The song-by-song revival of “Crimson King” goes under the title of “Playing Hide and Seek with the Ghosts of Dawn.” Flaming Lips and friends reimagined and rerecorded Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” in 2010. The new covers project is heavier on the friends and lighter on the Lips, though.
Stardeath and White Dwarfs return from the “Dark Side” project. Other participants are New Fumes (Daniel Huffman), Linear Downfall and Spaceface. These bands perform the majority of the album with help from Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne, and are doing a mini-tour in support of the project.
The noisy but respectful King Crimson covers are now streaming on the Flaming Lips web site. A limited-release vinyl version of “Ghosts of Dawn” came out in late October but appears to be available mostly at indie record stores in Oklahoma and Texas.
The project’s key art, top left, puts a furious contemporary spin on the famed “Crimson King” cover.
As on the original “Crimson King,” there are but five songs.
The covers record opens with the one-two punch of “21st Century Schizoid Man” (Linear Downfall) and “I Talk to the Wind” (New Fumes). Side 1 closer “Epitaph” is performed by Flaming Lips and the other artists.
Then come “Moonchild” (Spaceface) and “In the Court of the Crimson King” (Stardeath and White Dwarfs). An alternate version of “Moonchild” from New Fumes and Flaming Lips surfaced as a teaser in September.
Rolling Stone online readers recently ranked the original “Crimson King” as the sixth-best prog album of all time, although the genre really hadn’t solidified at the time of its release. In any case, the darkly beautiful 1969 album qualifies as a late-period psychedelic music classic.
King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” repeatedly has been reissued on CD and, now, on audiophile vinyl. The original first-generation stereo master tapes didn’t come into play until 2003, when they were discovered in storage.
King Crimson’s ongoing reissue series kicked off in 2009 with a 40th anniversary edition of “Crimson King” that included 5.1 surround sound. The reissues continue in a big way this month with the return of “Lark’s Tongue in Aspic” in several configurations, including a 15-CD box set ($130). The band’s third album, “Lizard,” is just out on 200 gram vinyl using the original stereo mix.
Group leader Robert Fripp continues to approve the reissue mixes, some coming in multiple surround sound formats.