King Crimson – Live in Denver, CO March 13, 1972 (CLUB 35)

Live in Denver, CO March 13, 1972 (CLUB 35)

Sound Track, Denver, CO – March 13th, 1972

Formentera Lady, The Sailors Tale, Cirkus, Ladies Of The Road, The Letters, Groon, 21st Century Schizoid Man, Cadence And Cascade

The thirty-fifth volume from the King Crimson Collector’s Club contains a soundboard recording from the March 13, 1972 show in Denver. The liner notes claim this show was chosen last year before the deaths of both Boz Burrell and Ian Wallace, but it serves as a tremendous document of their contributions to King Crimson and a photograph featuring them together on stage is nice tribute.

This is the first of two shows they played at the Sound Track in Denver which follows their appearance at the KFL Summit Studio for a radio broadcast which has been released many times and officially on Live At Summit Studio (CLUB 9).

Neither of the two Sound Track shows has ever circulated in any form before making this a true revelation. Live In Denver contains a very good stereo recording from the mixing desk which was probably recorded for potential use for their first official live album Earthbound, which ultimately used fragments from Delaware, Florida and Peoria, Illinois.

It seems to contain the entire show. There is a cut between “The Letters” and “Groon” and the latter song has its introduction and beginning cut out. The balance favors the music with the audience pushed very far in the back making it difficult to judge the crowd’s reaction to what is happening on stage. There is the tiniest amount of hiss present on the tape as well.

For this performance the most common set opener on this tour, “Pictures Of A City,” is dropped in favor of “Formentera Lady,” introduced by Boz as “a song from the new album.” This segues seamlessly with “The Sailor’s Tale.” Fripp introduces “Cirkus” as “a song from the Lizard album, which I don’t think many people in America heard of…. This is a goodie that didn’t work.”

This is one of two songs (“The Lady Of The Dancing Water” is the other) that were ever performed on their most inaccessible work. “Cirkus” is performed as it was since the beginning of the first tour the previous autumn. The demented track is followed by one of the loosest versions of “Ladies Of The Road” available on tape. Both Fripp and Burrell introduce the song and the singer punctuates the lyrics with hysterical fits of laughter.

Author Sid Smith points out in the liner notes how this shows how much the band relaxed after the tension before the tour leading to Fripp’s decision to dissolve the band after this trek. The following “The Letters” is a surprise. This song was included in the early set lists but was dropped before their second US tour. It appears here and as a much longer version in the encore for the March 19th Santa Monica tape that Siréne released recently on Emerald Fire. This version is six and a half minutes long and doesn’t include the long saxophone improvisation by Mel Collins.

After a cut the tape picks up with a seventeen-minute version of “Groon.” The long jamming includes Boz singing scat before a long, synthesized drum solo by Wallace. “21st Century Schizoid Man” is the set closer. Boz again sings the song with distorted vocals, probably trying to achieve a rough edge in his crystal clear voice.

The gentle “Cadence And Cascade” is the encore. This version lasts for four and a half minutes and features a beautiful flute melody by Collins. The tape cuts out right at the very end as the audience are cheering and whistling. It is doubtful they played another encore since this was the usual final number played by King Crimson on the tour.

Live In Denver is the seventh release featuring the Islands era Crimson released by the KCCC in addition to Plymouth Guild Hall (CLUB 14), Live In Brighton (CLUB 30), Live In Detroit (CLUB 18), Live At Jacksonville (CLUB 2), Live In Orlando (CLUB 23), and Live At Summit Studio (CLUB 9).

The following incarnation of King Crimson who released Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, Starless And Bible Black, and Red is usually the focus of attention when discussing the band in the seventies. These discs, in addition to the numerous downloads available on DGM, have help to restore their reputation as a very good improvisational live band. It is available from the DGM Shop.

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