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The Great Deceiver

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The Great Deceiver

Postby Indyrod on Tue May 27, 2003 12:51 am

Since I'm late on the scene with finally getting "The Great Deceiver", I finally sat down today after another listen of Discs One and Two, and decided to write my thoughts. Before they start, I would encourage every Crimhead to get this box that doesn't have it, while DGM has it back in stock. The long box packaging is just beautiful, and the enclosed booklet is huge, and I've not even looked at that yet. Here's the first two discs reviews.

Disc One

Providence Rhode Island, June 30th, 1974
Great "Easy Money", easily one of the best I've heard, just smokes from start to finish. Unbelievable performance. "gd" was right about the improv "A Voyage to the Center of the Cosmos" @ 14 minutes". It's a killer song, absolutely takes you on a trip. You can hear every instrument very clearly. The audio quality is just amazing. "Lament" is also just incredible. Better than the studio version, this one takes you places you hadn't been before. One of my favorite tracks from Disc One. Next the improv "Providence", seemed a little weak for this particular night. "Fracture" is frightening delicate. Such perfect harmony in a world of disaster. "Fracture" is still the song that makes King Crimson the MONSTER band of all time, and this performance leaves nothing out. Just killer of course. The last track, is the only performance of Starless that I did not have. The Mellotrons are just mesmerizing. Wetton is in top voice, and his bass playing has been a beast all through this disc. David Cross is playing about as well as I've ever heard him. Bruford just absolutely keeps it all together, his percussion is pure heaven. This is a much more developed Starless than my favorite off of "Mainz", but just not quite the fire. Still, a Crim spectacular performance, but everybody has their own standard for Starless. This concert is just unbelievable, Disc Two now starts up.

Disc Two

continuation of Providence Concert...
Schizoid Man is powerful, David Cross is really showing his value to this band by now. I'm definitely not in the camp that critcizes David Cross for anything, his playing on Violin and Mellotron is essential to this era. Excellent Schizoid Man, just blows flames towards the audience. A very nice "No Pussyfooting" to end the show.

Next: Glasgow Apollo October 23rd, 1973
Very cool Improv to start it off. Then "Larks One" takes off in a flurry. The Devil is in the room, or maybe it is this music!!! Killer version, almost scary. Just try and hang on, this ain't no fucking game buddy. Intense playing, pure Crimson, Cross again shines on this baby. Theme song for a horror film, is all I'm thinking. WOW!!! "Book of Saturdays" is very welcome, after that horrifying and exciting trip with "Larks One". Wetton in excellent voice, Cross' Violin paints a portrait, while Fripp carries the beautiful theme. "Easy Money" blasts off next, and blast off it does. Hard heavy version, no messing around tonight folks, you deserve to be freaked out. eekk! Bruford just pounds in this performance, keeps the band in a heavy direction. Fripp's solo is extra spicy on this one, throwing in some good blues strokes. Excellent version of "Easy Money", on a different level than Providence, this one is more menacing. The improv "We'll Let You Know" is very groovy, I'm starting to really enjoy these things now. "The Night Watch" is next, and starts off like a flower opening up, very gentle but springing forth into life. Wetton is awesome, nobody else can sing this song, this is John Wetton at his best. Fripp's guitar just sings in this beautiful version. Another excellent and evil percussion driven Improv takes off, as Bruford displays his hidden powers. A very impressive "Peace-a Theme" follows the Improv. A hidden jewel from ITWOP. Gives Fripp a chance to gently strum his guitar before they explode into a monsterous version of "Cat Food".

Penn State June 29th, 1974
"Easy Money" and the improv that follows sounds more like an extended EM, with an ending similar to the aborted version from USA. Very cool Fripp solo at the end, AND it's complete. Disc Three and Four up next.
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The Great Deceiver-Discs 3 and 4

