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King Crimson - The Night Watch
Label: Discipline Us
Release: 1997

Disc 1:

Easy Money
Book of Saturday
The Night Watch
Improv: Starless and Bible Black

Disc 2:

Improv: Trio
Improv: The Fright Watch
The Talking Drum
Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part II
21st Century Schizoid Man
The Night Watch - King Crimson
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A mostly-decent account of a KC live performance in the '70s, this live album was recorded at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam,Nov. 23rd, 1973. It's a fairly important document - several improvisations from this concert were later used on the 1973LP "Starless and Bible Black"...So, we get full, unedited and untouched versions of "Trio", "Fracture" and...*shudder* "Starless and Bible Black".

Most of the songs are pretty much by-the-book - the opening "Easy Money" is a great way to kick in, and of course, itincludes a classic Fripp solo. We then get basic performances of the more standard "Lament" and "Book of Saturday", beforethe band launch straight into the head-spinning, 13-minute "Fracture" - classic Crimson, of course. Fripp plays his partsexpertly, and it's generally outstanding - probably better than the one that exists on SABB. Disc 1 closes out with a poor performance of "The Night Watch" - this is mainly to do with the fact that David Cross's mellotron dies halfway through.And the song generally misses it's big symphonic outbursts. And of course, the final cut is as boring as you'd expect - afull, unedited, formless, boring regurgitation of "Starless and Bible Black". Utter crap, of course.

The performance doesn't get any lower, thankfully. Disc 2 starts up with the beautiful "Trio" - a beautiful, natural improvisation. Wonderful. And the show is generally good from hear on - a subdued and great take on the classic "Exiles",a decent-enough, short improv called "The Fright Watch"...and then we launch straight into "The Talking Drum". Yep, you know what's coming next.*scream* DUN-da-da-DUN-da-da-DUN-da-DUN-da! The band proceed tokill the audience with a devastating take on "Larks' Tongues In Aspic, Part 2". WHACK. And end it there with a prettystandard take on that old '69 signature, "21st Century Schizoid Man". Of course, it won't ever be as good as a Lake-eraperformance, but Wetton does his best anyway.

This live performance gets a 7 - a pretty commendable score for a live performance. Most performances are pretty good - after all, the only real "god, please turn it the fuck off" moment is SABB. Not many other problems, although some performances are pretty basic and standard. A good, high 7 overall though - recommended if you want to hear 1970's KC livewithout joining the KC Collectors club or splash out lots of money on "The Great Deciever".

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