King Crimson Live in Mainz 1974
- Released: February 7, 2020
- Originally Released: 2020
- Label: Dgm
- 1.Improv: The Savage
- 2.Doctor Diamond
- 3.Improv: Arabica
- 5.Improv: Atria
- 6.The Night Watch
- 9.Improv: Trio
- 10.Easy Money
Personnel: John Wetton (vocals, bass guitar); Robert Fripp (guitar, piano, electric piano, Mellotron); David Cross (violin, electric piano, Mellotron); Bill Bruford (drums, percussion).
Liner Note Author: John Wetton.
Recording information: 03/30/1974.
This disc highlights a show from King Crimson's spring 1974 European tour. Live in Mainz 1974 includes an immaculately delivered performance, which will no doubt reinforce the assertion -- by some Crimson enthusiasts -- that the mid-'70s quartet was fuelled by undiluted intensity and inspiration in equal portions. The unfettered anti-structure of live King Crimson sets circa 1973/1974 allowed for songs to become enveloped in the real beauty of this musical beast -- top-shelf improvisation. It is within this context that musical tensions become constructed and resolved organically. Live performances of this particular band are not rare. The mid-'70s congregate has been documented by five previous releases, one of which, The Great Deceiver (Live 1973-1974), is a four-disc box set. However, Live in Mainz 1974 now raises the stakes. The sonic quality is outstanding -- as good, if not several shades better, than any other releases from this era. Which bodes well for the intense and otherwise importunate sounds that these musical Merlins will conjure up. Not a second is wasted as the band maneuver into a raucous "Dr. Diamond" via an intense albeit brief improvisational intro. The quadraphonic nature of the multi-rhythmic King Crimson beast are not for the faint. Trying to keep tempo between the percussive athletics of Bill Bruford and the sonic Godzilla that is John Wetton's omni-vibrant bass is a study in futility. An example of their particular sonic mind-meld can (and should) be heard on the extemporaneous "Improv: Atria." It carves a space of goodwill between the musicians as they go from one room to another. While outstanding versions of "The Night Watch" and "Starless" are not to be missed, the reading of "Exiles" stands out as this unit's personal best. Absolutely not to be missed for inclined parties. ~ Lindsay Planer
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