King Crimson – Live In Boston, MA 1972 (Club40)

Live In Boston, MA 1972 (Club40)

Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA – March 27th, 1972

(67:28):  RF Announcement, Pictures Of A City, Formentera Lady, The Sailor’s Tale, Cirkus, Groon, 21st Century Schizoid Man, improv, Cadence And Cascade

The latest Club offering from King Crimson once again revisits the Island era line up who played together in 1971 and 1972.  The March 27th Boston gig was at the end of their second visit to the US and were supporting Yes, who were touring for Fragile.  Such a situation was precipitated, according to the liner notes, by the instability of the band in their formative years.  It was such that “nearly two years later in 1971 that the band returned to the USA.  Having lost the momentum that a speculative tour during1970 might have gained them, Crimson were once again forced to ‘pay their dues’ supporting bands such as Procol Harum and Yes.”

This date survives in progressive rock mythology as the day when Bill Bruford approached Robert Fripp about joining Crimson with Fripp’s famous reply “I think you’re about ready now, Bill…” 

Live in Boston, MA 1972 uses the same very good to excellent audience recording that was used on previous unofficial releases Celebration Of The Lizard (Gold Standard KC-21-94-05), Travellers Strum (KC-00 Music), Formentera Memories (All Of US AS33), and Colours Out Of Time(93-KC-020) which has “21st Century Schzoid Man” with from other shows.  The tape has been professionally remastered, cleaned up and is an extremely enjoyable tape to hear.  

The show itself is the perfect illustration of the band going in two directions.  It is well known that Robert Fripp disbanded this line up in January only to be coerced into this final tour.  The joy of playing this material is evident in the band except for the guitarist who voices his protest through his instrument.  The tape begins with Fripp’s greeting, saying “Good evening after two years in Boston for King Crimson” before commencing with their “attack on music.”  The scorching “Pictures Of A City” starts the set.  

Mellotron tuning precedes the gentle “Forementera Lady” and in the long improvisation Mel Collins takes the lead saxophone.  Fripp responds by playing the nasty angular riff that would used later in the year in “Larks Tongues In Aspic Part I.”  The improvisation leads directly into the jazzy “A Sailor’s Tale” and afterwards there are shouts from the audience to “turn it up.”  Boz jokes “it’s very loud actually.”    

“Cirkus” from Lizard is one of the constants during these tours.  Although it began as the opener by this time it was played in the middle of the set as a respite from the endless jams.  “Groon,” which on a good night could push fifteen minutes lasts about nine in Boston.  “21st Century Schizoid Man,” the only song from the classic first album to survive in the set, is segued with the preceding number.  A seven minute funky improvisation lead by Boz serves as an introduction to “Cadence And Cascade” featuring a gorgeous flute melody before the tape cuts out.  In general another sterling release on the KCCC label and another fantastic document from the most intriguing King Crimson line up. 

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