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John Wetton - King's Road 1972-1980 CD (album) cover

KING'S ROAD 1972-1980

John Wetton


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2.52 | 15 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Asian

King's Road was complied by Wetton himself, so we should not simply dismiss it as a record label cash in. The album covers Wetton's solo work and albums he recorded as a member of various bands between 1973 and 1980, while he was signed to EG records. The guest musician list is therefore highly impressive, including Robert Fripp, Allan Holdsworth, Martin Barre, Phil Manzanera, Bill Bruford, etc.

Three of the tracks are from UK's albums "UK" and "Danger money", plus a further two live tracks by UK. These selections are sub-standard Asia clones written by Wetton with Eddie Jobson. The first live track, "Night after night" shows just how badly the band lacked a decent melody, essential to a pop rock song such as this. The other live song, "As long as you want me here", finds Wetton apparently doing a fine impersonation of Greg Lake. Only the ballad "Rendezvous 6:02" stands out as being well above average.

There are no less than 5 of the 10 tracks from Wetton's (at the time only) solo album "Caught in the crossfire", These retain the pop influences of UK and Asia, the title track being a jaunty, upbeat rock number. "Turn on the radio" is an unashamed attempt at securing a radio hit, it's so syrupy it is embarrassing. "Paper talk" is a significant improvement, with some decent instrumentation and a powerful theme. "Cold is the night", a fine Wetton ballad, is by far the best of the pick from the album.

Wetton's time with King Crimson is represented by "Book of Saturday" from "Larks' tongues in aspic". The song is fine, but it sits somewhere in-between Wetton and King Crimson, while remaining representative of neither.

The final track listed here "Starless" by King Crimson, does not appear on the LP version of "Kings Road".

In short, this is simply an amalgam of 5 of the tracks from Wetton's first solo album, 5 tracks by UK, and a King Crimson song. As such, it is difficult to see what the point of the release was. The selections are clearly slanted towards the commercial, which is a pity since Wetton has recorded far better songs that those which represent him here.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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