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King Crimson - Live in Heidelberg, 1974 CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.13 | 20 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars As close as 5 stars yet still being 4 stars. This album NEEDS to be more popular. The world needs more exposure to the tonal King Crimson improvisations!

The album opens with an improvisation which is absolutely gorgeous. The bass is fuzzed and massive, providing a great landscape for Fripp to further excavate. This improv. hints at the next piece, Doctor Diamond, a rehearsed song that failed to show up on Red. It reminds me of the funky sections of One More Red Nightmare because it has a whimsical feel the majority of the song. It's nothing to get too terribly excited about. Exiles opens with pretty improv. which gives an opportunity for the mellotrons to be tuned. Fripp has truly mastered his instrument. He makes some truly interesting sounds at the beginning of this track that are innovative and would be interesting to see live. Exiles begins and ends as it would on the album, with improvised solos being the only difference.

Heidelberg II is my favorite King Crimson improv. It provides a space where the musicians can show their improv./spontaneous composing skills. You really, really need to listen to this track. It is different from most of the King Crimson improvisations because it is tonal (A Dorian I think?) and (this is obviously debatable) it sounds like a full-form Crimson composition. There's no hint of the dissonant improvisations present on Starless and Bible Black. David Cross provides interesting timbre on the electric piano rather than violin. Wetton... is Wetton. Fripp's tone is slightly different. It sounds more angular and vicious than usual. Bruford is perfect. Another thing that surprised me about this track is that it takes a sharp turn towards the end, and it melts together perfectly. Fripp turns down dynamically. Cross plays some mellotron strings, and then flutes. I am in heaven at this point. There are hints at chromaticism in the bass. The final 30 seconds have the quality of a 50's film score.. if 50's film scores were more psychedelic in nature and were created on the spot.

Starless isn't perfect. There are a few messups and it is slightly different from the version heard on Red. The Night Watch is fine. I don't understand why I used to like that song so much, but it is performed fine on this album. Lament is great. Easy Money is excellent and offers variety. Fracture is disappointing because we don't even get to hear a third on the track. But what we have is fine music.

The audio quality is as you expect it be for the time. Nothing to have a fuss about. Overall- a very fun listen and different than most King Crimson releases.

Tengent | 4/5 |


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