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King Crimson - Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.64 | 116 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Pretty sure I can justify a five-star rating for this one.

Even being that I've only been listening to it for a week, I can see the evidence of how much work went into this new "Radical Action..." box set. If you are not convinced, first consider that this is a live album in which the best performances of each track have been culled from their 2015 tours of the UK, Canada and Japan, and the audience sounds have been thoroughly removed to bring about sonic perfection - making it a (what did they call it?) "virtual studio album." And if you still aren't swayed, go on over to All About Jazz's website and read their review of this 3-cd + video (extra dvd's if you get the limited edition) box. You will gape at how many mic tracks had to be manually examined and processed to isolate the drum parts alone!

This purchase is a decent-sized outlay of money, so some might consider it a stretch to say the first track (the current 7-headed-beast's rendition of LTIA-1) is worth the price of admission. To be honest though, it's not that much of a stretch - this version sounds awesome, spacious, and *huge*.

The live/studio versions of "Pictures Of A City," "Easy Money," "Level Five," "Red," "Starless," "LTIA-II," and many other tracks are brilliant too, and the band are as on-form as they were in their recently published Toronto (20 November 2015) "Collector's Bootleg" ... if not quite as on-fire. It's fine though: for the group's intensity seeming just slightly lower, they've certainly since then developed - or at least discovered how to evince on record - more instrumental flourishes than in that unadulterated full concert recording. This may well -- efficaciously if not definitively -- be rounding out a chapter in the development of King Crimson, which hopefully will not be their final one. (Why would it be, with everyone in the band, particularly Fripp, playing with enough vim and vigor to put most other acts to shame).

The new strategy of three drummers in the front line is used to full effect here. Mel Collins's wind parts and Jakko Jakzsyk's vocals are solid and well-suited for this incarnation of the band. I am not going to lend any credence to those who maintain otherwise ... nor should you.

Which leads me on to my complaint that entirely too many have wailed (or at least whinged) that Crim in their current mode are doing solely nostalgia - heck, I think I myself may have semi-seriously joked about that in my Toronto review. But I'd be remiss not to mention that "Radical Action" includes nearly a half-hour of new material by the band. So pipe down, all you complainers. Take radical action by putting on this DVD ( or blu-ray) and submit to getting a better-than-best-seat-in-the-house view of a virtual studio concert at a fraction of the cost of the real thing ! (Or if you can't afford the $30 price tag, at least visit DGM Live's youtube publication of the "Easy Money" and "Starless" viddie excerpts.) Times are good.

CapnBearbossa | 5/5 |


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