King Crimson – The Bubble’s Burst (Siréne-202)

The Bubble’s Burst (Siréne-202)

County Convention Center, Fort Worth, TX – June 6th, 1974

No Pussyfooting, Easy Money, Lament, Fracture, improvisation, The Talking Drum, Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part II, 21st Century Schizoid Man

The Bubble’s Burst comes from less than a month before King Crimson’s final 1970’s appearance in Central Park on July 1st and almost a year to the day after the Dallas shows on Executive Action.  They played three concerts in Texas with the June 6th Fort Worth show the final and the only one recorded.  The tape source has been released on silver twice before.  The first is on Improvisations (Moonchild Records 920506) followed by Live In Fort Worth 1974 (HB-932-1/2) released on the Heartbreakers label and split unnecessarily over two discs. Siréne use the same tape source that was posted online recently which sounds superior to all other versions of this show.  

It is a wonderful three dimensional stereo audience recording close to the stage picking up every little detail in the music and is seven seconds longer than Heartbreakers.  The only negative is the running commentary by audience members sitting close to the taper’s microphone.  They are not too loud or intrusive but are audible and are a minor distraction.  The concert is compact yet very intense.  Songs that are usually found in the set list by this time like “The Night Watch”, “Starless” and “The Great Deceiver” are dropped for a bear-bones performance that clocks in under and hour.

Crimson changed the set list each night experimenting with different set openers.  After the “No Pussyfooting” taped into “Easy Money” makes its only appearance as opener followed by “Lament”.  Fripp does not bother to address the audience at this point but rather they launch straight into a ten minute long version “Fracture”.  The only improvisation follows and lasts five minutes.  It is dark and atonal making the hair stand up on the back of the head but there are too many undeveloped ideas that ultimately go nowhere. 

The opening bass rhythm of “The Talking Drum” signals the beginning of the end for any Crimson concert and really seems like an abrupt ending right when the band are getting hot.  “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II” features Cross banging on a piano over the repetitive theme in the middle.  “21st Century Schizoid Man” is the encore and that is it.  Although the concert is very enjoyable it makes one wish they would have played for another hour or so and did more explorations.  Siréne use appropriate period photos for the artwork on thick glossy color paper and is a great production.  Although the sound and playing are great this is not the best recording of what King Crimson could do in concert and appeals to the completist collector.

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