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UK

Eclectic Prog • United Kingdom


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UK picture
UK biography
They were active between 1977 - 1980, and reformed in 2012 with new line-up.

In some ways UK represented both the last hurrah of progressive music's golden age, and the standard by which all other supergroups that followed would be judged. The impeccable technical precision, complex yet modern arrangements, and dynamic live performances made them an overnight legend whose reputation has far outlasted their brief existence. No other supergroup, progressive or otherwise, has had such an immediate and lasting impact.

The band was formed in 1978 by bassist John Wetton and drummer Bill Bruford , both fresh from the USA tour (and accompanying live album) of KING CRIMSON. Keyboardist & violinist Eddie Jobson had also played on the KC tour and album, but was better known for his brilliant work on a string of ROXY MUSIC albums, as well as their seventies live album, "Viva!". Wetton briefly secured guitar wiz-kid Eric Johnson for the band as well, but Johnson's own project (the "Seven Wonders" solo album) and the legal wranglings that were accompanying it would cause Johnson to quickly withdraw and be replaced by another guitar virtuoso, Allan Holdsworth , who had worked with SOFT MACHINE and GONG, in addition to his solo work before joining UK. This was the first in what would become a series of lineup changes before the band would disband for good less than two years later.

The star-studded lineup had no trouble securing a record deal, and Polydor released their self-titled debut on the E.G. label that same year, which is often credited as the first successful rock supergroup studio release ever. The music is characterized by layered synthesizers, jazz-inspired guitars and bass, and in general by exceptionally high-quality musicianship. The band followed the release with a lengthy promotional tour.

Bruford would release a couple of albums under the BRUFORD BAND name following this tour, and would eventually return to the KING CRIMSON lineup for their "Discipline" release in 1981. Holdsworth also appeared on the BRUFORD BAND releases, and would later issue a series of solo albums in addition to a wide range of session appearances. Terry Bozzio (FRANK ZAPPA, GROUP 87) would replace Bruford, and the trio would release the band's second and final studio album a year later ("Danger Money"). Wi...
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UK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

UK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.10 | 546 ratings
UK
1978
3.72 | 320 ratings
Danger Money
1979

UK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 12 ratings
Shadows From The Sun
1978
3.43 | 124 ratings
Night After Night
1979
3.80 | 38 ratings
Concert Classics Vol. 4
1999
3.97 | 18 ratings
Live In Boston
2007
3.00 | 16 ratings
Live in America
2007
4.00 | 15 ratings
Reunion - Live In Tokyo
2013

UK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.92 | 7 ratings
Reunion - Live In Tokyo
2013

UK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

UK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.00 | 1 ratings
In The Dead Of Night
1978
2.95 | 2 ratings
Nothing To Lose
1979
3.00 | 3 ratings
Rendezvous 6:02
1979
2.21 | 5 ratings
Night After Night
1979

UK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Danger Money by UK album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.72 | 320 ratings

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Danger Money
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Walkscore

2 stars Yup - for the (Danger) Money.

While the first album contained some original sounds, this album is full of late-70s arena-rock cliches. The band is now a trio. Jobson and Wetton didn't want improvisation and didn't think Holdsworth's playing fit their idea of the band, and so wanted to fire him (explaining the lack of extended Holdsworth solos on the first album). Bruford said 'if he goes, I go', and so they both left. Terry Bozzio was brought in on the drums, and does a fine job (he is also a great player). But the band was clearly about impressing particular audiences, rather than making quality original music for music's-sake. Danger Money is thus an apt title, as this strategy was (musically) dangerous, and indeed, the band folded after this album when Wetton formed ASIA with Geoff Downs, Carl Palmer and Steve Howe, an even-'better' supergroup meant for super-earnings. The music here is not too bad - pretty decent prog-ish AOR rock radio - but it just doesn't ring true. The title track sounds like it was written as the new opener for their arena-rock shows, while "Ceasar's Palace Blues" and "Nothing to Lose" seem written specifically for radio airplay, and "The Only Thing she Needs" and "Carrying No Cross" written to bolster their prog-rock cred with former fans. The only song that seems written solely for the love of music is "Rendezvous 6:02". For me, the latter, and the closer ("Carrying No Cross") are the two songs I can still listen to after all these years. But fans of the band, and fans of Wetton's music/voice more generally, particularly those who don't mind the crass money-chasing, will like it. I give it 5.1 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 2 PA stars.

