Live in Mainz, Germany, 1974 - Reviews
Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.
Date Submitted: 20-Apr-01
By: Mike Mclaughlin (mikemclaughli41 at hotmail dot com)
"I recieved this CD this morning and decided to give my initial opinions on it now, it is (to my mind) another quality Collectors Club CD, like The Night Watch and USA (my only other frames of reference for this era's live output) this contains some interesting Improv's and the song Doctor Diamond (a song which I believe has been released on The Great Deceiver box which I hope to one day aquire). I wonder why Doctor Diamond was not recorded in the studio at any time (or if it was why it has never been released). I think it would certainly have been more at home on Red than Providence (which I understand to be a live improv. recorded at Providence) but then who am I to argue the merits of album compilation? Back to the review in hand, this release is definitely one of those that I will be analysing in depth (listening to it a lot), it has by the looks of it 50/50 songs and improv's something which may or may not appeal to others but in my opinion it sets this release somewhere among my favourite Crimson releases. If you aren't in the club Join it and get this one, if you are in the club but haven't bothered to get this one, get it!"
Date Submitted: 7-May-01
By: Chris Janzen (chris_janzen at hotmail dot com)
"This is an especially important release due to the new version of 'Dr. Diamond.' Unlike the Great Deceiver boxed set's version, the the Mahavishnu Orchestra style violin-leading up-tempo 'c' section is abandoned in favor of slow, dark, angular guitar and violin interplay. It is fascinating to observe how Crimson songs like this evolved on stage (if only the tape hadn't run out when 'Easy Money' segued into 'Fracture'!)."
Date Submitted: 10-May-01
By: Ben Barletta (Jaminbenb at aol dot com)
"Not being a HUGE fan of this "era" of the band (and pretty much having my appetite "whet" by the Great Deceiver box and the Night Watch release) I have to admit this is some of the most intense music I've heard from this incarnation of the band to date! This was one that I'm glad I didn't miss.
"The value of the disc is made up by the "Improv: Atria" track alone! If you are a Bill Bruford fan then this track is for you. This is why most musicians regard Bill, as a musician, rather than a mere "drummer". (And thus proves that his exit from Yes was a great move by "blowing off" their "commercial" success and staying true as a musician) His tasteful use of the roto-toms and gongs are truly mesmerizing and compliment the rest of the ensemble greatly! But I'm getting slightly ahead of myself. The first 10 minutes of the disc are also an aural treat and shows the band in prime improv form before we get a stirring read of Exiles. If you listen closely (and call me nutty if I'm hearing things) but at appx. 1:09-1:10 into track 2 (Dr. Diamond) Robert plays what sounds like the beginning riff to Thela Hun Ginjeet in between John's vocal! (Interesting the way riffs seem to appear)
"But the highlight for me is Starless, the improv section of that song just takes it to limits unknown, Roberts soloing over the rest of the batterie is absolutely sinister as it reaches the climax!
"The overall sound of the recording is much better than most (and almost all KC bootlegs I've heard) with just a slight bit of tape hiss throughout, but the biggest drawback is that the End of Easy Money abruptly cuts off…"
Date Submitted: 11-May-01
By: Mike Mclaughlin (mikemclaughli41 at hotmail dot com)
"This is the kinda Crimso I like the 73-74 has always been my favourite vintage and my preferred KC material was always the live stuff so this CD came through my letter box and landed straight in My CD player, despite my some might say fanatical appreciation for all things Crim I do not (yet) have "The Great Deceiver" boxed set (nor do I have an original of USA although I do have a tape of it) so this is the first time I have heard the track "Doctor Diamond", my first reaction when the song began was: "Why is this not on Red instead of Providence?" however I am in no position to argue album arrangements with anyone (except the band I'm in) so I quickly forgot the idea and continued to listen to this excellent CD the improvs are harsh strange and above all intriguing in the most part, with the exception of Atria and Trio the latter of which is a reworking of the SABB classic which has lost something in the repetition and the former a truly intriguing piece which came as a surprise coming as it does immediately after a marvellous performance of Exiles. The only flaw this CD has is the unfortunately abrupt stop at the end of Easy Money (it's a pity there is no tape of Fracture from this show that could have been used on the CD. (Apologies for the inclement punctuation)"
Date Submitted: 13-May-01
By: Roberto Lopes (boblopes at bol dot com dot br)
"It's a good release from KCCC but a lot of the versions of the songs (specialy "doctor diamond" "Starless" and "easy money") are found in the great deceiver box set in a much better versions, and the sound quality in this release is not so good, personally I prefer to see shows like New York (01/05/1974) or Paris (22/03/1974) released in the kccc. But if you want to buy, buy without any fear, it's the best phase on the Crimson alive and no matter how it's costs or the sound quality it was, it's always good to hear the powerful guitar of Fripp and the powerful voice of Wetton in action."
