Thrak

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THRAK
THRAK - Original Album Cover.jpeg
Studio album by
Released3 April 1995 (1995-04-03)
Recorded24 October – 4 December 1994
Studio Real World, Box, Wiltshire
Genre
Length56:35
Label Virgin
Producer
King Crimson chronology
VROOOM
(1994)
THRAK
(1995)
The ConstruKction of Light
(2000)
Singles from THRAK
  1. "Dinosaur"
    Released: 1995 (US)
  2. "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream"
    Released: 1995 (US)

THRAK /θræk/ is the eleventh studio album by the band King Crimson released in 1995 through Virgin Records. [1] It was preceded by the mini-album VROOOM in 1994. It is their first full-length studio album since Three of a Perfect Pair eleven years earlier, and the only full album to feature the "Double Trio" lineup of Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, Bill Bruford and Pat Mastelotto. It is also the last time all members from the Discipline era would work together, as well as the last new album to feature Bruford (who left in 1997) and Levin.

Contents

Recording

The album was recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios in Box, Wiltshire, U.K. with producer David Bottrill. Bottrill previously produced The First Day , a collaborative album between Fripp and David Sylvian that featured Trey Gunn as a session player. The recording presents the group in a series of unique ways: with the band consisting of two guitarists, two bassists and two drummers, the opening track begins with all six musicians in the center of the audio mix. As the album progresses, they are split into two trios, with one guitarist, bassist and drummer heard in the left channel and the other guitarist, bassist and drummer heard coming from the right channel.

"Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" and "One Time" were developed at studio rehearsals for the 1994 mini-album VROOOM in Woodstock, New York during April and May 1994, shortly after the reformation of King Crimson. Instrumental outtakes and improvisations from these sessions would later be released as The Vrooom Sessions in 1999. "Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream" developed from the instrumental outtake "No Questions Asked", with a riff that differs significantly from the finished song later recorded at Real World Studios.

"Fashionable" was another instrumental from The Vrooom Sessions that was re-recorded at Real World Studios during the recording of THRAK. It features a guitar line reminiscent of David Bowie's "Fashion", on which Fripp played in 1980. Despite being reworked with various additions and refinements by the band members, the upbeat piece ended up being dropped off the final album. [2]

"VROOOM VROOOM" incorporates a middle section originally composed by Fripp in 1974 for Red ’s instrumental title track (which is actually a rhythmical variation of Red's original middle section). [3] The band also experimented with said section in 1983, while working on Three of a Perfect Pair ; evidence of this is the track "Working on Sleepless" from the 2016 compilation Rehearsals & Blows .

Release

First released on 3 April 1995, THRAK reached number 58 in the UK Albums Chart, their last release to chart. [4] The album was reissued on CD in 2002 in a remastered edition. A significantly different 5.1 surround sound mix by Jakko Jakszyk was released as a CD/DVD-A release [5] in October 2015 for the “40th Anniversary Series”. This edition also featured a reimagined new stereo mix by Robert Fripp and Jakszyk. These two mixes were also included in the THRAK BOX , that also included previously unissued studio and live recordings from the 1994-1997 period.

Reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [6]
Maxim Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg
Q Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg
Rolling Stone Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [7]
Trouser Press favourable [8]

Trouser Press described it as "an absolute monster, a cerebral sextet adventure stunning in its precisely controlled rock power." [8]

In a retrospective review of Thrak, Allmusic called King Crimson "The only progressive rock band from the '60s to be making new, vital, progressive music in the '90s" and expressed high regard for the various ways they exploited the double trio format on the album. While they noted the album makes a number of nods to previous King Crimson works, they felt that this was a subtle acknowledgment of King Crimson's established fan base rather than a preoccupation with their own past. [6]

Track listing

All lyrics are written by Adrian Belew except Coda: Marine 475 by Robert Fripp; all music is composed by Belew, Bill Bruford, Fripp, Trey Gunn, Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto

No.TitleLength
1."VROOOM" (instrumental)4:38
2."Coda: Marine 475"2:42
3."Dinosaur"6:37
4."Walking on Air"4:38
5."B'Boom" (instrumental)4:11
6."THRAK" (instrumental)3:59
7."Inner Garden I"1:47
8."People"5:53
9."Radio I" (instrumental)0:44
10."One Time"5:21
11."Radio II" (instrumental)1:03
12."Inner Garden II"1:16
13."Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream"4:50
14."VROOOM VROOOM" (instrumental)5:50
15."VROOOM VROOOM: Coda" (instrumental)3:01

Personnel

King Crimson
Technical

Charts

Chart (1995)Peak
position
Japanese Albums (Oricon) [9] 24
Scottish Albums (OCC) [10] 92
UK Albums (OCC) [11] 58
US Billboard 200 [12] 83
Chart (2015)Peak
position
UK Independent Albums (OCC) [13] 28

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References

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  2. Live, D. G. M. (10 October 2016). "King Crimson, 30 October, 1994 Fashionable, 1994". DGM Live. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  3. Live, D. G. M. (7 November 2016). "The Double Trio - Robert Fripp". DGM Live. Retrieved 15 June 2020.
  4. "King Crimson | Full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 6 August 2016.
  5. "Fripp's DGM Live diary". Dgmlive.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  6. 1 2 Gioffre, Daniel. King Crimson - THRAK (1995) album review, credits & releases at AllMusic
  7. Bambarger, Bradley (19 September 2008). "King Crimson - THRAK (1995) album review". Rolling Stone . Archived from the original on 19 September 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  8. 1 2 Grant, Steven; Fleischmann, Mark; Robbins, Ira. "TrouserPress.com :: King Crimson". TrouserPress.com . Retrieved 30 July 2016.
  9. Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970–2005 (in Japanese). Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN   4-87131-077-9.
  10. "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  11. "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  12. "King Crimson Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 September 2023.
  13. "Official Independent Albums Chart Top 50". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 September 2023.