King Crimson – Live In Toronto (Club 45)

Live In Toronto (Club 45)

Massey Hall, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – June 24th, 1974

Disc 1 (47:12):  Larks Tongues In Aspic Part II, Lament, Exiles, Improv – The Golden Walnut, The Night Watch, Fracture

Disc 2 (41:31): Improv– Clueless and Slightly Slack, Easy Money, Starless, 21st Century Schizoid Man

The Massey Hall King Crimson show is one of the most well known and well documented.  There have been several unofficial releases dating back to the eighties including Starless In Toronto (KC-46421/46422) and Starless In Toronto (Discipline DPE-002 1/2),  Black Bible (Moonchild 910203) and From Heidelburg to New York (The Great Bootlegger).

Four songs were officially released on The Great Deceiver box set from 1992, “The Golden Walnut,” “The Night Watch,” “Fracture” and “Clueless And Slightly Slack.” 

Live In Toronto is the latest Club silver pressed release which has the complete soundboard recording from that night for the first time.

The tape starts off with just a small portion of the “No Pussyfooting” opening tape before the band stars off with “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II.”   While normally used to close a show, it is also quite effective as a set opener.  David Cross plays interesting violin melodies over the harsh rhythms.

“Exiles” is a bit rocky at the start with Cross a bit out of tune, but overall sounds very good.  Afterwards Fripp tells the audience that they are taping tonight’s show for a new Crimson album in September.  As it turned out, nothing from Toronto was used on Red, but material from the Providence show was.

The first long improvisation of the night is “The Golden Walnut.”  This was rightly chosen as a representative track from this show for the box set.  It’s one of the more unique pieces dreamed up by the band.  The John Wetton / Bill Bruford rhythm section play a hard funky beat over which Cross and Fripp lay one of their most catchy and memorable melodies.

After “Fracture” they play their second long improv of the night.  Titled “Clueless And Slightly Slack,” it has been singled out for an example of an onstage journey that doesn’t work.  Lead by Cross, the melodies are disjointed the whole piece goes nowhere.  The segue into “Starless” acts as an admission of defeat by the band. 

Crimson end the set with a fantastic “Starless” and the only encore is “21st Century Schizoid Man.”

Live In Toronto is truly an important archive release by King Crimson.  They’ve mostly been going down the download route, posting their tapes online and not bothering with silver releases.  But this one, despite the sub par show, certainly is interesting enough for a Collector’s Club release.  This is available from the DGM website for a reasonable price, definitely worth having.   

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