Date Submitted: 15-May-01
By: Richard Romeo (rmr at apscompany dot com)
"One cannot complain about the sound quality of this recording, and Mr. Wetton's voice has never sounded better. Starless seems sadder to me before it kicks into the jazzy, skronk-ish finale. The improvs are compact and add new dimensions to the songs following them. The Trio improv is eerie and poignant, if that's not a contradiction (though one could define 72-74 Crim as just that).
"Increasingly, I find myself listening to only this period of KC, partly due, I suppose, to the fact that I now have 10 or so official CDs from that period. The current improv-friendly Projeckts, while interesting to me, don't seem to have that cohesion the 72-74 group did. In any case, I again thank the band and those who worked on this CD to make it sound so pristine. I hope to see more releases from this period of the group, and maybe some more of Mr. Fripp's introductions to those fortuante folk in the audience."
Date Submitted: 9-Feb-02
By: (hemperornorton2 at yahoo dot com)
"There is an interesting parallel here, the fact that this performance from March 30th 1974 was recorded the very same day as Miles Davis "Dark Magus" from Carnegie Hall, NYC... the fact is I hear/feel a lot of similarity in both the music and the energy of both performances.
"This is nowhere clearer than in the "Atria" improvisation, where RF's Bartok-comes-to-live-in-Hendrix's-guitar approach and Bruford's massive snare-n-kick barrage amplify things into the realm of some of these improv-energy groups like Miles' '70s outfits or the Sonny Sharrock-Elvin Jones-Pharoah Sanders triumverate on "Ask the Ages". Above all, this is not "neutral" music-making... the impression is given that the performers are trying to do a molecule-merge with the raw viscerality pouring from their instruments, something sadly lacking in music since roughly the early '70s, the last time (to paraphrase Rick Wakeman, of all people) that the musicians were ahead of the technology. OK, that's a generalization, certainly there's been plenty of top-drawer music made since then, but in the majority performances like the Mainz show and its "temporal companion" Dark Magus give the impression of an unconditionality of expression that you just don't hear much of anymore, at least not from touring rock bands anyway. Of course the Crims are to this day a welcome exception, arguably making music even MORE visceral than in their past.
"Anyway, enough critical posturing, this is a worthwhile release and you should sign up immediately and get one, or ten."
Date Submitted: 12-Nov-03
By: Eric Odijk (ericodijk at zeelandnet dot nl)
"Now this is a great album. The sound is not as crisp as on The Night Watch or the Deceiver box, but it really sounds good. A little overpowered with a little tempering on the beat. What I mean? Listen for example to one of the latest Abba albums, they reduced the sound contrast by using limiters. Now this is what happens on Mainz. It does provide a good listen to the quieter parts too. It also makes an intense album. Also the show is great, I really like Doctor Diamond here. Starless is not yet as it turned out to be, listen to the rhythms Bill plays, they differ. But it is close to the definitive live version. Cool album!"