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King Crimson - Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984  CD (album) cover

ABSENT LOVERS - LIVE IN MONTREAL, 1984

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.45 | 218 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Cygnus X-2
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The 1980s was a great decade for King Crimson, in my opinion. They released three great records (one being a masterpiece in my eyes) and were a treat to watch and listen to live. This recording, taken from the final show of the final tour of this incarnation of the group, showcased a group that had mastered the exceedingly tricky and intricate material they had written over a 4 year period. I can easily say that along with The Great Deceiver box set, this is probably the strongest live release from King Crimson.

The live set is a great showcase of their trilogy of albums (with emphasis on Three of a Perfect Pair, as that was the album being toured at the time). Beat, the second in the trilogy, I feel is a bit underrepresented, but the two songs from it here, Waiting Man and Sartori in Tangier, are amongst the best on the album, and they are wonderfully performed at that. The emphasis on Discipline is also rather strong, the entire album nearly being played (save for The Sheltering Sky, which was a shame as that was always a great live piece). Of the older songs, Red and Larks' Tongue in Aspic Pt. 2 are present, also among the best pieces in the King Crimson catalog.

With such a stellar set it's hard to imagine why this album doesn't automatically get five stars. I think the reason I can't give it full marks is because at parts this album can get quiet (take Belew talking with the audience before Red, almost inaudible). Besides that, though, and you can probably get past that, this album is essentially perfect and has the band playing their best on the final date they'd play together in the quartet in that decade. Another little note, if you buy the CD, the CD labeled as the first one will surprisingly be the second CD and vice versa with the other. May have been a mistake during the printing of the album, but nonetheless another amusing little thing.

I recommend this album highly to any fan of King Crimson, as it has one of my favorite line-ups playing some of my favorite King Crimson music. Almost a masterpiece, but just shy of greatness.

Cygnus X-2 | 4/5 |

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