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King Crimson - Live at Summit Studios 1972  CD (album) cover

LIVE AT SUMMIT STUDIOS 1972

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.15 | 34 ratings

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Warthur
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Islands-era lineup of King Crimson has had something of a renaissance lately - not only is Mel Collins himself back in the current incarnation of the band, not only have songs from Islands (and the two albums preceding it) made a return to the live repertoire, but over the last couple of decades a steady stream of live recordings from the lineup has become available - with the Sailors' Tales boxed set offering a massive treasury of them.

Included on Sailors' Tales but also a standalone release, the King Crimson set at Summit Studios in 1972 was pretty special. It was recorded in the midst of the Earthbound tour, but whereas that yielded a live album of legendarily poor sound quality (thanks to the live album being sourced from cassette recordings from the soundboard as opposed to reel-to-reel). this set was recorded for Denver local radio "live in the studio", with multi-track recording equipment at the ready to capture the magic.

As such, what you have here is quite simply the finest-sounding live release we have available from the Islands-era lineup, incorporating their best songs and a couple of really nice improvs - the second of which derives from an impromptu cover of Ornette Coleman's The Creator Has a Master Plan. Why this couldn't have been the source for the Earthbound live album as opposed to the cruddy, abused tapes that were used for it instead, I have no idea, but this mistake must go down as one of the great blunders of music publishing.

A comfortable 4.5 stars; I can't quite give it five stars because of Ian Wallace overindulging himself on his drum solo, a poor habit which mars other performances of this era. (It goes on for some 3-4 minutes, showcasing a set of tricks which would be much more impressive and less boring if he'd just accomplished them in 30 seconds and moved on.)

As usual, the caveat applies that if you're poking about the live performances of the Islands-era lineup, you should probably give half a thought to the Sailors' Tales boxed set, which this is included on. That said, if that's outside of your budget or you just want to have a single live set from the Islands-era lineup in your collection, I'd say this is far and away your best bet; there simply isn't anything extant from their live tours which has superior sound quality.

Warthur | 4/5 |

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