This monophonic recording is taken from an open-reel tape made by Robert Fripp upon the occasion of King Crimson's appearance on the German television program The Beat Club. The broadcast video portion of the proceedings has been heavily circulated in varying degrees of quality and totality over the years, and serves as one of the few professional videos shot of this band. Endless bootlegs -- both on vinyl as well as CD -- have packaged this set ad infinitum; however, The Beat Club, Bremen 1972 stands as far and away the most complete and best-sounding package available. Despite what others might claim, Fripp insists no stereo mixes exist of this material. This mono mix replicates what was used for broadcast. The brevity of this particular group's performance life makes this recording all the more special. King Crimson's resurrection in the summer of 1972 included the introduction of former Family man John Wetton and percussionist Bill Bruford, fresh from a very successful stint with Yes. Both gentlemen continued with King Crimson until Fripp took the band on a six-year sabbatical in 1974. Also in this incarnation of the band is David Cross, who would continue through the Starless and Bible Black album sessions in 1973, and Jamie Muir, who left less than six months after this recording. This is an aural document in the purist sense. The disc opens with the various bleats and drones of guitars and mellotrons being tuned. Then matching thunder for thunder is the core rhythm section of Bruford and Wetton, joined to a notable degree by Fripp. Making his own unique and scathing imprints across the top and otherwise filling in the sonic hues, Cross displays the timing and verve of a man possessed. Muir, on the other hand, concludes his portion of this performance by abandoning the ensemble to empty a sack of leaves on the studio floor. The Beat Club, Bremen 1972 is available exclusively through the Discipline Global Mobile Collectors' Club, as are all club releases.
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer