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David Cross: Violin, Mellotron, Electric Piano
Robert Fripp: Guitar, Mellotron, Electric Piano
John Wetton: Bass Guitar, Vocals
Bill Bruford: Drums, Percussion
The 1973/74 touring line-up of King Crimson has a well-deserved reputation as one of the most dynamic, powerful, exciting live rock bands of that or any other era of rock's roughly half-century chronology. The Great Deceiver, originally issued in 1992 as a 4CD collection of some of those concerts, has earned a fine reputation as a definitive chronicle of the band in performance. At the time of release there were about 120 bootleg recordings of King Crimson live concerts. While there was some duplication of shows trading under different names, the bulk of the recordings concentrated on this quartet line-up that became an enduring influence for a generation of musicians. But there was no official document of the live band. USA, the single vinyl album drawn from some of the band's final shows, had yet to be issued on CD. So the band's live reputation rested somewhere between those lucky concert attendees who'd seen them at the time & a variety of poor & worse copies of copies of recordings now being enshrined with all their faults on discs of dubious origin.
Robert Fripp had an answer to this dilemma in the form of a series of live multi-track recordings from 1973/74.
In 1992, in the midst of a lengthy & well-documented dispute with his former management company EG, Fripp took the decision to mix & issue several of the concert recordings as The Great Deceiver. The set became a benchmark for live archive releases & stretched the then emerging digital technology for such audio escapades to its limits. Accompanied by a booklet containing contemporary road diaries, complete with tales of dodgy sound & lights, dodgier hotels & dodgiest of all'. potentially lethal clams, the box provided an illuminating & demystifying record of an era of touring normally mythologised only in its excesses
Now reissued as two specially priced 2CD sets with new artwork, containing all the original diaries & notes from the original editions & including (for completists & the curious) a link to a digital pdf scan of the original box & interior art, this remains an essential recording.
(Providence, June 30 1974)
1 Walk on- No Pussyfooting
2 Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part II
5 Improv: A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos
6 Easy Money
7 Improv: Providence
1 21st Century Schizoid Man
2 Walk off- No Pussyfooting (Glasgow, Oct. 23 1973)
3 Shark's Lungs in Lemsip
4 Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part I
5 Book of Saturday
6 Easy Money
7 We'll Let You Know
8 The Night Watch
9 Improv: Tight Scrummy
10 Peace - A Theme
11 Cat Food