Live at the Zoom Club, 1972 - 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: 9-Jul-02
By: John Spokus (jvoss at jhu dot edu)

"Out of all the Collectors Club discs,this is the one that I was most anxiously awaiting,especially after my appetite for the Larks Tongues lineup was wet by the Bremen,Beat Club release. In my opinion KC wasn't the same without Muir even though Bruford truly did expand his playing after Muir's exit,something that might have never happened had Muir never been in the band in the first place.Bruford may have remained a "Yes"(rock) drummer for life without his influence.It's sad that Muir was only a member for a short time, and there are so few listenable live recordings with him as a member. A box set of this lineup's shows would be worth the money.

"Although sonically, Beat Club is superior,we don't get a full show from this lineup on that release. A marvelous job was done here taking an audience bootleg and mastering it to be listenable. We hear great examples of the 20 and 40 minute improvs this lineup was capable of. On the composed pieces the only thing really lacking is the fact that the vocals are not very clear. On "Book Of Saturday" though the audio is good enough to decipher the early alternate lyrics when this tune was known as "Daily Games". In general the arrangements of "Book Of Saturday". "Exiles", and "Easy Money" are quite different from how they ended up on Larks Tongues.

"At one point in "LTIA Pt. II" it appears that Fripp's guitar cuts out, and Wetton covers the part,if I'm hearing correctly."

Date Submitted: 10-Jul-02
By: Richard Romeo (r.romeo at atlanticphilanthropies dot org)

"Despite claims to the contrary, the sound on this disc is not all that bad; I expected worse. The music is presented more as a straight-ahead rock jam record for the most part. The improvs are very long takes and feature blistering performances by all band members. This being the first live set for the Muir period band, one wonders why his performance here seems much more muted than say the Bremen CD, particularly on the improvs--compare The Rich Tapestry of Life and say Zoom Zoom--the former has much more nuisance in terms of the background sort of little madnesses that Muir was noted for--one could claim some of the nuisance is lost due to the sound quality of Zoom Club as a whole. But these are for the record comments only.

"The playing of the band is phenomenal and seem quite tight considering the short time they were together up to that point. The band must have been running on pure adrenaline to keep up the pace on the longer pieces. Other highlights: Easy Money sounds downright pastoral, LTIA2 is a bit extended and includes a pleasant coda on mellotron to end the show, and the Fallen Agent riff is welcome.

"I have been listening to this record over and over as I'm sure others have who love this period of the band.

"Thanks to Fripp and Co. for another interesting blast from the past."

Date Submitted: 11-Dec-02
By: Gunnar Schillings (aquamine at iafrica dot com)

"yes,....... this concert was most astonishing to a lot of people I guess. Maybe I commented upon it somewhere else already, but I cannot keep my mouth shut or the fingers typing away:

"On arrival in Frankfurt, after speeding down German highways for 3 hours from Aachen, we found finally the "Club". Outside we were welcomed by the local "high" fraternity, moaning that this band "Crimson" went to electronic for their liking, and therefore they do not want to go inside. They probably referred to "Mars" or some previous period not checking that some change has happened while puffing away on daily "cigars". Inside then we were surprised how full the little club became (similar in size to the Marquee?).

"The bandstand stretched around one corner with Cross on the very left. German beery athmosphere. Maybe not everything miked up for recording, the sound was most pristine and direct for the live show as one could expect for 1972. One of the best concerts, direct, impulsive, connected, responsive fun. No barriers between the "audience" and the band, more like in your local pub with your friends playing on stage. I want to get this recording!! (Muir in his "bear fur?" outfit hitted a lot of plastic bottles and square "gongs")

"Great show, nothing "electrick", more "unplugged". Heh........."

Date Submitted: 23-Apr-03
By: (ericodijk at zeelandnet dot nl)

"Ooww, what a show. I just got it through the mail and played it right away. Oh, an audience bootleg? That can be anything... Well, I've heard better sounding bootlegs, but this one carries very interesting material from a freshly blossomed band, still finding its definitive form. That form was eventually found a few months later, recording the album Lark with a percussionist who is leaving and just helps finishing the record. As a four-piece everything falls into place. But here it is still embryonic and what an experience!

"Lark 1 starts off in a soft way, with a longer intro, and you can hear that the audience is not settled yet and does not know that this is already the band playing a song. A little further into the recording they get the message and start behaving. The rest is fabulous. A new band is born.Then comes Book Of Saturday, still with a full band rhythm and I must say that I also like this version. Not as complex as it turned out on the album but it is there.

"Then a full hour (!) of improvisation. My God, how far can we go? I must say that I skipped the 44 minute Zoom Zoom on this first listen. Perhaps later?

"Disc 2 is cool, totally! Easy Money in a completely different version, Exiles still not as long as it turned out to be, Talking Drum is still not complete but very frightening and intense. Here the title of the song becomes clear: listen to how the intro sounds, it is speaking percussion, it is like murmuring percussion. What a beautiful version, so scary.

"Lark 2 is also halfway finished and I really love how it sounds like this, with the band still figuring out how to build it up.

"The coolest stuff here is the Fallen Angel improv, it is all there, the complete feel of the song as it is on Red, two years later!

"Okay, so the quality is not like the Amsterdam concert, the USA album or The Great Deceiver Box Set, but hey, it is THAT band, you know, and Jamie is still there!

"Buy it, I promise you'll get used to the sound quality on your way through it.

"And the fun is: now you can order all of those albums through the mail without being a member of the Collectors Club! Yippee!"