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King Crimson - The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 2 (Live in Bath, 1981 + Live in Philadelphia, 1982) CD (album) cover

THE COLLECTABLE KING CRIMSON - VOL. 2 (LIVE IN BATH, 1981 + LIVE IN PHILADELPHIA, 1982)

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

2.87 | 42 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Vibrationbaby
4 stars With clever packaging, reasonable price and a rare chance to hear King Crimson perform " The Howler " from Beat in a live environment you can`t go wrong with this double disc DGM offering. It also offers a glimpse into the improvements and developments which took place within the band after it`s first resurrection between March 1981 and July 1982.

First, King Crimson as you`ve never heard them before : In a seedy downstairs pub atmosphere ( literally ) which is so intimate that vocalist/guitarist Adrian Belew actually petitions the audience, who seem to be packed in like sardines, to refrain from smoking " if they can manage it ". Sometimes the drunken chatter from the pub even drowns out some of the quieter sections of this seemingly impromptu appearance. Can this really be King Crimson? Sort of. It`s a band called Discipline which the apparition King Crimson left behind in 1974 would assimulate after roughly a half a dozen performances in similar settings. Discipline hardly sounds like a likely name for a pub band but when one hears their powerful renditions of " Red " and " Lark`s Tongues In Aspic Part II " we know that this band with Bob Fripp, Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford and Tony Levin is worthy of the appellation King Crimson. First consideration here though is to bear in mind that besides being the first live test drive of the new formation, it also does take place in a somewhat very tiny drunken pub in Bath, England in March 1981and was initially captured live on cassette tape which has been restored as much as possible by Fripp and his team of geniuses at DGMs remastering laboratories. In fact, in this setting it shows that the band can also have a warmer character to it rather than the clinical perfection we have come to know since this first re-incarnation in 1981. There are too many imperfections to point out but a couple worth mentioning are Bruford sounding like he`s playing on a set of drums he got for his 12th birthday often almost being completely drowned out by drunken audience chatter and Fripp being completely overpowered by the intensity of the new guitarist Adrian Belew who really lets her rip with some really raw sounding guitar effects! One thing which hits the listener in the face straight away is the volumous sound of Tony Levin`s bass which is right out in front for the entire gig. The audience also gets drunker and louder as the gig progresses adding to the overall atmosphere. Definitely a jolly good time down at the pub that night!

Disc two fast forwards to July `82 in Philadelphia, USA and all the tracks which were heard in their raw form on the previous disc are repeated here along with 4 compositions from their then recently released " Beat " album. Arguably one of the finest recordings of the band from this era it demonstrates how far the band progressed as a live unit since it`s first performance. Belew really takes the spotlight on this particular gig with the band being as tight as ever. Besides being one of the best 81-84 King Crimson performances it measures a band`s coming of age from a point of re-birth. One of the best bets from the vast King Crimson Collector`s Club offerings which comes with the usual commentary and photos. Essential King Crimson.

Vibrationbaby | 4/5 |

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