 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.10 | 546 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars For the Money or Music?

One of the first supergroups, and a precursor to Asia, UK should have been spectacular. One of the best drummers (Bruford), guitarists (Holdsworth), ex-Crim on bass (Wetton), and still-uncommon virtuoso electric violinist (Jobson). However, it seems the band was held back by the egos and ambitions of some of the members. While Brufod and Holdsworth wanted to expand their talents through improvisation, Wetton and Jobson were more interested in becoming famous rock stars. You can hear it in these songs too. This is not to say there is no good music here - in fact there is some great music, particularly on side 1. The suite "In the Dead of Night" is actually quite good, even if a bit long, while "Thirty Years" (closing side 1) is excellent. However, even here you can tell that these were written explicitly so as to be both appealing to fans of Crimson and other progressive rock as well as to the more commercial fan-base of arena-rock tours. But I would give the first side low four stars, although this material is even better played live. Side 2 of the album, however, is weaker. "Alaska/Time to Kill" is OK, although clearly meant to open their arena-rock shows, and Wetton's vocals are not up the singing. The last two tunes, "Nevermore" and "Mental Medication" are fairly poor. This second side is not that much better than the weak follow-up album Danger Money. I give this second side low 3 stars. Taken together, this album can't get to 4 stars. While containing some good music, the writing (and singing) seems forced, even on the better tracks, and some of the music comes across as both pretentious and at the same not indulgent enough, as there are few opportunities for either Bruford or Holdsworth to shine. The style in places makes one think this band was trying to fill the space vacated by ELP, who were no longer touring or releasing decent records, and I can't help think when I listen to this that the band's motivations for making it were not primarily musical (a suspicion verified once I heard Bruford's account!). But still, side 1 is worth multiple listenings. I give this 7.4 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 3 PA stars.

 Danger Money by UK album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.72 | 320 ratings

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Danger Money
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Tapfret
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

2 stars With the departure of Allan Holdworth and Bill Bruford, UK was left with bass/frontman John Wetton and Keyboard/Violinist Eddie Jobson. The two remaining players had some very huge shoes to fill. Apparently they were so big that they only filled one set with drummer Terry Bozzio. No huge loss in quality there as Bozzio was already making absurdly difficult music with Zappa. But would it be enough for UK's second release, Danger Money, to maintain the bar that was set so high with the debut release? Considering the only thing that prevented the debut album from being a 5 star masterpiece was the unapologetically pop texture of Jobson's keyboard sounds, it appeared the battle would be up hill in both directions.

The outset of the album was promising, with Jobson bringing a huge cathedral organ sound to the legato intro of the title track. It appeared possible he was leaving bubble gummy sounds behind. Indeed, much of the A-side of the album included a high B3 content. But it wouldn't last. Eventually he would bring an overly effected electric piano sound to the table. Not the cool gain driven semi-distorted Rhodes sound of the early to mid 70's. It was the sound of thin ties and hair gel. The sound of the '80's. Being an early adopter isn't always a good thing.

But the albums failings weren't all Jobson's fault. This was an album that was thematically challenged, with songs like "Ceasers Palace Blues" and the hitman themed title track, that lyrically seemed obtuse and superficial compared to the likes of "Thirty Years" and "Mental Medication". Even the song highlight of the album, "Carrying no Cross" contained a passage toward the end, "...bad boys can come clean". Maybe so, but bad lyrics stick in your ear like the Ceti Eel Khan put in Chekov's ear. Additionally, except for "Carrying no Cross", the album was rhythmically pretty boring. The worst offender was "Nothing to Lose". It served to even further the poppy texture of the album.

When all is said and done, Danger Money is an album with one great song, 2 okay songs, 2 bad songs, and 1 hideous stinker. I honestly made a conscious decision to not listen to this album many years ago. But with the death of John Wetton I was revisiting all of the albums he performed on in my collection with a renewed focus. Sadly, even had Wetton's parts been perfection, which they were not, this album was not enjoyable enough to warrant more than 2 stars. And the vast majority of that second star is due to "Carrying no Cross."

