Live at The Marquee, 1969 - 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: 24-Oct-98
By: Daniel Kirkdorffer (DanKirkd at aol dot com)

"This is the first of DGM's Collectors' Club releases, and although the quality of the recording is at times quite terrible, the quality of the performances are at times quite extraordinary.

"Fripp however provided his warnings about the poor quality of this audience recording, and releasing this material through the club allows it to find an audience that hopefully can hear through the noise and enjoy the music. A general release would never fly, and it is doubtful King Crimson fans will be able to obtain this recording legitimately through any other means than the Collectors' Club.

"In that light, this review is for those curious about what they missed, so here are some tidbits of interest.

"The CD contains over 71 minutes of music. Probably due to the exceptionally poor quality of certain parts of the recording, 21st Century Schizoid Man and Epitaph are 'joined in progress'. The first notable recording is I Talk To The Wind, heard live for the first time on an official King Crimson release. The track's quality is quite decent, probably due to it being a quieter piece than some of the sonic thunder and distortion of the other tracks. The unnamed improv is also quite remarkable, as each player takes center stage in turn. Fripp's piece is clean and promising, and Giles drum solo blows you away. As always Ian McDonald's sax playing live shows just how restrained the studio recordings were for his talents. And then there is Mars, as intense as ever. So much so, at one point it sounds like an audience member can be heard screaming his head off as if he can't take the building of the audio onslaught any more!

"Finally a few words about music not credited (in a way). Unlike on the Epitaph release, Fripp does not separately list the track Mantra, which here makes up the first 7'33 of Travel Weary Capricorn. Additionally the bonus track Trees, previously unreleased, segues into part of the Birdman suite that McDonald and Giles recorded on their collaboration released after they left King Crimson, and then segues into the instrumental part of Pictures of a City/A Man, A City, which accounts for the bulk of the 18 plus minutes of the bonus track.

"Overall, this is a very interesting release, and a good way to get the Collectors' Club rolling."

Date Submitted: 28-Oct-98
By: Arturs Kalnins (kalnins at almaak dot usc dot edu)

"This is a wonderful release. I urge people to listen past the bad sound. After a minute or two I get so engrossed in the performance that the sound quality becomes completely irrelevant.

"This now surpasses Plumpton as my favorite 1969 KC performance. Schizoid man is very intense, probably equal to Plumpton, but the first real treat is I talk To The Wind. I never liked the version much on itCotCK - very leaden. In contrast this version breathes with some nice interplay between guitar and drums. in addition, the vocals convey more emotion than the studio version.

"This album also sports my favorite version of Mantra/TWC. The intro of mantra, full of subtle guitar, sounds like a prototype for today's indie low-fi bands. I wonder if Windy & Carl or Tortoise ever listen to this stuff or did they come up with this sound independently? Improv is also great, with some cabaret jazz, a pastoral flute/guitar piece, and a very Yes-like raveup closing out the piece. Fripp and Lake really have Banks and Squire's sound down on this one. Or is it the other way around?

"The "bonus track" Trees really does have awful sound quality, but fripp did warn us about this. Here, I just pretend the bad sound is a conscious attempt to be ambient or something and the piece is fairly enjoyable.

"I never thought I'd be saying this but I would continue to buy more Live 1969 Crimson because I discover great new music from each concert. Until last year, I would have rated the Lark's Tongues Crimson far above the original lineup, but not anymore!"

Date Submitted: 3-Nov-98
By: Dave Scott (loobyds at tcc dot on dot ca)

"I just received my disc yesterday. Boy does this sound terrible, but you know what, I love this CD. Even though the sound is sonically a mess. The music is both beautiful and terrifying at the same time. It is great to hear I Talk to the Wind live for the first time. Mars, one of my favourite KC songs is a masterpiece of mystery & mayhem. Everyone is in fine form, especially Ian's sax work. Wouldn't it be great if these guys got back together for one last hurrah. If you haven't joined the club, stop what you are doing right know and join. You won't be sorry. Great work Robert & David."

Date Submitted: 5-Nov-98
By: Michael Goodall (goodall at earthling dot net)

"I've just popped in Live at the Marquee and while the recording is quite distorted during the more intense passages (not a complaint, just an observation - we had been warned) , the quiet moments on the disc (I Talk to the Wind, the mellotron during Epitaph, and especially the guitar & flute on Travel Weary Capricorn) are exceptional. You can almost feel the painstaking restoration work that must have been needed to bring out the music. If you were unhappy with some of the lower fidelity heard on parts of Epitaph, this disc will probably be a disappointment. But if you are looking for more examples of how fantastic KC must have been live in 1969, you will love Live at the Marquee."

Date Submitted: 9-Nov-98
By: Nick Bradey (nick at bradey dot freeserve dot co dot uk)

"This is an interesting historic release. The sonic quality is reasonable on the numbers from the Marquee club, but the bonus track "Trees" is very distorted . Nonetheless, this is a worthwhile release, and makes an interesting addition to the 4Cd set "Epitaph".

"The improvisation consists of "Mantra" segued with "Travel weary Capricorn", but there are distinct variations from the versions on "Epitaph".

"It is a pity that "Moonchild" does not appear, but hopefully a live version will surface in the future. The packaging is very good, and the sleeve notes, as usual, are worth reading."

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

"This was the first KCCC release I got. No, the sound quality is not great, worse than the Moles Club show, but what do you expect for 1969? The performance is still amazing...definitely better than those Fillmore shows from the Epitaph set (which are still very good). The only thing is that my copy seems to be missing Epitaph entirely, as the last 14 minutes of Trees. Does anyone else have this problem!? Or is Epitaph just added on to the beginning of Travel Weary Capricorn? Someone email me and help me! Anyways, this is a great release, and well worth the purchase. The sound is distorted, but nothing a bit of re-EQ couldn't fix. Don't pass this up: just sit back in your chair and let the energy and power of this show devour you."


Date Submitted: 10-Oct-99
By: Richard Royston (troyston at snet dot net)

"No-one seems to have mentioned the lovely melody of the first part of Trees (to 4:07). Not cosmic or jaggedly angular, just one of those transcendent melodies Crimso and Fripp have inexplicably been able to come up with over the years. And the way the melody reprises in a much heavier fashion (at around 14:15) anticipates the structure of 1974's Starless (another transcendent song, but that's another story)."