This disc contains a composite of two concurrent King Crimson performances -- in Cap D'Agde and Frejus, respectively. After the band reformed as a quartet in 1981, they began to create a fresh visage under the King Crimson moniker. Live at Cap D'Agde, 1982 captures the boundless energy and familiar musical counterpoint that would become the essence of the 1980s band. The well-mixed studio quality recording is attributed -- in guitarist Robert Fripp's liner notes essay -- to the availability of the pro audio and video gear being used by tour headliners Roxy Music. Those who prefer this quartet should be thrilled by this release. One can virtually hear the band learning to soar with a newly achieved freedom. The frenetic intensity is both palpable and contagious. During "Thela Hun Ginjeet," "Neil and Jack and Me," and "Discipline," wave upon wave of sonic energy roar through -- as if the music was playing the performers. With the addition of the multifaceted Adrian Belew, the band's approach to balladry -- such as the lilting, yet haunting "Matte Kudasai" -- became redefined. A sensitive side to King Crimson is emerging. In this performance, the juxtaposition of "Heartbeat" between the furious tempos and polyrhythms of "Indiscipline" and the particularly ardent "Larks' Tongues in Aspic II" increases the song's emotive impact to levels rarely achieved. This single-disc D.G.M. Collectors' Club volume is accompanied by a 24-page liner notes booklet including: previously unpublished photographs from the camera of bassist Tony Levin, Fripp's "Notes From the Guitar Stool" essay, and excerpts from the D.G.M. diary -- which offer the consumer a rare glimpse into the daily inner workings of the D.G.M. record label. As with all club releases, Live at Cap D'Agde, 1982 is available exclusively through DGM.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer