This set compiles what Robert Fripp contends is "a comprehensive overview for new ears of all that is necessary in the Crimson corpus." Going on to acknowledge that "old-generation completists might disagree with some choices, but material not included here is available for new-generation completists, should they wish." Enthusiasts' personal preferences aside, The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson, Vol. 1: 1969-1974 (2004) is the first of two four-disc volumes gathering the entire recorded output of the band in its variety of personnel. Each CD contains highlights from a specific era, either in the studio or live, and the material is presented in chronological order.
It appears that just when you thought the folks at Discipline Global Mobile had re-released every single King Crimson track in as many configurations as possible, they surprise you with another compilation: 2005's The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson, Vol. 2: 1981-2003. Following in the footsteps of 2004's The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson, Vol. 1: 1969-1974, the second volume combines the best tracks from Crimson's studio albums from the advertised period, as well as mixing in live takes and rarities. When Crimson reconvened in 1980 after an extended hiatus, no one could have predicted that the group would have more in common sonically with Talking Heads and the Police than Yes and Genesis.