KING CRIMSON — The Great Deceiver (Live 1973 - 1974)

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KING CRIMSON - The Great Deceiver (Live 1973 - 1974) cover
4.18 | 7 ratings | 2 reviews
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Live album · 1992


Things Are Not As They Seem...
1-01 Walk On ... No Pussyfooting 0:52
1-02 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 2 6:12
1-03 Lament 4:04
1-04 Exiles 7:00
1-05 Improv: A Voyage To The Centre Of The Cosmos 14:41
1-06 Easy Money 7:14
1-07 Improv: Providence 9:47
1-08 Fracture 10:47
1-09 Starless 11:56
Sleight Of Hand (Or Now You Don't See It Again) And...
2-01 21st Century Schizoid Man 7:32
2-02 Walk Off From Providence ... No Pussyfooting 1:15
2-03 Sharks' Lungs In Lemsip 2:38
2-04 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 1 7:25
2-05 Book Of Saturday 2:49
2-06 Easy Money 6:43
2-07 We'll Let You Know 4:54
2-08 The Night Watch 4:54
2-09 Improv: Tight Scrummy 8:27
2-10 Peace - A Theme 1:01
2-11 Cat Food 4:14
2-12 Easy Money 2:19
2-13 ... It Is For You, But Not For Us 7:25
... Acts Of Deception (The Magic Circus, Or Weasels Stole Our Fruit)
3-01 Walk On ... No Pussyfooting 1:15
3-02 The Great Deceiver 3:32
3-03 Improv: Bartley Butsford 3:13
3-04 Exiles 6:23
3-05 Improv: Daniel Dust 4:40
3-06 The Night Watch 4:18
3-07 Doctor Diamond 4:52
3-08 Starless 11:36
3-09 Improv: Wilton Carpet 5:52
3-10 The Talking Drum 5:29
3-11 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 2 (Abbreviated) 2:22
3-12 Applause & Announcement 2:19
3-13 Improv: Is There Life Out There? 11:50
... But Neither Are They Otherwise
4-01 Improv: The Golden Walnut 11:14
4-02 The Night Watch 4:22
4-03 Fracture 10:48
4-04 Improv: Clueless & Slightly Slack 8:36
4-05 Walk On ... No Pussyfooting 1:00
4-06 Improv: Some Pussyfooting 2:23
4-07 Larks' Tongues In Aspic: Part 1 7:41
4-08 Improv: The Law Of Maximum Distress: Part 1 6:31
4-09 Improv: The Law Of Maximum Distress: Part 2 2:17
4-10 Easy Money 6:57
4-11 Improv: Some More Pussyfooting 5:50
4-12 The Talking Drum 6:05


Bass Guitar, Vocals – John Wetton
Drums, Percussion – Bill Bruford
Guitar, Mellotron, Electric Piano – Robert Fripp
Violin, Mellotron, Electric Piano – David Cross

About this release

Virgin – 0170 4 61597 2 2 / Discipline Records – KC DIS1 (UK/US)

1-01 - 2-02 Palace Theatre, Providence, Rhode Island: June 30th 1974
2-03 - 2-11 Glasgow Apollo: October 23rd 1973
2-12 - 2-13, 3-12 - 3-13 Penn State University: June 29th 1974
3-01 - 3-11 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Stanley Warner Theatre: April 29th 1974
4-01 - 4-04 Toronto, Massey Hall: June 24th 1974
4-05 - 4-12 Zurich Volkshaus: November 15th 1973

Thanks to snobb for the addition


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Great Deceiver: Live 1973-1974Great Deceiver: Live 1973-1974
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An embarrassment of riches, the Great Deceiver box set - whether bought in its original format or as two 2-CD sets - is a treasuring of King Crimson live material ranging from the wake of Larks' Tongues In Aspic to the cusp of Red. The set opens with a full show - a Providence set from 1974, from which the version of 21st Century Schizoid Man was extracted for use on the USA version. I actually prefer the sound here to the one on USA, since the Eddie Jobson overdubs on that one seemed to have been calculated to bring the track closer to its original studio version, whereas here the aura is more definitively of the mid-70s unit.