 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.10 | 546 ratings

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UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Tapfret
Collaborator Eclectic Prog Team

4 stars Context and perspective changes with the passing of time, and indeed the passing of lives. John Wetton was an artist who I had admittedly taken for granted over the years. Despite being a key element of one of the most important phases of one of the most important progressive rock discographies in King Crimson, the focus always seemed to be on them being "Fripp's Band". The same could be said, perhaps even more so for UK. With the virtuoso playing of Holdsworth, Jobson, and Bruford, it was not until his death in early 2017 that I really focused on his part on UK's self- titled debut. And as I also discovered with the 1973-1975 era of KC, so too was it obvious with UK what in integral part of the music I was giving little or no appreciation too.

The project itself could easily be described as being far more groove oriented than a large portion of King Crimson's work. That is not to say the compositions consist of uniformly pedestrian beats, the verses are largely in non- standard time, even a purported 21/16 (I have not counted it myself). There is also a smattering of bizarro syncopated, staccato "what?!?!" breaks that season the grooves with a nice spice. The overall groove is decidedly jazz- fusion, though containing a spatially wide phonic. The instrumentation and recording is considerably modernized (when considering the context of the time period) in respect to the artist's previous projects, particularly in regard to keyboard sounds. Unfortunately, at times the chosen keyboard sounds appear poppy in a manner that does not completely fit. Attention to clarity seems to be the rule in the recording. This was a requirement for the quiet, mellow parts that provided a contrast that was begining to be phased out of the rock sub-genre scene in the late 70's.

For Wetton's part, his bass playing held the aforementioned groove with incredible precision. Of particular note are the underlying bass on Jobson's violin solo of Time to Kill and the alternating solos of the closing number, Mental Medication. Vocally he is a mixed bag that is an acquired taste for most, but a recognized, if underappreciated staple for seasoned prog fans. There always seems to be what can be best described as a character of purposeful uncertainty. Not uncertain of notes or timing, but a texturally haunting overtone that occasionally manifested directly into lyric on King Crimson songs like Fallen Angel. But the lines of Thirty Years, "Feelings of missed opportunity....sand castles washed away", with the seemingly dysphoric melody underscore that purposeful uncertainty sensation in a literal sense, imparting a new poignancy to that character. Not to overuse the word, but the passages are haunting. This sensation is imparted again in the quiet opening sequences of Nevermore, with wide low-to-high note intervals detailing his accuracy; and Mental Medication with its more legato, resolute melody. The verses are filled with his unique alternating gravelly tenor with falsetto swells. A contrasting style that would become a more familiar to the rest of the rock world with his Asia work, but added an unexpected dynamic to the diffuse styles of his UK bandmates.

UK was at the precipice of being a masterpiece. Unfortunately, there were moments of Jobson's keyboard sound, although musically amazing, just stuck out way too much as "Pop". Otherwise this is one of the finest examples of cohesive complexity and technicality in progressive rock. And having listened to this with particular focus on Mr. John Wetton, it is obvious that he was the mortar that held the brickwork together. It is a prime example of being able to find something new in something very familiar. For John Wetton, a masterful example of his quality. For the album, and excellent addition to any collection and one that I listen to with a renewed appreciation. 4 stars

 Nothing To Lose by UK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1979
2.95 | 2 ratings

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Nothing To Lose
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars U.K. split in 1980 mainly because the main songwriters of the band (Eddie Jobson and John Wetton) had some conflicts about the musical direction of the band, with Jobson still wanting to compose long Prog Rock songs "more in Seventies terms" (like Wetton later said in some interviews) while Wetton wanted to compose shorter Pop Rock songs.

"Nothing to Lose", which was released in the Side 1 of this single, reflects more the then new Pop Rock musical influences from Wetton, but still having some Prog rock inlfuences from Jobson with the very good use of electric piano, organ and synthesisers, and also having a very good electric violin solo. The lyrics are simple and very influenced by Pop Rock music. It is a good song with very good arrangements, very good lead backing vocals, and very good drums playing. I don't know if this song was played in the Radio then, but it sounds very well like it could have been a Hit Single. In fact, the version which was released in this single is not the same version from the "Danger Money" album, but an edit of the song which lacks a few bars in some instrumental sections. I prefer the original studio version, but this single edit still sounds well. There is a video of this song in youtube on which the band appears doing a playback of this edited single version.

