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King Crimson: The Collectable King Crimson, Vol. 1

With two live shows from 1974, The Collectable King Crimson, Voi. 1 features arguably the most talked about and beloved incarnation of the group. Robert Fripp on guitar, Mellotron, and electric piano, Bill Bruford on drums, John Wetton on bass & vocals, and David Cross on violin, Mellotron, and electric piano, certainly a formidable line-up, and Crimson's most ferocious, especially in a live environment. With album tracks as well as mind-blowing improvisations, the two shows here are packed with uncanny playing from the band, all showing their talents at creating progressive rock that borders on jazz-fusion as well as hard rock. The Asbury Park set many will recognize as the USA live release, only this appearance here is the unedited show, with the violin work of Cross left in (the original LP and CD of USA had David's parts taken out due to their audio level being far too low, and replaced with new parts recorded by Eddie Jobson...little trivia for ya) so fans can hear this show the way it was originally recorded and played that night in New Jersey. With ominous Mellotron cascading all over the place, regal versions of "Exiles", "Starless", "The Night Watch", "Fracture", and "Easy Money" are included throughout these two shows, but the killer tracks are "Asbury Park", "Dr. Diamond", "Larks Tongues in Aspic Part II", and a rampaging "21st Century Schizoid Man". Bombastic bass from Wetton, nimble drums from Bruford, Fripp's metallic guitar shards, and the whispy violin from Cross, all splattered with Mellotron and electric piano, make up the sound cannon here.

Sound delicious? It sure is, and you'll want to go back for seconds and thirds of this tasty platter of classic King Crimson. This was a band that were hot in the studio, but really nailed it live. The sound quality on both shows are great, and the performances top notch. The booklet features some nice commentary from Wetton and KC historian Sid Smith, giving some insight into the band at the time of these recordings.

Essential...'nuff said.

Track Listing
Disc: 1 (Live in Mainz, Germany, March 30, 1974)
1. Improv: The Savage
2. Dr. Diamond
3. Improv: Arabica
4. Exiles
5. Improv: Atria
6. The Night Watch
7. Starless
8. Lament
9. Improv: Trio
10. Easy Money
Disc: 2 (Live in Asbury Park, NJ June 28, 1974)
1. Walk On...No Pussyfooting
2. Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part II
3. Lament
4. Exiles
5. Asbury Park
6. Easy Money
7. Fracture
8. Starless
9. 21st Century Schizoid Man

Added: May 24th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Discipline Global Music
Hits: 3715
Language: english

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