Tuesday, August 21, 2007

King Crimson - 1974-1975 - The Great Deceiver

"This live box set is a MUST for Crimson-heads. You should not miss this album.. But for those who are new to the band, I do not recommend buying this set. It is not that this set is lousy – oh no … not at all; and it’s really far from that thing. I just want you to be familiar with studio version songs first (from “In The Court of The Crimson King” until “Red” album), and then you can purchase and enjoy this CD set. This set is packaged very nicely; it contains 4 discs that feature the band’s live performance during 1973 – 1974 from six different venues. As a result, you will get the same songs performed in different stage. Luckily, each performance has projected different and unique nuance of the show. Even, the same song is played differently in other venue. So, I do not get bored listening to this CD.

The Crimson music has always made my adrenaline explodes. To me, their music is complex, dark, sometimes energetic and melodic such as “Easy Money” or energetic like “Fraccture”, “Lark’s Tongues In Aspic”, “21st Century of Schizoid Man”. Sometime, its melody is really killing me like “Moon Child”, “Epitaph”, “The Night Watch”, “Exiles”, “Book of Saturday”. Oh man … I like almost all of their songs – even the weird ones. The use of violin, mellotrons and long sustain guitar work also help accentuate their music.

Before I got this box set, I purchased the previous release box set “Frame By Frame” (compilation) that also satisfied me as well. I even doubt whether this live set would give me acceptable satisfaction as I doubt about the sonic quality. I was afraid that the repeated songs would be performed in the same style. I even doubt about the so many improvisations. Yes, tons of doubts. But, ….. I was wrong. The four discs packaged in this set contain a very dynamic music by the band. I really admire how great Bill Bruford is in his technicality looking after the drum stools. John Wetton is not just a great vocalist – he plays wonderfully with his bass fills especially during transition pieces and also on improvisation. David Cross plays great violin and Robert Fripp, as usual … “Fripp’s solo uses long sustain and he plays unison ensemble parts to create one of the most original guitar pieces in rock music.” (quoted from a book “Guitar – Music, History, Players” by Richard Chapman, Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2000 – page 159). Yeah … I do agree with the quote!

As usual, my chief reason to buy a box set is usually to get to know better the band – from the booklet provided – so that I know the background, the situations or the life dynamics of the band before the album was made. And it usually a very interesting journey for me as the more I spin the CD, my appreciation grows with my reading. As this is a live set, the dynamic were not on the album making but on the live concerts itself. This set has a wonderfully designed, sixty eight page colorful booklet that describe the dynamics, nuances of the concerts featured. It is the booklet that says that this is actually the band’s debut concert with a four-piece format and first experience with Bill Bruford. The band’s previous percussionist Jamie Muir missed 2 concerts and finally opted different paths of life, departing for a monastery in Scotland. [In my review about YES “Tales from Topographic Ocean” I mentioned that Jon Anderson was inspired by a book indicated by Jamie Muir for the creation of “Tales” album. I imagine also if Jon departed for monastery as well, who would replace him for YES vocalist? Trevor Horn?]. Well, I find that this booklet is really worthy – in fact if you don not like this live CDs and if you are Crimson-heads, I still recommend you to purchase this box set].

I’m now listening to “Book of Saturday” of CD two while finalizing this write-up. It’s a very touchy song performed flawlessly by the band. Of course it’s different with studio track, but it’s wonderful. This live set also gives you a lot of improvisations that sometimes they sound like a jam sessions. But I like it even though some improvisations performed in relatively long duration. Highly recommended box set! Keep on progging!

Progressively yours,

GW – Indonesia" ~ Prog Archives

Label: Virgin Records (UK)
Credits: Bass Guitar, Vocals - John Wetton
Drums, Percussion - Bill Bruford
Guitar, Mellotron, Electric Piano - Robert Fripp
Violin, Mellotron, Electric Piano - David Cross
1-01 - 2-02 Palace Theatre, Providence, Rhode Island: June 30th 1974
2-03 - 2-11 Glasgow Apollo: October 23rd 1973
2-12 - 2-13, 3-12 - 3-13 Penn State University: June 29th 1974
3-01 - 3-11 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Stanley Warner Theatre: April 29th 1974
4-01 - 4-04 Toronto, Massey Hall: June 24th 1974
4-05 - 4-12 Zurich Volkshaus: November 15th 1973
Submitted by: ElCondorre


Disc 1

1-01 Walk On ... No Pussyfooting (0:52)
1-02 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 2 (6:12)
1-03 Lament (4:04)
1-04 Exiles (7:00)
1-05 Improv: A Voyage To The Centre Of The Cosmos (14:41)
1-06 Easy Money (7:14)
1-07 Improv: Providence (9:47)
1-08 Fracture (10:47)
1-09 Starless (11:56)

Disc 2

2-01 21st Century Schizoid Man (7:32)
2-02 Walk Off From Providence ... No Pussyfooting (1:15)
2-03 Sharks' Lungs in Lemsip (2:38)
2-04 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 1 (7:25)
2-05 Book Of Saturday (2:49)
2-06 Easy Money (6:43)
2-07 We'll Let You Know (4:54)
2-08 The Night Watch (4:54)
2-09 Improv: Tight Scrummy (8:27)
2-10 Peace - A Theme (1:01)
2-11 Cat Food (4:14)
2-12 Easy Money (2:19)
2-13 ... It Is For You, But Not For Us (7:25)

Disc 3

3-01 Walk On ... No Pussyfooting (1:15)
3-02 The Great Deceiver (3:32)
3-03 Improv: Bartley Butsford (3:13)
3-04 Exiles (6:23)
3-05 Improv: Daniel Dust (4:40)
3-06 The Night Watch (4:18)
3-07 Doctor Diamond (4:52)
3-08 Starless (11:36)
3-09 Improv: Wilton Carpet (5:52)
3-10 The Talking Drum (5:29)
3-11 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 2 (Abbreviated) (2:22)
3-12 Applause & Announcement (2:19)
3-13 Improv: Is There Life Out There? (11:50)

Disc 4

4-01 Improv: The Golden Walnut (11:14)
4-02 The Night Watch (4:22)
4-03 Fracture (10:48)
4-04 Improv: Clueless & Slightly Slack (8:36)
4-05 Walk On ... No Pussyfooting (1:00)
4-06 Improv: Some Pussyfooting (2:23)
4-07 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 1 (7:41)
4-08 Improv: The Law Of Maximum Distress: Part 1 (6:31)
4-09 Improv: The Law Of Maximum Distress: Part 2 (2:17)
4-10 Easy Money (6:57)
4-11 Improv: Some More Pussyfooting (5:50)
4-12 The Talking Drum (6:05)