King Crimson: Music Is Our Friend album review

King Crimson's final US show, now available as a triple vinyl set

King Crimson: Music Is Our Friend album art
(Image: © Panegyric)

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Vinyl fans can now celebrate what is likely to be King Crimson’s American final performance, in Washington DC in September 2021, with this triple set. 

With the band having ground to a halt twice in the first decade of this century, hopes were not high when Robert Fripp re-formed the band in 2014, particularly as there had been no new material since 2003. But the self-proclaimed “seven-headed beast” featured three drummers and precipitated a major overhaul of the back catalogue. 

The results were clearly audible on 2016’s Radical Action and the changes have continued since. Indeed, the pandemic pandemonium that surrounded their 2021 US tour seemed to spur them on. 

Neurotica, from 1982’s Beat, was added to the set-list, along with the restored middle section of Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part 1. There are memorable renditions of Starless and Islands, and an awesome encore of 21st Century Schizoid Man, one of three tracks from their 1969 debut.

Hugh Fielder

Hugh Fielder has been writing about music for 47 years. Actually 58 if you include the essay he wrote about the Rolling Stones in exchange for taking time off school to see them at the Ipswich Gaumont in 1964. He was news editor of Sounds magazine from 1975 to 1992 and editor of Tower Records Top magazine from 1992 to 2001. Since then he has been freelance. He has interviewed the great, the good and the not so good and written books about some of them. His favourite possession is a piece of columnar basalt he brought back from Iceland.