Postby Indyrod on Sat May 31, 2003 4:04 am

Disc Three
Pittsburgh April 29th, 1974
"The Great Deceiver" song is a real rocker, very well performed. The first Improv "Bartley Butsford" just simmers on, and provides a very nice intro into "Exiles". This is one of the most outstanding performances of "Exiles" I have ever heard. Just beautiful.. Very rich beautiful leads from Fripp, and Cross singing gentlely into "The Night Watch". Quite extraordinary, to write as I listen to "Night Watch". Wetton at his amazing best, with Fripp's guitar soaring in the background, and Cross' Mellotron just awe-inspiring. "Doctor Diamond" is next, and a rare treat for sure. This is the definitive version, as it just chills and thrills all the way. Awesome performance. "Starless" takes off.... With Fripp's Mellotron, and Cross' violin, this is magic territory. That demon guitar of Fripps takes us into a world of the insane, and makes us welcome. This just explodes into a mind-bending version of Starless, pretty much equal to the Mainz version. Fripp's magnificent input, makes all the difference. The "Wilton Carpet" Improv follows, before the outstanding duo of "The Talking Drum", and "Larks Tounge in Aspic:Part Two" sets out to fuck up everybody. This has all the power and devistation you would ever want, just outstanding. Great disc, awesome performance.

Disc Four
Toronto Massey Hall June 24th, 1974
Begins with a throbbing Improv "The Golden Walnut", which features everybody pretty equally, with some great riffs from Fripp. Wetton and Bruford are especially strong on this 11:37 improv. In fact, this disc has no less than six improvs. "The Night Watch" is next, and just as beautiful as ever. Wetton's in amazing voice, and Fripp's solo is right on the mark, as usual. Nothing particularly stunning about this "Night Watch", just the usual excellence. "Fracture" takes off in it's traditional mind-numbing fashion. Bruford is just loading up on this baby, keeping the groove going full steam ahead, and Wetton appears to be turning up the volume a bit, but Fripp will not be denied. This is his trip, and nobody does the driving but him. I've always thought "Fracture" could not possibly be done, without David Cross' phenomenal work, and he really shines on this box set. Do you ever find yourself whistling "Fracture"? I do it all the time, and people where I used to work, would always look at me funny when I did that. I never could understand why. Another Improv follows, very gentle Violin from Cross, kind of a gypsy type melody, with bells and chimes from Bruford. That of course doesn't last long, as Fripp and Wetton trade off as it builds nicely and very frantic. Kind of ends up as a cute little celtic beauty. Very nice improv, sheesh, I'm starting to enjoy these things. Next up, change of venue.

Zurich Volkshaus November 15th, 1973
First off is another Improv "Some Pussyfooting", which is a good name for it, since it feels like just an extension from the "Walk On". Some people might call this noise, and they might be right, but being the Crimhead I am, I would never say that. Coming front and center next, the monstrous "Larks One". Holy Godz, I love this song. Hard to listen to this treasure, without thinking about Jamie Muir, and how all his bingles and bangles are missed. One of my favorite David Cross performances too, his Violin always makes all the difference in this classic. At 8 minutes, this is a relatively short version of "Larks One", but it still smokes. Two more Improvs follow, labeled Part One and Part Two of "The Law of Maximum Distress". I can't think of anything special about these, except Part Two is pretty funky, and I certainly like that. Time for another performance of "Easy Money", which is one of my favorite Wetton vocals. Like before, the Mellotron connects with Fripp to make this one of Crim's most familiar songs. I love the funky style of Fripp's solo in this concert, very playful but yet forceful and energetic. He seemed to be into the moment, as we say sometimes. Wetton is a monster on bass, with Bruford's pounding and Cross's Mellotron, this is a classic performance. The last Improv "Some More Pussyfooting" is very soothing, with some shake rattle and roll from Bruford. This turns into a very demented frantic excursion into the ozones. One of the most farout improvs on this box set, very spacey in nature. The improv leads right into "Talking Drum", with no hesitation. This is the last track, so not seeing a Larks 2 to follow, make this an interesting journey. Cross' Violin is just demonic, and Wetton's bass is hypnotic, while Bruford just keeps everybody together. Fripp's guitar is barely heard, but you know it won't be too long. At the four minute mark, the tension finally reaches its peak, and all cylinders are firing. Some current conversation has compared this to "Dangerous Curves", but to that I say, nah, not hardly. "DC" is concert opener material, but "TD" is best known for being the frontend to "Larks 2". All in all, Disc Four is probably best for those that completely embrace KC improvs.

This is a great box set, and more than that, a testament to the greatness of the 73-74 Crim. Performances that just knock ya dead, and then pick you back up, as only Crim can do. Dark, moody, hypnotic, dramatic, are all words to describe "The Great Deceiver". Just simply the best live Crim available. And now, to start all over again....again.......
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