As part of their 40th Anniversary Series, King Crimson, the pre-eminent art rock group dating back to the late 60s, has released remastered and expanded versions of their first two albums. In the Wake of Poseidon was Crimson’s second album, and, though it was well received when it was originally released in May 1970, it did suffer criticism for sounding to similar to their debut (In the Court of the Crimson King). Personally, I think one flows quite well into the next.
I’m fascinated by second albums, as many are. That’s really the proving ground for a band. After all, how does the saying go … a band has their entire career to write their first album and six months for the follow up?! What’s interesting about Poseidon is King Crimson, as a band, was actually fracturing at the time of its recording. Vocalist Greg Lake had already left to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer. He agreed to come back and sing on Poseidon and do a few supporting appearances … supposedly in exchange for Crimson’s P.A. system.
With the album in the can, others left and, at time of release, the only members left were Robert Fripp and Peter Sinfield. And, since Sinfield was only the lyricist, that left Fripp as the only musician. In effect, they had an album but no band. Obviously, since the band is still around, Fripp/Sinfield rebounded, called in favors, welcomed back old friends and bandmates and kept their career path intact.
The 40th Anniversary version of Poseidon is an adventure. The album has never sounded better – lush. They’ve really gone all out on this package. The 2-disc set features a CD offering a near complete stereo mix of the original album and three bonus tracks. A DVD features the 5.1 surround mix, hi-res stereo versions of the 30th anniversary stereo master, 2010 album mixes and ten bonus tracks; including a new mix of “Groon,” a newly mixed alternate take of “Peace: An Ending” and a version of the beautiful “Cadence and Cascade” sung by Greg Lake (the original album version was sung by Gordon Haskell). Top it off with expanded sleeves notes and you’ve got a value packed option that keeps you coming back for more.