In the Side 2 of this single there is a then new studio recording (for 1979) of "In the Dead of Night", a song which was previously recorded for their self-titled album from 1978 (with Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth). This 1979 version, which was also released in the Side 2 of the "Rendezvous 6:02" single, was recorded with Terry Bozzio, and it is shorter than the 1978 version, and it sounds very similar to the live version which was later released in their "Night After Night" album from 1979. The main difference is that this 1979 studio recording sounds more like an edit of the song, lacking some parts of the song.

 Rendezvous 6:02 by UK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1979
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Rendezvous 6:02
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Guillermo
Prog Reviewer

3 stars U.K.'s "Danger Money" (1979) was the first album of the band that I bought and listened to in June 1980. It was released in my country in 1980. At that time I knew very little about this band apart from reading earlier in the same year a review in a Rock magazine from 1978 about their self-titled album from 1978 which was recorded with Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth in the line-up. But also later in 1980 in a Rock magazine I read about the split of U.K. which was mentioned in a review about YES's "Drama" album. That review also commented on how some Prog Rock bands were changing then their line-ups and musical styles (Genesis, YES, PFM, etc,) or were in fact ending their existence then, like U.K. In fact, the end of U.K. was originally announced to the international press in mid 1980 (a thing that I didn't know until some months later). Some years later (1983-84) a cousin said to me that he was very lucky because he had the chance to see and to listen to the band playing in concert in San Diego (USA) in 1979 , supporting JETHRO TULL, the band which Jobson later joined in 1980-81 as a "special guest" for their "A" album and tour.

"Rendezvous 6.02", released on the Side 1 of this single, was taken from the "Danger Money" album. It is a very good Prog Rock song, played with Electric Piano and Synthesisers (by Eddie Jobson), Bass guitar and vocals (by John Wetton), and drums and triangle (by Terry Bozzio, who replaced Bill Bruford in late 1978; guitarist Allan Holdsworth was not replaced). It has a very interesting electric piano part with a very characteristic riff and very good synthesiser solos in the instrumental section of the song. The "mysterious" lyrics (I think) maybe are about "the spirit or ghost of an old soldier which was seen in Waterloo Station" one evening by the writer and singer of the lyrics (Wetton; lyrics with a very British theme, I think). The song has very good musical atmospheres which reflect very well the content of the lyrics. A "dark" song in content. Some years ago in youtube I watched to a video of the band doing a playback of this song. Also very "dark" in content, but with the band very clearly doing a playback to the original album version. Maybe it is still available to be watched to in youtube.

In the Side 2 of this single there is a then new studio recording (for 1979) of "In the Dead of Night", a song which was previously recorded for their self-titled album from 1978 (with Bruford and Holdsworth). This 1979 version, recorded with Terry Bozzio, is shorter than the 1978 version, and it sounds very similar to the live version which was later released in their "Night After Night" album from 1979. The main difference is that this 1979 studio recording sounds more like an edit of the song, lacking some parts of the song.

 UK by UK album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.10 | 546 ratings

BUY
UK
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by A_Flower

5 stars UK has two albums. One is a masterpiece and one is garbage. This one is the masterpiece. I find this as an amazing and influential album for it's influence on eclectic and jazz/fusion. We of course have Wetton leading it on vocals, and who can forget Bruford on drums? UK was a great album for 1978.

The album starts with a 13 minute epic separated into three different songs. "In the Dead of Night." The first part is the same name, it starts with a progressing beat and starts adding on. This has some wonderful synths throughout and doesn't have too bad lyrics either. The melodies flow well together. There is also a jazzing gutair solo which is very nice.

The first part fades down and you hear the second one, which is probably my favorite of the first suite. The title is opposite of the first, being "By the Light Of Day" The most relaxed part. After Wetton songs for a little, we get some "Awws" with violin and drums. Then the drums and synths take over more. Around three minutes and 20 seconds really touches me.

After By the Light of Day, you get a short drum build up and a crazy synth solo. This is "Presto Vivance and Reprise" After a minute of insane keyboards, the beginning of the suite is reprised, but also having the lyrics bring us back to the second part. The reprise is quite simple and short, bringing the In the Dead of Night suite to a close.

