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The Great Deceiver - Live 1973-1974 (1992)

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The Great Deceiver - Live 1973-1974 (1992)

Postby vrooom on Sat Apr 17, 2004 11:40 am


Your thoughts about this album to be posted here - so feel free to talk about your first listen, what you like about this album, what you don't like, etc.

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Postby Riverman on Sun Apr 18, 2004 10:23 pm

Truly, the HOLY GRAIL of the 73-74 group. The price might inspire some doubt at first, but every single person who's bitten the bullet and popped for the set (among the KC online community at least) has agreed that yes, it's worth every penny.

One of the most deliciously crunchy "Larks' II"s on record. Two "Starless"es. Two takes of "Fracture." The unknown-at-the-time "Doctor Diamond," which remains the only written Crim song of the era never to make it onto another album. If all those weren't tempting enough, the real key to mind-blowing bliss is the improvs, which comprise about a third of the set (at least). And that's what makes it all so special.. the fact that we're not just limited to the one or two improvs that pepper some of the other live discs, but treated to massive doses of KC in full depths-of-space-exploration mode: taking risks, flying without a net, trusting a process when they didn't even know where they were going themselves. This is what made this quartet a live monster like no other.
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Postby Sebastian Knight on Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:29 am

What an unbelievable four-disk set. This is one of the few four-disk sets where I wish there were another four (DGM is hinting at another disk or two this year).

Highlights: Disk 1: The Providence show is generally very strong, but I would single out "Starless" here as my single favorite version that King Crimson has ever recorded (which means it's one of my favorite KC tracks, of course, as it's a hell of a song).

Disk 2: Glasgow is probably my least favorite, but its still really good. And it features the '73 lineup doing "Cat Food", which has to be worth something. Disk 2 also features a really terrific "Easy Money --> Improv" set from Penn State, which is probably my favorite such set.

Disk 3: Pittsburgh is pretty great. You've got a nice version of Doctor Diamond, and some great improvs, of which my favorite is "Daniel Dust", a gentle folksy sort of number (!) that leads into The Night Watch. The disk closes with "Is There Life Out There", which is a first-rate improv.

Disk 4: Toronto: The Golden Walnut is one of my favorite Crimprovs, and this is probably my favorite version of "Fracture" ever (towards the end, after the slow mysterious part, when the guitar clangs in to lead the band into a big funky recapitulation, registers all up and down my spine every time). Zurich: The "Some Pussyfooting --> Larks 1" combo might be the best Larks 1 I've heard, and there are some very interesting moments in "The Law of Maximum Distress".

Buy the set already.
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Postby The Crimson Avenger on Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:52 am

While this four disc set is studded with unlistenable Wetton vocals, the instrumentals and improvs are well, well, well worth the price of admission. I once made a cassette copy with all the vocals edited out, and one of these days I will do so digitally.

There is epic music in this box.

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Postby The Doc on Mon Apr 19, 2004 10:50 am

I do think that is a little harsh, and would mean losing Doctor Diamond.

My first (and only KC Gig) in Sheffield opened with DD and I went years wondering what the hell that great song I had heard was, and trying to see if it could possibly be an adaption of any of the known (to me) songs, then TGD came out and all was made clear - worth the price alone.

Bizzare fact - I first became aware of TGD on reading a reveiw in Cosmopolitan whilst waiting for my (now ex) wife in the hairdressers.
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Postby Indyrod on Mon Apr 19, 2004 4:10 pm

I was a late bloomer for TGD, but as soon as DGM rereleased it, I grabbed it up and found out how silly I was for putting it off so long. Besides the packaging being amazing, the overall performances on this 4-cd set as Riverman said, the Holy Grail of the Larks era Crim.

This is my original review appearing elsewhere on this site.

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 standard for Starless. This concert is just unbelievable, Disc Two will be starting shortly.

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.

Disc Three
Pittsburgh PA 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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Postby Gilesfan on Sat Mar 05, 2005 10:09 am

Isn't this out of print? And if so, why? I have not looked, but I thought I may have seen it at the DGM site a while back. If so, why do we have to mail order it and why isn't it stocked in the stores?

Also, wasn't there a 1999 re-master (oh, there's that subject again! :roll: ) of this box set? If so, what is the difference and which is better?

I keep seeing used copies of it on ebay, but I am always cautious of used CD's. I would like to find a brand new copy in mint condition.

Also, will we ever see a follow-up to this one?
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Postby ChewChewGumChew on Sat Mar 05, 2005 1:32 pm

The original (Virgin Records) is out of print. DGM acquired all rights to this a few years (1999?) back. They didn't "re-master" it, just re-release it.
With DGM, it seems, things are out of print as soon as they are released. They make one pressing, store them all in a cupboard between the jars of pickled carrots and Robert's favorite tea. When they're gone, they're gone. Sometimes they make more. Sometimes. Occasionally someone at DGM will find a stack of something thought out of print behind the telly and it is now "back in stock".
Don't know about "The Great Deceiver"s availability.
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Postby Sebastian Knight on Sat Mar 05, 2005 6:48 pm

The only real change in the rerelease was that they cleaned up a few typos in the booklet and so forth. The music was the same.
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Postby vrooom on Sat Mar 05, 2005 7:02 pm

I also thought that they added a few typos too... :D

But yeah, The Great Deceiver...what a great collection. You can never have too many versions of Easy Money, I say! :P I still remember when that came out and being really excited by it. Loved the design and the whole was schweet.

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