Tale Of Two Treaties (Siréne – 001)
Disc 1: King Crimson, Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco March 21st, 1972 Introduction, Pictures Of A City, Formentara Lady, The Sailor’s Tale, Cirkus, Ladies Of The Road, Groon, 21st Century Schizoid Man, Cadence And Cascade
Disc 2: Snape, Tower Of London, July 21st, 1972 Instrumental #1, One Scotch One Bourbon One Beer, You Got The Power (To Turn Me On), Don’t Change On Me, Sailing Shoes, Evil Hearted, Instrumental #2, Country Shoes, Gospel Ship
Tale of Two Treaties is one hip release. Not only does Siréne begin their catalogue with the Islands era King Crimson line-up, but pair it with a tape from the obscure Snape. The story is well known to Crimso and progressive rock fans. Fripp decided before the spring ’72 North American tour to disband the third line-up. After being tricked into this tour, the rest of the band, Boz Burrell on bass and vocals, Ian Wallace and drums and Mel Collins on sax decided to cut through the tension, have fun and jam (or “improvise” in Wallace’s word) to their hearts content.
The tape used on this release has been released before as Frisco Spacer (KC-013) and Sing Your Song Dance Your Dance on Peace Frog (PF-255S). Siréne have done an excellent mastering job, making it sound much more clearly. They also found the missing encore, the gentle ballad “Cadence And Cascade”. I can believe this comes from the original cassette master. And this is vintage early 72 Crimson. Excellent jamming on “Groon”, a very effective “Cirkus” and a barn burning version of “21st Century Schizoid Man”.
The second disc are from Snape, the band that most of Crimson joined after Fripp decided they weren’t Crimson enough. Boz, Wallace and Collins joined Alexis Korner, the grandfather of English blues. I never heard of them before this, and was surprised to learn they actually released several albums, none of which are in print today. Snape lasted for several years, up until Burrell joined Bad Company. This is a line recording that was probably considered for an official release, all hard-core blues.
A Tale of Two Treaties makes me think twice about this whole confusing era. As much as I enjoy this version of King Crimson, I think Fripp made the wise decision. This band wouldn’t have come up with “Lark’s Tongues”. As it is we have this and the King Crimson Collector’s Club releases to listen to and imagine what could have happened. I do applaud Siréne for thinking up this release, something that would never see the light of day otherwise. (GS)If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)