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King Crimson

Sleepless – 12-inch Single (Vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

It used to be a rule at MSJ that if something was out of print we didn’t cover it. That’s because it seemed pretty cruel to tell someone how great something is if they can’t get it. Well, these days between eBay, and other online sources, it seems most things can be found, and often times at decent prices. This is one such item. It’s something I’ve had in my collection for a long time and decided to review. It’s unusual for King Crimson, but I think it’s well worth having. It should be noted that the LP version of the song included here was already reviewed in the MSJ review of Three of a Perfect Pair. For the sake of consistency I've modified that one for use here. 

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 1 at

Track by Track Review
Side 1
Sleepless (Dance Mix)
Tony Levin’s sound is unmistakable on this. Waves of keyboard sounds weave across the top of the mix. Fortunately, they include Adrian Belew’s vocals on this and the cut works pretty well in this dance format. There are moments when it feels a bit like The Talking Heads, though. I love the noisy guitar section later in the piece. As dance mixes go, this is quite good.
Side 2
Sleepless (Instrumental Mix)
The parenthetical on this is a little confusing. One might guess that this is the original song with the vocals removed. That’s not accurate. It’s definitely a remix and there are vocals. This is much more of a processed, rhythmic beast than either of the other versions presented here. Personally, I’m not crazy about this version. It feels too artificial and processed.
Driven by Tony Levin and Bill Bruford’s rhythm section, this bouncing jam is both prog like (brought in mostly by the overlayers and textures) but also quite a rocking number. It’s actually one of the highlights of the original Three of a Perfect Pair disc.
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