King Crimson – KBFH 26/5/74

6 Dec

King Crimson - KBFH 26-5-74 DS321f front

This is four tracks from the KBFH with King Crimson at the Stanley Theatre Pittsburgh on April 29 1974, the second show, in the final tour of this classic  line-up  with John Wetton, David Cross, Bill Bruford and Robert Fripp. Luckily this broadcast, despite being relatively short, includes an amazing version of “Starless”.

The band finally became the beast it is probably most remembered for and where any previous vestiges of “fairy music prog rock” were lost as they became a loud, aggressive and unpredictable beast. So much so that they split up after this tour largely due the strains of playing this music. Around this time the band became adept at playing highly complex written pieces but also would do at least two complete improvisations. These were not based on any harmonic or thematic starting points and wouldn’t ever develop into some of the more excessive “avant-garde” free jazz type improvisation that was quite hip at the time. Beyond this they just played with a dangerous fury every night that is highly compelling even 40 years later.

This recording appeared on a bootleg CD 25 years ago called “American’s Lament”. I assume it was ripped directly off a KBFH transcription recording at the time because from its frequency analysis it seems Pre-FM. I had read that King Crimson was never broadcast on KBFH in quadraphonic sound, however in the latest King Crimson boxset “The Road To Red”, in the booklet a KBFH ad shows the original broadcast listed as being in quad. However as all or maybe most of the KBFH quad recordings were lost in a fire in 1982 this seemed unlikely to be quad encoded as this version was prepared for a broadcast in the mid ’80s judging by what the announcer states. Still I tried a quick a nasty decode and it did seem to be like KBFH quad hence why I forwarded it to OD to check it out more thoroughly.

The full version of this show exists in stereo now from DGMlive and is certainly worth a purchase.” Mark

Release: DS321f

Source: SQ CD

Process: SQ/II



6 Responses to “King Crimson – KBFH 26/5/74”

  1. Owen Smith December 16, 2013 at 15:47 #

    This is great, I love the raw visceral power. Not the most active use of quad, but that often seems to be the case with live stuff as someone has to sit there and decide what goes to the rears live. It’s still good and the playing is excellent, back in the days when popular groups could actually play their instruments well.

  2. rayc2 December 13, 2013 at 23:29 #

    As a fan of classic era Crimson, (sorry, can’t get near them with another guitarist – no matter how good Belew is – and a Chapman Stick taking the lead roles), I’m super happy to have this one. THANK YOU!

  3. g335 December 6, 2013 at 15:50 #

    Mark, thank you for offering this up to OD to decode…that was a nice catch you made while looking over the Road To Red materials! I remember in the mid-eighties recording this KBFH show off the radio. I was in my car driving home while Genesis’ the Lamb from the KBFH was on the air. When I got home, I immediately popped in a cassette and caught this Crimson gig. I played the magnetic parts right off that old TDK tape, as it was constantly played soon thereafter. I look forward to hearing this version, thanks OD!
    Quick question though for clarification, is the source CD from what Mark states above, “This recording appeared on a bootleg CD 25 years ago called “American’s Lament”. I assume it was ripped directly off a KBFH transcription recording at the time because from its frequency analysis it seems Pre-FM”.
    All the best,
    Highlander / g335 here 🙂

  4. jaypfunk December 6, 2013 at 13:06 #

    Holy shit. I am a huge collector of KC from 1972-1975 and never knew this concert existed as a KBFH show. I’ve had the full show for years. Can’t wait to blast this one. Thanks as always OD! You are the man.

  5. sacdtodvda December 6, 2013 at 11:16 #

    Wow. Not sure this music will be my thing, but I cannot resist a quad radio show. Thanks.

    • quadraholic June 9, 2014 at 23:46 #

      This was recorded where I was living and i don’t know how I missed it!

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