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Robert Fripp -- A Messing of Years

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Robert Fripp -- A Messing of Years

Postby MiKcrobe on Fri Apr 16, 2004 4:14 pm

A PARTIAL CHRONOLOGY OF FRIPP'S SOLO WORKS AND CLARIFICATION OF CONFUSING TITLES

Before I had purchased any of Robert Fripp's Soundscape CDs, I found myself confused over some of the titles. This was due to several factors:
1) the carelessness of copy editors who listed the titles of these CDs in a most ambiguous way;
2) the fact that some recordings were advertised prior to their actual release and underwent a change of title once they were actually manufactured;
3) Fripp's penchant for using years as titles to his pieces.

On the off-chance that I am not the only one in the Crimunity who was confused by this, I am providing this clarification.

To provide an example of reason number 1 above, in the booklet accompanying THRaKaTTaK, there is a listing of other DGM releases. Under "Robert Fripp" it says exactly this:

1999: Soundscapes Live in Argentina (1994)
Radiophonics Volume One
(1995 Soundscapes -- Live In California)
A Blessing of Tears Volume Two
(1995 Soundscapes -- Live in Argentina)

Under Forthcoming releases:
Soundbites Volume Three:
(1995 Soundscapes Live)


How does one make sense of that? I couldn't even tell how many albums that was supposed to be. I even read a review wherein the reviewer compared Fripp's "Radiophonics" works to his "Soundscapes" as if they were two different musical forms, rather than merely different recordings of the same kind of music.

Fripp's Frippertronics tour took place in 1979. He subsequently released the album God Save The Queen/Under Heavy Manners. The GSTQ part of that album contained three Frippertronics loops, one of which was entitled "1983." That was the start of his using years as titles for his solo pieces. The next album, Let The Power Fall, consisted of six Frippertronics pieces (from the 1979 tour), entitled, "1984," "1985," "1986," "1987," "1988," and "1989."

In 1994, Fripp undertook his "first solo tour in over eleven years." The first CD issued with this material was called simply 1999, with the descriptive subtitle, "Soundscapes - Live in Argentina." Sometimes I've seen this listed as 1999 Soundscapes - Live in Argentina which is obviously incorrect. This distinction is important since the recordings were made in 1994, and 1999 is merely the title of the release. Four of the five tracks on this CD continue the years-for-titles trend, though they don't pick up where LTPF left off. They are "1999," "2000," "2001," and "2002."

In 1995, Fripp did another Soundscapes tour, playing in Argentina again and in California and New York. The CDs of these performances, which are known by the titles Radiophonics, A Blessing of Tears, and That Which Passes, all have the descriptive subtitle of "1995 Soundscapes (Volumes 1, 2 & 3)." In this instance, the "1995" in the title does in fact refer to the year in which the recordings were made, unlike 1999.

The Gates of Paradise was compiled from Soundscapes recordings made in 1994, 1995, and 1996.

November Suite was recorded in 1996.

There. It's all much clearer now, right?

(Okay, so where's "1990" through "1998"? you ask. Good question.)
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Postby Dog_none on Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:30 pm

Thank you. I have been confused by this as well.

I know I've mentioned this before, and I think people's general response is that I'm crazy, but I really really remember talk about a version of the Sounscapes box with FOUR discs. I could have sworn that the European version had 4 discs while the US version had 3, or vice versa. Was the fourth disc 1999 or November Suite? Am I really just crazy?

And I distinctly remember talk about an album called RADIOPHONICS II.

Anyway, I have them all except November Suite. If anyone has an extra copy laying around that they'd like taken off their hands, pm me....
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Postby vrooom on Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:37 pm

My head hurts...I think I need a lie down now...

MiKcrobe is the only person I know with the brain power to absorb all that stuff. His chronological discography for KC was a work of art too. Clever boy, that MiK (either that or he is autistic like Rain Man and is some kind of idiot savant!) <---- That was a JOKE, people. A joke...
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Postby Chip Orr on Fri Apr 16, 2004 9:12 pm

vrooom wrote:Clever boy, that MiK (either that or he is autistic like Rain Man and is some kind of idiot savant!) <---- That was a JOKE, people. A joke...