The next song is called "Thirty Years." This starts with an ambient feel, however, I never really liked the intro of this song. It sort of drags on. The main problem is that John Wetton does a terrible job singing on the beginning and you can't really understand what he is saying. I guess the first part isn't too bad, but it's not the best. After a little bit past three minutes, the song kicks in. This has some nice synths and guitar. The lyrics from the beginning part are reprised but song with different melodies. Once again, you can't really understand much of what Wetton is saying, but I still like this one.

The B-Side opens slowly with a more ambient sound, but better than in thirty years. This instermental is called "Alaska." It has a sort of frightening melody that you might hear in a horror movie. Around the 2 and a half minute mark, it kicks in with synths. It remains dark and scary but more intense now. Towards the end, they have piano and sound a bit like ELP.

Alaska segues into the next song, "Time to Kill". It opens with an "Aww" and singing. Piano is played through this song. It has a good chorus which I always quite liked. However, I was never a fan of the jazzier part of this with the violin solo. It's long and sort of boring and takes away from the rest of the song.

The next song is a masterpiece. "Nevermore." You know it's good because it starts with an accoustic gutair solo. Drums than build up and you get some lyrics. Like Time to Kill, piano is played a lot in this song. But it's more noticeable in a good way. The jazzy section that starts around three minutes is amazing. It has both synths and guitar kind of switching off. Then the melodies come in and you hear the title of the song sung. The end of the song is also very interesting. It sounds a little ambient and sort of like By the Light of Day. Wetton then songs the final vocals of the song and it ends with guitar.

The last song is called "Mental Medication." The lyrics are interesting and the guitar sounds different. It gets good when the drums come in and I love the melodies. Some of the meldies change the whole mode of the song for a few seconds and then go right back to how they were before. We then get a synth solo along with some piano and guitar. This lasts a little while, but then, we get one more violin solo to end the album. It's a really good one. The conclusion of the song reprises some lyrics and sort fades out on the same meldies.

This album is essential. It deserves 5 stars. There isn't much more to be said about that.

SONG RANKING

1. In the Dead of Night/By the Light of Day/Presto Vivance and Reprise 2. Nevermore 3. Mental Medication 4. Thirty Years 5. Alaska/Time to Kill

Favorite quote from album: "Can I stand, a dark life here, for one day more?" -From "Time to Kill"

 Reunion - Live In Tokyo by UK album cover DVD/Video, 2013
4.92 | 7 ratings

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Reunion - Live In Tokyo
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Gerinski
Prog Reviewer

5 stars In 2009 John Wetton and Eddie Jobson joined to tour under the name U-Z Project (Ultimate Zero), with guests musicians including the likes of Tony Levin, Trey Gunn, Marco Minnemann or Greg Howe, playing music from U.K., King Crimson and other compositions by their members. The experience encouraged Wetton and Jobson to go for what could be called a proper U.K. Reunion and tour as from 2011.

U.K. are one of the few of the 'classic dinosaurs' which I could never see live, their video material is rather scarce, and unfortunately I also missed seeing them live in their recent reunion, so seeing them in this DVD was like an old pending item in my wishing list finally being ticked.

We don't have Bruford or Bozzio at the drum kit but the great Marco Minnemann does an outstanding job, and few guitarists could be a better choice for filling in for Allan Holdsworth than the Austrian Alex Machacek.

The filming and sound quality are clearly sub-par for such a recent release, but for me, the quality of the music and performance more than compensate for that. This is superb Prog played masterfully.

The set list could not be much better, the tandem "In The Dead Of Night ? By The Light Of Day ? Presto Vivace ? Reprise" opens the show leaving no doubt that these guys are in for serious business. Wetton's voice is in great shape and Machaceck replicates Holdsworth faithfully even if a bit too clinical, not daring to go further than what is supposed for a guest musician. "Danger Money" follows with a great performance by Jobson and Minnemann. "Thirty Years" is such a beautiful composition with those original progressions and harmonies. Eddie Jobson displays his Emersonian influences in "Alaska" followed by "Time To Kill" where he squeezes his electric violin full of effects. Then we have the beautiful King Crimson's "Starless" with a great crescendo where Jobson does another amazing display with his violin.

