidon" - released May 1970 in the UK on Island ILPS 9127 and September 1970 in the USA on Atlantic SD 8266. Produced by ROBERT FRIPP and PETE SINFIELD - the LP peaked at No. 4 and No. 31 on the UK and US album charts. 

11. Groon (2010 Mix)
12. Peace: An End (Alternate Mix)
13. Cadence & Cascade (Greg Lake Guide Vocal)

Disc 2 - DVD-AUDIO, NTSC, Region 0 (Code Exempt):
MLP Lossless 5.1 Surround
DTS 5.1 Digital Surround
Original Album
1. Peace-A Beginning 
2. Pictures Of A City (Including 42nd At Treadmill)
3. Cadence And Cascade
4. In The Wake Of Poseidon (Including Libra's Theme)
5. Peace-A Theme
6. Cat Food 
7. The Devil's Triangle (Part 1) Merday Morn
8. The Devil's Triangle (Part 2) Hand Of Sceiron
9. The Devil's Triangle (Part 3) Garden Of Worm
10. Peace-An End

11. Groon
Tracks 1 to 11 Mixed and Produced from the original multi-track tapes by STEVEN WILSON - except Tracks 7, 8 and 9 which were up-mixed to 5.1 from the original stereo master by SIMON HEYWORTH at Super Audio Mastering (Executive Producer Robert Fripp)

MLP Lossless Stereo (24/96)
PCM Stereo 2.0 (24/48) 
2010 New Stereo Mix 
As Per 1 to 11. Produced and Mixed by STEVEN WILSON and ROBERT FRIPP except Tracks 7 to 9 which are Pete Sinfield Produced original album mixes

Original 1970 Stereo Mix – 30th Anniversary Edition
Tracks 1 to 10 as above
30th Anniversary Edition Remastered by SIMON HEYWORTH and ROBERT FRIPP 

1. Cat Food (Single Version) – March 1970 UK 7” on Island WIP 6080
2. Groon (Single Version) – Non-album B-side to Cat Food

Cadence And Cascade Versions:
3. Cadence & Cascade (Unedited Master)
4. Cadence & Cascade (Greg Lake Guide Vocal)
5. Cadence & Cascade (Instrumental Take from Wessex Studios)

Groon Versions:
6. Groon (Take 1)
7. Groon (Take 5)
8. Groon (Take 15)

9. The Devil's Triangle (Rehearsal Version from Wessex Studios)
10. Peace: An End (Alternate Mix)
Tracks 1, 2, 4 and 5 Produced by Robert Fripp and Pete Sinfield
Tracks 3, 6 to 8 and 10 Produced by Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp

GREG LAKE – Vocals 
ROBERT FRIPP – Guitars, Effects and Mellotron

MEL COLLINS (of Circus) – Saxophone and Flute 
GORDON HASKELL – Vocals on "Cadence And Cascade" only 
PETE SINFIELD – Words, Sleeve Design and Paintings

Like the other issues in this series – the outer card slipcase and 2-disc foldout digipak contained within are aesthetically nice in a limited sort of way – but the loose 16-page booklet leaves much to be desired despite a short and informative set of liner notes by noted writer and music nut – SID SMITH. Not surprisingly you get the "Cat Food" picture sleeve to Island WIP 6080 pictured as well as the rare New Zealand pressing of the album on none other than a Vertigo 'Spiral' label – but alongside some black and whites of the boys in the studio and a Disc/Music Echo advert for the LP – there's not a lot else. The print is tiny and when you consider just how stunning the Jethro Tull Book Reissues are (I think there's six now including a recently reviewed "Stand Up: Elevated Edition" which may well be Reissue of the Year 2016 in my books) – the presentation on all of these Crimson so called 'Definitive' editions is staggeringly ordinary by comparison. 

Housed in a suitably obscure yet almost childlike gatefold sleeve with no obvious title in sight - Pete Sinfield's painted artwork followed on in visual style from the "Court Of The Crimson King" debut – only this time sporting a stippled effect on the gatefold (knowledgeable collector types will know what I mean). That artwork is fully represented here – albeit in a reduced form that lessens its impact considerably. 

I can't honestly remember what the 1999 booklet looked like (I sold it years back) but I can't see much improvement except that this new one has endless lists of the same tracks in the booklet filling up a lot of space. And what's all that MLP Lossless Data on the rear cover that few seem to understand or even care about (doesn't even list the bonus tracks on the DVD-A which is what fans would want). Sure many of the tracks on the DVD-Audio are new and therefore Previously Unreleased – manna for fans of this most revered of KC line-ups – but in truth – it all feels a bit of a let down on the visuals. The CDs themselves are picture discs and a nice touch is the Pete Sinfield gatefold reproduced underneath the see-through CD trays – even if is impossible to read in such a small size. The booklet also reproduces the lyrics and some photos of Fripp and Lake at the BBC before old Greg buggered off to Emerson, Lake & Palmer. I'm afraid the Panegyric YES CD reissues resemble these in the looks department - could have done better boys...

The Audio is however thankfully another matter. As Lake's vocals come floating in for the short opener "Peace-A Beginning" and stop being echoed – the instruments are so clear. But of course the huge seven-minute Prog Rock of "Pictures Of A City" follows that – a Brass and Guitars King Crimson tune that is actually hooky (if we might be as bold as to say such a thing). Things mellow with the incredibly pretty "Cadence & Cascade" - an Acoustic ballad from the pen of Robert Fripp and lyricist Pete Sinfield. I'm loving that delicate piano and the double-vocals when he sings "...sad paper courtesan..." followed by a flourish on the Flute from super-sessionman Mel Collins. The speaker-bursting Mellotron opening of the title track "In The Wake Of Poseidon" was in yer face for the 1999 Remaster - here it's the same but a little more controlled. When Lake comes in - the Acoustic Guitar and those drums are assaulting yer speakers as he waxes on about a " on the scales..." 

The beautiful "Peace-A Theme" passage only lasts just over a minute but it sounds awesome here. "Cat Food" is another audio winner - supermarket ladies grooning to the muzak. The near inaudible 30-second lead in to the three-part "Devil's Triangle" used to cause all many of problems on original 'Pink I' label original of the British LP (clicks and pops ahoy) - Part 1 quietly building in Bolero fashion with the Mellotron and marching drum pattern. But then after nearly seven and half indulgent minutes it all goes King Crimson with the 'Hand Of Sceiron' Part 2 that quickly morphs into the difficult 'Garden Of Worm' section. Greg Lake's lone vocals at the outset to "Peace-An End" are amazingly clean and I'd often thought that second voice over the acoustic guitar was a 'girl' but it’s just him doubling up! 

I've listened to the 5.1 Surround Mix (on a friend's set up) and I can only describe it as 'powerful' with a capitol 'P'. I'm reminded of hearing those 'Quad' albums back in the Seventies - instruments coming out of speakers that you'd swear you've never heard before. As with all of these reissues - I can understand the completist reason for the Flat Transfer of the album but it’s just that - flat - and after the Wilson version - hard to go back to. And why weren't the Unreleased Versions put on the CD - there was room?

To sum up - I'm genuinely surprised at how much I like "In The Wake Of Poseidon" in my later years (I recall it didn't float my boat at the time) - but this gorgeous Audio makeover by Wilson and Fripp has made me rethink that. And despite my reservations about presentation - isn't that the best compliment you can pay a reissue...