The Collectable King Crimson, Vol. 2

The Collectable King Crimson, Vol. 2

by King CrimsonKing Crimson


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Adding to the already dizzying array of King Crimson live material is this second volume of the Collectable King Crimson, which hosts two gigs from 1981 in a double-disc set. The two discs vary in sound quality, but in terms of performance they are both fiery, exuberant and frequently stunning. Disc one has been retrieved from a cassette bootleg recording and has been restored as well as possible. The back cover notes that the quality is "fair." It sounds like an audience recording, but that said, this is the actual recording of this version of King Crimson's -- Belew, Fripp, Bruford and Levin -- first gig! In fact, it's so early, they were called Discipline at the time. Done in a tiny club where one had to walk across the bandstand to get to the bathroom, the performance is just raucous and furious, intensely focused and wily at the same time. "Discipline," "Thela Hun Ginjeet" and "Red," played for the first time since the last Crimson tour in the mid-'70s, finds the bass sound simply off the map, a big fat boom just careening around and forcing the guitars to go at it harder. Bruford's playing is all over the place as the archetypal center. Fripp and Belew actually challenge each other in the crescendos. The final cut is "Lark's Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 2" and it's played faster than it's ever appeared either live or on record. And it works, the sweat, grime and excitement of this small gig is in every single moment. Disc two is a different story in that its sound quality is absolutely excellent. The set list is a bit different in that there is material from both Discipline and Beat present. In fact, it's divided almost in half with both "Red" and "Lark's Tongues in Aspic, Pt. 2" being present. While that bottom end of Tony Levin's is still there, it doesn't squall as much as it does on the boot made in Bath, England on disc one. The performance is refined and powerful, with Belew truly having become Crimson's frontman by this point. Fripp not being a terribly competitive sort, the pressure is completely off him and Belew sings like he's performing with the Talking Heads. The instrumental interludes in tracks such as "Matte Kudasai," "The Howler," and "Elephant Talk," are among the most instinctive and telepathic the band ever performed. There is something unexpected in every tune. And as for what they lack in pure nervous energy on the second disc, they more than make up for with cohesiveness. These may all be songs you've heard dozens of times before, but not like this.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/10/2007
Label: Inner Knot
UPC: 0633367500328
catalogNumber: 5003
Rank: 36447

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