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King Crimson - The Collectable King Crimson - Vol. 1 (Live in Mainz, 1974 + Live in Asbury Park, 1974) CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.59 | 100 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
5 stars In an earlier review I praised the 1974 USA live album as pure 5star Crimson bliss. This album represented the pinnacle of Wetton-era King Crimson for me in the best possible format: live in concert! However, I didn't know yet of the existence of this expanded version called "The Collectable King Crimson Vol I" until I found it in our public library. Good to know some of our tax money is well spent!

The 1974 Asbury Park concert, which I've discussed in my USA review in full detail already, has seen two great improvements, the first is to have the original running order restored so that the concert flows more naturally then the USA re-issue. Now since this isn't something any mp3 playlist couldn't restore, the main upgrade is to have the concert in its unabbreviated form. To have the Asbury Park improvisation in its entity is a treat, the second half which was cut from USA is every bit as good as the first half. Also Easy Money comes in a much extended format.

On top of that, we get another 1974 concert. There are some overlaps with the Asbury playlist, but you shouldn't miss out on Dr Diamond or any of the 4 improvisations that the band played on that evening. Wetton shines not only on bass but also on the vocals, the persistent touring with Crimson had greatly improved his somewhat strained vocals of the 1973 studio albums. The improvisations are excellent, far removed from the jamming of usual rock improvisations. Instead there's a high level of instrumental interaction that constructs adventurous progressions, just as in the best of fusion. Especially Improv: Atria is very captivating.

There are many Crimson live albums documenting this era so this collectible series might look like a bit of overkill, but I'd say we may praise ourselves very lucky to have so many great quality recordings from this period. They represent so much better what King Crimson was about then the concurrent studio albums. This CD is the best possible value for money, 8/10$ on Amazon. What's keeping you?

Bonnek | 5/5 |


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