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Originally recorded for radio broadcast and subsequently mixed in 1998 from the original multi track master tapes, Absent Lovers presents one of the 1980s incarnation of King Crimson recorded live at the peak of its powers.
The 1980s incarnation of King Crimson made its debut on April 30th 1981 (recording recently issued as part of the 2cd collectable King Crimson vol. 2). Their final concert was on July 11th 1984, the second of two dates at the Spectrum, Montreal. Absent Lovers is a recording of that final date. It's a recording of an exuberant, confident band with a wealth of material to offer. Drawn from the three studio albums: Discipline (1981), Beat (1982), & Three of a Perfect Pair (1984), with Red & Larks' Tongues in Aspic II - pieces originally recorded by 70s band lineups and routinely performed in the 80s band concerts - also included.
Perhaps in keeping with the (then) spirit of the times, the 80s King Crimson played material that was, for the most part, short, sharp and direct. In keeping with the spirit of King Crimson lineups past, and in a thread that would be carried forward to future lineups, the band made their necessary musical statements in concert halls and the recording studio and then promptly disbanded - on this occasion for almost a decade until April 1994.
The 1980s Crimson developed a sound that has echoes in a number of younger current bands' sounds - although credit is not always properly accorded for this. Contemporary criticism - particularly in England - tended towards the 'they've been around since the Prog era, so they must be crap...' While time and perspective has led to a somewhat more balanced journalistic perspective, the echoes of attitudes past occasionally echo in part to the present, making recordings such as this even more important. Recent articles and books detailing the era note that the post-punk/post new wave period of the early 80s offered more musical diversity than any previous time in Rock's comparatively short history. Audiences readily accepted and enjoyed this diversity. This King Crimson lineup, a key component of that eclectic period, was widely regarded as one of the finest live acts of the period.
2018 reissue. Double CD in digifile packaging.
1. Entry of the Crims
2. Larks' Tongues in Aspic (part III)
3. Thela Hun Ginjeet
5. Matte Kudasai
7. Dig Me
8. Three of a Perfect Pair
1. Sartori in Tangier
2. Frame by Frame
3. Man with an Open Heart
4. Waiting Man
6. Larks' Tongues in Aspic (part II)
9. Elephant Talk
Adrian Belew: guitar, drums, lead vocal
Robert Fripp: guitar
Tony Levin: bass, stick, synth, vocal
Bill Bruford: acoustic & electronic drums, percussion