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King Crimson - Absent Lovers - Live in Montreal, 1984  CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.45 | 305 ratings

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Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.5 stars really!!!

For Crimson completists, this late 90's release of Absent Lover might just be the prefect live recap of the band's 80's live works (outside the Jack, Neal & Me DVD), as comprises almost everything essential of that trio of 80's album and gives us the few hold-over tracks from the second line-up of the 70's Crimson. But personally I don't find the audio qualities of thios releases all that convincing, and since the Mk3 line-up and its discography is probably the one I like less, the interest of owning this album is limited. But I got it through a trade, mildly interested by mainly three or four tracks: you'll easily guess that the two holdovers from the Mk2 line up (Red and LTIA2) are part of it, but the concert-opening sequel LTIA3 was also a major attraction. Of course the AL track selection is taken from the ToaPP tour, but it is little surprise (IMHO) that Beat is not very present. The concert starts fairly strongly with a bunch of Discipline tracks with Red thrown in, before jumping in the then-recent ToaPP, starting with the intriguing Industry, then Dig Me with those annoying vocal effects (much longer then the studio version) and the title track. The second disc visits some Beat and ToaPP tracks, but again the "meat" is from Discipline, with of course the LTIA2.

Of course, as you might guess, the main menu of this live release is the tracks from Discipline (like Thela, elephant, Discipline, Frame, Kusadai, the title and anti-title tracks etc..). And if these tracks are played fairly close to their original studio versions, they also don't offer much added interest either, even though most Crimsonheads would probably disagree with me on that point. In either case, this version of LTIA2 is simply awesome.

Sean Trane | 3/5 |


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