We Americans thank you for this clarification, D.
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the plot thickens...

Postby Owen on Sat Apr 17, 2004 7:52 am

But the track "Scanning II" from the DGM sampler Sometimes God Hides was supposedly from the original 1995 Soundscapes Vol 3 titled "Soundbites" which was never released. Instead we got "That Which Passes" as Volume 3. "Scanning II" doesn't appear on that album and I seem to recall that the proposed Sondbites album was going to comprise re-edited soundscapes from various performances (like the ProjeKct 3 disc) as opposed to the complete performances (like the three 1995 soundscapes discs).

So, was Soundbites completed? Or just the one track? And what happened to the project really? (I have read several times that it was simply a matter of the titles changing, but it's more complex than that I believe, check out the mini DGM catalogue with SGHides for the different artwork too)

Any further spanners to throw?
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Postby MiKcrobe on Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:02 pm

vrooom wrote:My head hurts...I think I need a lie down now...

MiKcrobe is the only person I know with the brain power to absorb all that stuff. His chronological discography for KC was a work of art too. Clever boy, that MiK (either that or he is autistic like Rain Man and is some kind of idiot savant!) <---- That was a JOKE, people. A joke...

I thought that was rather funny, especially since (although I don't consider myself to be an exceptionally organized person) I do have this thing for making lists and categorizing and itemizing, which happens to be one of the many characteristic symptoms of autism (no, I'm not going to list all the others). I think you've got to be a little neurotic to be a KC fan, and being a KC fan certainly gives you many ways to put your neuroses to good use. :D
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Postby diderot on Mon Apr 19, 2004 2:18 pm

MiKcrobe wrote:I thought that was rather funny, especially since (although I don't consider myself to be an exceptionally organized person) I do have this thing for making lists and categorizing and itemizing, which happens to be one of the many characteristic symptoms of autism (no, I'm not going to list all the others). I think you've got to be a little neurotic to be a KC fan, and being a KC fan certainly gives you many ways to put your neuroses to good use. :D

Talking about categorizing and itemizing (in a word, organizing) and other obsessive-compulsive behaviors, do you know a software for cataloging CDs, LPs and DVDs? When I had around 200 LPs it was easy to keep a notebook (paper, not computer) updated. Now that I have at least 50 Crimson related items it would be very useful...
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Postby Dog_none on Tue Apr 20, 2004 6:31 am

diderot wrote:
MiKcrobe wrote:I thought that was rather funny, especially since (although I don't consider myself to be an exceptionally organized person) I do have this thing for making lists and categorizing and itemizing, which happens to be one of the many characteristic symptoms of autism (no, I'm not going to list all the others). I think you've got to be a little neurotic to be a KC fan, and being a KC fan certainly gives you many ways to put your neuroses to good use. :D

Talking about categorizing and itemizing (in a word, organizing) and other obsessive-compulsive behaviors, do you know a software for cataloging CDs, LPs and DVDs? When I had around 200 LPs it was easy to keep a notebook (paper, not computer) updated. Now that I have at least 50 Crimson related items it would be very useful...


I used to keep an Excel file with my whole collection...but I haven't updated that in a while. Now I just post everything in my space!

I don't know of any programs made specifically for cateloging albums.
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Postby Absinthe on Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:38 pm

That's smart, Puppy!

I had an obsessive-compulsive friend in college who thought up her own cataloging system for her cds. They were sort of catagorized by subject of group, with her fave band Queensryche coming first. Tres bizarre! :shock:

My cds are all over the place with no rhyme nor reason. What a mess!
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Postby vrooom on Tue Apr 20, 2004 12:44 pm

Yeah - I did that kinda stuff when I went through my teenage autism stage on my Atari ST. It was fun for the first 100 entries but then it got tiring.

Nowadays, if you put a CD into your Windows (XP) PC and Windows Media Player starts up, it scans the net for the CD details and puts them in its own database. Suddenly, you're record collection has been cataloged without you even realising it.

Certainly beats sitting cross-legged on the floor sorting through old CDs, I guess.


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