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King Crimson: The Collectable King Crimson Vol. 2

While it's long been said that the early 70's incarnation of King Crimson that featured Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Bill Bruford, and David Cross was the muscular, improv-ready, fire breathing dragon (well, maybe not in those very words), it's the early 80's line-up of Fripp, Bruford, Tony Levin, and Adrian Belew that is long remembered as the tightest and perhaps most talented of all the KC incarnations over the years. Volume 2 in The Collectable King Crimson series features two shows, the April 30, 1981 concert at the tiny little Moles club in Bath, England (when the musicians had just formed the band, and were calling themselves Discipline), and the July 30, 1982 monster performance at Philadelphia, PA a little over a year later. At that point, King Crimson were once again a band, and the album Discipline had been released to positive reviews worldwide. This was no Court of the Crimson King or Red era KC, but an entirely new beast altogether that could whip up some of the most technical and sophisticated music ever heard, yet it was catchy and modern at the same time.

The Moles show doesn't have the best audio quality, but the performance is scary good considering that these guys probably hadn't played live together more than a few dates if that. Tunes like "Discipline", "Thela Hun Ginjeet", "Elephant Talk", "Frame By Frame", and "Indiscipline", just roar with intricate synergy between the musicians. Fripp and Belew's guitars snarls and snap, while Levin's acrobatic bass grooves and Bruford's jazz like drum patterns create a dizzying listening experience. I can only imagine the fans faces in the club just hanging off their skulls hearing this exciting new music, and when the band rips into "Red" and "Larks Tongues in Aspic Part II", the volume and intensity must have peeled the paint off the venue. Despite the lackluster sound quality, this is fierce, fierce stuff, an amazing gem dusted out of the vaults. The improvs alone on "The Sheltering Sky" and Belew's weepy guitar cries on "Matte Kudasai" are worth the price of admission alone-the rest is the best icing on any cake you've ever had.

The Philly concert has amazing sound quality, and is simply a marvelous show in ever aspect. Featuring a full 13 song set, many tracks similar to the Bath show but fleshed out by the rarely played "The Howler" as well as "Neurotica", "Heartbeat", and "Sartori in Tangier", as they not only had Discipline but Beat as well. At this point the band is firing on all cylinders and focused at being King Crimson, with Belew fully at home as frontmant and co-guitarist alongside the mighty Fripp. His wild and loopy guitar explorations on tracks like "Elephant Talk" and "Indiscipline" add a marvelous element to this band, and while Fripp and Bruford's contributions have long been honored, it's Levin's elastic yet muscular bass licks that are the glue that holds it all together. "Larks" simply bristles with power and menace, showing that this line-up could rock out just as hard and heavy as the early 70's incarnation could a decade before.

This is a must have for KC fans, plain and simple. The booklet gives you lots of background and info on both shows, as well as live photos from the period. Essential stuff.

Track Listing
Disc: 1
1. Discipline
2. Thela Hun Ginjeet
3. Red
4. Elephant Talk
5. Matte Kudasai
6. The Sheltering Sky
7. Indiscipline
8. Frame By Frame
9. Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part II
Disc: 2
1. Thela Hun Ginjeet
2. Red
3. The Howler
4. Frame By Frame
5. Matte Kudasai
6. The Sheltering Sky
7. Discipline
8. Elephant Talk
9. Indiscipline
10. Neurotica
11. Heartbeat
12. Sartori In Tangier
13. Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part II

Added: June 13th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Discipline Global Music
Hits: 3219
Language: english

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