KING CRIMSON ‘Live In Newcastle 1972’ – CD


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A recently rediscovered cassette recording of the Larks’ Tongues in Aspic line-up of KC, recorded shortly before the band went into the studio to make that classic recording.

Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972 is a major find: a soundboard recording that represents a major addition to the documented legacy of this very short-lived (yet infamous) five-piece lineup that featured the fur vest-clothed, blood capsule-spewing and inimitably creative percussionist, Jamie Muir. Exceptionally well-restored, it reveals a great deal more about just how extraordinary this band was, even if only for such a short time.

While still a relatively low-fi recording, it’s still the best-sounding live recording from this group to date, with surprising clarity and delineation, given its source and age. It’s also the only known recording — barring the Hull Technical College date from November 10, 1972 — that features the entire Larks’ Tongues in Aspic album in its running order. Along with every track from Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, two lengthy improvisations demonstrate the group’s ability to draw music from the ether while, at the same time, connecting one song to the next.

Muir’s protean contributions are, once again, a demonstration of this group’s greater extemporaneous versatility and improvisational swagger. If anything, Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972 is the best example, to date, of why this particular Crimson lineup is held in such high esteem by so many fans.