King Crimson – Heritage (Siréne-125)

Heritage (Siréne-125)

Warehouse, New Orleans, LA – June 7th, 1973

Music Hall, Boston, MA – April 23rd, 1974

Disc 1, Warehouse, New Orleans, LA – June 7th, 1973: Dr. Diamond, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part I, Fripp Speaks, Easy Money, Improvisations, Exiles, Book Of Saturday, Improvisations, The Talking Drum, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II, 21st Century Schizoid Man

Disc 2, Music Hall, Boston, MA – April 23rd, 1974: The Great Deceiver, Lament, Fripp Speaks, improvisations, Exiles, Fracture, Starless, Improvisations, The Talking Drum, Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II, 21st Century Schizoid Man

Heritage collects two recordings from the Lark’s Tongues line up of King Crimson whose only apparent connection is a similarity in sound quality. The first disc documents the New Orleans gig that was released before as Book Of Saturday (Ayanami 028) and Crimson Crime (KC/CC-70’s). Distant, thin and distorted but (like most Crimson tapes) listenable with some distortion in “Easy Money”. This was their first U.S. tour with this line up and the set list is basically the entire new LP, the new song “Dr. Diamond”, the crowd pleasing “21st Century Schizoid Man” plus their infamous improvisations. The mic goes out in the middle of the second verse of “Dr. D” causing a bit of a breakdown. The band get it together again and finish the song which segues directly into “Lark’s Tongues In Aspic part 1”. Fripp salutes New Orleans and encourages the audience to rush out and purchase the remarkable creation of their new LP before going into “Easy Money”.

The first improvisation is based around a funk melody played by Cross on the violin before heating up into something more accessible and melting into the ominous mellotron intro to “Exiles”. There is tape flip before “Book Of Saturday” which also contains some deterioration. The improv begins with Fripp playing oriental sounding scales underlined by Bruford’s bashing leading into “The Talking Drum” and the expected finale.

The second disc with the Boston tape is very good and listenable. It is distant from the stage and Fripp’s speech is hard to hear, and the bass sometimes dominates the rest of the music. There is a tape flip after “Fracture” but no music is lost. It was released previously as Virgin Mary (Ayanami 034) and The Milky Way (Peace Frog PF-156S). Living In Trilogy (Highland HL013) claims to be from this date but is in reality the Boston gig on May 4th, 1973. Heritage sounds a bit cleaner and is an improvement over previous releases.

This is a concert where bassist John Wetton takes the lead and dominates the show. “The Great Deceiver” gets off to a fast start with the singsong refrain “cigarettes, ice cream, figurines of the Virgin Mary” and leads right into the half-baked “Lament”. After Fripp’s opening words they proceed directly into an improv which is a rare occurrence. It is a short two-minute bass heavy melody that serves as an introduction to “Exiles”. The song itself sounds very dark and when Fripp comes in with the distorted guitar it sounds it sounds positively evil. “Starless And Bible Black” is eleven minutes long and is a masterpiece. The following improv is again very Wetton dominated and lasts only about two and a half minutes before segueing with “Talking Drum”. “21st Century Schizoid Man” contains a John Wetton bass solo that sounds similar to Chris Squire’s “The Fish”. This is another very good Siréne release and it is good to see more King Crimson silvers on the label. This release is in the spirit of the label, issuing these hard to find tapes on great silver titles. Their very first one was a Crimso show and hopefully there will be more released this year. (GS)

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