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King Crimson - Live In Chicago CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.80 | 36 ratings

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Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
5 stars Back in the 1980s, during the Discipline era of King Crimson, Robert Fripp decided that the band would not play any of the past groupings' songs, save for "Red" and "Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part 2". This was humorously portrayed in Tony Levin's "King Crimson Barber Shop Quartet" ("We don't play 21st Century Schizoid Man, but we're the King Crimson Band"). I had read some quotes from Fripp at the time where he said he was not interested in the past, only wanting to move forward.

I suspected a different motive. King Crimson had gone through so many personnel changes that KC at the time just wasn't the same band from the previous decade, and those old favorites performed by this group might not be up to par with Fripp's meticulous musical sensibilities.

Well, here we are some thirty-something years later, and Fripp now wants to grace us with new live versions of many of those old masterpieces.

I have the 2015 "Live At The Orpheum" CD, and while I liked the album, I found it somewhat lacking. The performances on that set kept too close to the originals, and was often lifeless.

But here, after 2 years plus of touring on the KC catalog of music, this new set takes off. The life they breathe into all of the music, no matter which King Crimson iteration played the original version, is astounding. The three drummers, which often didn't blend on the earlier release, now come together to form 1 Bruford, or at least a reasonable facsimile.

And they throw in a couple of new tracks, which sound like they might have been leftovers from "A Scarcity Of Miracles".

My favorite tracks on this are "Larks'Tongues In Aspic, Part 1", modernized, but as earth-shaking as ever, "Cirkus" and "The Lizard Suite", two song I never thought Fripp would be playing again, and the almost 16 minute version of "Schizoid Man".

The best performer here is Mel Collins, who's sax & flute work brings me back to the good old days when he seemed to be sitting in with nearly every British prog band.

Truly an amazing trip through the entire history of the king of prog.

Evolver | 5/5 |


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