Live at Moles Club, Bath, 1981 - Reviews

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Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.

Entire Release

Date Submitted: 27-Jun-00
By: Erich O'Dell (SchizMan71 at hotmail dot com)

"I am extremely disappointed with this release. I had looked forward to it as soon as I first learned thet CLUB11 was going to be one of the first performances of the Discipline lineup. Unfortunately the sound quality is absolutely awful. While it is obvious the band played well at this performance, Ade's vocals are barely audible and Bruford's drumming is almost completely buried in the mix. I am shocked that DGM would release a product of such low sound quality. I expect they will be getting lots of returns for this release (my copy will be returned).

"With Fripp's anti-bootleg stance being so intense, I'm dumbfounded as to why he would be willing to release a CD to the club members that is of lower quality than most KC bootlegs I've heard. I can only hope future KCCC releases return to the high level of sound quality I have come to expect."

Date Submitted: 28-Jun-00
By: Hervé Marchetti (Marchetti at exchange dot france3 dot fr)

"I'm sorry but I feel I MUST react to Erich O'Dell 's previous comment. I respect his opinion, and I too think Club 11 sound is of 'low sound quality'. But hasn't Eric been warned? Robert Fripp has always been particulary explicit on DGM's website or in his diaries about the Club CD's quality. As a club member, Eric should be aware of that: Club 1 sounded even worse, Club 2 is not an audiophile recording either; so what? The historic content of these cds are far more important than the sound quality. If you want perfectly crafted recordings, stick to the official releases. The main interest of the Collector's Club is to present bootleg-like recordings in an official manner, with artwork and tracklisting aproved by the artists. Perhaps Eric has heard only good-sounding club realeases such as 'Vrooom sessions' or 'The roar of P4' or 'Summit studios'. Let him know that thoses are exceptions, and that, as Robert once said, we should feel lucky such good recordings would be available thru the Club. Having said that, I just wish to say I'm absolutely happy with my copy of Club11 (at last I could hear 'Discipline' performed live), and I hope things are going to continue like that in the future of Club history. Thanx for reading."

Date Submitted: 30-Jun-00
By: Michel Champagne (micheljch at hotmail dot com)

"There has been much outpouring of grief over the sound quality of this release. Mane no mistake: it is wretched. But that has nothing to do with the historical significance of the performance (the first public performance of the band then known as 'Discipline' after only three weeks of writing rehearsals together) nor the fact that it's a great fly-on-the-wall view of King Crimson coming back to life after a seven year hiatus.

"Robert made it clear from the beginning that there would be releases with sonic imperfections of varying degrees and goes so far to say, in the "Introduction to the Club" page on DGM's website, that if one isn't prepared to accept a substandard recording here or there, better not to join the club at all. The Club releases, after all, are of material that has been deemed "in demand" by the King Crimson fan base/community/whathaveyou by and large, yet not economically suitable for general commercial release. What's more, DGM even gives club members early warning (again, on the website) of the sound quality of the release. This one got a 1 out of 5. They didn't try and pull the wool over anyone's eyes. Club members have the opportunity to opt out of receiving any release before it is shipped.

"So quit yer bitchin'. This is a fun CD to listen to. Early versions of song endings, early versions of SONGS, "Exposure" material hinted at, guitars out of tune, train wrecks, and all. But is IS a bootleg recording. Get over that and you're home free. God only knows how awful it must have sounded before they cleaned it up!"

Date Submitted: 2-Jul-00
By: Steve Branda (brandass at biomed dot med dot yale dot edu)

"As Erich O'Dell points out, the sound quality of Live at Moles Club, Bath, 1981 (CLUB11) leaves much to be desired. On the other hand, in joining the Collectors' Club we accepted this risk, and it is because of this flexibility that Discipline Global Mobile is able to release recordings that are of interest to us and only us - recordings of limited commercial value that would not otherwise make it to market except as bootlegs. As such, Moles is a shining example of a Club release. Capturing the first public performance by the 80s incarnation of Crimson, it affords a fascinating glimpse of the construKction of Discipline and the evolution of the band itself. We discover that at this early date "The Sheltering Sky" and "Indiscipline" are (surprise!) nearly finished products, whereas "Frame by Frame" is undergoing revisions and "Thela Hun Ginjeet" still bears its original (not the album's making-of-"Thela") lyrics. Plenty of grist here for the Crimson-analysis mill; in "Thela", for example, the "My house!"-"Your house" argument described may well be that weaved into "NY3" of Fripp's Exposure, and the false ending (which is dropped in later versions) restarts with a Talking Heads-like sound (see "Crosseyed and Painless", for example). At the same time, "Thela" doesn't exactly boost the commercial potential of Moles: its lyrics are laughable, Belew knows it and painfully oversells them even as he's figuring out where to fit them in, and the band struggles to hold together the complicated mess. Here and throughout mistakes abound, the inherited songs ("Red" and "Larks' Part II") faring better, but the palpable energy of the band and the sheer power of the music outweigh the problems. Although Moles is probably not one of those rare Club releases to which I continually turn for entertainment, I do consider it to be an essential touchstone in my continuing Crimson education, and I eagerly anticipate further study."

Date Submitted: 29-Jul-00
By: (Theawfulegg at aol dot com)


Date Submitted: 5-Dec-01
By: Mike Cohn (flashpreservation at yahoo dot com)

"Let me say first that the 1980s KC lineup is not my favourite. For that, I'd have to go with 1974 or 1969. But this show is ultimately one of the most incredible performances I've ever heard! No, the sound quality is not perfect, but compared to many other boots I've heard, it is very very good. The sound is very clear, just slightly distant. It's incredible also to here this then 3-week old lineup jam out on early versions of the Discipline material. One noteworthy song is Red. Although it's a shame that the 1974 lineup never played this live, it is still amazing at this show. I dunno what else to say that hasn't been covered in the other reviews, but one thing is that this show is very energetic and worthwhile."