Robert Fripp and constituents take to the airwaves of KFML in Denver, CO March 12, 1972 for this installment in the Collectors' King Crimson club. This live show – for an assembled radio studio audience – has been bootlegged ad infinitum. However, here listeners are treated to optimal fidelity as the originating source is from a pre-broadcast multi-track tape…
Adding to the already dizzying array of King Crimson live material is this second volume of the Collectable King Crimson, which hosts two gigs from 1981 in a double-disc set. The two discs vary in sound quality, but in terms of performance they are both fiery, exuberant and frequently stunning. Disc 1 has been retrieved from a cassette bootleg recording and has been restored as well as possible. The back cover notes that the quality is "fair". Disc 2 is a different story in that its sound quality is absolutely excellent.
With two live shows from 1974, The Collectable King Crimson, Voi. 1 features arguably the most talked about and beloved incarnation of the group. Robert Fripp, Bill Bruford, John Wetton and David Cross certainly a formidable line-up, and Crimson's most ferocious, especially in a live environment. With album tracks as well as mind-blowing improvisations, the two shows here are packed with uncanny playing from the band, all showing their talents at creating progressive rock that borders on jazz-fusion as well as hard rock. The sound quality are great, the booklet features some nice commentary from Wetton and KC historian Sid Smith, giving some insight into the band at the time of these recordings.
From cautious beginnings Improv II quickly expands into lolloping beast of a track providing what is arguably the best set-up to Exiles to date. As Cross and Wetton hurl fuzzed lines across the stage over one of Bruford’s slow-burning jazz vamps, Fripp introduces one sustained note that lasts somewhere in the region of 37 seconds. An object lesson in making a little go a long way.