King Crimson

The Collectable King Crimson, Vol. 5: Live in Japan, 1995

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The King Crimson Double Trio were a bit of an unwieldy beast but were certainly one of the most exciting incarnations of the band once they hit their stride. This set captures them in Japan after completing an extensive U.S. tour, and they were firing on all cylinders as a unit. Of course they were playing their most recent material from THRAK, but there's plenty of material from the 1981-1984 period as well as tracks from Red and Larks' Tongues in Aspic (even bringing back "The Talking Drum" for this tour). The double trio format really allowed for some adventurous playing in a way that smaller versions of the band simply could not accommodate. Back in the '80s, Fripp complained that Bruford wouldn't just keep time while Bruford replied that Fripp should be able to keep his own time (or words to that effect). Here, Pat Mastelloto frees Bruford up to do just about whatever he wants while Trey Gunn's presence also allows Tony Levin some extra freedom. Compared to the studio versions or even other live versions of the band, just about everything here has a bit of added muscle. THRAK was a solid return after ten years off, but this set proves that live King Crimson is the best King Crimson.

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