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King Crimson - EleKtriK CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.68 | 76 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars This is a 1-CD edit of the first disc of a two-DVD concert set called Eyes Wide Open. The first disc of the DVD presents a concert the band did in Japan on the Power to Believe tour (the second disc of the DVD depicts a show from the ConstruKction of Light tour, and has the neat feature of choosing from a set of improvs at random when you watch it), and it shows the band as an impressive monster. It contains performances from all of Power except for "Eyes Wide Open" and the last two versions of the title track, and it's pretty amazing to observe the skill and creativity required to bring that material to life on stage. The band naturally sticks with material recorded by that quartet; the oldest the band chooses to go is "One Time," and the rest of the show is filled out with three ConstruKction numbers ("ProzaKc Blues," Larks 4" and the title track, not found on the CD) and "The Deception of the Thrush" (also not found on the CD). On the whole, I'd have to recommend that any fan of this era of the band watch that DVD at least once.

So why not a higher grade for the album? Because there's nothing at all revelatory about it, that's why. What made me enjoy Heavy ConstruKction so much was that (a) the ConstruKction of Light material sounded so much better on stage than on the album, and (b) the improvs managed to entertain me so much despite the fact that I don't especially care for purely improvised music (and definitely not through most of King Crimson's history). The Power to Believe material sounds terrific, but it already sounded terrific (and it sounds pretty much identical to the studio versions), and all of the other material (apart from Fripp's opening soundscape, which I quite enjoy as a walk-on introduction) could be found in equally entertaining form on Heavy ConstruKction. I really wish, with this album, they'd just bitten the bullet and made it a double, if only to include "The Deception of the Thrush," which was the one chance for the band to vary its performances on this tour. As is, well, I'd almost have to say that the band's immaculate technical skills work against them on this album; some clear struggle to replicate the material would have provided some needed variation.

Basically, this is another good example of my general adage that great live shows don't necessarily make great live albums. Look for it if you're curious, but again, I'd rather recommend the DVD.

tarkus1980 | 3/5 |


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