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The 1970s KC onstage: great music (and lots of it) in a great value package,
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This review is from: Great Deceiver - Live '73-'74: Part 1 (2 CD) (Audio CD)
This 2-CD release is the first half of a 4-disk boxed set originally released in 1992 with a price ticket so high as to be prohibitively expensive for many fans. Now, in this new split-down-the-middle format, it's a steal.
`The Great Deceiver' features highlights from a series of live performances by the best-ever incarnation of the KC project, the Fripp-Bruford-Wetton-Cross era in the 1970s. The material is mainly from LTiA with a couple of early-era KC numbers (`Schizoid Man' & `Cat Food') and a few improvisational jams given typically Fripp-like titles like `A journey to the Centre of the Cosmos' and `Sharks' Lungs in Lemsip' thrown in for good measure. Each of the four disks in the GD package has its own title, these first two being `Things are not as they seem' and `Sleight of hand'.
Every incarnation of KC has been great live-on-stage, and here the virtuosity of these fine musicians playing off each other in extended improvisations shines in a way not evident on the tightly edited studio recordings. The band stretches out under full power with great dynamics, superb sound mix and fine production.
For my money the best available `official' recording of the 1970s band onstage is `The Night Watch', a single complete live concert at Amsterdam Concertgebouw on 23rd November 1973 with every minute a gem and no padding. TGD nevertheless runs it a close second by cherry-picking performances from Providence Rhode Island, Glasgow UK, Penn State, Pittsburgh, Toronto & Zurich in 1973-74.
For the KC devotee: indispensable. For the less dyed-in-the-wool fan who wants the seminal recording of the 1970s band, `The Night Watch' would be my recommendation.