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King Crimson - The Night Watch  CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.46 | 319 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is my most favorite King Crimson release, as it captures the live concert from their best line-up, which also had their best drive going on when this was recorded, the sound quality is superb, and the audience remained silent in the quiet parts of this show. Some tracks of this evening were originally released on their "Starless and Bible Black" album, which became more or less obsolete after the release of this double CD.

"Easy Money" works much better on this album than the original studio version, as it has much more power and the true, reactive playing of the band members. Both versions are interesting though. Performances of "Lament" and "Book of Saturday" are decent versions of these songs, but the true highlight comes after these songs as the band plays their best version ever of their magnificent "Fracture". "The Night Watch" begins beautifully, but the version is bit duller as Cross's mellotron gets a malfunction during the song. It still an interesting thought of these guys doing this song in Amsterdam's Concertgebouw hall, as the Rembrandt's painting from which this song is about, is being kept at a museum quite near at that place. The following batch of improvisations is also very powerful. "Starless and Bible Black" paints fearful and strong abstract elements, and it has a wonderful collective trick in its ending, as Bruford's straight drum riff triggers a rehearsed coda for the chaotic improvisation. "Trio" is then a quiet, beautiful improvised piece, and Bruford decided professionally not to play anything over it. "Exiles" which follows is only an average version of this beautiful ballad, but the following batch of "Improv / The Talking Drum / Larks' Tonques in Aspic: part two" is truly marvelous. Also "21st Century Schizoid Man" is probably best version this band has ever managed to do from this tune.

This recording of a great musical event has been packed up with a neat booklet, and there are fine samples for PC and Mac computers about Fripp's DGM label's releases. Truly a masterpiece.

Eetu Pellonpaa | 5/5 |


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