The rest of the set contains extracts from other shows of varying sizes - some quite substantial, some only snippets. On the whole, I'm not going to give this essential rating simply because I don't think it is essential through and through - shows and tapes inevitably vary in quality, after all, though the cream of the crop is represented here, and furthermore I suspect the package here presents rather more live King Crimson than most people will ever need. I still think that the essential Crimson live album from this era of the band has to be the incomparable Night Watch, which ought to be your first stop in any exploration of live Crimson; this one is great value, but is really for those who simply cannot get enough of them Larks' Tongues.
Sean Trane
For decades, Crimsonheads around the world, if you wanted to know what the second-era KC sounded like, you either had to buy the USA live album with its rather muddy sound or had to rely on diverse quality bootlegs. One may understand that bootleggers are ripping off the artistes, but in Crimson's case, the fact that the only live albums available were rather poor quality (listen to Earthbound to dig what I mean), and the many improvisations that the group was experimenting on stage were excuses enough for fans dishing out money for pirated tapes. In the mid-90's, some groups became well aware that those bootlegs were of extreme quality and there was not reason for them to bootleg the bootlegs and making money of those now-finally legal tapes. ELP, Tangerine Dream and Crimson are three of the groups in progressive rock that have adopted this strategy, and are we not so happy they just jumped the gun?

But now Crimsonheads are faced with a dilemma: Which of the three main releases to get? The four CD box-set being reviewed here, the single concert release of The Nightwatch or the finally re-released (and improved sound wise and great bonus tracks) USA Live? Clearly on of the main criteria of selection will be the sound, which would almost automatically dismiss the third potion if it was not for the fantastically superb and superlative improv Asbury Park still not available elsewhere. Another criteria will be the price for a single Cd (USA), a double set (Nightwatch) and this heavy box-set (probably a limited edition too and a hefty price) and in this case the first eliminated in the previous criteria is the clear winner.

The first Cd from this set is made up of one concert in Providence (stretching on to the second Cd) where the sound is as pristine as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, but the track list contains absolutely awesome and one of the two improv Cosmos is simply astounding (and maybe the closest sounding to Asbury Park from USA), only two tracks for the patchy SABB album, a superb rendition of Easy Money and icing on the cake a version of Starless with David Cross on violin: fabulous. The Providence improv is much more entertaining than on the studio album too.

The second 2 finishes the Providence concert, gives a piece of a Penn State Uni concert (with a superb improv to closer off the disc) but is mostly concentrating on a Glaswegian concert ending with a rare Cat Food and the Peace theme from the Poseidon album. Even with those minor surprise and many improvs, this second disc is not as brilliant as the first one, partly because the track selection is less successful, but the continuity is broken by three separate entities. Only one declared improv but another four are just as well improvised.

The third disc is a bit less disjointed, but another piece of the Penn State concert ends it. A whopping four improvs (most of them average quality - which means they develop into nothing special - but great to hear anyway) grace this disc and one strange Doctor Diamond, which is (as far as I know) a full composition never available anywhere else - and a worthy one too. The closing improv is one hell of a scorcher too!!!

The last disc is certainly not the least of the four is also split in two concerts, one at Toronto's Massey Hall (I am just sick thinking I was only 10 when this gig happened around my turf) and a Swiss show. The Canadian gig has a demented improv and a calmer based on Trio. The Swiss has some rather unusual improvs on the No Pussyfooting theme but also another two part improv and a definitive version of Talking Drum as a closer.

As far as repeats arte concerned, throughout the four Cds, the only track you will hear more than twice is Easy Money (3.5 times) and Night Watch (three times), which out of 47 tracks total is rather fair.

But life is never that simple, and soon or later, the Crimsonhead will want the other releases, which is another debate altogether, is it not? In my case, I consider this box-set indispensable and even more than absolutely essential (it has a superb booklet and tons of improvs), and I still like the USA live album for historical reasons, so The Nightwatch might just be the odd one out. Any takers for my copy of it? ;-)

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