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King Crimson - Epitaph, Volumes One & Two CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.79 | 211 ratings

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The Sleepwalker
Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is my review of King Crimson's live album Epitaph (volumes 1 and 2), released in 1997, recorded in 1969.

The album is a compilation of recordings of live performances in 1996, different versions of 21st Century Schizoid Man, Epitaph, A Man, A City and KC's version of Gustav Holst's Mars. I personnaly would't have minded if not all of these performances were on the album. For example, the first A man, A city, the one on the first disc, is much weaker than the one on the second disc, which is the reason I never listen to the one on the first disc. The same thing happens with Epitaph and 21st Century Schizoid Man.

An Important thing to know before you get this album, is that the sound quality is pretty bad, which sometimes is pretty annoying. Even though the sound quality is bad, it doesn't mean the performances are too. Actually, most of the performances are very good. The first disc contains 2 Schizoid's and 2 Epitaphs, which are nice performances, it also has an early version of The Court Of The Crimson King. Get Thy Bearings is the song I have enjoyed least of the album, mainly because the sound quality kills this song totally. The Three songs Mantra, Travel Weary Capricorn and Travel Bleary Capricorn are three songs that weren't ment to link perfectly to each other, but they do. Mantra is an early version of the intro of Exiles, from Larks' Tongues in Aspic. Travel Weary Capricorn is based aroun't some singing and Travel Bleary Capricorn is an improvisation which I didn't enjoy that much, I have to say. The final song from the first disc is Mars, a very powerful, frightening song which would later appear on the album In The Wake Of Poseidon as The Devi's Triangle, It's a very good and interresting song.

Though the first disc had pretty much weak points, the second disc is much better. It starts of with a pretty good version of The Court Of The Crimson King. The second song is also a very good one, it's the jazzy Drop In, which I have enjoyed very much. The Third song I have found one of the highlights of the album, an excellent version of A Man, A city, which totally beats the one on the first disc, were the saxophone is barely heard because of the sound quality, the version on the second disc has pretty good sound quality. The second disc also contains the best version of Epitaph and a good version of 21st Century Schizoid Man. Just as the first disc, the grand finale is Mars, which is just as good as the first one.

I think Epitaph is a pretty good album, it has some weak points, mostly because of the bad sound quality, but it also contains some rare songs as Mantra and great performances of songs as Epitaph. I have enjoyed disc 2 much more than disc 1. If you can still enjoy music with bad sound quality, this album is worth the money.

The Sleepwalker | 3/5 |


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