King Crimson: In The Court Of The Crimson King Rare 1969 1st Press Vinyl

Getting everybody a little hot under the collar when it came through the doors at Eil Towers last week was this genuine 1st press of King Crimson’s landmark prog rock masterpiece, for the full lowdown on this rarer-than-hen’s-teeth LP, read on or click here….

Details about this pressing are shrouded in mystery and even Robert Fripp hasn’t been too forthcoming on the subject … Apparently A1 / B1 matrices do not (officially) exist, rumoured to have been destroyed for one reason or another, but at least one copy has surfaced so obviously not all were. The A1 / B1 Version apparently has a different track banding to later pressings. This is the A2 / B2 Version – Supposedly the REAL first pressing. This has the textured Island labels indicating that it was pressed at a Polydor plant. By 1970 Island had switched most of their pressing to EMI who used a smooth label. Normally the issues that are found are smooth label with A2 / B4 matrices – i.e. EMI pressed from late 1969 to 1970. This, in fact, covers the vast majority of the pink Island label issues of this album. This copy is one of the extremely rare Polydor pressed albums. This is so rare to find that it is even omitted from Yuri Grishin’s exhaustive book about the label ! There are known differences between the mixes but unfortunately exact details are not known – If Mr Fripp can enlighten us, it would be very handy !! The biggest clue is that the end of ‘I Talk To The Wind’ almost totally fades out before the opening of ‘Epitaph’ rather than segueing into it. Other than that any differences are unknown without an extensive ‘back to back’ with a later press. It would seem that (excepting the A1/B1 anomaly) all the pink label A sides have the A2 matrix, but the B sides had B4 (Smooth Label), B3 (Very Rare Indeed) or B2 (Rough Label). The B4 being the ‘common’ one, the B2 Extremely rare & the B3 yet to be confirmed, only rumoured, MORE INFO HERE
Incredibly rare 1969 UK Island 5-track stereo vinyl LP with third design pink with white ‘i’ ‘rough’ textured labels with A2/B2 matrices, gatefold picture sleeve, MORE INFOR HERE
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  1. Hi I am trying to get my head around the pressings of this LP and rarity as my in the court of the crimson king album has an A2/B3 reference but a smooth I in the label. I am unsure if this is a rare LP or not.
    I have a variety of first pressing’s including the Beatles Let it Be red apple and book along with other Beatles albums, Black Sabbath, Atomic Rooster, Free, Mothermania, Gentle giant etc

  2. I know there is a lot of folklore circulating about these ‘true first pressings’, but keep in mind that the original Orlake stampers also appear with the Pink Rim label as well. I know this because I own one. The stampers in question are:
    ILPS 9111 A▽2 1 4
    ILPS 9111 B//2 1 5
    It also has its own Discogs entry:
    So if you want to pay $1000 and up for the -2 matrix and the pink label, that’s your call. I have a clean, NM repress and that’s fine with me.

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