"Carrying No Cross", the epic in their Danger Money album, is another display for Jobson, making it clear that he should be more considered among the top Prog keyboardists and not just as a violin player. Alex Machacek stays absent for this one. Then we have a very good drum solo by Minnemann and a violin solo by Jobson, very effects-driven. "Nevermore" is another highly beautiful piece with great soloing by Jobson and Machacek, followed by King Crimson's "One More Red Nightmare" were Jobson delivers new violin solos.

"Caesar's Palace Blues" and "The Only Thing She Needs" continue the fantastic track choice.

As an encore, Wetton and Jobson stay in the stage and perform an intimate version of "Rendezvous 6:02" just on e-piano and voice.

Wetton does not look too enthusiastic but he sings very well, Jobson confirms how good a keyboardist he is besides his violin playing, Minnemann is a delight to watch and Machacek successfully does the difficult job of covering for Holdsworth. Overall a wonderful release for fans of this supergroup.

 Reunion - Live In Tokyo by UK album cover Live, 2013
4.00 | 15 ratings

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Reunion - Live In Tokyo
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

4 stars Well, only half a reunion really. But a very good one!

I was surprised when I stumbled upon this live album some months ago (on Spotify I think it was that I first saw it) as I didn't even know that UK had reformed and were touring again (since 2009 apparently, I had no idea!). My initial thought was that it must be fake, because if it was real then surely I would have heard about it on Prog Archives, the most comprehensive progressive Rock resource on the web. But no, apparently Reunion - Live In Tokyo is one that slipped through the cracks, and I wasn't the only who missed it since it wasn't even added to UK's discography here (I just added it now).

Released last year, this live album features a line-up consisting of two of the original members of UK in John Wetton (bass and vocals) and Eddie Jobson (keyboards and violin) plus two new guys in Alex Machacek (guitars) and Marco Minnemann (drums). (At least this is the line-up according to my information.) They are performing a set of songs that originally appeared on UK's two studio albums from 1978 and 1979 respectively as well as a couple of King Crimson songs in Starless and One More Red Nightmare.

The show opens with the complete In The Dead Of Night/By The Light Of Day/Presto Vivace And Reprise suite that also opened UK's self-titled debut. I think it sounds as great here as it does on the studio disc, but I'm sure that many fans will complain about the absence of Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth. Machacek and Minnemann are doing a good job recreating the original sound of the band. Other songs from the debut album that are also present here are Thirty Years, Alaska, Time To Kill, and Nevermore, which means that only one song from that album is not here (Mental Medication). From Danger Money comes the title track, Rendez-Vous 6:02, The Only Thing She Needs, Caesar's Palace Blues, and Carrying No Cross, which again means that only one song is left out (Nothing To Lose).

All these songs are very good and everything is very well performed. The King Crimson songs, both from Red, fit in very well. If you are a fan of UK you shouldn't miss this strong live disc.

 Night After Night  by UK album cover Live, 1979
3.43 | 124 ratings

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Night After Night
UK Eclectic Prog

Review by Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This posthumous live album from the fallen supergroup was recorded in Japan, which in retrospect makes perfect sense, as the music showed John Wetton well on his way toward the chart-topping entropy of ASIA.

On stage, in front of an adoring crowd, the trio was admirably tight and professional, but I hear no passion whatsoever for the music being played. A moot point, since there isn't any, even in the two new songs: the lively but mechanical title track (by default one of the better selections here), and the entirely too banal "As Long As You Want Me Here", a transparent bid for a slice of the singles market. The latter actually fades out over the final chorus (in a live concert?), anticipating a radio edit that never materialized.

Fans might be curious to hear how the trio sounded playing material from the original quartet...not very different, as it turns out. And Eddie Jobson's lightning synth runs are no substitute for Allan Holdsworth's guitar. Also: what's up with all the obviously pre-recorded background harmonies? Was John Wetton cloned in a secret Honshu lab before the tour? And are there other unfair overdubs hidden in the mix?

In the end the album succeeds in showing how much Wetton had forgotten from his years in KING CRIMSON, a band that rarely failed to honor the integrity of a live performance (except, ironically, when Jobson himself was drafted to 'fix' some violin parts on the "USA" tapes). If this was where the bass player saw his career heading at the end of the 1970s, Fripp was wise to kill the Crimson King when he did.

Thanks to Ivan_Melgar_M for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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