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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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3 stars This compilation emcompasses the King Crimson era (73-74), the UK era (76-78) and the solo era (78-80). A good start for people wanting to get a look at the early work from John Wetton. Not an album for prog fans, more for rock fans.

The two songs from the King Crimson period are of course "Book of saturday" and "Starless" - songs that figures in almost all live performances in which John Wetton appear. The rest of the songs are classical pop-rock with catchy melodies - including two ballads "Rendezvous 6:02" and "Cold Is The Night"

Rating: 79/100

Report this review (#70763)
Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2006 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
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.

Report this review (#116084)
Posted Friday, March 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars This collection, marking the end of John Wetton's association with E.G. Records, is a somewhat skewed compilation of his work in the seventies. Five songs by U.K., five from his first solo album, one track listed as coming from the one album from his seventy-nine one-off band Jack-Knife (the track isn't listed on sites I can find for the album, so I presume it was left off of the LP), and, strangely, only two tracks by King Crimson (and only one of these was on the original LP version).

For the most part, the sonds tend toward Wetton's pop side, a direction he was heading in when U.K. was declining. At least the U.K. songs have a small amount of prog in them. The songs from "Caught In The Crossfire" are just a small hair better (for the most part) than the AOR drivel Wetton created in Asia.

The better songs are In The Dead Of Night, from U.K.'s debut, and Starless (the track not on the LP) dfrom King Crimson's "Red".

Eyesight To The Blind by Wetton's Jack-Knife (which also included Richard Palmer-James) is worth hearing just because it's so different from any other version I know of, but only adds slight value to this collection.

All in all, it's much better to get the original albums.

Report this review (#571993)
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars There are two good reasons to purchase this Cd, 'Night after Night' and 'As Long as You want Me here'. No doubt about it; they are both worth the price of the record. Particularly as none of them are to be found elsewhere on Cd. Jobson/Wetton worked well together and this is their last legacy from initial period. Jobson's solo on 'Night' is raw like Japanese Sushi. Served by the most delicious Geisha. 'As Long as' is something that could've been delivered from the reformed King Crimson if they had opted for a return of Wetton. Possibly in a slightly reworked and stripped down version. Asia never even touched any of these great compositions, the smile in their eyes is a result of collected bundles of banknotes. The other songs of interest here are already in your collection. The least relevant, one must admit, are taken from quickly forgotten solo album Caught in the Crossfire. The one and only song by Jack Knife says little to the prog fan.

King's Road serves as an introduction for the multitudinous group of record buyers who got high on 'Heat of the Moment' and 'Sole Survivor'. They have a long way to avant-garde Starless. What unites the album is the record company E.G. and the artist himself. Otherwise very little. Wetton deserves more than a single Cd for his contribution to the various bands he has taken part in. The music listeners as well. Wetton's comprehensive recording history isn't easy to survey. Not only how many bands/artists he has visited or been in, but also what exactly he contributed. Sang, played, wrote and/or produced.

If you're not in possession of all material related to the rock icon you're most likely not knowledgeable about what happened where. Not even with the informative invention called internet by your side. If all contractual issues could be solved there should at least be a double-Cd including 'One Way or Another', 'That's That' and 'Same Time Next Week'. Just to mention a few. Any surviving rehearsal tapes from the time spent with Wakeman/Bruford? Wetton's Phenomena colleague Glenn Hughes is luckier with his collected work(they have both played/sung with everybody except each other). Perhaps next step in their career?

Report this review (#1070658)
Posted Saturday, November 2, 2013 | Review Permalink

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