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King Crimson - The Great Deceiver: Live 1973 - 1974 CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.56 | 388 ratings

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Tylosand Ektorp
5 stars Who says live albums suck? By turns delicate, furious, jazzy, introspective, and monstrous. The power of the band that was hinted at on L.T.I.A., Red and Starless and Bible Black really comes through on this monster box-set. Almost every song is served better by the live recording. The playing is more direct, heavy, heady, and emotional. The solos are more evocative not to mention incredible. John Wettons' vocals are more impassioned.

Excellent guitar playing by Fripp. The man absolutely smokes when he wants to. He plays beautiful melody lines, funky chordal improv, ripping solos, and sometimes atonal free-rock guitar skronk. The rythym section of John Wetton on bass and Bill Bruford's drums is huge, creative and loud. David Cross on violin, mellotron and electric piano is really suprising. I've always thought him something of a lightweight, but his playing is quite good throughout and very creative on the improvised pieces.

Ah, the improvs, they're the real treat with this boxed set. For the first time you get to hear the '73 - '74 Crimson really stretch out into uncharted territory. I read that Crimson were an incredible improvising band but since few of their improvs ever made it to their albums, I'd had to take the reviewers word for it. The improvs are astonishing in their variety. Daniel Dust is quite pleasant and mellow, sounding almost like an exceptionally melodic acoustic outing by the Grateful Dead?!?, (except with violin and a certain crim sensibility) Other improvs sound like Stravinsky, as played by Slayer while being directed by Sun Ra. Elements of classical, free rock, jazz, space, metal, whatever... You get to hear how good this band really was at walking a tightrope without a net, amazing band.

If you like the '73, '74 band , you'll love this CD boxed set. When I first bought it back in '92 I played it for two weeks straight. Buy it before it goes out of print again, you won't be sorry.

Tylosand Ektorp | 5/5 |


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