THRAK from 1995 is the tenth release in the King Crimson 40th Anniversary series and was the first full album to feature the Double Trio incarnation of the group.
The CD features a brand new '21st century stereo reimagining' of the album by Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp, while the DVD-a features 5.1 Surround Sound and Hi-Res stereo mixes by Jakszyk and Fripp, alongside a Hi-Res of the original album stereo mix.
Presented in a double digipak in slipcase and including a booklet with sleeve notes, rare photos and archive material.
One of the most powerful studio albums of the period. The 1994 return of King Crimson was timed perfectly, matching, in no particular order, one of the peak periods for CD sales, a time of great variety of radio formats in the USA, the growth of a number of bands who pointed eagerly to the influence of King Crimson - especially of the 1972-74 band - a more positive critical reception for the band, following the remasters of the catalogue, Frame by Frame and Great Deceiver boxed sets supervised by
Robert Fripp. Such timing not only benefited from the release of the various musicians from their other musical commitments, but in Robert Fripp's case, the ultimately successful battle to regain control of King Crimson's catalogue.
Recorded at Peter Gabriel's RealWorld studios THRAK was released in 1995 and followed by tours in Europe, Japan and the USA. In the USA Crimson joined the Horde tour for 1995 - among a floating line-up that included Lenny Kravitz, The Black Crowes and Ziggy Marley. Thrak and its accompanying tours managed the task of appealing to older Crimson fans, while allowing the band to develop a whole new audience - perhaps unsurprisingly, as many of the musical ideas initially formulated by Crimson lineups of the 70s and 80s had been absorbed, extended and re-presented in a new light by bands directly influenced by earlier Crimson albums and performances.
Had THRAK merely reiterated those ideas most fans would, without doubt, have been happy with the outcome, but a key element in the evolution of Crimson's music and history has been the band's unwillingness to simply go on performing and recording for the sake of it. Robert Fripp places great importance on the fact that Crimson only operates when there is music that demands a King Crimson to perform it. This ability to walk away from the group at peak points artistically and commercially (as with the 70s and 80s lineups), is one of the band's great strengths. It allows for the periodic reinvention of the band and ensures that innovation is a driving factor whenever the group does appear.
THRAK has all the hallmarks of a classic album - an album that challenged audience expectations when released, yet still sounds exciting now. For the band's many fans, it rates comparison with the best of King Crimson's studio albums, no mean feat given the quality and status of the likes of In The Court of the Crimson King (1969), Red (1974) and Discipline (1981).
The newly mixed stereo of THRAK was described as "transformative" by Robert Fripp. It's also no exaggeration to state that this band can't be fully appreciated and understood until you hear the roar of THRAK emerging from six speakers.
Twenty years on from its original release, THRAK remains one of the most powerful studio albums of the period.